I'm going to design and build an X terminal

Patrick Finnegan pat at computer-refuge.org
Fri Apr 22 01:25:44 CDT 2005

Michael Sokolov declared on Thursday 21 April 2005 06:39 pm:
> Hello fellow ClassicCmp'ers,
> In my search for a good X terminal I have played some more with the
> available options.  I have looked at my hardware options (VS3100 or
> VXT 2000 hardware), examined already-existing software options (EWS,
> VXT and VXT EX), and considered constructing my own X terminal
> software from the 4.3BSD-Quasijarus kernel and MIT X11R4 or X11R5 X
> server. Ultimately I was not satisfied with any of these options as a
> true solution that would make me happy, any of those would be a
> temporary kludge at best, so I have decided to take the radical
> approach:

I'm suprised that you dont want to do this using a VS3100 (or 4000) and 
BSD of some sort. :)   That being said, I can give some suggestions.

> The X display consists of a screen, keyboard and mouse, and my choices
> for these three are as follows: an off-the-shelf PCI video chip with
> good XFree86 support for the screen, DEC LK201 for the keyboard, and
> many options for the mouse, including DEC mice, PC serial mice and USB
> mice.  The server will be XFree86 modified to use the LK201 keyboard
> instead of a PC one.

Be aware that this shouldn't be all that difficult; Linux supports 
running an LK201/401 on a serial port via a device driver in late 2.4 
and 2.6 kerneles.

>  (Are there any 3-button sans-wheel USB mice?)

I'd skip USB all-together, and just use a serial or PS/2 interface mouse.

> for Ethernet and serial).  I want to implement two independent
> Ethernet interfaces: one an RJ45 capable of 10 and 100 Mbps, the other
> a classic coaxial Ethernet interface with AUI and BNC ports.  This way

There's no reason you can't run all that off a single ethernet 
controller; for example, on IBM RS/6000 SP's, they have a 10/100MBps 
RJ45 connector, as well as either a 10Base2 BNC or 10Base5 AUI connector 
run off the same interface.

> Now there is only one thing remaining for which I seek advice from the
> great collective wisdom here: what should I use for the video chip? 

I'd recommend an ATI Rage XL.  They should be available cheaply, and are 
commonly used for onboard video on rackmount PC server motherboards, so 
they should be easy to find.  As well, XFree has working/usable drivers 
for them.  Given a few MB of ram, you should be able to do 24-bit color 
at at least 1600x1200.  As another option, you could also do an ATI Rage 
64, if you prefer to scrounge ICs off of discarded PCI video cards. :)

Purdue University ITAP/RCAC       --- http://www.rcac.purdue.edu/
The Computer Refuge               --- http://computer-refuge.org

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