I've got a bunch of what I call "2nd generation" HP Vectras that I'm redeploying for an application that gets input for Serial RS-232 devices. At the moment the most input devices any 1 computer has to deal with is 2, and I thought I would be in good shape using the on motherboard ports (as I have done on the "first generation" Vectras).
However, I just discovered that these machines have a 8250 serial chip instead of a (useful) 16550A chip. Even ruining minicom against this port locks the machine up :-(
Someone should smack that engineer around a bit. :)
Now, I can easily disable this port in the BIOS.
So, whats the best (most FreeBSD compatible way) of adding an extra "good" serial port or 2?
I've had success in the past with ISA card serial port cards to add 3rd and 4th ports. But I'm wondering if I can even still buy something this old?
It sounds like you've got the right idea, and being able to disable the onboard crap really helps.
I want to say this, though. I'm a FreeBSD newbie, and may be overlooking
bsd specific issues. (I do see a variety of serial controllers listed in the
hardware guide for 4.8, so I'd assume that this is fully possible. Try it on a
single machine before you order all your serial cards...)
About availabiliy, I was able to find a variety of cards on http://www.pricewatch.com . So, they're out there.
Good luck reviving those machines, Clayton
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