[ATW800] Blossom/X11r4 palette issues

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Shockwav3
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[ATW800] Blossom/X11r4 palette issues

Postby Shockwav3 » Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:34 am

Since I've succeded in installing X11 on Helios 1.3 I guess it's time for another thread, focusing on another issue.
So far the machine is behaving nicely, it runs stable and the Helios/X11 enviroment usually does what I tell it to do.
Checking the palette using the "showcols" tool I've encountered an issue with the video mode and currently I'm unsure whether it's a driver issue (exchanging Xhelios and newATW.d/ATWXr4.d yields different results - usually making things a lot worse) or if there's a hardware defect I'm facing.

I'm currently running mode1 (1024x768x8bpp) adapting the RGsB output to VGA using the "PS2VGA" circuit (http://www.poofycomputers.com/ps2vga/pi ... -chips.png). The internal BNC connectors are connected to the DAC at the very left of the board.

Here's a video of the actual issue, showing that the palette is only partially updated and that existing colors get overwritten when browsing through the whole list (note the window in the background). The video mode should support 256 colors out of 16 million.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgqGJEEuZe4

Any ideas?

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Re: [ATW800] Blossom/X11r4 palette issues

Postby stormy » Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:19 am

It's so exciting that you're getting to play with such a great piece of history. Please let us know if you ever take it to be shown off somewhere like the computer museum or something.

Sorry no advice to give, except maybe post on a Unix forum full off old beardies. I think most people here have not had this kind of experience.
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Re: [ATW800] Blossom/X11r4 palette issues

Postby Shockwav3 » Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:49 am

I'm just the guy servicing it :) I have to admit I find the machine to be quite underwhelming currently and using X it runs out of memory quite fast ... but then again, X with 4MB is quite an achievement already (additionally, the machine has no farmcard as of now ... but I managed to have one shipping my way very soon).
The ATW800 is on loan by the local university and likely to be shown at the vintage computing festival berlin this year. The owner can be found at fairs/meetups quite regularly.

My go-to unix people have either been shaking their heads or looking in awe at the OS ... but this seems to be more of a hardware/low level software thing I'm facing I assume.
The ABAQ issue3 manual mentions a diagnostics tool in the manual called "command.tos" and "INSTFAB3.PRG" ... I'm afraid those pieces of software are lost and likely incompatible with 4.x boards.

If anyone else owning an ATW800 could say something about X11 compatibility that would be largely appreciated ... at this point I'm quite unsure whether I'm facing a hardware fault, broken/incompatible software/drivers or if it's an issue that was never fixed (the Blossom board in this machine has roughly 20 patches applied already).

EDIT: Video of the (shifting) puzzle with the mandrill image that was used in some promo shots: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=waISm6McAPw
See -> https://images.pcworld.com/news/graphic ... iginal.jpg

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Re: [ATW800] Blossom/X11r4 palette issues

Postby stormy » Mon Apr 08, 2019 3:41 pm

My opinion is that it looks like software or driver behavior, rather than hardware related.
Falcon CT60e 060 - 256mb ram - Phantom bus and DSP accelerated // Atari TT - Thunder and Storm IDE 64mb ram - Lightning VME - USB LAN - ATI Mach64 2mb

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Re: [ATW800] Blossom/X11r4 palette issues

Postby Shockwav3 » Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:22 am

https://i.imgur.com/CayjGfe.jpg Looks serverely broken, but this pretty much confirms to me that the hardware is able to adress it's CLUT completely.
This was done using the "harness" tool from Helios 1.31 which sets colorbars in a few shades of the primary colors over the whole screen and CLUT (color lookup table) it's a bit more lowlevel in that it still uses newXrc and the driver used by X, but has it's own routines.
Running showcols afterwards it shows the usual problem, but shows the colors set by harness in the areas it fails to adress.
At this point I consider it semi-safe to assume the issue lies somewhere in the X enviroment.

EDIT: xdpyinfo output -> https://pastebin.com/zhiN9fmZ
harness output -> https://pastebin.com/AyjbQJsT

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Re: [ATW800] Blossom/X11r4 palette issues

Postby Shockwav3 » Wed Apr 10, 2019 12:00 pm

Looks like it's a bug in X11, luckily the port comes with it's own hotfix: https://youtu.be/WIwuuDOhUGQ

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Re: [ATW800] Blossom/X11r4 palette issues

Postby Shockwav3 » Sat May 11, 2019 3:04 pm

Digging this out once again ... turns out the RAMDAC was broken.
Replacing it helped. No idea why the "harness" managed to produce an output that seemed fine tho - not that I care anymore at this point :)
https://i.imgur.com/tHkltVG.jpg

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Re: [ATW800] Blossom/X11r4 palette issues

Postby wongck » Sun May 12, 2019 1:50 am


Glad you found the issue.
The graphics output looks fantastic.
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