All Claimed! Hardware Giveaway (10zig 56xx Thin Clients)

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Re: All Claimed! Hardware Giveaway (10zig 56xx Thin Clients)

Postby Delphius » 2019-1-31 @ 16:57

BinaryDemon wrote:Ok thanks for the testing, the default values in speedset are mostly pulled from ‘dosbox performance’ wiki. I would guess 80000 cycles is far too high at that point you might as well be using frameskip. When you add the usb cdrom does mnthelp see a new device?

I don’t think changing video memory setting will do anything other than make less memory available to the system because If I understand it correctly Xvesa really isn’t using any GPU acceleration. It’s probably possible to make some Linux tweaks for this specific hardware, but I’d also like to keep Dosbox Distro as compatible as possible. I think ALaricD is onto something with screen size / scaling since basically the cpu is doing all the work scaling 320x200 up to 1024x768 but at two different points (dosbox normal2x, then xvesa scaling 640x400 to 1024x768).

I haven’t tested hacking to terminal, but I think if you modify one of the script files to just launch terminal it might work. Try mounting a drive to ~/.local/bin/ then I would guess you could modify almost any of the script files to run xterm/aterm. bbs.sh is basically a terminal (just checking if window title is telnet), I would guess you could modify that, the alt-enter to the terminal after it goes back to dosbox. If you end up fighting with the window switching maybe modify something designed to run in background.


I agree that 80000 cycles seems a bit high for this type of thing. Which makes me think something needs to be better optimized. I think in my days of testing dosbox through retropie on my raspberry pi 3, it seemed like 14000-20000 cycles was sort of a sweet spot for most of these games. I think the thin client is capable of performing better than that. You might be on to something with the scaling set to 1024x768 as well. I havnt personally had any issues with running this at 640x480 on modern devices, but usually no lower than that. I think it would also be worth using opengl extensions instead of overlay if it isnt already set as well.

I have been trying to live boot the thin client in to 32-bit lubuntu or linux mint as well, but I havnt had much luck yet.
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Re: All Claimed! Hardware Giveaway (10zig 56xx Thin Clients)

Postby Delphius » 2019-1-31 @ 17:31

Delphius wrote:
BinaryDemon wrote:Ok thanks for the testing, the default values in speedset are mostly pulled from ‘dosbox performance’ wiki. I would guess 80000 cycles is far too high at that point you might as well be using frameskip. When you add the usb cdrom does mnthelp see a new device?

I don’t think changing video memory setting will do anything other than make less memory available to the system because If I understand it correctly Xvesa really isn’t using any GPU acceleration. It’s probably possible to make some Linux tweaks for this specific hardware, but I’d also like to keep Dosbox Distro as compatible as possible. I think ALaricD is onto something with screen size / scaling since basically the cpu is doing all the work scaling 320x200 up to 1024x768 but at two different points (dosbox normal2x, then xvesa scaling 640x400 to 1024x768).

I haven’t tested hacking to terminal, but I think if you modify one of the script files to just launch terminal it might work. Try mounting a drive to ~/.local/bin/ then I would guess you could modify almost any of the script files to run xterm/aterm. bbs.sh is basically a terminal (just checking if window title is telnet), I would guess you could modify that, the alt-enter to the terminal after it goes back to dosbox. If you end up fighting with the window switching maybe modify something designed to run in background.


I agree that 80000 cycles seems a bit high for this type of thing. Which makes me think something needs to be better optimized. I think in my days of testing dosbox through retropie on my raspberry pi 3, it seemed like 14000-20000 cycles was sort of a sweet spot for most of these games. I think the thin client is capable of performing better than that. You might be on to something with the scaling set to 1024x768 as well. I havnt personally had any issues with running this at 640x480 on modern devices, but usually no lower than that. I think it would also be worth using opengl extensions instead of overlay if it isnt already set as well.

I have been trying to live boot the thin client in to 32-bit lubuntu or linux mint as well, but I havnt had much luck yet.


Ok scratch some of this, I was able to live boot into Lubuntu by changing the HDD Boot Priority in the bios. Everything in lubuntu seems to be running quite well, and I am also able to edit the dosbox.conf with ease this way. I also noticed that the config is already set to opengl so thats good to know. Im going to continue to work on music and midi options for a bit and see if I can get a Dreamblaster X3M to work recognize through dosbox and alsa.
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Re: All Claimed! Hardware Giveaway (10zig 56xx Thin Clients)

Postby BinaryDemon » 2019-1-31 @ 18:38

I don’t believe there is a performance difference between overlay and OpenGL because xvesa isnt hardware accelerated. I’m guessing it’s doing OpenGL in software.

My first attempt at this project was using a mini version of unbuntu but it literally took like 5min to boot to desktop.

