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Graphics cards hardware level programming: where are the docs?


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#1 David G   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 30 October 1999 - 07:11 PM

Hi,

I am looking for hardware level information on graphics card. The reason is that I am working on a class project: writing a very simple OS kernel in assembly. It's in protected mode, of course, so I can't rely on the bios for output on the screen. I know all cards are different; mine is a tnt. So 2D information on that card would be a start. I am not sure nvidia released that information, but they have some open source drivers for linux, so maybe somebody made a usable doc out of that? Where do the xfree86 programmers get the docs anyway?

Any help greatly appreciated.
Thanks!!

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David.


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#2 FlyFire   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 17 October 1999 - 09:50 PM

I have a little docs collection on my homepage in documents section. But they are isn't good enought, i think. But anyway, you can check them out.

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FlyFire/CodeX
http://codexorg.webjump.com


#3 Sengir   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 18 October 1999 - 05:11 AM

nvidia _write_ the XServer and gave the code to the Xfree project.


#4 Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*   Guests   -  Reputation:

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Posted 30 October 1999 - 03:39 PM

Just about every video card under the sun supports VGA graphics. It's a standard. Any thing higher than VGA is going in a thousand different directions. VGA graphics aren't that great, but if you're just after a simple 2D OS, you can make it work, but it will definately look dated. Search for docs on VGA programming. Most info will be related to DOS, but the right stuff - which is easy to find willd describe how to access the hardware directly to perform the VGA operations.

Does that help?


#5 Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*   Guests   -  Reputation:

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Posted 30 October 1999 - 05:41 PM

Firstly you can still access the bios functions, although obviously the dos bios function wont work. Also pretty much all cards have support for the Vesa VBE (video bios extensions i think?) look for the docs on that. It is up to version 3.0 now, although only pretty recent cards support that, better to go with v2 support. This can allow you to access all modes and bit depths. They use bios functions, but they can return pointers to the code so you dont have to continually use the bios, as it is much slower. Also you can gain acces to accelerated function, for blitting and clearing etc...

#6 David G   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 30 October 1999 - 07:11 PM

Thanks for the replies. As I suspected, (S?)VGA will have to do. I found out however, that a very few companies are starting to give out hardware information. The most important being Matrox: if you register as a developper on their site, you get a password to access low-level documentation. Also, 3dfx posted the 2D specs of the banshee.




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