So, based on some other comments in the DBRI code, I put off the ring buffer fix, and instead settled for making some smaller fixes to the driver. You can now set the output ports, as well as more sensible volume defaults. The changes are in vger sparclinux cvs, or available for 2.2.x kernels here.
The 32-bit boot floppy was found to be broken for SuSE 7.0/SPARC... seems that there's a problem with genromfs or loopback mounting a romfs file (at least on a SPARC). Things would have been a lot easier to debug and fix if I wasn't testing on a machine that I later found to have a bad floppy drive. :( Whatever, it's fixed and done now...
I got a new machine... an Ultra 1 170E, 64MB, 2GB, Creator 3D, 20e10 (20" Sony Trinitron), CD and floppy... all for $550 (+$100 shipping). Not a bad deal at all... especially considering the monitor alone normally goes for at least half the price, and the rest of the machine usually goes for more than the total I paid. I swapped RAM and disk with my SS20 (bumping to 128MB and 4GB), and I have to say that this is one really nice SPARC/Linux desktop machine. A huge improvement over the SS20... and that's just because the video is to much faster on the Creator 3D than it was on the cg14/SX.
I spent last week at comdex... it was my first time at comdex... big show, just not the target audience... especially with standing in front of an Ultra 10 runnning Linux. I got a lot of confused looks. I can't say that I liked being in Vegas, either... it has no meaning for me unless Doris (my gf) is there with me. That, and with all the people in from California that could finally smoke indoors, it was like a smoker's heaven... and my hell. :( I got a bloody nose from all the smoke and dryness in the air... I _never_ get those. Eh, it's good to be back.
While I was there, I spent my time fighting with binutils and gcc in order to build a cross-compiler for those wanting to build kernels for their slower sparc32 machines on a faster Intel machine. Took some time, but I built (seemingly) working packages that I still have to test before I put them for download.
Other than that, things are goin' well for me at SuSE... seems like a good place to work. I'm just going to relax this weekend... I decided against travelling down to LA (though yosh did)... instead, I'll just spend the long holiday weekend with Doris and her family.