How do I re-install all the deb’s I had from an existing Debian/Ubuntu install?

Mostly because I’m an idiot, but at least I had a backup in hand.

the debs are kpe tin /var/cache/apt/archives

So a simple script like this:

ls -l *.deb | awk '{print $9}' | sed -e 's/_/\ /g' | awk '{print "apt-get install "$1}' > /tmp/missing

Will go ahead and prep a simple script to re-add everything. Obviously I don’t pass it into a sudo’d bash, but heh it works.

Probably one of my quicker recoveries, since I had all the data & config’s just lost the OS.

Everyone seems to be losing their minds over the Windows XP Professional Key

algorithm being cracked.

But of course, how does that help me?

Unironically, I had purchased this for a whopping £4.68

No, really here’s the receipt. What a bargain!

Of course this is a legit copy with a legit key. But the online activation servers are all gone, and it looks like I’d have to call someone asking about my 22 year old copy of Windows, that I’ll load up and quickly forget.

Since I’m going to use QEMU, 0.90 with pcap support I thought I’d share the startup options:

set loopback=\Device\NPF_{3DF0EC5D-7FBE-46DF-ACF8-EF5D8679A473}
set vmnet1=\Device\NPF_{3BC364F4-5A15-405D-926C-C594383F0323}
qemu -m 512 -L pc-bios ^
-hda xphome.vmdk ^
-soundhw es1370 ^
-net nic,model=pcnet,macaddr=52:24:00:33:00:01 ^
-net pcap,devicename=%loopback% ^
%1 %2 %3 %4 %5 %6

I had high hopes for this thing. Clearly misplaced ambitions.

First up, it’s an upgrade version. So that means instead of installing XP I had to waste my time installing NT Workstation 3.51, then installing XP. Yuck. And of course it just want small FAT disks of the 2/4 gigabyte boundary type as it’s 1994. Not the bright future of 2002’s Windows XP.

I don’t know why Qemu 0.90 has issues with XP detecting the CD-ROM drive, but yeah that sucked. I wanted to load up some more insane SNA experiments, but there is no DLC / 802.2 driver for XP Home. wow.

At least once it’s satisfied, we can format the disk as one big happy partition, and we can get on with our lives.

Installation is rather uneventful, however we are instantly reminded that we have only 30 days to go. Since we have that nasty CD-ROM issue that means shutting down, and booting back up, but with this fun program on an ISO image, xp_activate.

I did try to make a call, to activate my Windows, but the connection was terrible and I’m not even sure if these numbers were right. No I mean I know they didn’t work.

So I did what all legit users end up doing, using the crack for my 21 year old copy of Windows.

And just a few clicks later, it was done.

Windows XP Home is activated.

I don’t know if it’s even really going to last, I didn’t try anything else, actually I already deleted it. And the XP folio is back on the bookshelf.

Not only is there no DLC, did you know you can’t uninstall TCP/IP? At least you can unbind it from your NIC. While it does have IPX/SPX there is no built in Netware client. When they said HOME they meant it!

Ghosts in the mainframe!

There is a LOT going on in this image, and I’ll try to explain it, but yeah “it’s complicated”.

SNA networking & Hercules has always been a goal for a lot of people, including me as we always wanted to setup some SNA server of some kind. Especially on RISC platforms, as there is only so much fun on SQL server.

Okay I know the practical among you will say, doesn’t it support telnet 3270? Isn’t that good enough? Yes for day to day mundane stuff, absolutely. But I’m not all that interested in that, I wan’t to have the whole ancient network, and I wan’t it self contained and on my desk! Or on a laptop, as I see fit.

What started this whole adventure was a simple image from, showing that being able to connect physical devices to Hercules was indeed possible!

Image from

This is a physical IBM 3178 & 3179 terminals talking to TK4- , a MVS3.8j pre-configured system!

The magic that makes this all possible, is a cisco router, running enterprise IOS, with dlsw support.

