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Re: Consoles on PCs...

Ernie Oporto ernie.oporto@viragelogic.com
Wed, 22 May 2002 13:17:13 -0700 (PDT)

Wooo!  Looks like a great product!  The only question I have about it 
is whether or not you can continue to use a regular video card in the 
machine and just add this.  Their answer in the FAQ was kind of vague 
with "possibly" as the answer.  I've got an order in mind for a few of 
the PCI versions if it's easily possible.

Ernest A. Oporto, Systems Administrator
Virage Logic Corporation
Perryville Corporate Park, Bldg 3, Clinton, NJ 08809
Phone:(908)735-1932   Fax:(908)735-1999

----- Original Message -----
From: David Harris <zonker@certaintysolutions.com>
Date: Wednesday, May 22, 2002 3:02 pm
Subject: Consoles on PCs...

> On Wed, May 22, 2002 at 02:26:45PM -0400, Ernie Oporto wrote:
> >    . . . .    If only Linux PCs had
> > some sort of way to interface a serial port like a Sun sparc 
> system to be
> > able to use conserver.  I know they have console echoing on a 
> serial port,
> > but it's not the same as doing a break sequence to drop to the 
>  Some of you probably already know about the PC Weasel products, 
> but I'm betting it's still one of Canada's best kept secrets. ;-)
>  http://www.realweasel.com/
>  The idea is an add-in card, which appears to the system as a simple
> video card, but the output is really to a DB-9 serial port. As the
> system boots, and sends data to the (vidoe) 'console', the text is
> captured, and redirected to the serial port on the Weasel card.
> Once the OS starts up, if it wants to take over a serial port as
> a serial console, the Weasel card binds the port on the card to
> that interface...so, one serial port on the PC (on the Weasel
> card) provides both P.O.S.T. data, as well as providing a serial
> console to the O.S.
>  But wait, there's more! (Now how much would you pay? ;-)
>  You also have an ability to send a control sequence to the
> Weasel card, and control things like momentarily triggering the
> reset line on the CPU, and even controlling the 'soft-power' 
> control lines to 'bounce' (off-and-on) the power suppply, or
> to simply shut it down.
>  AND, you have an option to connect a short cable from the
> Weasel card to the keyboard jack on the CPU, so you can access
> the ROMs at start-up, respond to key-presses during start-up,
> or perform other interactions (recovering from a HALT, etc.)
>  I like these things a lot! The PCI version has been available
> for about a year. If you have PC servers that don't have console
> redirection (or they have limited redirection), try a Weasel
> card, and see what you think. If you have 'smart' NICs and Drive 
> controllers (which write directly to the video screen, versus
> reporting to the BIOS for redirection), the Weasel card is a win!
>      -Z-     http://www.conserver.com/consoles/
fn:Ernie Oporto
org:Virage Logic Corporation;;Perryville Corporate Park, Bldg 3;Clinton;NJ;08809;USA
adr:;;Perryville Corporate Park, Bldg 3;Clinton;NJ;08809;USA
title:Systems Administrator