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It's 2020: Linux Kernel Sees New Port To The Nintendo 64

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  • #21
    Originally posted by cb88 View Post

    OpenGL can probably run OK (with limitations) but anything + Linux is going to be very limited as Linux uis going to take up most of the space in the system... Linux has gotten extremely bloated since the 1.x and 2.x days. It used to be that a fairly well featured kernel would fit very comfortably with lots of extra modules on a floppy disk... but that time has long long since passed. It might be possible to save some memory with some sort of execute in place... not sure if that is possible on N64 though it is possible on newer variants of MIPS.
    I mean, how much would you even build into an N64 kernel though? Almost all of the drivers don't even apply to the platform, and some of the subsystems too.

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    • #22
      Originally posted by microcode View Post

      I mean, how much would you even build into an N64 kernel though? Almost all of the drivers don't even apply to the platform, and some of the subsystems too.
      Just try it a skeleton kernel wont' even fit in the N64's base ram... you might be able to reduce size enough if you could get LTO working on MIPS. Even them it will likely still take over half the ram.

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      • #23
        bridgman interesting to see you here .btw wasn't the GameCube gfx chip made by ATI?

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        • #24
          Originally posted by CochainComplex View Post
          bridgman interesting to see you here .btw wasn't the GameCube gfx chip made by ATI?
          If I remember correctly the GameCube chip was designed by ARTx before they joined ATI.

          While confirming the above statement I was surprised to learn that half of the transistors and one third of the area of the Flipper chip was EDRAM:

          https://www.ign.com/articles/2001/10...ecube-graphics

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          • #25
            Originally posted by bridgman View Post

            If I remember correctly the GameCube chip was designed by ARTx before they joined ATI.

            While confirming the above statement I was surprised to learn that half of the transistors and one third of the area of the Flipper chip was EDRAM:

            https://www.ign.com/articles/2001/10...ecube-graphics
            Indeed one third is a lot. Thx for the input and it is also interessting that ARTx first developed it without beeing part of ATI.

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            • #26
              In some hype that emerged during the N64's development, it was said to have the power of a SGI Reality Engine. I believe it was somewhat comparable to mid-90's era PCs, in raw compute power, although it had a 128-bit vector engine in the days before PCs even had MMX. With regards to memory size, I first ran Linux on a PC with just 8 MB of RAM and a 1 MB SVGA card. So, the hardware specs were very reasonable for running the Linux of its day.

              Unfortunately, I question how useful Linux would've been, even then. I wonder what resolutions could be coaxed from its RAMDAC over SCART, but it seems a bigger issue would be the need for peripherals like keyboard, mouse, and networking. Was there some kind of dev kit that had those?

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              • #27
                Originally posted by bridgman View Post
                If I remember correctly the GameCube chip was designed by ARTx before they joined ATI.
                According to Wikipedia:

                ArtX was a company formed in 1997 by a group of twenty former Silicon Graphics, Inc. engineers, who had worked on the Nintendo 64's graphics chip.[1]

                So, it was a very relevant reference, CochainComplex and probably not a coincidence that Nintendo selected them for the Gamecube's GPU.

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                • #28
                  Originally posted by microcode View Post
                  I wonder how well OpenGL 1.x can really run on an N64 even under the best conditions though.
                  I'd imagine up to 1.2 would work quite well. I've heard that OpenGL always ran well on SGI hardware.

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