My setup is going to be inspired by this setup, but not exactly 100% But this is what I’m going to use on Windows 10

  • Dynamips for the cisco router, running JS-M 12.2(25)S8
  • Qemu 0.90 with PCAP running Windows NT 3.51 Server along with SNA Server 2.1
  • Qemu 0.90 running Windows 3.1 and XVision
  • VMware Player
  • WireShark
  • Microsoft Loopback adapter
  • WSLv1

I had originally wanted to run the NT server on VMware but for some reason it just hangs trying to initialise the NT kernel. I didn’t bother trying to troubleshoot it, I just jumped to Qemu. Even service pack 5 didn’t help. VMware left me with the virtual network that will NAT if needed, and of course let me telnet to the Dynamips program. The SNA traffic is isolated to the MS Loopback adapter, which will let pcap programs talk to each other.

The first thing I did was run ‘hdwwiz’ on Windows 10, and added in the KM-TEST loopback adapter

We know what we want, so go to the manuall selection

Network adapters

And select the KM-TEST Loopback Adapter

Next I changed the protocols available on the loopback, as I don’t want my Windows 10 host interfering with the SNA network at all.

So the next thing to do is to get your network GUID’s. ethlist.exe from the Dynamips download will get you that:

Network devices:
  Number       NAME                                     (Description)
  0  \Device\NPF_{3DF0EC5D-7FBE-46DF-ACF8-EF5D8679A473} (loopback)
  1  \Device\NPF_{D9FBD118-B9DF-4C3C-BD9E-07A0E34D8F75} (Local Area Connection* 8)
  2  \Device\NPF_{F5057901-6A30-413A-80E4-4765DA794B7C} (Local Area Connection* 7)
  3  \Device\NPF_{E3D3EC8D-29C3-4B70-B01C-600D3F9ED1D6} (Local Area Connection* 6)
  4  \Device\NPF_{82EEDBC1-899D-416F-BD51-3DBE2287257F} (VMware Network Adapter VMnet8)
  5  \Device\NPF_{3BC364F4-5A15-405D-926C-C594383F0323} (VMware Network Adapter VMnet1)
  6  \Device\NPF_{DDF1FA94-7488-414F-A41A-EC88C1FB0DE4} (Ethernet)
  7  \Device\NPF_{E7CA8F40-4639-410D-B5CA-F402FE69AF5D} (Ethernet 2)

I want the cisco router to have two interfaces, one with TCP/IP for me to be able to telnet into it (maybe other management as well?!) and the other one for the SNA traffic.

Setting up Dynamips

As mentioned above I’m going to use the VMnet1 for TCP/IP to the router, and the loopback adapter for SNA traffic. To try to make things a little easier to read I setup a small batch file that let’s me plug in variables to Dynamips:

set loopback=\Device\NPF_{3DF0EC5D-7FBE-46DF-ACF8-EF5D8679A473}
set vmnet1=\Device\NPF_{3BC364F4-5A15-405D-926C-C594383F0323}
set IOS=c7200-js-mz.122-25.S8.bin
set NPE=npe-200
..\dynamips.exe -P 7200 %IOS%  ^
-t %NPE%  ^
-p 0:C7200-IO-FE ^
-s0:0:gen_eth:%vmnet1% ^
-p 1:PA-4E  ^
-s1:0:gen_eth:%loopback% ^

The caret symbol will break up lines on NT, much like the ampersand will on Unix. And this let’s me use clear variables for the networks, IOS & NPE type so it’s nowhere near as complicated to edit.

This will create a cisco 7200 with an NPE-200, with the following cards:

The next thing is what ip address is bound to VMnet1? This is mine:

Ethernet adapter VMware Network Adapter VMnet1:

   Connection-specific DNS Suffix  . :
   Link-local IPv6 Address . . . . . : fe80::c3d2:c891:b7e0:6797%5
   IPv4 Address. . . . . . . . . . . :
   Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . :
   Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . :

