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BUG Pickles XA v2 Nubus graphics card


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20 hours ago, Nathan_A said:

Though, it very much seems like there must be software to enable features beyond basic functionality. Because I'm definitely not getting QuickDraw acceleration. Or at least it doesn't feel like I am, and I'm only running it at 640x480 right now, which shouldn't be taxing the Nubus90 bus. :huh:

I'm definitely unaccelerated, even after trying acceleration panels from other manufacturers (it was a long shot but worth trying.)

 

On 4/25/2021 at 6:54 AM, micheledipaola said:

Anyway there are some extra tools to zoom and pan the view, and he offered to send me what he still has.

If he has the utility for Pan and Zoom, it may also include quickdraw acceleration. Curious to see what this does.

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2048x1936 @ 96 Hz.  Good lord.  And full 60 Hz 1080p.  Definitely want a BUG Pickles Pro card.  New holy grail item for me.

 

@micheledipaola  Don't suppose the developer has any extra cards for sale? :)  Maybe stuck away in a long forgotten closet?

 

Edited by olePigeon
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20 hours ago, olePigeon said:

2048x1936 @ 96 Hz.  Good lord.  And full 60 Hz 1080p.  Definitely want a BUG Pickles Pro card.  New holy grail item for me.

 

@micheledipaola  Don't suppose the developer has any extra cards for sale? :)  Maybe stuck away in a long forgotten closet?

 

 

Indeed. Though I expect real performance to lag behind physical refresh rate by a very significant margin. I'd like to get my hands on some additional pieces of gear from them (like the memory boards) as well.

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21 hours ago, olePigeon said:

I wonder if you need 4 memory boards to get that 2048x1936, or just the two?  Because they're designed to be stackable.

 

Weirdly it seems like there are two different designs, though I don't know if they're any different fundamentally other than the connector types used. There's one set that are clearly stackable (e.g. like the ones on my card) and then another set that seems like they're supposed to be "caps" on the stack.

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@Nathan_A Looks to me like the Lite, XA, and Pro were the same card; they just had different RAM boards.  Maybe the Pro has 2 stackable boards + 2 "cap" boards, with the XA just 2 stackables, and the Lite with just 2 cap boards.

 

Edited by olePigeon
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19 hours ago, olePigeon said:

@Nathan_A Looks to me like the Lite, XA, and Pro were the same card; they just had different RAM boards.  Maybe the Pro has 2 stackable boards + 2 "cap" boards, with the XA just 2 stackables, and the Lite with just 2 cap boards.

 

 

That's what it looks like to me as well. It's possible they also have different pixel clocks for product differentiation, but I'd be really surprised to find out that they'd actually used physically different TI RAMDACs for that, but slightly less so to find out that such a thing might be controlled in ROM.

The good news is that between a couple of us, we've got the gamut covered to find out, we just need a way to test and to get our RAM daughterboards to one or the other. :-) 

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@Nathan_A  It'd be great if someone could copy the ROMs off the cards.  Then you could really experiment by populating the RAM cards and swapping the ROM.  Hopefully it's all handled by the ROM, and hopefully it identifies the card simply by the number of RAM cards installed. :)  That'd be nice.

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20 hours ago, olePigeon said:

@Nathan_A  It'd be great if someone could copy the ROMs off the cards.  Then you could really experiment by populating the RAM cards and swapping the ROM.  Hopefully it's all handled by the ROM, and hopefully it identifies the card simply by the number of RAM cards installed. :)  That'd be nice.

 

Well, @jeremywork what do you say? Shall we do a little bit of data collection & experimentation? I'm located in Portland, OR. Looks like you're down in SoCal someplace, so coordination and moving things back and forth should be too much of a hassle.

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20 hours ago, Nathan_A said:

 

Well, @jeremywork what do you say? Shall we do a little bit of data collection & experimentation? I'm located in Portland, OR. Looks like you're down in SoCal someplace, so coordination and moving things back and forth should be too much of a hassle.

Yeah, I've probably tested all that can be tested on this one. Until further software is discovered we can go ahead and focus on the hardware/ROM theories.

 

How equipped are you for ROM dumping / testing full resolutions? I can tentatively dump ROMs with @pcamen's assistance (assuming the form factor is compatible,) and my Viewsonic will do 2048*1536@85hz, though I move a bit slowly these days; would probably have some answers regarding capabilities and ROM differences in a couple weeks' time. If you want to do this faster I'd be glad to send mine your way instead! It should travel easily in a small flat rate box.

