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SubjectRe: Should I use Linux to develop driver for specialized ISA card?
On Tue, Sep 04, 2001 at 02:57:10PM +0200, Rastislav Stanik wrote:
> I'm developing specialized plotter.
> The moving parts of the plotter are controlled by ISA card that generates
> (and responds to) interrupts on each movement or printing event.
> The interrupts can be generated quite fast; up to frequency of 4kHz.

I just made a driver for a couple of serial A/Ds that runs at 2kHz on a
StrongARM platform. The system doesn't have any problems to keep up
with that frequency, so I think 4kHz would still be OK.

> I need to write a driver for that.
> The 1st prototype is developed in MS-DOS,but I hit problem with memory.
> The driver needs to use (and transfer) quite big chunks of memory.
> 1MB is not enough.
> In NT you don't develop drivers so easily. It is actually a pain.
> Therefore I'm considering Linux. The machine would be probably
> dedicated and, may be later, embeded in the plotter.
> Problems:
> - It is unlikely that my driver would ever make it to main-stream
> kernel source.

That's no problem, most of the embedded drivers never do.

> - I'm just a C/C++ programmer, I have just rough idea what does it
> mean to 'develop a driver in Linux'. I'm pretty familiar with Linux
> as sys-admin though.

Forget about C++ for kernel programming, it simply doesn't work (see
the lkml FAQ at ). A nice starting point for
kernel programming is together with its
IRC channel #kernelnewbies. Also get a copy of the book "Linux device
drivers (2nd edition)", there is a link in the books section on the
kernelnewbies website.

> All I need is: to have piece of code executed on some interrupt,
> read/write IO ports of the card and be able to transfer big pieces
> of memory to the card.
> What do you think? Is Linux the ideal platform for me?

I don't know if Linux is the *ideal* platform, but driving a plotter
could certainly be done in Linux.


J.A.K. (Erik) Mouw, Information and Communication Theory Group, Department
of Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Information Technology and Systems,
Delft University of Technology, PO BOX 5031, 2600 GA Delft, The Netherlands
Phone: +31-15-2783635 Fax: +31-15-2781843 Email:
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