[rescue] x86 vs. SPARC BIOSes (was: Small servers (was Re: WTT: 1.5G of PC2700 for 1G of PC100))
ethan at 757tech.net
Thu May 8 08:55:25 CDT 2008
> However, the reality is that x86 boxes are built to run Windows, and Windows
> assumes a keyboard, mouse, and hi-res bitmapped display. So the x86 BIOS
> writers can assume the same I/O will be available. This is a major reason
> why I favour SPARC machines -- they were never designed under this
How come no one has hacked together a "command line" BIOS?
In the modern days, once a machine is setup I can't think of needing to go
into the BIOS from remote. The OS handles things once it starts booting,
and all of the Unixes have serial bios support.
> - BIOSes on motherboards, video boards, RAID cards (don't get me started
> on RAID cards...) all assume that they can clear the screen, wiping out that
> vital error that appeared for a brief, tantalising, moment. Why can' they
> just scroll?
I think they all use direct VGA writes too.
> - How do you tell an x86 box the equivalent of "setenv auto-boot? false",
> so that it comes up in the BIOS, where you can run "probe-scsi", "test-all",
> and then "boot"?
Well, in defense of the PC probe-scsi would be facilitated by the SCSI add
in card. I think EISA had some sort of system where each card provided an
extension to the BIOS or something... but I've seen it on Suns where an
add-in card couldn't be probed.
> OK, enough now. Back to work. Sorry, I get carried away...
What about a port of OBP to PC?
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