So all my TCP/IP in this example will be using

As mentioned on the 9track page, all the magic happens on the cisco router. I’ve made a few changes as I may want to try the SDLC in the future to perhaps some other experiment if I can find an emulator that’ll drive it over serial, but for now let’s just get to the config:

version 12.2
service timestamps debug uptime
service timestamps log uptime
no service password-encryption
hostname dlsw
enable password cisco
ip subnet-zero
no ip domain-lookup
ip cef
no mpls traffic-eng auto-bw timers frequency 0
call rsvp-sync
source-bridge ring-group 1
dlsw local-peer peer-id
dlsw remote-peer 0 tcp
dlsw mac-addr 4000.1020.0100 remote-peer ip-address
dlsw udp-disable
dlsw transparent switch-support
interface FastEthernet0/0
 ip address
 duplex half
 no clns route-cache
interface Ethernet1/0
 no ip address
 duplex half
 no clns route-cache
 dlsw transparent redundancy-enable 5555.5555.5000
 dlsw transparent map local-mac 4000.1020.0100  remote-mac 4000.0999.0100
interface Ethernet1/1
 no ip address
 duplex half
 no clns route-cache
interface Ethernet1/2
 no ip address
 duplex half
 no clns route-cache
interface Ethernet1/3
 no ip address
 duplex half
 no clns route-cache
interface Serial2/0
 no ip address
 encapsulation sdlc
 no keepalive
 serial restart-delay 0
 clockrate 64000
 no clns route-cache
 sdlc role primary
 sdlc vmac 4000.0999.0100
 sdlc address C1
 sdlc xid C1 01700019
 sdlc partner 4000.1020.1000 C1
 sdlc dlsw C1
interface Serial2/1
 no ip address
 serial restart-delay 0
 no clns route-cache
interface Serial2/2
 no ip address
 serial restart-delay 0
 no clns route-cache
interface Serial2/3
 no ip address
 serial restart-delay 0
 no clns route-cache
ip classless
no ip http server
dial-peer cor custom
line con 0
 session-timeout 35791
 stopbits 1
line aux 0
 stopbits 1
line vty 0 4
 password cisco

This sets up the router so I can telnet to it from my desktop at, and allows it to talk to the base Windows machine on

All the magical MAC addresses come from, as he wrote the dlsw hooks, so I just copied that. There is probably a great deal that could be cleaned up, but once I saw the two talking I kind of froze what I was doing.

With that much in place I then jumped to WSL,and built the emulator from github. I cloned it, and renamed that to herc-dlsw. At least for me this was pretty straightforward. The Hercules fork will build with Visual Studio as well, but I knew I was going to need some kind of tn3270 emulator, and I wanted to use x3270, and I had just recently bought this discounted copy of XVision, so of course I wanted to use that.

Despite this catastrophic defect that wasn’t disclosed in the auction.

I downloaded and extracted the TK4- latest distro on WSL. I just created a ‘herc’ directory in my home to house the tk4- release. The next thing to do is overlay your dlsw enabled exe’s and libraries.

cd ~/herc-dlsw/.libs
mkdir x
cp * x
cd x
rm *.o *.lai
cp *.so $HOME/herc/hercules/linux/64/lib/hercules
cp *.la $HOME/herc/hercules/linux/64/lib/hercules
rm *.so *.la
cp * $HOME/herc/hercules/linux/64

Now with the binaries in place, I do need to setup the Xvision VM so I can receive the X11. Of course there is so many other ways to do this, but this is mine:

qemu.exe -L pc-bios -m 64 -hda xvision.vmdk -net nic,model=ne2k_isa -net user -redir tcp:6000::6000

The important thing is that tcp port 6000 is redirected inwards, and that I’m using the NE2000 card, which on my weird fork will print out the hardware config, so I know how to find the nic.

