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Events   Events : Notes about my presentation at Alchimie 4, & about DMA
   posted by sg2 on 29-Sep-2004 11:32:54 (20347 reads)
Hello All!

The html pages which are available at http://s.guillard.free.fr/alc4/index.html are just an introduction slideshow that I presented as a starter, it does not relate what I shown and said afterwards. Please find below a couple of notes about my presentation at Alchimie show.



1 ? Show highlights
Here is a quick summary of the presentation I did :

- I booted with boot delays set to 1 second for UBoot and for SLB (second level booter), thus less than 20 seconds after power on, we were with a fully loaded Workbench with Amidock.

- I started with the small html slideshow, presented on IBrowse. You can find those pages at the URL above. IBrowse loaded in 2 seconds with its about : page fully displayed. Browsing through the pages of the slideshow was instantaneous.

- While we were at it, I browsed the OS4 install guide, also as fast as can be, must say I also find this responsiveness impressive myself :)

Then I demoed as many things as I had time to during the 2 hours I had. Everything worked, fast & stable, and was smooth and impressed. I showed mainly:
- All os4 system, tools, utilities, prefs & stuff
- MUI, IBrowse, Amitradecenter
- Yam, SimpleMail
- ClassAction (M. Elsner's file manager)
- MakeCD
- MooVid running a DivX
- DVPlayer running an mpeg2
- AudioEvolution 4 with the demo project, cursors auto moving smoothly, the playback was smooth also, with mostly no CPU usage.
- AmiPDF with the AE4 manual and another heavy PDF file, very fast
- USB. I plugged a Microsoft IntelliMouse Optical into my USB hub, and we had 2 mice to control the system
- Crisot's slach5 winning demo (got applauses which it deserved)
- chip's rayrace realtime raytracer demo. When the juggler appeared, audience was impressed, but really took measure of what they were watching when I moved the mouse. Wait for the Altivec version !
- FPSE, AmiDog's PS1 emulator, with an oldskool game which ran nicely ('Cotton')
- some other visual toys I had at hand

The demos only grimreaped twice, and I anticipated the grims before they popped up :
- One was native glsokoban / w3d, when I launch it does a base page access (a ?null pointer? bug in glsokoban). I didactically shown the disassembly which is available in the grimreaper window, was a store to r4, r4 was null etc. I clicked on continue, and it all went fine & fast.

- One was frying pan 0.3.1, I shown the app, and at one point I said 'now it should grim? and it did. It still loaded fine though. I quit the app, clicked on reboot and less than 4 secs after, wb was up with amidock. That was the only reboot of the show.

I forgot to show (because of short time):
- Petunia... Almos, sorry, I had prepared something for that (side by side windowed jit & nonjit runs of voxelspace), but i both forgot, and was asked to stop at this point by the party organizers cause it was already 5:30 pm while I was scheduled until 4pm.
- ArtEffect
- USB with MassStorage (ie USB key or digital camera)

At the end, I had many fair questions to which I answered; my feeling is that the audience really appreciated the effort behind what I shown, and was conscious that we are not far away from a releasable 4.0.

Then came the expected question, 'and why doesn?t DMA work ?'

I said 'All what you saw was DMA since the 1st boot'.
I copied a few 100 MB files in a snap, with zero CPU (thanks to Pete Gordon for the clock/CPU docky, helps a lot). Then I switched to PIO, they saw 4 x slower and 80% CPU.
The audience understood that it was indeed DMA, and that was fast, and that was part of the overall smoothness of what I shown.

Then I explained the things below (this is the reference for my statements, please don?t rephrase or extrapolate or invent or whatever):

- IDE UDMA works on VIA and Articia on AmigaOne SE / XE / µA1 MK2 (as I demoed) ...
- ... except when the Ethernet chip goes online and is used.
- the Ethernet chip only triggers the problem, but it is not at all related to it (a test using a PCI Ethernet shows the same behaviour)
- We have made a driver for a Silicon Image 680 PCI IDE UDMA133 controller chip, this does UDMA 133 nicely, including when Ethernet is used at full speed.
- The fact that a PCI IDE controller solution works, shows that the problem is *not* related to Articia, since PCI DMA is *also* handled by the Articia, and that works.
- The full Alchimie show demo was done using UDMA, both from the VIA and from the Si680, without problem (but with Ethernet off, would the Ethernet have been turned online, I would have had to revert the VIA into PIO before).
- Things are currently under more investigation
In the meantime there are 2 options for existing A1 board owners:
- Use the VIA IDE controller in PIO mode when using Ethernet, and UDMA at other times,
- Purchase a faster (UDMA133) Silicon Image 0680 IDE PCI card (from around $20). This is my personally recommended option as the delivered speed is noticeable faster than the on-board VIA controller in UDMA mode.

