[OpenBIOS] New power-up graphics BIOS.

Per Jessen per at computer.org
Fri Aug 17 17:18:46 CEST 2001

On Fri, 17 Aug 2001 08:35:38 +0100, Gavin R. Brewer wrote:

>>At startup the conventional PC-BIOS searches (scans) for additional
>>ROMs, such as VGA-ROM.
>Kewl. Actually I have noticed that my Savage4 card displays stuff on the
>screen before the main BIOS is activated. Interesting..

Not at all.
Until you have video, your PC is deaf and blind. Hence, the first thing the
main BIOS does it look at address 0xC000 to see if it has a BIOS image. 
If found, it call the init vector defined in it, which will typically
carry on initialising the VGA card. Part of the init is displaying
that "hello" message.
The BIOS start-up sequence is well-documented. 

>>It is then initialized. So a text startup copyright message of the
>>VGA-card would appear on the screen (so does my old SPEA VEGA V7
>>How would you overcome this "problem"? I didn't have any ideas,
>>because the BIOS needs int 10h for output functions.
>Hmm.. I propose someone port something like MacOS or Linux onto ROM first,
>mainly as an improved form of BIOS.

I think this has been done. There were discussions on this list (I think) a while ago.
The idea was to cut the BIOS down as much as possible, and leave all the setup to 
Linux. I think the project might been called LinuxBIOS ?

>There is only one way to get around this problem. Consider merging,
>integrating and simplifying the VGA-BIOS with the system ROM so that we get
>an integrated bootup sequence, with no textual spam.
>Anyone know how to reverse engineer AMI-BIOS for example?

I think I have source for an Award BIOS somewhere - you can have that.

Per Jessen
(will be away for 9 days, so don't expect any quick replies to emails :-)

Per Jessen, Zurich
http://www.enidan.com - home of the J1 serial console.

Windows 2001: "I'm sorry Dave ...  I'm afraid I can't do that."

To unsubscribe: send mail to majordomo at freiburg.linux.de
with 'unsubscribe openbios' in the body of the message

More information about the openbios mailing list