Speakup kernels on Alpha
janina at rednote.net
Thu Jun 3 19:48:59 EDT 2004
Well, that old Alpha I was asking about back in 1999 is my soon to be retired main server. In fact, it's the machine that answers cantata.rednote.net! <grin>
So, I'll try to help--but no guarantees.
I don't know about any "console=" param. I never used such a thing. But, there's a lovely old trick that Alpha's should respond to. Don't plug any video monitor in, and instead plug something into the first serial port (ttyS0) and you'll automatically get serial console. You don't need a floppy. This is a feature of the Alpha's bios. In fact, it is the way all computers used to work, but that's another story.
The bios is awesomely accessible with something like a Braille 'N Speak. I should say that SRM is, the other possibility on Alpha equipment is Milo which is not accessible. If you get three greater-than symbols in a row ' >>>' you're at the SRM prompt.
Now, if your box is coming up in Milo, you have to reset a jumper in order to go back to SRM. Sompelace around here I have an old SRM manual.
Of course your Multia is different from my Avanti--and I honestly don't remember all the details off the top of my head, but let's start with this much. Because, you need to discover what device is set as the boot device. It could be something other than the floppy.
Debee Norling writes:
> Does anyone on the list have experience with Speakup on Dec Alpha machines?
> I googled around a bit and discovered that 'way back in 1999, Janina was
> asking for help getting an Alpha machine running -- but that was probably
> I have a Dec Multia (UDB) that my fiance purchased at a flea market. He's
> a bit tired of watching me install Linux on old PCS because in his opinion,
> old PCS don't have any character.
> So I humored him, and attempted to install Debian on the Multia. But the
> Debian rescue.bin floppy ignores the console=ttyS0 parameter, even though
> the documentation claims this will work.
> So if someone has Alpha experience, I would ask them if I could compile a
> Speakup-enabled kernel for my Multia on my PC, or if they knew where I could
> get a rescue boot disk already built.
> The Multia, is indeed pretty cool. When booted, it auto-detects an attached
> terminal so all BIOS (it's called ARC or SRM in Alpha) output is sent to the
> terminal. So you don't need sighted help to do bios-setting stuff. But he's
> more of a hardware nut than I am so I'm mostly doing this to keep him happy.
> He has an old PDP-1173 too so maybe I'll just install some old BSD image on
> it if I can't get access to the Multia.
> -- Debee
> (Deborah Norling)
> Alternate Media Specialist
> DeAnza College
> Phone: 408-864-5815
> <MailTo: norlingdeborah at fhda.edu>
> Speakup mailing list
> Speakup at braille.uwo.ca
Janina Sajka, Director
Technology Research and Development
Governmental Relations Group
American Foundation for the Blind (AFB)
Chair, Accessibility Workgroup
Free Standards Group (FSG)
Email: janina at afb.net Phone: (202) 408-8175
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