Kind regards,
--
Stéphane
    

STORYID: 1752
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PosterThread
DrBombcrater 
Re: Notes about my presentation at Alchimie 4, & about DMA
Posted on 29-Sep-2004 15:06:19
#41 ]
Super Member
Joined: 6-Feb-2004
Posts: 1382
From: UK

@elwood

Whether I feel betrayed or not depends on how Eyetech responds to this. Clearly, having to give up a precious PCI slot for an IDE controller is a serious issue - it means once the sound card is fitted there's only one free PCI slot.

The least they should do is offer free Si680 cards to those who want one (I suspect it'd be easier for most people to buy one locally, but Eyetech needs to make a gesture). Preferably, they should work with MAI to find a fix for this and then release details of the required patch so that dealers and suitably skilled users can do the fix.

I'd much prefer a fix to a PCI IDE card because I worry about what other places this problem will manifest itself in the future. Will it affect Firewire cards? Or USB 2.0? Or GigaBit Ethernet? Etc,etc.


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olegil 
Re: Notes about my presentation at Alchimie 4, & about DMA
Posted on 29-Sep-2004 15:06:31
#42 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 22-Aug-2003
Posts: 5888
From: Work

@ajk:

If you read comment 5 in the ANN thread, you'll see that it is possible to patch. But sending a board to in to patch a few wires is a HECK of a lot more expensive than 30 EUR. So if this isn't something you can do yourself and/or contact a TV repair guy you know to help you with, it'll be a lot simpler just to grab a PCI IDE controller.

I believe the PCI IDE controller in question is the one used on the µA1 anyway, in which case it'll be supported soon enough (as in: already)


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tomazkid 
Re: Notes about my presentation at Alchimie 4, & about DMA
Posted on 29-Sep-2004 15:14:58
#43 ]
Team Member
Joined: 31-Jul-2003
Posts: 11694
From: Kristianstad, Sweden

Guess we have to look after addons for the A1-SE/XE too, to get more PCI-slots.

Something like this perhaps?


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poweramiga2002 
Re: Notes about my presentation at Alchimie 4, & about DMA
Posted on 29-Sep-2004 15:20:10
#44 ]
Super Member
Joined: 29-Jul-2003
Posts: 1389
From: Flinders NSW Australia

@olegil

A patch you say now your talking my language that would not be a prob for me to do where do i find the details on how to fix the problem ?

a smile is slowly returning to my sulky face

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Anonymous 
Re: Notes about my presentation at Alchimie 4, & about DMA
Posted on 29-Sep-2004 15:27:26
# ]



The fix is called April 3.

 
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LordArt 
Re: Notes about my presentation at Alchimie 4, & about DMA
Posted on 29-Sep-2004 15:30:21
#46 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 22-Apr-2003
Posts: 113
From: South Bound Brook, NJ

Honestly, if it comes down to HAVING to buy a PCI IDE controller, I would just prefer to run the SCSI card I have that UBoot supports. I wanted my A1 to be full SCSI only anyways instead of fooling around with IDE issues. So if it comes down to eating another PCI just for IDE, I'd rather ditch that idea for a SCSI only system(which I have all the parts for). So the next obvious question is, what is the status of a symbios SCSI card driver for OS4?

Thanks!

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rossv 
Re: Notes about my presentation at Alchimie 4, & about DMA
Posted on 29-Sep-2004 15:42:40
#47 ]
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Joined: 22-Mar-2003
Posts: 383
From: Sydney, Australia

@poweramiga

These cards are very common. Do not even think of buying one from overseas, you can get them anywhere in Australia!

Regards,

Ross..


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Anonymous 
Re: Notes about my presentation at Alchimie 4, & about DMA
Posted on 29-Sep-2004 15:55:59
# ]



Quote:

@poweramiga2002

seriously this cant be for real its goto be some sort of joke the onboard sound not working was not so bad but this its beyond a joke !!!

That's the same thing I was tellin' myself.

This isn't cool at all.

But then again, these ATX mobos are supposedly BETA products. I hope that the next batch (and the microA1s) won't these unfortunate issues.

 
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Bobsonsirjonny 
Re: Notes about my presentation at Alchimie 4, & about DMA
Posted on 29-Sep-2004 15:59:14
#49 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 28-Jul-2003
Posts: 2880
From: Unknown

Buy a card from me

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xeron 
Re: Notes about my presentation at Alchimie 4, & about DMA
Posted on 29-Sep-2004 16:11:07
#50 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 22-Jun-2003
Posts: 2440
From: Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset, England, UK, Europe, Earth, The Milky Way, The Universe

@angrybrit

AFAIK, the new batch of XEs, and the MicroA1 do not have this problem.


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mbilla 
Re: Notes about my presentation at Alchimie 4, & about DMA
Posted on 29-Sep-2004 16:15:11
#51 ]
Super Member
Joined: 25-May-2003
Posts: 1369
From: EU

Quote:
BTW, additional information here !


