My updated wishlist:
* SCSI on board. I wouldn't mind if it was fast and wide, but that's not
mandatory for me. The 53c90 is 8-bit, the 53cf90 is 8-bit fast, the 53cf94
can do fast and wide; is this the correct interpretation of the previous
* Ethernet on board if feasible.
BTW, my ISA 3c503/16 could achieve > 800KB/sec with net-1, less with net-2.
Donald Becker reported more than 900KB/sec with the WD8013. Both the 3c503
and the 8013 are NatSemi DP8390 based.
So ISA boards can give quite good performance, BUT also *sucks* CPU!
(runninng ttcp.) Would it be efficient to have some DMA-based Ethernet?
If so, I guess it should not be put into any ISA bus slot then, or what?
(If it's on board, and if it's only one interface type, I would prefer
BNC for thinnet. If you want good arguments, see Donald Beckers'
'Ethercard hardware tutorial' posted now and then at c.o.l :-)
* 8-bit Video on board (actually, I would love to be able to expand to
24-bit, but that's not mandatory). Sounds better to me to have a quite
'dumb' version than using any 'intelligent' device (i.e. no 34010, certainly
I think at least 1152x900 (the Sun 'standard') is needed. Working with an
A4 (letter) document is not easy even with 1024x768. I worked for one year
with a very ergonomically Tandberg X-terminal with an extremely good display,
but, alas, 1024x768 is just too cramped. So now I'm sitting here with a
cheap, not very good focused, not too sharp MAG monitor. I get flashbacks
when I move my eyes. Real bad compared to the Tandberg. *But* it can do
1152x900 with XFree86...
And 1152x900x8 just fits in 1MB (VRAM, of course).
* Up to 64MB RAM at *minimum*. Someone mentioned that code for MIPS is about
40% bigger than code for i486. So compared to that those 64MB is only like
about 45MB on a PC, *which is not much*. I'm using 16MB + 32MB swap at the
moment.. In my opinion the max. limit should be about twice the size that
one *thinks* one will ever need. If it ends up with 64MB max, ok. I hope
I can live with that. Please take my comments as just.. comments. I don't
want to start any war about this.. :-)
* RTclock on board, of course
* A couple of serial ports, one for the mouse and one extra. It seems like
the opinions goes toward an (ISA) expansion bus, so more ports could be
* CPU: r3k is ok, the r4k2 would be even better of course.
I'm a bit worried about not having the possibility of adding an external
cache. It's expensive to put in that fast static RAM of course, but it's
my impression that a good fast big cache could even outweigh using slower
DRAM (not that I'm suggesting using slow DRAM :-).
I must admit that I know next to nothing about the complexity level
of designing in an external cache, can anyone say something about chips,
cost, and design complexity level?
* Timers.. I may have missed something, but don't we need some kind of
timers to provide interrupts for the time slicing etc. I would also like
to play around with some high-definition timers (what about RT-Linux..).
Are there any built-in timers able to provide interrupts inside one of
those smart I/O chips already mentioned?
* Keyboard controller on board, for IBM style keyboards (could it handle
PS/2 style keyboards?)
* Bus: I don't care actually, with the above I don't need much more.
The only thing I could think of would be a floppy interface, to boot my
root/boot floppy when I screwed up something.
That's all I can think of.
(email@example.com - on vacation mid-July to mid-August, not reading mails then)