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Re: Questions on flashing ethernet into AWARD BIOS

>I am very interested in flashing the etherboot code into the AWARD BIOS
>chip on a GIGABYTE mainboard. But as I can learn from the previous
>discussions, there is a question of local boot, because the BIOS runs
>etherboot code immediately after itself without trying floppy or HDD first.
>In this case, I might have to take a risk of un-bootable if errors happened
>in etherboot codes building. How can I avoid this risk?

You could try building with the ASK_BOOT=n and ANS_DEFAULT options
defined so that you can escape to local boot within n seconds of
Etherboot starting.

>Another question is about the cheap RealTek RTL8139 chip based NIC. What is
>the clone of the RTL8139, or which driver should be used for it in linux
>kernel? And how about the performance of RTL8139 compared with other 
>100Mbps cards on linux?

The Linux driver is surprise surprise: rtl8139.c. You should try
to get the latest source from Donald Becker's web site, sometimes
the one included in distributions is a little out of date. There are
many NIC manufacturers using this card, but check the PCI vendor and
device ID, because at least one manufacturer has chosen different IDs
(SMC1211). RTL8139 is a decent busmastering design, certainly better than
PCI NE2000s, however Donald Becker comments that it has the constraint
that transmit buffers must be aligned on 8 byte boundaries, which requires
an extra buffer copy.  My personal preference where good NIC designs are
concerned is the Tulip series of NICs. The Macronix and Linksys Tulip
clones should be just as cheap and better than the RTL8139. I have seen
the Skymaster 10/100 (Macronix based) for sale at $30Aus = $20US.
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