Re: [pc110] Re: Linux, X, and glibc2

Fringe Ryder (fringe nospam at
Mon, 13 Apr 1998 14:36:35 -0400 (EDT)

1) HOW do I tell the X Server not to do Font Scaling? I'll change it and try
again with Maxwell and let the group know the results.

2) Sorry, not a myth. In fact, -I- still do a fair amount of assembly
programming regularly. Lots of games have at least a small amount of
assembly optimizing some bits. Quite a few drivers do too; it's a
competitive advantage to have the fastest driver because it shows up
in PC Magazine benchmarks. Some stuff can be equally quick under
assembly or C, but some, especially device i/o, is much quicker with
at least in-line assembly.

There's also the additional point that SDK-specific coding, such as Direct-
Draw, is not assembly but is highly platform-dependent. In that sense,
you may look at assembly as just another platform-optimizing tool that
makes it difficult to port games and drivers to Linux.

FWIW, I've been writing a program to connect the PC110 to an IrDA serial
adapter under WinNT and Linux, because I run both and neither has a
LapLink-equivalent for IrDA. It's not easy to write a platform-independent
program for Win32 that uses devices. I'm using a glue-layer to ease the
process a bit, but it's still a pain. And that's without dealing with
the differences in U.I.

3) RE: Win95 vs. DOSEMU - what you would EXPECT is irrelevant. I told you
what IS. If you think about it, you'll realize why: DOSEMU has to emulate
the entire system. Win95 just signs over parts of it. Emulation is slower.

A particularly good example is GeoWorks, which runs at nearly full-speed
under Win95, but does not take advantage of extended mouse or port support
because Win95 is simply providing the basics for it. GeoWorks under
DOSEMU is much much slower, but does take advantage of the extended mouse
support. It also can not get at ports it shouldn't under DOSEMU.

For a particularly painful example, try running a Commodore emulator under
Win95/DOSEMU. Again, Win95 lets it go pretty much right to the hardware,
sacrificing a bit of speed. DOSEMU makes it unusable.

Don't think that I'm knocking DOSEMU though - if there were other users
than just me on the system, I'd rather have the complete protection that
DOSEMU and Linux provide. And clearly I like them enough to have learned
them well. Plus it's a heck of a lot neater than Win95. But it IS a
LOT slower.


> 1) Most X wordprocessors do their kerning using floating-point operations. Li
nux emulates the FPU in the kernel if you lack one, but it's a BIG speed hit. W
inWord uses integer math. So the net result is that WinWord/Win95 display chara
cters and menues, etc., nearly instantly, while Maxwell/Linux take around 3-5 se

Ugh. Tell your Xserver not to do font scaling then

> 2) More Win95/DOS games, drivers, and apps are optimized for the X86 processor
. Linux apps are usually written in portable C/C++, which is not as fast.

Myth number 1. Almost nobody writes asm code any more. I've worked and still
have good contacts in the game industy. There's just a lack of good Linux
games. Its getting better however. Note btw - quake is too fp intensive
to play on the PC110 but Doom is fine.

> 3) DOS apps run faster under Win95 (which is really DOS based) than under DOSE
MU under Linux.

I would expect then to be pretty close full screen.