NeXTSTEP in your browser!

Well, kind of.

NeXTSTEP

NeXTSTEP

It’s a Docker containers running Previous, that you connect to with noVNC in your browser.  So it’s a legacy system thing on demand!  I had tried to do something like this ages ago with SIMH on demand, but I broke it all when I installed apache on OS/2 to make the bbs url self hosting.

The mouse control is insanely offtrack, but this does present an interesting possibility of bringing back an OS museum / zoo thing.

Also worth mentioning that they do offer MacOS!

Usborne collection of 1980’s computer books!

usborne

Back in the 1980’s home computers were a new and exciting thing, and with these machines came very technical manuals.  But us young children wanted to program, and thankfully companies like Usborne filled the gap by providing programming books geared towards kids!  It was a golden age as every machine had a basic interpreter.  Then for some reason software companies (Microsoft/IBM) didn’t think it was a good thing anymore bundling in languages with their OS’s, or worse thinking that development tools should be a source of revenue and pricing amateurs out of the market (seriously SCO, $5000 for a C compiler?)  But now thanks to the common carrier network we all have (the internet) the rise of open and free software hackers have taken things into their hands, and we are back to empowering users.

So I thought it was interesting that Usborne opened up a bunch of it’s older books.  All available in PDF, free for personal use.

First computer library

Introductions to programming

Games

Adventure games

You can see their page with full details here.

 

Just saw this gallery of old MS-DOS viruses on archive.org

And I have to say Casino is pretty funny…

From wikipedia:
The casino computer virus is a malicious virus that upon running the infected file, copies the File Allocation Tables (FATs) to random-access memory (RAM), then deletes the FAT from the hard disk. It challenges the user to a game of Jackpot of which they have 5 credits to play with, hence the name. No matter if they win or lose, the computer shuts down, thereby making them have to reinstall their DOS.

Visit the rest of the malware museum at archvie.org

 

So today I came across a ‘new’ 4.1 BSD tape on bitsavers: 4.1_BSD_19810710.zip

4.1 BSD tape

4.1 BSD tape

The label is dated 7/10/81, so I thought this would be fun to install on SIMH.  I chose with the starunix 4.0BSD as a starting point thinking that this should be close enough to boot up 4.1.  However I could not get the boot code to correctly work.  So failing that, I went ahead and ran the 4.0 mkfs, and restor programs, and then swapped tapes to the 4.1 to restore it’s root. dump.  And using the 4.0 disk boot program it worked pretty well!

So I went ahead, and extracted the boot program from the 4.0 tape, and rebuilt the 4.1 tape with the 4.0 standalone boot programs so you can install it from SIMH, if you want to cook up your own install.  You can download it from my site (read the 404 message for the current password) or from sourceforge.

And for those of you who like dmesg output:

 

VAX 11/780 simulator V4.0-0 Beta        git commit id: b8049645

Boot
: hp(0,0)vmunix
123060+27528+24628 start 0xF5C
Berkeley VAX/UNIX Version 4.9  Wed Feb 17 15:27:46 PST 1982
real mem  = 8322048
avail mem = 7738368
mcr0 at tr1
mcr1 at tr2
uba0 at tr3
dz0 at uba0 csr 160100 vec 300, ipl 15
mba0 at tr8
hp0 at mba0 drive 0
hp1 at mba0 drive 1
hp2 at mba0 drive 2
hp3 at mba0 drive 3
mba1 at tr9
ht0 at mba1 drive 0
tu0 at ht0 slave 0
tu1 at ht0 slave 1
root on hp0
WARNING: clock lost 153 days -- CHECK AND RESET THE DATE!
WARNING: should run interleaved swap with >= 2Mb
Automatic reboot in progress...
Mon Feb  2 00:59:55 GMT 1976
/dev/hp0a: 676 files 4278 blocks 3345 free
/dev/rhp0g: 3605 files 18925 blocks 122653 free
Mon Feb  2 00:59:56 GMT 1976
Mounted /usr on /dev/hp0g
preserving editor files
clearing /tmp
starting daemons: update cron accounting network mail printer.
Mon Feb  2 00:59:56 GMT 1976


Berkeley 4.1 VAX/UNIX (Amnesia-Vax)

login: root

Welcome to Berkeley Vax/UNIX (4.1bsd revised 1 Sept. 1981)
Erase is delete
Kill is control-U
#

For the brave the direct link is here to the original tape image on bitsavers.

 

Updated build of Linux 0.11 on Windows 10

Building & Running Linux

Building & Running Linux

I’ve updated my project for compiling Linux 0.11 on Windows 10.  In this version it builds a lot better with TDM MinGW 5.1.0 + MSYS.

The big improvements is that you can compile Linux without the full MinGW/MSYS install by running the ‘blind’ script which will compile the kernel without make and friends.

The build process for the kernel works as well so now with the included Qemu 0.12.5, no need to link under Linux anymore.  I fixed up some of the build processes as I thought I’d re-build and some stuff bombed so it’s all fixed up.

For those interested, I just updated the original download here:

MinGW-aout-linux-011.7z

End of the line for VMware Player, Workstation and Fusion?

It looks like in the wake of a declining stock price EMC/VMware is already laying off divisions, to ‘cut costs’ and I just received word from a friend that the “Hosted UI” group responsible for all these great products, and the former VMware Server/GSX products were all let go.

A Tribute to VMware Workstation, Fusion, and Hosted UI

Which to me is kind of crazy as this eliminates the only desktop product that could run VMware ESX on the desk for building virtual clusters.  I further guess it means that for what I like to do, I’ll eventually have to find one of those super expensive video cards that works with ESX to passthrough.  Or just drop any and all VMware stuff, and head straight into KVM territory and just get used to OpenStack being a fragmented disaster.

In addition they also closed the Burlington tech support centre.

Oh well, nothing lasts forever.