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22 hours ago, jeremywork said:

Yeah, I've probably tested all that can be tested on this one. Until further software is discovered we can go ahead and focus on the hardware/ROM theories.

 

How equipped are you for ROM dumping / testing full resolutions? I can tentatively dump ROMs with @pcamen's assistance (assuming the form factor is compatible,) and my Viewsonic will do 2048*1536@85hz, though I move a bit slowly these days; would probably have some answers regarding capabilities and ROM differences in a couple weeks' time. If you want to do this faster I'd be glad to send mine your way instead! It should travel easily in a small flat rate box.

 

I currently don't have any ROM dumping gear, but I'm more than happy to acquire some, since I'm sure I'm going to need it for the pile of things I have accumulated here. The best CRT I have handy to test with is a Dell P991. I don't think it'll go to the max resolution of the card, but it'll definitely exceed the limits of what the non-Pro version of the XA is supposed to be capable of, so we'd at least be able to verify that with extra RAM stacks the cards let you push into the list of resolutions and refresh rates that are only supposed to be available on the Pro-version.

 

Whatever works.

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The difference between the PicklesXA series is not only the large and small memory size capacity, but also the different frequencies.
Also, the dynamic switching function of the display resolution is not equipped in XA / Lite, but in XA and XA / Pro.

I checked the contents described in "eizo1994_8.pdf" attached by Nothan_A before,

but I will describe the differences of the Pickles XA series.

 

------from here--------
2. Overview of Pickles XA series
There are three models in the Pickles XA series: Pickles XA / Lite, PicklesXA, and Pickles XA / Pro.

The difference between them is the maximum display resolution and the maximum dot frequency, which are shown in Table 1.

 

                            Maximum display resolution Maximum dot frequency
PicklesXA / Lite 1024x768 100Mhz
PicklesXA 1376x1024 135Mhz
PicklesXA / Pro 2048x1536. 200Mhz

 

The Pickles XA series has more than just full-color display in ultra-high resolution,

but also some other important features, so these features are summarized below.


1) Dynamic switching function of display resolution
2) High-speed graphic accelerator
3) Hardware zoom and scroll function
4) High-speed block transfer function

 

Of the above functions, 1) is a function only for PicklesXA and PicklesXA / Pro, but other than that, it is common to the series.
--------to this point-----------

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@taddy Thank you very, very much for the translation.  Absolutely fascinating.  Any idea if the frequencies are handled by the ROM?

 

Also, judging by your translation, I would think there is more software to go with the card.  Seems like there should be additional Control Panels just like the Radius cards to be used for acceleration, dynamic resolution switching, etc.

 

Do you guys think the high-speed block transfer means Bus Mastering?  That'd make sense.

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@taddy interesting. I wonder what DIP switch settings you have to use in order to get the dynamic resolution switching to work? Maybe the DIP switch settings are just ignored on the XA and XA-Pro?

 

@jeremywork in addition to comparing our respective ROMs we could probably also do a more fastidious physical examination of the cards for component placement and part numbers (though that would likely require prying off the heatsinks to be useful).

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2021年4月27日午前5時21分、olePigeonは次のように述べています。

@taddy 翻訳ありがとうございます。絶対に魅力的です。周波数がROMによって処理されるかどうかについて何か考えはありますか?

 

また、あなたの翻訳から判断すると、カードに合うソフトウェアはもっとあると思います。加速や動的解像度の切り替えなどに使用するRadiusカードと同じように、追加のコントロールパネルが必要なようです。

 

高速ブロック転送はバスマスタリングを意味すると思いますか?それは理にかなっています。

 

I don't know how the ROM on the card works, but I think the frequency depends on the graphics chip.
In general, I think that chips with excellent clock resistance will be installed in higher-end models, and inferior models will be installed in lower-end models.

 

Since the XA series has a lot of functions, I think it is necessary to install a device driver.


Regarding block forwarding, there was an explanation in the document, so I will translate it below.

--------

2.5 High speed block transfer
Block transfer is a function that transfers a large amount of data between expansion buses at a higher speed than normal transfer. NuBus used in Mac can transfer data from a minimum of 2 words (1 word is 4 bytes) to 16 words at a maximum speed of 40 MByte / sec. This makes data transfer over the expansion bus several times faster. However, since it does not have the bus master function, it is limited to the case where the forwarding side has the bus master function.

