Thursday, 4 June 2009


I've been umming and aahing about working on a ps3 version of the kernel, because although there is plenty of other stuff to do, i've gotten to the point i'd like to have a framebuffer to work in. And since VGA hardware is such a pita to work with ... maybe the ps3 is the go.

So I did a lot of reading and digging, about powerpc64 hardware (hmm, this is really a mainframe chip, not a game console one!), hypervisor calls (so little documentation), instruction sets, etc etc. Hmm, a lot of work, but it seemed like a good challenge.

But then I thought i'd look at extracting a vga driver from some library - i looked at svgalib only because it had the least dependencies. I thought maybe I could get something going just to get started, or at least evaluate the size of the task. And after wasting a couple of days and very late nights on this ... I finally (re)discovered bochs and qemu had their own framebuffer device which was trivial to setup (I had seen the page a couple of weeks ago and 'noting it for later' promptly forgot it). Ho hum, what a total waste of time that was then. I still need a real driver if i want to get something up on real hardware, but it isn't exactly a priority right now.

So given I now have a framebuffer to work with I might postpone the ps3 stuff. I'm still mulling over an ARM based stuff too, so maybe I will look at that next instead - i imagine it will be somewhat simpler, and I can use qemu for that too.

Now I have a framebuffer ... what to do with it. OpenVG looks interesting, I might start there.

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