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Re: Bigsur?

To: Ralf Baechle <ralf@linux-mips.org>
Subject: Re: Bigsur?
From: "Maciej W. Rozycki" <macro@linux-mips.org>
Date: Mon, 18 May 2009 23:47:49 +0100 (BST)
Cc: Jon Fraser <jfraser@broadcom.com>, Andrew Wiley <debio264@gmail.com>, "linux-mips@linux-mips.org" <linux-mips@linux-mips.org>
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On Mon, 18 May 2009, Ralf Baechle wrote:

> A clear yes.  In particular the Swarm and Big Sur boards which aside of
> graphics are as close to an workstation or server board, are highly
> sought after as indicated by usually high 2nd hand prices on ebay.

 Even *including* graphics AFAIK -- there is apparently support for VGA 
console I/O for some chips in CFE.  Of course for that you have to get a 
universal classic PCI card, but that's not undoable and then you can 
attach a keyboard and a mouse to the onboard USB ports without taking a 
PCI slot even.  So yes, a full-featured graphics workstation if you like.

> Even though far from new these boards are the backbone of the native
> compile farms of several Linux distributions including Debian and the
> native testing by various commercial and non-commercial software
> developers including myself.  Aside of mostly SGI surplus workstations
> the Sibyte boards are clearly the most popular among those who somehow
> managed to get hold of them.

 Yes, invaluable for native builds and there is a considerable number of 
software packages which is not capable of being cross-compiled, or 
requires extreme contortions to be built this way, or if buildable with a 
reasonable effort, the functionality is limited.  Besides a three-stage 
GCC bootstrap is a good way of verifying the quality of the tool, never 
mind standard DejaGNU-based regression testing which although possible 
using cross-tools and a remote target, is awfully painful to be set up 
this way.

  Maciej

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