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SubjectHELP: Creating new x86emu mailing list?
Hi All,

I would like to get a new mailing list set up for the revamped GPL
x86emu project, of which I have just taken over as project maintainer
from David Mosberger-Tang. This emulator started out as the free
equivalent to the Digital Eq. x86 emulator in the Linux MILO loader.
The old emulator was very complete for x86 16-bit instructions, but
did include a number of bugs and no support for 32-bit instructions
in real mode. Hence it did not work very well on modern graphics

About a week ago I dug up this old emulator (which does not appear to
have been updated for quite sometime), and go it up and running under
32-bit DOS quickly. Testing it on an old graphics card revealed that
it worked quite well. Then I tried it on some modern cards and it
failed miserably due to the lack of 32-bit instructions. So, I set
about solving this problem.

Now after a week of work, the emulator is working a real treat! I
painstakingly went over every function in the emulator, moved it all
to C++ (so I could use inline functions in a portable manner),
optimised some stuff and added inline assembler for the primitive
operands implementation for x86 (Watcom C++ right now; someone else
could easily add GCC inline assembler for x86 and other CPU's). On
top of that, I also wrote a complete validation suite for the
emulator to validate that all the generic C code for the primitive
operands (ie: adc, sbb, idiv, imul etc) is 100% correct with respect
to a genuine x86 processor (ie: same results and same flags on
output). Now it runs very fast, and so far has worked perfectly on
every graphics card I have thrown at it!

This emulator has a *lot* of uses on the Linux (and in fact other
platforms; we are using it for every OS we support on x86). Some of
those include:

. Ability to POST multi-head graphics controller configurations on
x86 using the existing adapter BIOS.
. Ability to POST the primary controller on non-x86 platforms to
bring it up into text mode for Linux.
. Ability to provide the Linux VBE framebuffer console driver with
the capabilities to call the BIOS on any number of controllers at
runtime. This will allow it to switch graphics modes on the fly,
program the hardware palette etc. On VBE/Core 3.0 adapters, this
also includes full refresh rate control out of the box!

Anyway, I have already asked David Miller if we could get a list set
up on vgers, however apparantly that server is overloaded and he
can't afford to add any more mailing lists. Hence if anyone else has
the ability to create a mailing list for this project, please drop me
a line so we can make this happen.


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