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Hello everyone,


I'm the guy who's been duking it out with thousands of lines of assembly code to figure out how the TL880 works and try to write a driver for Linux ( http://myhd.sourceforge.net/ ). Unfortunately, I can't continue the driver any longer, as I will be leaving for two years to serve a mission for my church next Wednesday (October 8th).


Prospects of getting the driver finished are looking up. Oak was recently purchased by Zoran, who seems to be more friendly to developers. I've been e-mailing the FAE (Field Application Engineering) manager, and he doesn't seem opposed to the idea of giving out specs under NDA. He was ready to talk to me about it over the phone, but I just don't have the time. He did say that their teams are swamped with other contracts right now, so they wouldn't be able to provide any support, but hopefully a driver developer could convince them that no support is needed, just the specifications. There is one catch that could sour the deal, however; I'm not sure if he understands that we would be distributing source code we developed.


I've also been communicating with another developer who has access to the Windows Janus driver source code, who has been giving me what pointers he can without violating his NDA.


I would be able to refer these two contacts to any new maintainer that chooses to take on the project.


I've already got a lot of the hard work done, like I2C support, basic driver infrastructure/kernel interfaces, register read/write functions, sync mode setting interfaces, etc. A new maintainer would just need to pick up where I left off. I've written a few DMA functions that are functionally equivalent to the Windows driver counterparts, so to get video and TS capture going a developer would only need to finish the other functions that start and end DMA transfers. I've got an interrupt handler written, that can be a framework for another developer to write other interrupt handlers.


I've modified the BtSpy tool from the btwincap project to work with the TL880, and I've added several new features to it. It's a Windows program called TL880Spy that allows you to view and modify the card's registers while the card's Windows driver is running.


I've documented some of the function and variable layout of the myhd_1.54 driver. I think I should be able to transfer my copy of the driver and all associated backups (including the disassembly with useful notes and structures) to another developer under the first sale doctrine. I've written a basic register map of the card ( http://myhd.sourceforge.net/reglist.html ). I can also give some direction to a new maintainer about what functions to try to figure out to work on a particular feature.


Right now I'm working on cursor function, which can be easily extended to full OSD function. I think I will have a cursor displaying, or be very close to it, before I leave.


So, a new developer taking over the would have a great head start against someone starting from scratch, as I did back in February. I really don't want to see this driver in the same state two years from now when I get back.


Support for the Philips tuner and Oren demodulator can be grabbed from the GPL driver for the PCHDTV card.


Support for the VPX video encoder can be written using the Windows driver disassembly and the specifications which are available from the Micronas web page.


If you or someone you know exhibits any of the following symptoms: an hour or two of spare time a week to spend programming; a knowledge of or desire to learn assembly language (or ability to tinker with registers until something happens); or experience writing Linux or Windows drivers, please consider taking on this project. All the pieces are very close to falling together. If someone gets in touch with me before the 8th, I can set them up as a developer with CVS access on the SourceForge project, and also explain what needs to be done to get a particular feature working. Otherwise, a new developer would have to fork the project and start a new web site, and go from reading the TODO files and source code.


Please, don't let this remain stagnant for two years. Linux for HTPC's could really use something like this, and I'm convinced it's possible. I'm sure that if I could continue working on it, I'd have the card mostly working in the next two years, probably in the next 6 months.
 
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