added SLIRP
adding a [GenuineIntelC♣] family 5 model 4 stepping 3 CPU
added 64 megabytes of RAM
trying to load video rom pc-bios/vgabios-cirrus.bin
added parallel port 0x378 7
added NE2000(isa) 0x320 10
pci_piix3_ide_init PIIX3 IDE
ide_init2 [0] s->cylinders 203 s->heads 16 s->sectors 63
ide_init2 [1] s->cylinders 0 s->heads 0 s->sectors 0
ide_init2 [0] s->cylinders 2 s->heads 16 s->sectors 63
ide_init2 [1] s->cylinders 0 s->heads 0 s->sectors 0
added PS/2 keyboard
ps2.c added PS/2 mouse handler
added Floppy Controller 0x3f0 irq 6 dma 2
installing PS/2 mouse in CMOS
  Bus  0, device   0, function 0:
    Host bridge: PCI device 8086:1237
  Bus  0, device   1, function 0:
    ISA bridge: PCI device 8086:7000
  Bus  0, device   1, function 1:
    IDE controller: PCI device 8086:7010
      BAR4: I/O at 0xffffffff [0x000e].
  Bus  0, device   1, function 3:
    Class 0680: PCI device 8086:7113
      IRQ 0.
  Bus  0, device   2, function 0:
    VGA controller: PCI device 1013:00b8
      BAR0: 32 bit memory at 0xffffffff [0x01fffffe].
      BAR1: 32 bit memory at 0xffffffff [0x00000ffe].

And in this case it’s 0x320 IRQ 10. XVision being it’s own level of disappointment, I’ll have to cover it further, and later but suffice to say it at least catches the x3270 so I can get onto the console.

Setting up Hercules

Editing conf/tk4-_default.cnf is pretty easy as it’s on Linux and you can use VI.

0660 3705 lport=${N660PORT:=37051} locncpnm=N07 rmtncpnm=N08 …
          unitsz=252 ackspeed=1000
0661 3705 lport=${N661PORT:=37052} locncpnm=N10 rmtncpnm=N11 …
          idblk=017 idnum=00018 locsuba=10 rmtsuba=11 unitsz=252 …
0662 3705 lport=${N662PORT:=37053} debug=yes dlsw=yes locncpnm=N12 …
          rmtncpnm=N13 idblk=017 idnum=00019 locsuba=12 rmtsuba=13 …
          unitsz=252 ackspeed=1000
0663 3705 lport=${N663PORT:=37054} locncpnm=N14 rmtncpnm=N15 idblk=017 …
          idnum=0001a locsuba=14 rmtsuba=15 unitsz=252 ackspeed=1000

And it’s simple, just assign the dlsw to the 0662 3705 controller.

The real fun is in the VTAM configuration. Which had been stumping me for well over a year. But then I found this Bradrico Rigg article aptly titled : Run your own mainframe using Hercules mainframe emulator and MVS 3.8j tk4, and it gave me the confidence to get this DONE. Thanks Bradrico!

First get MVS up and running. You have to run the ‘console_mode’ script to see what is going on.

cd herc/unattended
cd ..

It’s not all that difficult XVision is using SLiRP, so it’s listening on all my IP addresses so I just do a simple

export DISPLAY=
nohup x3270 &

And the emulator will pop up in Qemu. Just connect to localhost:3270 and you’ll be greeted by the login pannel:

Credentials are HERC01 / CUL8TR

I would HIGHLY recommend following the tutorial to get used to submitting a simple COBOL program. It walks through the key concepts of locating a file, and viewing it on MVS. Something that up until yesterday was out of my league.

We need to edit the file S3705 on SYS1.VTAMLST

Basically it’s 1,3,4 from the main pannel:

or RFE, Utilities, DSLIST

Type in the Volume name, then tab over to the left of the volume and put in V to view

Now we will get a list of all the files. We want to edit S3705, so you can tab/arrow down, but sure to put an `E’ next to it, then hit enter so we can edit the file

F7/F8 will page down/page up as needed. As mentioned we are interested in Subarea 13, PU type 2.

The line we are changing is the MAXDATA or MTU size for this unit. Since we are doing dlsw, or an emulated serial link, we need to knock it down to 256. Notice all the plus signs on the right hand? THOSE ARE IMPORTANT! Not only do they need to exist, but they also have to be on the far right.

For those wondering the MTU sizes on the client side by media type are as follows: And notice that the host size is different, as this takes in account of packet headers.

Making sure to overtype the 3780, to a 256, and ensuring the + sign hasn’t moved you can hit enter, cursor to the top and type in SAVE.