--------

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On 4/27/2021 at 5:58 AM, Nathan_A said:

@taddy interesting. I wonder what DIP switch settings you have to use in order to get the dynamic resolution switching to work? Maybe the DIP switch settings are just ignored on the XA and XA-Pro?

 

@jeremywork in addition to comparing our respective ROMs we could probably also do a more fastidious physical examination of the cards for component placement and part numbers (though that would likely require prying off the heatsinks to be useful).

I'm guessing that the device driver needs to be installed to switch the dynamic resolution.
I guess the DIP switch on the card will be used to set the default resolution.
I will quote and translate it below.

 

----------------

2.2 Dynamic switching function of display resolution
Pickles XA / Pro can display a total of 15 different resolutions (9 for Pickles XA).
In addition, it has a function to dynamically switch the resolution while using the computer. This function is based on the premise of connecting a multi-scan type display, and improves the efficiency of a series of "edit details" and "confirmation in full view" that frequently occur in DTP editing and layout work. It is a dramatic improvement. No matter what application you are using, by pressing the mouse button and a specific key (key type can be set by the user) at the same time, a pop-up menu as shown in Fig. 1 will be displayed and you can freely switch to any resolution.

-----------------

 

image.png.46313b848a8deca2d04ca291ce97fef4.png

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Posted (edited)
On 4/26/2021 at 1:58 PM, Nathan_A said:

@jeremywork in addition to comparing our respective ROMs we could probably also do a more fastidious physical examination of the cards for component placement and part numbers (though that would likely require prying off the heatsinks to be useful).

I'm slightly hesitant on this, but if we digitally confirm that ROM+Memory is not the only difference, I'd be happy to start trying to remove the heatsinks on the XA/Lite. If both of these cards behave identically with the ROM/memory (or even better, if they both become Pros with all four memory sticks) then we can probably skip this.

 

On 4/26/2021 at 9:22 AM, taddy said:

Also, the dynamic switching function of the display resolution is not equipped in XA / Lite

I can confirm: Mac OS only displays the resolution I've selected with the DIP switches, though it also shows similar virtual modes (extended 1024x1024 shows when 1024x768 is selected.) Also, as the chart correctly lists: 1024x768 will run at up to 24-bit color, but 1152x870 maxes at 16 colors- odd. Very curious to see what happens with memory cards swapped around.

Edited by jeremywork
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On 4/25/2021 at 5:48 PM, jeremywork said:

How equipped are you for ROM dumping / testing full resolutions? I can tentatively dump ROMs with @pcamen's assistance (assuming the form factor is compatible,) and my Viewsonic will do 2048*1536@85hz, though I move a bit slowly these days; would probably have some answers regarding capabilities and ROM differences in a couple weeks' time. If you want to do this faster I'd be glad to send mine your way instead! It should travel easily in a small flat rate box.

I just figure out my TL866IIplus ROM reader, so I can read them anytime. 

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The designer (mr. Toshiya Shinbayashi ) got back to me with this attached zip file containing controlpanel files, that we should all check. 

 

He also linked this webpage https://tshinba.web.fc2.com/job/jobs.html showcasing many cards he designed.

 

I linked this thread to him and invited him to join, telling him about the attempt of doing ROM dumps etc . Hopefully he might join and answer the many questions being raised here.

Pickles_util.zip

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Posted (edited)
On 4/29/2021 at 5:22 AM, micheledipaola said:

Anyone could try to fix them?

 

On 4/29/2021 at 3:57 PM, olePigeon said:

Unfortunately those files are toast.

Yeh, my primitive trick was to try making it a cdev file with a couple other flags from similar undamaged Control Panel files. This sometimes works for document files but unsurprisingly not with a cdev or application. The system thinks it's a control panel now, but even Extensions Manager doesn't parse it.

 

IMG_8748.thumb.JPG.2c2820a50316de3d5b56f8697309eaef.JPG

IMG_8749.thumb.JPG.7e2438c05112c22cfd12133b5e7d94c7.JPG

(and video redraw was once again noticeably unaccelerated, just to confirm.)

 

Hoping Mr. Toshiya Shinbayashi perhaps has the original source used to make the zip, though we now know the file names to search for on other systems, at the very least.

 

Edited by jeremywork
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