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SonnetTech SonataSD card: what driver?
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iMike
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2005 3:09 pm    Post subject: SonnetTech SonataSD card: what driver? Reply with quote

I have a Sonnet Tech SonataSD video card, which the folks at Sonnet Tech tell me is actually a Villagetronic MPDD Pro, and I would like to use it with X on my PowerMac G4/400MHz which is running 2.6.10-gentoo-r6. I'm at a lost as to what X driver to choose. I wrote to the guys at Villagetronic several weeks ago, but have gotten zero response.

Trying ATI results in no device detected.
Trying VGA results in "cannot read V_BIOS (5)"

I didn't find any clues using Google or search in this forum. It seems sort of odd since the Sonata SD is one of the only cheap solutions for old Macs. I saw that someone on one thread said
genfoo wrote:
Sonnet upgrade cards are nutorious for this stuff.. they are eviiiil eeeevvvviiiillll hehehe
:evil:


I know the card works on Mac OS X under X11, so it seems kind of silly it couldn't work with X11 straight out. Should I just skip the evil and buy a Radeon (or other) card? BTW, I got the machine from the junk heap and someone had already taken the original AGP card out of it. :-( The Sonata is just a PCI video card.

Thanks for any tips.
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iMike
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 4:13 pm    Post subject: Response from Village Tronic Reply with quote

I received a response from the folks at Village Tronic. If anyone else is interested in using the relatively inexpensive Sonnet Tech Sonata SD (a.k.a., Village Tronic MPDD Pro, I strongly suggest you sent your request for support to Village Tronic via their Web form or support e-mail (see note below). In the meantime, I will try the Trident 2D driver and see what happens--assuming I can get them. Checking out
Trident's CyberBlade XP and the rest of their Web presence hasn't produced any drivers at all yet. I suspect I'll have to write them at dminfo@tridentmicro.com
Quote:

From: Support <support@villagetronic.com>
Date:  Wed, 6 Apr 2005 11:23:39 +0200

Hello,

I apologize for the missing reply, I'll check to see where the mail got
lost. We usually reply in 48 hours so this issue is rather
disappointing to me as well.

Anyway, we don't provide Linux drivers for MPDD Pro and at the moment
we don't plan to. But if we receive more requests like yours this may
change, since we actually have Linux knowledge: we develop Linux
drivers for VTBook, our CardBus graphics card.

As a matter of fact, MPDD Pro is based on a Trident CyberBladeXP GPU,
but the BIOS is optimized to work on big endian systems. It could work
on a Mac using Trident's 2D driver but of course I can't assure that:
we did not try it.
If you need more information in order to make the Trident's driver work
with Sonata I'll forward your questions to our development team, but
they'll have to be rather specific questions.

I think Mac OS X hardware accelerates the X11's software renderer,
that's why performance is good and they don't need custom drivers.

For any further question please feel free to write me.

Best regards,
Tech Support
Village Tronic
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iMike
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2005 2:24 pm    Post subject: Trident drivers built into X11 Reply with quote

:oops: I realized this morning that I said something dumb in that last note. The Trident driver is already part of XFree86. However, when I try it with the Sonata SD card, I get the message

Code:

(II) TRIDENT(0): initializing int10
(II) TRIDENT(0): No legacy BIOS found -- trying PCI
(EE) TRIDENT(0): Cannot read V_BIOS (5)


That's where I'm at with the problem just now.
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iMike
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2005 4:29 pm    Post subject: Perhaps UseFBDev is the answer for UniNorth machines Reply with quote

Will try the ideas herein later, when I'm around the machine in question.

(Still trying to answer my own question :D )
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