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Re: ISA audio in Magnum 4000pc,possibly?

To: ralf@uni-koblenz.de, linux-mips@fnet.fr
Subject: Re: ISA audio in Magnum 4000pc,possibly?
From: Eric Jorgensen <alhaz@xmission.com>
Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 12:44:19 -0600
References: <35CD2CFC.32CACC90@mail.com> <19980809171312.U938@uni-koblenz.de> <35CDF934.293BB67@xmission.com> <19980811131122.B480@uni-koblenz.de>
Sender: alhaz@univ-evry.fr
ralf@uni-koblenz.de wrote:

> >     It just seemed like the box might make an outstanding MP3 server.
>
> The machine will definately make a nice job in that.  People have already
> reported to me that they're quite satisfied with the Magnum's performance
> for mp3 encoding as well.  (I wonder what software they use or is there
> already a free mp3 encoder available as source?)

    Yeah. I've used an OS/2 binary compiled from it. I didn't think it was very
good, but the guy who did the port didn't know what he was doing.  It was slower
on a P133 than the linux binary for l3enc was on my DX4-100.. And it distorted
some things that l3enc didn't.

> >     On a completely unrelated note - out of curiosity I pulled the heatsink
> > off the cpu in my system - Never seen a mips 4k processor before. Anyway, I
> > was surprised to find the word "PROTOTYPE" emblazoned acrost the chip. Is
> > this common? Or do I have something really cool/funky here? if anybody
> > wants to see, I have a digital camera here.
>
> I've never seen a processor like that before.  The only thing I bet on is
> that this processor is buggy like shit.

    Well, it has what I believe is a Fujitsu logo (has that curly S thing on it
that was used as an F centuries ago, if you look at old documents like the
US constitution) and it identifies itself as (unless I'm remembering wrong) a
76R4000PC-50G - there is also a letter G hand-written in pencil on the corner of
the ceramic, and two other places on the ceramic where it looks like things have
been scribbled over.

    Possibly this is an early low-power version?

    The thing is, there's no way this was a pre-release prototype of the
original magnum, because the original magnum was Microsoft-designed box
code-named Jazz. I actually have the whole story from the horses mouth (Atleast,
a guy who was at mips during the fiasco) of how Mips was falling behind on their
own design, and ended up buying the design that Microsoft had built to Dave
Cutler's specs. So, since the board has Mips logos all over it, it's clearly not
first-run, tho it could be something from the transitional period after MIPS
bought the design from microsoft.

    On the other hand, only the processor says "prototoype" on it.

    I don't know much about where this box came from. I bought it as a surplus
item from a local university. Word has it that a professor retired and nobody
wanted his computers, so they stripped them for memory and storage devices, kept
the monitors, and surplused the rest. I bought my Magnum for $5 USD, including
the high-rez frame buffer and sound card. I also bought his old fileserver -
DELL 4066/XE - a 486 but it's the size of a doghouse. Cost me $10.

    I've actually never successfully booted it, still building a video cable to
let it hook up to a Sun monitor that should support it's rez/refresh but has
different wiring and possibly composite sync.

    So maybe after everything else stablizes it won't be too hard to adjust a
linux/i386 driver won't be too hard to adjust.

    One question - is there an ECU disk to configure EISA devices or is it in
firmware?

 - Eric

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