[OpenBIOS] New power-up graphics BIOS.

Lloyd Thomson thomson at aros.net
Fri Aug 17 13:09:31 CEST 2001

If you want a starting point for a DOS-like package, you might want to take
a look at FreeDOS (www.freedos.com). Written in assembly, as is most driver
and really really efficient code.

I have not really looked at FreeDOS in depth, but know it is there, and have
downloaded it. Was actually thinking of using it for a 386ex project, but
got pulled on to another assignment before I got far enough to make an
intelligent decision.

I would also love to help, but have extremely limited time. And it is
looking like it will only get worse!!! I may be able to help with
suggestions, and problem solving, but if you want code from me, you would
have to get in line!!!

Just a comment - if you a want faster application, go with assembly. YES, I
know that C and C++ are more portable, and the newer compilers do wonders
with efficiency. I also realize that I am opening this up to a whole battery
of emails regarding the C/C++ vs. assembly battle (Please don't - take the
argument to the appropriate newsgroup, since I really don't think that this
mail list is intended for that. I am expressing an opinion here, folks :) ).
However, if the code is written in assembly, every knowledgeable person can
see exactly what the software is doing, and if that would be a problem or
not. Compilers have a tendency to hide things, as many of you well know,
such as overhead.

good luck

Lloyd Thomson
Sr. Design Engineer
One Stop Satellite Solutions
1805 University Cir
Ogden, UT 84408-1805
801 626 7272
lloyd.thomson at osss.com

----- Original Message -----
From: "Gavin R. Brewer" <gavinbr at gavinbr.worldonline.co.uk>
To: <openbios at elvis.informatik.uni-freiburg.de>
Sent: Friday, August 17, 2001 1:35 AM
Subject: RE: [OpenBIOS] New power-up graphics BIOS.

>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..

>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.

Personally I would prefer see a port of MacOS to the Intel machine.
Basically, if we can pull this one off, we can have instant GUI bootup on an
Intel machine..think on it.

>Int 10h will only correctly be set, if the VGA-BIOS is initialized.
>Or would you prefer to program chip registers directly?
>This wouldn't be very generic...

This is the old quandary. Generic APIs have massive overheads. (Man, my head
is spinning with the number of emails I have been getting...Ommm *sigh*

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?


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