[LinuxBIOS] IT8718F support.

Uwe Hermann uwe at hermann-uwe.de
Fri Sep 1 00:24:38 CEST 2006

On Wed, Aug 30, 2006 at 05:10:15PM +0200, Stefan Reinauer wrote:
> Supporting all of them for the sake of it makes no sense, by your leave.
> SuperIO chips alone dont do the deed.  if we manage to get a
> "coordinated effort", i'd much rather go and support "80% of the common
> superio chips out there" with in the end 50% of the effort and instead
> try to get some more southbridge/northbridge combinations supported with
> this effort.

Sure, that's important as well. But Super IOs are (comparatively) easy to
understand and support, and the amount of code needed is small, so we
can add support for many of them quite fast...

> I completely agree. The key to success here is, in my opinion, to
> provide ready-built and tested images on an automated base for certain
> hardware.

I fully agree.

> Unlike normal userspace programs or even kernels, recovering from a bad
> bios can be quite some work. How do we overcome this? Not everyone is
> going to buy a galep iv for 400$, nor a bios savior for 30.

Here's what I did:

I created a backup BIOS image of the BIOS on my test machine; then I got a
few chips of the same size/type. I wrote the original image to 1-2 of the chips
(all with Uniflash), so I had 3 identical, working proprietary BIOS
chips (just in case) and put them in a drawer. Of course, I tested them all.

So from now on I can easily just write/overwrite all other chips, because I
always have a few backup chips I can use if something goes wrong.

Mabye a "How to recover" section in the wiki would be nice...

> >  3) Create pressure on those companies which do not give out datasheets
> >     for various hardware parts. This is much easier if 1) is successful
> >     and many people/customers demand LinuxBIOS support.
> what do you mean by pressure?

Peaceful, non-violent pressure, of course ;-)

The "damn, today there were another 14 customers calling our help-desk
and asking for LinuxBIOS support, maybe we should give out specs, after
all"-type of pressure.

Uwe Hermann 
http://www.it-services-uh.de  | http://www.crazy-hacks.org 
http://www.holsham-traders.de | http://www.unmaintained-free-software.org
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