January 17th, 2006


userinfo senji
2006/01/17 15:48:00 - You did what?
Discussions about videocards cause me to wonder about the feasibility of running an Xserver on the graphics card itself…
Entry Tags: geeky, one-liner, sick ideas, unix

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userinfo bellinghman
[userpic]
2006/01/17 16:23:05
Once upon a time, I was working for Pye Unicam (became Phillips Industrial) in Cambridge, on control systems.

This was back when what you'd normally get was a CGA graphics card - slow, cranky, low resolution. But you could get specialised PC graphics cards, and for this one contract, we'd got a Pluto graphics card. Sweet bit of hardware, but we ended up with the bottleneck being how quickly we could get the drawing code to update the card.

So, in the end, when the PC booted, it uploaded a whole bunch of assemblerroutines up to the graphics card. And thereafter, when necessary to update the display, a simple command would be sent. Like "Show this tank fill from 20% full to 30%". And the card would happily draw this.

It helped, of course, that the card had its onw processor, which was much more powerful than the PC's 4.77MHz 8088 (none of this 8MHz overclocked stuff).

So, there's nothing new under the sun.
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You did what? - Squaring the circle...

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