We can then edit the N13 file, changing line 35 to have MAXLU=3

Hopefully this clears up editing VTAM files.

As mentioned the easiest way to regen the system is to delete the old object files. So hit f3 a few times and get back to the dataset list

This time we want the VTAMOBJ set. Go and ‘V’iew it like last time and we will get the list of files:

Now we are going to put a ‘d’ next to N13 and S3705. This will flag them for deletion. Hit enter!

The files are now gone! On the next boot they will be rebuilt.

I just hit F3 a bunch of times and it’ll drop to some TSO shell

From here you can shutdown the system. It’ll take a few minutes, but you can start it up again just the same way you brought it up. Remember to attach your console.

Setting up SNA Server

Just like Dynamips, I setup a batch file, as the default one is just far too long to read:

@echo you need to figure out your nic name..
@echo something like
set loopback=\Device\NPF_{3DF0EC5D-7FBE-46DF-ACF8-EF5D8679A473}
set vmnet1=\Device\NPF_{3BC364F4-5A15-405D-926C-C594383F0323}
qemu -m 64 -L pc-bios ^
-hda SBS15.vmdk ^
-soundhw sb16,adlib ^
-net nic,model=pcnet,macaddr=52:24:00:22:00:01 ^
-net pcap,devicename=%loopback% ^
%1 %2 %3 %4 %5 %6

This will setup a small machine with 64MB of ram, a single AMD PCNet adapter on the loopback interface. I installed Windows NT 3.51 from the Small Business Server 1.5 setup. I don’t know why VMware + NT 3.51 didn’t get along, maybe it’s my Erying, Or maybe it just plain doesn’t work, I’m not sure, and far too impatient to troubleshoot it.

It’s very important that you do add the DLC Protocol during setup. It’s in the ‘Add Software’ part. I kept my NT very simple with only NetBEUI and DLC protocols. At the moment I’m not that interested in actually networking the NT, and if I was, I would add a second NIC, just like what I did for Dynamips.

Setting up NT isn’t that interesting, but SNA server is. I did use the 2.11 on the Back Office CD, but for completeness sake of testing I tried the oldest one I could find, and 2.1 beta from June, Build

I left the network name & control point name blank as I just want terminal, I’m not even going to think that LU6.2 applications on such an ancient version of MVS was even possible.

This is pretty much default, the Link service basically sets itself up as we only have the one NIC.

Take note of the remote network address. 400010200100 which came from above the address we directly point to the dlsw. Also it’s form the 9track blog.

Insert a 3270 LU for us to try to talk to Hercules.

I’m pretty sure it was hard coded to be a model 2.

I turned off the ability for the model to be overwitten.

Create a pool, I called it swimming, because of ‘reasons’. I made it a type 2 pool and added the terminal to it.

Next I added the EVERYONE user, and gave them access to the SWIMMING pool

Finally we are ready to save the config, and do the hand holding and start up. If the stars aligned you will see them go ACTIVE/ACTIVE and the terminal will go Available.

Sadly the terminal won’t go live, it’s stuck in SSCP.

And this is as far as I can go. I have to think that with either something far older protocol wise for the PC, such as IBM Personal Communications/3270 for Windows V2.0 (v4 didnt work either), or a far newer Mainframe software version would support whatever it is SNA server wants to give us the crazy dream of running SNA self contained.

Running Wireshark on the loopback network I see this message:


Sadly this is as far as I can take you. I do want to give a special thanks to Vinatron & blackbit for trying to troubleshoot this with me. Best we can figure is that TK4- is just too old.


From the cisco router try dlsw commands like this:

dlsw>sho dlsw circuits
Index           local addr(lsap)    remote addr(dsap)  state          uptime
2281701660      4a24.0044.0080(04)  0200.9099.8000(04) CONNECTED      00:02:23
Total number of circuits connected: 1

This does show the connection. Notice that ‘show bridge’ will show nothing in this config.

