My votes/thoughts/ramblings: (plus a comment)
Video on the MB - absolutely! So many systems are out there wasting
the power of even a 486 by using slow video crap. Video on the
ISA bus (if there is one) makes this effort a waste of time I feel.
SCSI on the MB - absolutely! same comments as above... this is
supposed to be a FAST cheap design. SCSI on the MB achieves both.
ETHERNET on the MB - probably! I feel the same as the issue re SCSI
on the MB, but I am using this in a standalone home environment so it
is less an issue to me. But in keeping with the design goals, fast and
cheap again suggests that this element should be on the MB.
Modular options for the video on MB - great idea if it can be done without
IDT3730 - absolutely if we can get any firm schedules for sample quantities.
IDT is WAYYYY late on this chip, but should be well along to commiting to
sample deliveries! There is plenty of design to get started before we
need to plug in the IDT chip.
ISA support - OK. VESA is definitely a waste of time. PCI may catch on
later but it is not there yet (in the cost and open spec domain we would
like). My only personal bias is to go with EISA over ISA. Not that EISA
is the wave of the future, but it is ISA compatible and offers a little
broader spectrum for performance plug in bus cards. I suspect there are
EISA controller chips (like the 82358 from Intel). I don't know the cost
of the chip, but if it is a minimal increase over pure ISA control, and if
it can interface to the 3730... do it!
A last comment. Let's get this thing rolling. A danger in design by
committee, such as this effort, is gridlock wherein everyone wants their
two cents in the design and nothing gets started. A commercial venture
more often restricts the ammount of such wrangling and simply makes the
decisions to get to market. Let's get this going... my $.02 are just that.
SOMEONE needs to get the project out of the starting blocks and moving
down a path (any path for now... there is never THE perfect path).
Dan Fishman (firstname.lastname@example.org) (W) (303) 469-6469 (Fax) (303) 465-4396