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Version 0.1a
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  Submitted by: Wildman

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About Compaq ES1869:

Compaq Armada ESS 1869 AudioDrive Driver v0.1a
Manuel Costa
March 2005

Although the sound chip in the Compaq Armada 17xx series is a standard ESS 1869 AudioDrive, none of the existing drivers for this chipset worked for me. The ESS 1869 is supposed to be Soundblaster Pro compatible but none of the Soundblaster drivers worked either except for the "Soundblaster Compatible" driver. Although that driver does work, the sound quality is horrible at the lower sample rate settings and the quality doesn't improve by much even if the sample rate setting is maximized. On top of that the CPU overhead is enormous for that driver, especially at the higher sample rate settings. So I hacked one of the ESS drivers to work on my Compaq.

Make sure your Armada 17xx is set to the factory settings in BIOS. Enter the BIOS utilities by pressing the F10 key during startup, right after the red Compaq logo comes up and while the white cursor is flashing in the upper right of the screen.

You *did* leave the BIOS utilities partition intact when you installed BeOS, right? If not, go to the Compaq website and download the BIOS utilities boot floppy for your model (http://h18007.www1.hp.com/support/files/Armada/us/download/8093.html). Boot the machine with the floppy and follow the instructions to get to the BIOS configuration screen. Then do the following:
Click on the button labeled "Audio" and set the Volume Control to 90%.
Click on the tab labeled "ESS 1869 Audio Controller Interface" and make sure the Input/Output
range is set to 0x0250 - 0x0257.
Click on the tabe labeled "ESS 1869 Plug and Play AudioDrive" and make sure the sound is enabled
(the "Disabled" check box should be off). Set the Interrupt Request Number to 5. Set the Direct
Memory Access Channels to 0 and 1. Set the three Input/Output Ranges to 0x0220 - 0x022F,
0x0388 - 0x038B, and 0x0300 - 0x0301.

Once the BIOS is all set up, save and exit the BIOS utilities.

Double click on the file "install". This will compile and install the ArmadaESS1869 driver to the "~/config/add-ons/kernel/drivers/bin" directory and create symbolic links to this file in the "~/config/add-ons/kernel/drivers/dev/audio/raw" and "~/config/add-ons/kernel/drivers/dev/audio/old" directories. If you have a version of the Soundblaster Pro driver (sbpro), it will ask if you want to remove the Soundblaster Pro driver. It will do the same for the other ESS 1869 drivers if you have one installed, as well as the Soundblaster Compatible driver if you have that installed. I especially recommend removing the Soundblaster Compatible driver, as it is the most likely to conflict with this one.

Once back in BeOS, open the Media Preferences and select Audio Settings. Set the Audio Output to AudioDrive Out. In the Real-Time section, turn on "Enable Real-time Audio." Click the Restart Media Services button and you should have sound.

Sound can occasionally "hitch" and warble, especially after a Media Server restart.
Sound can "hitch" or skip when the display is blanked by the power management system.
Sound playback can be glitchy when running on battery power. Use AC power for best performance.
Sound playback and Audio CD support only. Recording doesn't work (see Next Steps below).
Sometimes restarting the Media Server isn't enough after installation and you'll have to reboot.

Use this driver at your own risk! It works for me but it may not work for you. If your system crashes after installation, do the usual "spacebar during startup" to disable add-ons, then run the uninstaller.

My changes to the source code are hereby in the public domain. Knock yourself out! If you can fix any of the items below, please e-mail me so I can incorporate the changes for the benefit of all Armada 17xx owners.

Next Steps
1. Fix audio recording.
2. Optimize code for better performance (especially on slower machines).
3. Add support for more features of the chipset.

Joseph Wang, who wrote the original sbpro driver. All of the ESS 1869 variants seem to be based on his work.
Fernando Francisco De Oliveira for his ESS 1869 driver code. My driver is a direct derivative of his.

0.1a - Initial release of ArmadaESS1869

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0.1a - Initial release of ArmadaESS1869

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