Be sure to check peers as well:

dlsw>show dlsw peers
Peers:                state     pkts_rx   pkts_tx  type  drops ckts TCP   uptime
 TCP   CONNECT         10        13  conf      0    1   0 00:05:07
Total number of connected peers: 1
Total number of connections:     1

Make sure your interfaces are ‘up/up’ and passing traffic

FastEthernet0/0 is up, line protocol is up
  Hardware is DEC21140, address is ca00.48f4.0000 (bia ca00.48f4.0000)
  Internet address is
  MTU 1500 bytes, BW 100000 Kbit, DLY 100 usec,
     reliability 255/255, txload 1/255, rxload 1/255
  Encapsulation ARPA, loopback not set
  Keepalive set (10 sec)
  Half-duplex, 100Mb/s, 100BaseTX/FX
  ARP type: ARPA, ARP Timeout 04:00:00
  Last input 00:00:00, output 00:00:00, output hang never
  Last clearing of "show interface" counters never
  Input queue: 0/75/0/0 (size/max/drops/flushes); Total output drops: 0
  Queueing strategy: fifo
  Output queue: 0/40 (size/max)
  5 minute input rate 1000 bits/sec, 2 packets/sec
  5 minute output rate 2000 bits/sec, 2 packets/sec
     12768 packets input, 1439279 bytes
     Received 3609 broadcasts (0 IP multicast)
     0 runts, 0 giants, 0 throttles
     0 input errors, 0 CRC, 0 frame, 0 overrun, 0 ignored
     0 watchdog
     0 input packets with dribble condition detected
     9999 packets output, 1037736 bytes, 0 underruns
     0 output errors, 0 collisions, 1 interface resets
     0 babbles, 0 late collision, 0 deferred
     0 lost carrier, 0 no carrier
     0 output buffer failures, 0 output buffers swapped out
dlsw>show int eth1/0
Ethernet1/0 is up, line protocol is up
  Hardware is AmdP2, address is ca00.48f4.001c (bia ca00.48f4.001c)
  MTU 1500 bytes, BW 10000 Kbit, DLY 1000 usec,
     reliability 255/255, txload 1/255, rxload 1/255
  Encapsulation ARPA, loopback not set
  Keepalive set (10 sec)
  ARP type: ARPA, ARP Timeout 04:00:00
  Last input 00:00:02, output 00:00:02, output hang never
  Last clearing of "show interface" counters never
  Input queue: 0/75/0/0 (size/max/drops/flushes); Total output drops: 0
  Queueing strategy: fifo
  Output queue: 0/40 (size/max)
  5 minute input rate 0 bits/sec, 0 packets/sec
  5 minute output rate 0 bits/sec, 0 packets/sec
     52426 packets input, 5148287 bytes, 0 no buffer
     Received 12336 broadcasts (0 IP multicast)
     0 runts, 0 giants, 0 throttles
     0 input errors, 0 CRC, 0 frame, 0 overrun, 0 ignored
     0 input packets with dribble condition detected
     36383 packets output, 2465490 bytes, 0 underruns
     0 output errors, 0 collisions, 3 interface resets
     0 babbles, 0 late collision, 0 deferred
     0 lost carrier, 0 no carrier
     0 output buffer failures, 0 output buffers swapped out

And of course check WireShark to see if there is any handshake:

And of course check the Hercules logs to make sure your VTAM rebuilt, look for ERROR or anything related to S3705 or N13.

Word & Excel for MIPS

Years ago when I’d bought Office 4.2 for Windows NT, it only included i386 & Alpha builds of Word and Excel in the box, and a coupon for MIPS and PowerPC.

About the only thing interesting is that it actually ran under Win32s.

But today looking at term24‘s uploads on, I saw two CD-ROM images:

I quickly fired up Qemu MIPS NT, and confirmed that both do in fact contain a MIPS version! Excel does have the PowerPC version as well.

As far as I know the only RISC platform to get apps from Office 97 was the Dec Alpha, but at least MIPS users can rejoice now, knowing that they too have been blessed with 32bit Office 4.2 apps!

One of the amazing things about NT & portable apps is that visually, they look identical. So other than me telling you that these are the MIPS native versions, there really is no way to tell.

