Linux and intelligent serial boards

Linux and intelligent serial boards

Post by Eric Silv » Sun, 30 Oct 1994 13:52:49



: I want to know if Linux works with Digiboard too.

:       -Joan


: : Does anyone know of an intellegent serial like digiboard
: :  or otherwise that works wil linux? Or a REASONABLY priced
: : terminal server?

: :  I am  forced to buy something real expensive.
: : Thanks.

I spoke to Digiboard sales and technical support today.
I am (er was) running a Unixware 1.1.2 Applications Server (UWAS).
I have also been running a Linux Server that I've been attempting
to network to the UWAS. Digiboard says it will no longer be supporting
the PCXi 16 port intelligent serial board in favour of new technology.
Although   ftp.digibd.com  has drivers that (sort of) suupport UWAS,
they do not have and will not have drivers that support PCXi boards
for Linux. They _MAY_ have drivers supporting the PCXe versions of
their boards available, MAYBE sometime in January 1995 and NOT any
sooner.
I also spoke to BOCA Technical support today. I asked them if
the BOCA 2016 16 port card had Linux drivers available. The
tech support (engineer?) had never heard of Linux!!! He asked
if very many people used a unix clone. BOCA, where have you been
for the last four years!!!????

As it stands _now_, I have two servers running Linux. I _think_
I have a better chance now of networking the two (although
I'm using those dreaded 3Com 3C509tp Ethernet cards) and I am now
looking to purchase an 8 port serial card. I plan to and I would
advise that you to insist that you get source for the drivers of
the serial cards that you buy. That way if (or when) you upgrade
your Linux kernal, you can recompile the serial card drivers and
ensure compatibility with the new Linux kernal.

Three of the fundemental things I absolutely need to find out about are;
(IN LAYMEN SPEAK PLEASE!)

1.) What is the difference between an intelligent multiport serial card
    and a non-intelligent serial card?

2.) What advantages would an intelligent board versus a non-intelligent
    board see in practical day to day usage in say, a BBS setup?

3.) If the usage were a BBS setup, then how would one rationalize the
    higher cost of an intelligent serial board versus a non-inteligent
    serial board.

The above questions are not covered in Serial-HOWTO, NET-2-HOWTO?

Eric Silver
"Linux - The Harley Davidson Of Operating Systems!"

 
 
 

Linux and intelligent serial boards

Post by Michael_Nels » Tue, 01 Nov 1994 00:26:51


-> I also spoke to BOCA Technical support today. I asked them if
-> the BOCA 2016 16 port card had Linux drivers available. The
-> tech support (engineer?) had never heard of Linux!!! He asked
-> if very many people used a unix clone. BOCA, where have you been
-> for the last four years!!!????

        Boca may not have heard of Linux, but Linux has certainly heard of
Boca.  There is support for the Boca 1004, 1008, and 2016 built into your
/etc/rc.d/rc.serial script.  All you have to do is uncomment the necessary
lines in rc.serial, uncomment the line at the end of /etc/rc.d/rc.S that
runs setserial, and configure your /etc/inittab file.

                                - Michael -

--

San Francisco, CA                           FAX: 1-415-621-2608

 
 
 

Linux and intelligent serial boards

Post by Michael Faur » Tue, 01 Nov 1994 20:11:33


: Three of the fundemental things I absolutely need to find out about are;
: (IN LAYMEN SPEAK PLEASE!)

: 1.) What is the difference between an intelligent multiport serial card
:     and a non-intelligent serial card?

Without being technical the difference is where the load is placed
for the serial I/O.  On a "dumb" board, the CPU on the machine must
service the bulk of the serial I/O.  With an intelligent card much of
the load is taken off the machine's CPU.

: 2.) What advantages would an intelligent board versus a non-intelligent
:     board see in practical day to day usage in say, a BBS setup?

The advantage in a BBS environment would be that you'd best able to
support multiple simulataneous users on the System/BBS without having
slowdowns or response problems.  Of course there are other factors
that may come into play which could cause response problems, but in
general your machine's CPU won't have to be doing as much work to
talk to all those serial ports.

: 3.) If the usage were a BBS setup, then how would one rationalize the
:     higher cost of an intelligent serial board versus a non-inteligent
:     serial board.

How about better access for your user base?  Maximum throughput with
minimum strain on the CPU.
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Linux and intelligent serial boards

Post by Alan C » Sat, 05 Nov 1994 20:10:35



>I also spoke to BOCA Technical support today. I asked them if
>the BOCA 2016 16 port card had Linux drivers available. The
>tech support (engineer?) had never heard of Linux!!! He asked
>if very many people used a unix clone. BOCA, where have you been
>for the last four years!!!????

You don't need drivers. The BOCA is 16550A UART based (ie dumb multiport but
with decent UARTS). You just use setserial and tell Linux what I/O IRQ to
load the boca ports at and bingo!

Quote:>1.) What is the difference between an intelligent multiport serial card
>    and a non-intelligent serial card?

CPU usage. Also above say 16 ports you will be pushed to cope without
an intelligent board.

Quote:>2.) What advantages would an intelligent board versus a non-intelligent
>    board see in practical day to day usage in say, a BBS setup?

Performance

Quote:>3.) If the usage were a BBS setup, then how would one rationalize the
>    higher cost of an intelligent serial board versus a non-inteligent
>    serial board.

I suppose the extra cost of getting your PC fast enough to cope. Also have
a look at cyclades cards (which do have a driver). They are sort of
'semi intelligent' - ie very smart buffered chips.

Alan

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