Doing some 640x480 testing now... and DosBox does seem smoother. The linux Quake port doesnt show much difference tho, scaling from 320x200 -> 640x480 or 1024x768 the performance difference is <1% atleast on my c2d test system.

Update: I moved to the 10Zig Atom and tested - 640x480 made even less difference. So I think I'll keep 1024x768 as the standard because at 640x480 the web browser becomes much less usable.

AlricD, when I forced: config -set "cpu cycles=max" , Unreal demo became much more responsive, even better than the 7800 cycles.

So far the only tangible improvements for performance issues I can see making are -

1) Edit Dosbox config - cycles: auto 38000 (so at least user wont have to manipulate cycles for protected mode games)
2) add a MAX cycle option to: setspeed.bat
Check out DOSBox Distro:

https://sites.google.com/site/dosboxdistro/ [*]

a lightweight Linux distro (tinycore) which boots off a usb flash drive and goes straight to DOSBox.

Make your dos retrogaming experience portable!
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Re: All Claimed! Hardware Giveaway (10zig 56xx Thin Clients)

Postby AlaricD » 2019-2-04 @ 16:09

BinaryDemon wrote:AlricD, when I forced: config -set "cpu cycles=max" , Unreal demo became much more responsive, even better than the 7800 cycles.

Even the sound? The stuttery sound is what reaallly breaks a demo (especially Future Crew, who have some amazing soundtracks). Strange that "max" would work better than a non-max setting (especially when very low settings work better with the sound).

So I think I'll keep 1024x768 as the standard because at 640x480 the web browser becomes much less usable.

Web browser? I hadn't found one installed; it goes right to DOSBox and exiting that just shuts down the machine. Is there a hotkey I should hit at boot to go into the X Window System? Not sure how I missed that!


*EDIT*
Ohhhhh, DBDMENU.

I'm an idiot!

I was playing Doom and Quake from PhilsComputerLab's DOS benchmarks. Didn't realize they were built-in! I did find Eliza by browsing the filesystem, but I could have found it all through the menu.
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Re: All Claimed! Hardware Giveaway (10zig 56xx Thin Clients)

Postby BinaryDemon » 2019-2-04 @ 21:24

No that's good you were testing DosBox performance, thats the experiences I want to hear about.

MAX sounded pretty good to me, Im sure its not perfect but try for yourself.

Well the Doom and Quake that are built in are Linux Ports and run at the full speed of the system. For Quake this was sorta necessary - no one wants to play Quake at <15fps. For Doom I could have let people rely on Dosbox, but Zdoom can also take advantage of tcp/ip.

All the items in DBDMENU have their own individual *.bat files which might give a power user more flexibility, just do a directory listing of Y: to see all my custom batch files.
Check out DOSBox Distro:

https://sites.google.com/site/dosboxdistro/ [*]

a lightweight Linux distro (tinycore) which boots off a usb flash drive and goes straight to DOSBox.

Make your dos retrogaming experience portable!
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Re: All Claimed! Hardware Giveaway (10zig 56xx Thin Clients)

Postby cyclone3d » 2019-2-16 @ 23:52

Finally got a chance to mess with mine a little bit.

Noticed it was running pretty warm so I decided to take the cover off to see the insides.

These things were definitely meant to be standing on end for cooling purposes.

I will probably make a stand for it and also set up a 12v fan to help airflow through the system. I just don't like how hot it gets with the passive cooling.

BTW, any plans to change to DOSBOX 0.74-2? If so, I should be able to help optimize it since that is the version I am going to be working on.
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Re: All Claimed! Hardware Giveaway (10zig 56xx Thin Clients)

Postby AlaricD » 2019-2-18 @ 16:08

I kept having things come up so I haven't messed with it too much.

I've found that it stands up just fine on end, and it doesn't get very warm at all-- if this were a space heater it'd be 41BTU/hr (compared to a normal 120V space heater at about 5120BTU/hr).

I thought about making a Windows-to-Go USB but the 945GSE doesn't do WDDM 1.2 as far as I can tell, so that might be spinning my wheels.

This guy is so purpose-built that doing a Phil's Computer Lab kindof retrogaming machine project is quite the challenge. I haven't booted directly to TinyCore yet to see if the 945GSE drivers are available as a renderer but maybe they are considering how well the source port of Quake seems to run (although when I try to change the renderer from 'software' it doesn't seem to work).
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Re: All Claimed! Hardware Giveaway (10zig 56xx Thin Clients)

Postby BinaryDemon » 2019-2-18 @ 22:30

I think if you want hardware accelerated opengl, you need to switch from Xvesa to Xorg. I havent tried on these thin clients since I still want to be compatible with the most hardware possible.
Check out DOSBox Distro:

https://sites.google.com/site/dosboxdistro/ [*]

a lightweight Linux distro (tinycore) which boots off a usb flash drive and goes straight to DOSBox.