Well, other than there is no ntvdm running. There is no WOW needed here!

100% native.

I guess the only other question is that since the Word is 1994, and Excel is from 1995, did they have earlier versions for Windows NT? It seems like everything was finally coming together for RISC NT, except the users. Would a release of 64bit Windows 2000 on Dec Alpha save the platform by bringing a strong 64bit platform with integrated JIT i386 WoW built in? (AXP64 Windows 2000 didn’t use !FX32). I guess we’ll never know.

It’s really awkward when your mistakes are public

Blessed is the RS232

Blessed is the RS232

On the way back from a day trip with my muse I came across this interesting thing on all the sign boards in Waverly. Not sure if it’s a firmware update that went rogue, or if someone is messing with them, but for the most part all the signs would alternate between the two. I guess if I was running the rails I too would have them set on a serial MUX and keep that crap off a network to make the bar higher for the haxor kids.

But all the same, if someone goofed up, and zapped all the boards, they better set their serial lines correctly to get ahold of them. And maybe update from V14.5, I mean 2017 is so old!

Expect more DEC Alpha madness coming in. And as always, I want to thank my Patreon‘s for making all of this crazyness possible!

#include <names.h>
Brian Ledbetter
Joakim L. Gilje
Andy Wallis

OpenBSD 7.3 on the es40 Dec Alpha emulator!

Yes OpenBSD 7.3 Alpha boots, and installs! And it’s incredibly slow. But it’s running!

For those impatient just download it here: OpenBSD73_Alpha_es40.7z

The root password is: password

I had es40 built this from gdwnldsKSC but I amputated the pcap based networking code. I just wanted a smooth compile. The install took over an hour, as there is ssh keys to generate, and re-ordering and re-linking involved. All of which I disabled in the above image. The root password is password.

Since people never read this, the password for root is password.

One weird thing is that OpenBSD will crash on an assert if you are using the VGA console, so a serial console is a must. After it boots, as you can see the VGA console works fine.

The games work just fine as well. I didn’t bother installing the compilers as it took forever to decompress the base file, and I figured if you wanted it, you could install it. Also since I amputated the networking, there is no X11.

For those of you who want to play with virtual Dec Alpha stuff this one is pretty simple enough.

At the P00>>> prompt type in

boot dka0

And in no time it’ll boot up (takes about 2-3 minutes)

And for those of you who are into these things:

OpenVMS PALcode V1.98-104, Tru64 UNIX PALcode V1.92-105

starting console on CPU 0
initialized idle PCB
initializing semaphores
initializing heap
initial heap 240c0
memory low limit = 1b0000 heap = 240c0, 17fc0
initializing driver structures
initializing idle process PID
initializing file system
initializing hardware
initializing timer data structures
lowering IPL
CPU 0 speed is 1000 MHz
create dead_eater
create poll
create timer
create powerup
access NVRAM
Memory size 512 MB
testing memory
probe I/O subsystem
probing hose 1, PCI
probing hose 0, PCI
probing PCI-to-ISA bridge, bus 1
bus 0, slot 1 -- pka -- NCR 53C810
bus 0, slot 2 -- vga -- Cirrus CL-GD5434
bus 0, slot 4 -- ewa -- DE500-BA Network Controller
starting drivers
entering idle loop
initializing keyboard
*** system serial number not set. use set sys_serial_num command.
Partition 0, Memory base: 000000000, size: 020000000
initializing GCT/FRU at 1c8000
Initializing pka ewa
Memory Testing and Configuration Status
  Array       Size       Base Address    Intlv Mode
---------  ----------  ----------------  ----------
    0        512Mb     0000000000000000    4-Way

     512 MB of System Memory
Testing the System
Testing the Disks (read only)
Testing the Network
AlphaServer ES40 Console V7.2-1, built on Jun  9 2006 at 15:36:48
P00>>>boot dka0
(boot dka0. -flags 0)
block 0 of dka0. is a valid boot block
reading 15 blocks from dka0.
bootstrap code read in
base = 200000, image_start = 0, image_bytes = 1e00(7680)
initializing HWRPB at 2000
initializing page table at 1ff56000
initializing machine state
setting affinity to the primary CPU
jumping to bootstrap code

