Re: Rampage Plus 286 EMS boards programming info.

Riley Williams (
Thu, 21 May 1998 13:35:57 +0100 (BST)

Hi Mike.

The original of this obviously arrived whilst vger had trashed me out
of its list...

>> First thing you may want to check is if the board is actually an
>> EMS board. Since it sounds as if it was made for 286's then it
>> would make more sense that the board is an extended memory board
>> as 286's could address more than 1 MB of memory. The driver disk
>> may just be AST's version of EMM386.EXE.

> Ok, the driver is REMM.SYS by AST. It appears to be an EMS driver.

>> Plug your board into a computer and see if the computer registers
>> the extra memory.

> Nope. The driver needs to be installed to get anything.

Usually the case...

>> Furthermore using the boards for actual memory may be impossible.

> Although using them for actual memory would be useful, my
> intention was to use it for a RAMDISK for a swapfile.

Probably the best choice.

>> EMS was accessed thru a 64K page frame that contained 4 16K pages
>> at one time. This means that if the card is an EMS card it will
>> probably be inaccessable linearly.

> Yes, I know how EMS works in that respect. I just want to use it
> to swap out junk to - thus increasing the speed of swap over a
> raw disk.

>> You will have to access it thru 16K pages, only 4 of which will be
>> present in the EMS page frame at any one time. If you determine
>> that it is an EMS board then first thing you should do is contact
>> AST to see if they have any techical information of the card.

> I have written to AST technical support a couple of days ago, and
> not received a reply back yet.

>> BTW, the card may well be EEMS instead of EMS as AST was one of
>> the backers of EEMS.

> I'm not familiar with EEMS...

It's an enhancement of the original EMS 3.2 standard which allows more
than four pages to be mapped into processor memory, and EMS 3.2 and
EEMS were merged to produce EMS 4.0, which is the standard implemented
by EMS386.EXE under MSDOS...

>> If you are unsuccessful in this route then its time to reverse
>> engineer the card.

> That is what I figured I'd have to do. I've got the driver REMM.SYS
> dumped with DOS DEBUG, and have looked for OUT instructions to find
> the ports used. This is tricky business however! I think I'd have
> to debug the running driver to really see how it works, and that is
> over my head currently.

If you'd care to let me have a copy of the REMM.SYS file, I can go
through it and see what I can sort out for you?

>> BTW, for Linux to remain unhindered by any possible lawsuits I'd
>> also recommend you get permission to reverse engineer, which
>> shouldn't be a problem for this ancient card.

> Yeah, I'd do that of course. ;o)

>> Steps to reverse engineer this card:

===8<=== CUT FOR BREVITY ===>8===

> Great! I use Borland Turbo Debugger. I've never traced into any
> active device drivers (it usually locks up the machine on me...)
> but I'll give it a whirl if the card works properly.

Best wishes from Riley.

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