I did read the thread and like the idea that IDE gets faster on our A1
Actually it are these figures I like very much:
http://s.guillard.free.fr/OS4/si680ide.jpg


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Anonymous 
Re: Notes about my presentation at Alchimie 4, & about DMA
Posted on 29-Sep-2004 16:15:16
# ]



@xeron

with the new batch of ATX A1, will they take out the on-board audio or just put in ones that will work?

 
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KimmoK 
Re: Notes about my presentation at Alchimie 4, & about DMA
Posted on 29-Sep-2004 16:18:05
#53 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 14-Mar-2003
Posts: 5206
From: Ylikiiminki, Finland

...I'm recovering from the shock .....


So, another thing: "less than 4 secs after, wb was up with amidock"

More details please.
What reset methode was used exactly?

(IIRC, the warm reboot time was 12 seconds before this, @ the saku meeting @ Tampere the booting time was even longer))


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olegil 
Re: Notes about my presentation at Alchimie 4, & about DMA
Posted on 29-Sep-2004 16:20:09
#54 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 22-Aug-2003
Posts: 5888
From: Work

@angrybrit:

There's no AC'97 codec chip on the XE anymore.
It's not the codec that didn't work, it's the AC'97 controller inside the southbridge that didn't work (same problem exists on the SE, which I discovered after I built a small AC'97 soundcard for my board).


_________________
This weeks pet peeve:
Using "voltage" instead of "potential", which leads to inventing new words like "amperage" instead of "current" (I, measured in A) or possible "charge" (amperehours, Ah or Coulomb, C). Sometimes I don't even know what people mean.

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NutsAboutAmiga 
Re: Notes about my presentation at Alchimie 4, & about DMA
Posted on 29-Sep-2004 16:24:59
#55 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Jun-2004
Posts: 12101
From: Norway

Maybe they should cancel the MicroAOne-C and mass-produce the MicroAOne-I as a replacement, the via686b #### will never be any good, so way don't just drop it.


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xeron 
Re: Notes about my presentation at Alchimie 4, & about DMA
Posted on 29-Sep-2004 16:28:11
#56 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 22-Jun-2003
Posts: 2440
From: Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset, England, UK, Europe, Earth, The Milky Way, The Universe

The VIA IDE on the MicroAOne-C works, as far as i'm aware, even with ethernet. So theres no problem there.


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ssolie 
Re: Notes about my presentation at Alchimie 4, & about DMA
Posted on 29-Sep-2004 16:29:31
#57 ]
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Joined: 10-Mar-2003
Posts: 2755
From: Alberta, Canada

Quote:
to all the people that feel betrayed by Eyetech...

I'm actually pleasantly surprised by the reaction so far. I expected a lot more 'lawyer' talk and such as people realign their expectations with the reality of the situation.

Using that VIA chip for IDE seemed like a good idea at the time but hind sight... I'm quite glad the next gen. boards (Micro-A1-I) avoid using the VIA for IDE altogether.


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tomazkid 
Re: Notes about my presentation at Alchimie 4, & about DMA
Posted on 29-Sep-2004 16:37:24
#58 ]
Team Member
Joined: 31-Jul-2003
Posts: 11694
From: Kristianstad, Sweden

@mbilla

Quote:
I did read the thread and like the idea that IDE gets faster on our A1
Actually it are these figures I like very much:
http://s.guillard.free.fr/OS4/si680ide.jpg


Yes, a huge step from slow PIO to the udma modes.

Don't get me wrong though, it is very good news to see figures showing fast speeds that works reliably

I'm just not too keen on getting yet another PCI-card to replace a function that was supposed to be on-board the mobo though.
I also got 2 udma100 harddrives in my A1, those does not benefit at all from a udma133 controller.
The only benefit with an extra dma-controller card, I can see is the one Elwood came with, that one can use 8 ide-devices, with the A1.


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DoodooHead 
Re: Notes about my presentation at Alchimie 4, & about DMA
Posted on 29-Sep-2004 16:38:01
#59 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 8-Mar-2003
Posts: 641
From: Reno, Nevada, U.S.

I just ordered a controller card with the supported chipset on it. From www.axiontech.com (They are in the USA, it cost $17.95 for the card, and they have 10 left.)

It's something to do while I'm waiting for the Software Update, waiting for the UPS man to bring me the controller card.


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DrBombcrater 
Re: Notes about my presentation at Alchimie 4, & about DMA
Posted on 29-Sep-2004 16:40:31
#60 ]
Super Member
Joined: 6-Feb-2004
Posts: 1382
From: UK

@ssolie

It's far too early for legal arguments. If all the affected boards can be patched to fix this problem, the whole issue will just fade away except for the odd vitriolic thread on ANN.


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