Make your dos retrogaming experience portable!
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Re: All Claimed! Hardware Giveaway (10zig 56xx Thin Clients)

Postby BinaryDemon » 2019-2-18 @ 22:31

cyclone3d wrote:BTW, any plans to change to DOSBOX 0.74-2? If so, I should be able to help optimize it since that is the version I am going to be working on.


0.74-2 is more realistic than ECE version at this point since I think ECE would need hardware accelerated opengl. I'll look into it at some point.
Check out DOSBox Distro:

https://sites.google.com/site/dosboxdistro/ [*]

a lightweight Linux distro (tinycore) which boots off a usb flash drive and goes straight to DOSBox.

Make your dos retrogaming experience portable!
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Re: All Claimed! Hardware Giveaway (10zig 56xx Thin Clients)

Postby AlaricD » 2019-3-14 @ 19:17

It's been a while since I messed with that system. I was interested in if all the driver support for the 945GSE was there.
Also, I'm mystified how the .BAT works that launches the sourceport of Quake-- I'd wanted to edit one to be able to get into a shell of some kind.
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Re: All Claimed! Hardware Giveaway (10zig 56xx Thin Clients)

Postby BinaryDemon » 2019-3-15 @ 03:59

AlaricD wrote:It's been a while since I messed with that system. I was interested in if all the driver support for the 945GSE was there.
Also, I'm mystified how the .BAT works that launches the sourceport of Quake-- I'd wanted to edit one to be able to get into a shell of some kind.


So the batch files just create a txt file. Tinycore has a script constantly checking for the creation of certain txt files. When the monitoring script detects the file has been created it usually launches another script which hides the dosbox window and full screens the linux program.

So I'm actually super impressed with how well locked down the system is, but to give credit it's more linux being secure than my planning. My attempts to get to a terminal while using DosBox Distro have been thwarted by unable to change permissions on the folder containing all my linux scripts, or limited to 8.3 file size while moving and editing files thru dosbox.

The easiest method which I think will work is (but untested) ...

1) Enter bios and enable USB boot if it wasnt enabled. Default password is something like 10zig or 10ZIG.
2) Boot a different OS (version of linux, or whatever)
3) Mount the internal flash storage and Place this file: http://tinycorelinux.net/9.x/x86/tcz/flwm_topside.tcz in: sdb1/tce/optional (not 100% sure it would be 'sdb1')
4) Unmount, shutdown, remove usb stick, boot up thin client.

Placing flwm_topside.tcz in /tce/optional will restore much of the 'Fast Light Window Manager' functionality, enabling you to alt-tab out of dosbox and access the right click menu on the desktop. You can access terminal, FLWM settings, Editor, ect.

No, there is no 945SE driver support there, mainly because it's still my goal for DosBox Distro to be compatible with everything - so I didn't optimize this version for the thin clients. Tinycore Repository has 945SE video drivers (Might be Xorg only, you would have to install and configure that as well) and tinycore repository has a 945SE optimized version of mplayer (again which I didnt use, playback at 1024x768 seemed fine using CPU alone).
Check out DOSBox Distro:

https://sites.google.com/site/dosboxdistro/ [*]

a lightweight Linux distro (tinycore) which boots off a usb flash drive and goes straight to DOSBox.

Make your dos retrogaming experience portable!
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Re: All Claimed! Hardware Giveaway (10zig 56xx Thin Clients)

Postby AlaricD » 2019-3-15 @ 13:40

BinaryDemon wrote:No, there is no 945SE driver support there, mainly because it's still my goal for DosBox Distro to be compatible with everything - so I didn't optimize this version for the thin clients. Tinycore Repository has 945SE video drivers (Might be Xorg only, you would have to install and configure that as well) and tinycore repository has a 945SE optimized version of mplayer (again which I didnt use, playback at 1024x768 seemed fine using CPU alone).

I'd guessed you were sitting on a HUGE PILE of those 10Zig devices, and so thought you wanted to optimize for it specifically.
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Re: All Claimed! Hardware Giveaway (10zig 56xx Thin Clients)

Postby AlaricD » 2019-3-15 @ 13:43

BinaryDemon wrote:So the batch files just create a txt file. Tinycore has a script constantly checking for the creation of certain txt files. When the monitoring script detects the file has been created it usually launches another script which hides the dosbox window and full screens the linux program.

So I'm actually super impressed with how well locked down the system is, but to give credit it's more linux being secure than my planning.

Oh, my, that is some clever stuff.
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