Because the license of Bochs only permits using it "for the use it was intended", I've asked the author for permission to use it for testing our BIOS, and he's agreed.
Furthermore, he's given us permission to do as we like with the BIOS implementation that he included with it, as a starting point for our project.
I've put his rombios.c up for anonymous FTP at dwmw2.robinson.cam.ac.uk in /pub/bios, along with the Bochs distribution code.
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From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Kevin P Lawton) Subject: Re: Using Bochs for testing new BIOS code. To: Dave@imladris.demon.co.uk (David Woodhouse) Date: Thu, 19 Feb 1998 21:59:06 -0500 (EST)
Yeah sure. Go ahead and use Bochs for this purpose. It'll be good for both of us, in that you may find hardware emulation inconsistencies etc, and give feedback.
I'm not very attached to the BIOS I wrote. There was a big need for one, so I wrote it. I used 'bcc', the only freeware compiler that I could find at the time to generate 16bit-only code. I'd be interested in knowing what your tools of choice end up being.
The BIOS is certainly not written in the best style (the interface between ASM & C I'd like to have different etc), but it's somewhere to start.
Feel free to copy whatever BIOS source you need. I'd like to see a good freeware BIOS, and will be certain to use it with Bochs, if it turns out well. It would be nice to use a BIOS which has been tested on real hardware. This way I could shape up my hardware emulation.
Keep in mind, I had no concern for timing of IO port accesses. You won't see any waiting in between IO accesses, since in emulated world you don't have to worry about how fast the IO device can handle this.
Best of luck to you.
- -Kevin Lawton Bochs Software Company
I'd like to ask your permission to use Bochs for testing purposes in the development of OpenBIOS (http://www.linkscape.net/openbios/)
OpenBIOS is a very new project, the aim of which is to provide an efficient modular BIOS replacement for Intel PCs, with functionality such as serial console support, proper chipset optimisation, RAID, etc. The list of ideas has been vast, and with a proper modular design the end-user should be able to pick and choose the modules he wants for his system.
The project is probably going to be released under LGPL, allowing hardware manufacturers to produce proprietary binary modules to support esoteric hardware, while still retaining the freedom of the GPL on the majority of the code.
Naturally, the idea of blowing a piece of code we've just written into the precious flash ROM of our PC and rebooting tends to frighten us somewhat, so we'd like to use Bochs for emulating the PC environment in which our BIOS will live. This we would achieve by replacing the binary BIOS image used by Bochs with our own work.
As I sincerely doubt that this comes under the category of using Bochs "for the use it was intended", I'd like, on behalf of the development team, to ask for your permission to do so.
Furthermore, (pushing our luck a little further :) ), if you would permit us to use sections of your own BIOS code from bios/rombios.c as a starting point, it would be very much appreciated.
We would not envisage using significant amounts of your code in the final release, but it would provide a very useful base to work from, on a project that is so far only vapourware (although we've only been at it for less than a week, so that's excusable)
Thankyou for your time.
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---- ---- ---- David Woodhouse, Robinson College, CB3 9AN, England. (+44) 0976 658355 Dave@imladris.demon.co.uk http://dwmw2.robinson.cam.ac.uk finger email@example.com for PGP key.
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