Thursday, June 12, 2008

ISA sbpro driver removed

Starting with build 93, OpenSolaris will no longer have support for the ISA based SoundBlaster Pro, SoundBlaster 16, and SoundBlaster AWE32 devices. This shouldn't impact anyone, although its possible that bochs or qemu users may be impacted. (I've not heard of any such users successfully able to use the sbpro driver in a Solaris guest environment though.)

In the future, we may look into adding support for emulated ESS 1370 devices.

In the meantime, VirtualBox emulates an Intel ICH based AC'97 support, which works with the audio810 driver.

Blogger Bug

Its possible that is just showing up for me, but recently the "toolbar" at the top of my blog has become unusuable. Instead of a normal set of links, I just get a row of repeated Blogger icons. I'm using firefox on Solaris Nevada.

Anyone else seen this?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Audio Driver Poll

I'm interested in collecting data about audio devices that folks are using. So, I've a few questions, which maybe folks could send answers to me. Here are the questions:

  1. Is there already support in Solaris for your audio devices/needs? (If yes, stop here, and no need to send me any information -- you're already covered as a "mainstream" user.)
  2. If you're using 4Front's OSS, and you're using a hardware driver other than apci97, hdaudio, ich, via8233, atiaudio, then please let me know what driver you are using, and what the actual audio hardware is (cat /dev/sndstat might be useful here.) (If the audio is built into a motherboard, I'd like to know the make/model of computer, and the rough date -- year -- that you purchased it.)
  3. Do you use/would you use hardware MIDI support?
  4. Are you using digital audio (Dolby Digital/AC3, and/or SPDIF) on your Solaris system? If so, please provide detail.
  5. Do you have any use for more than a single active input source? (I.e. do you need more than a microphone, or line input, to be supported simultaneously for recording?) If so, please provide detail.
  6. Do you have any other audio needs for Solaris beyond normal business/consumer audio? (I.e. I assume that most folks want audio good enough for DVD playback, gaming, and video conferencing.) Particularly, if you want to use Solaris audio to do production work, internet radio broadcasting, etc. then I'd like to know about that.
  7. If the answer to #1 is "no", then if you're willing, I'd like to have your e-mail address so that I might contact you to discuss your particular needs/application further.
Thanks. My hope is to better understand the community needs so we can focus on the things that people need most.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Boycott Laptops with Broadcom WiFi

It seems to be a recurring theme, but we keep hearing about different WLAN parts that don't work with NDIS wrapper, or other problems building the NDIS wrapper etc.

I've never used the NDIS wrapper, and I refuse to do so. I also refuse to purchase or recommend any laptop with a Broadcom WLAN part on it, at least until Broadcom changes their position and makes it possible for 3rd parties (even under NDA) to develop device drivers for their WLAN products.

The reason is simple: until laptop manufacturers start losing sales due to people who take the same position, they won't stop including Broadcom WLAN on their products. The loss of a few individual WLAN cards won't impact Broadcom at all, but if Gateway or Dell stops purchasing WLAN parts, then its a whole new ballgame. And the more laptop vendors that we can get to understand that use of Broadcom leads to lost sales, the more impact it will have.

Either Broadcom will take notice, and correct their behavior (e.g. by offering 3rd parties access to device driver info under NDA, writing drivers themselves for platforms like OpenSolaris, or even better, offering up open technical specs), or their WLAN products will gradually fade from popularity so that they are no longer relevant.

To be honest, I don't care which result comes about. But please, don't use or purchase Broadcom WLAN. And to those of you writing neat things like NDIS wrapper and reverse engineering efforts like the bwi driver in *BSD, I'd recommend you rethink whether enabling further sales of laptops bundled with Broadcom WLAN is really something you want to encourage.

(For specific alternatives to Broadcom WLAN, look for either Intel or Atheros WIFI.)

Suspend/Resume Goodness!

Its been a busy week.

In the past week, there have been three separate putbacks:

1) Kerry Shut putback a fix for audiohd to suspend/resume
2) Brian Xu putback a fix for iwk to suspend/resume
3) Judy Chen putback a fix for ath to suspend/resume

The upshot of this is, if you have a laptop with an Nvidia graphics card, its a fair chance that your laptop will support suspend (and resume!)

A big thanks to everyone who's been working on this.