Re: [PARPORT] BackPack Cdrom Woes

Stef Telford (
Wed, 22 Jul 1998 19:31:18 +0000 wrote:

> > > Let me get this right:
> > > a) you ran the natsemi program
> >
> > yes, ran it as root.
> >
> > > b) then tried to use the SparQ afterwards (with no errors)
> >
> > yes, no errors with SparQ or the printer...however...
> But you haven't actually told us if the pd driver detected EPP mode ...

well, whenever i start up parport, it informs me via the log message that :

parport0: PC-style at 0x378, irq 7, dma 3 [SPP,PS2,ECP,ECPPS2]

I take it this is the line you mean, however, i was getting this _before_ i ran
the national semi program, and still am after it....i got curiously enough,

parport0: PC-style at 0x378, irq 7, dma 3 [SPP,ECP,ECPPS2] I am missing the PS2 after running it...
If i go into the laptop's bios and switch it over to uni-directional, I still get
the same list.

IF i reboot the laptop, and then change the bios, and then boot linux, it detects
only the SPP mode. Could the bios not be changing the PC87338 chip properly
(does linux totally manage all of the hardware or does the bios still have some
say ?)

> > the chipset is a National Semiconductor PC87338,
> Are you sure it is being used for the parallel port ? That chip has lots
> of other capabilities, perhaps something else is the parallel port ?

*shaking head* no, the motherboard is a very neat design, it has about 4 smt
chipssum total....and they are all very hard to get to ;) plus also here is the
output from
MSI's diagnostic tool ...

TestPort (980102) Copyright (C) Micro Solutions Inc., DeKalb IL. 1994-1998
Engineering's Parallel Port Diagnostic Wizard Utility.


LPT = 0378, E0 E0 FF 00 07
Chipset : NatSemi PC87338
Mode : Bidirectional

> > i have gone to the national semiconductor web page and requested the
> > tech ref paper. It certainly seems to be some sort of inconsistancy
> > between the chipset (maybe its not being initialised properly under
> > linux ?) or else its the bantam cdrom drive talking to it (the other
> > suspicion is that they have done something..... strange, to the handshaking.)
> >
> > I dont really see how it could be the negotation phase, as it does
> > claim IEE 1284 compliance..
> >
> > hurmm...maybe i should have finished my degree in micro-electronics ;)
> A little learning is a dangerous thing :-(

true, but its better than none. :P

> There are two interrelated issues here:
> - we don't seem to be able to coerce your parallel port into a state
> that the bpck module can use. The MSI driver, however, does know
> what to do.

this is true, does MSI have a nd policy ? could / would it be possible for meto
get technical ref. out of them if i was willing to sign one (i know nd usually
also applies to source code, which could get into the stick situation that we
are in with the neomagick chipset driver for Xwindows atm)

> - even in the lowest common denominator "SPP" mode, the bpck protocol
> module is not able to communicate correctly with the adapter chip
> in your backpack.

seems true enough...

> We have had success reports about the bantam drive, but that does not
> mean that your drive is the same as the others that did work. It is
> quite possible that MSI has changed the protocol.

this always infurates me. There can be little (read no) excuse for breaking
backwardscompatability in programs. Okay, i can understand it if they are
streamlining it or adding
lots of new features etc etc. But (to me anywayz) they arent. so why do it ?
unfair play
being the only alternative left !

> It is also possible
> that your parallel port is wired up in an odd manner that MSI's driver
> can detect and handle, but which I have yet to encounter.

ahhh....forgive me for being so crass as to suggest this, BUT, last time i was
doingmicro-processor control (about 7 years ago :) there was only 2 (maybe 3) ways
to setup
control ports, well known tech ref papers for them all, even help from the makers.
the climate changed since then ? (that was the good old days of spectrums and such

> > this brings me to another question (dumb as it is ;) could the 20x be
> > a scsi cdrom drive ? i seem toremember hearing that the bantam 24x
> > was/is ....would paride fail before the error its giving out if it
> > was a scsi and not atapi.
> In a very real sense ATAPI and SCSI are the same thing, but that's
> entirely irrelevant to the problem you are having here, which appears
> to be either a parallel port initialisation - or protocol compatibility
> problem.

okay, just thought that maybe it was falling over as it did do a succesful
handshakebut of course, the data transfer would be totally f'ed over. Just my
$0.02 ...

> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Grant R. Guenther
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
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