OpenBSD/Alpha Primary Boot
VMS PAL rev: 0x4006800010162
OSF PAL rev: 0x400690002015c
Switch to OSF PAL code succeeded.
>> OpenBSD/alpha BOOT 2.0
booting disk:/bsd: 8562592+683208 [326169+106+499752+320686]=0x9e9790
Unrecognized boot flag '0'.
[ using 1147688 bytes of bsd ELF symbol table ]
Copyright (c) 1982, 1986, 1989, 1991, 1993
        The Regents of the University of California.  All rights reserved.
Copyright (c) 1995-2023 OpenBSD. All rights reserved.

OpenBSD 7.3-current (GENERIC) #133: Wed May  3 12:45:27 MDT 2023
    [email protected]:/usr/src/sys/arch/alpha/compile/GENERIC
AlphaServer ES40, 1000MHz
8192 byte page size, 1 processor.
real mem = 536870912 (512MB)
rsvd mem = 2801664 (2MB)
avail mem = 514916352 (491MB)
random: good seed from bootblocks
mainbus0 at root
cpu0 at mainbus0: ID 0 (primary), 21264C-6 (pass 4.0)
cpu0: architecture extensions: 305<PAT,MVI,CIX,BWX>
tsc0 at mainbus0: 21272 Chipset, Cchip rev 0
tsc0: 8 Dchips, 2 memory buses of 16 bytes
tsc0: arrays present: 512MB, 0MB, 0MB, 0MB, Dchip 0 rev 1
tsp0 at tsc0 hose 0
pci0 at tsp0 bus 0
siop0 at pci0 dev 1 function 0 "Symbios Logic 53c810" rev 0x01: dec 6600 irq 8
scsibus0 at siop0: 8 targets, initiator 7
sd0 at scsibus0 targ 0 lun 0: <DEC, RZ58 (C) DEC, 2000> serial.DEC_RZ58_(C)_DECSRL0000
sd0: 2048MB, 512 bytes/sector, 4194304 sectors
vga0 at pci0 dev 2 function 0 "Cirrus Logic CL-GD5434-8" rev 0x02
wsdisplay0 at vga0 mux 1
wsdisplay0: screen 0-5 added (80x25, vt100 emulation)
dc0 at pci0 dev 4 function 0 "DEC 21142/3" rev 0x30: dec 6600 irq 20, address 08:00:2b:e5:40:00
ukphy0 at dc0 phy 0: Generic IEEE 802.3u media interface, rev. 0: OUI 0x000000, model 0x0000
sio0 at pci0 dev 7 function 0 "Acer Labs M1533 ISA" rev 0xc3
isa0 at sio0
isadma0 at isa0
com0 at isa0 port 0x3f8/8 irq 4: ns16450, no fifo
com0: console
pckbc0 at isa0 port 0x60/5 irq 1 irq 12
pckbd0 at pckbc0 (kbd slot)
wskbd0 at pckbd0 mux 1
wskbd0: connecting to wsdisplay0
pms0 at pckbc0 (aux slot)
wsmouse0 at pms0 mux 0
pcppi0 at isa0 port 0x61
spkr0 at pcppi0
lpt0 at isa0 port 0x3bc/4 irq 7
mcclock0 at isa0 port 0x70/2: mc146818 or compatible
tsp1 at tsc0 hose 1
pci1 at tsp1 bus 0
tsciic0 at tsc0
iic0 at tsciic0
vscsi0 at root
scsibus1 at vscsi0: 256 targets
softraid0 at root
scsibus2 at softraid0: 256 targets
siop0: target 0 now using 8 bit async xfers
root on sd0a (d4f7f3ff7ccee1b1.a) swap on sd0b dump on sd0b
WARNING: / was not properly unmounted
Automatic boot in progress: starting file system checks.
/dev/sd0a (d4f7f3ff7ccee1b1.a): 11877 files, 188223 used, 792736 free (232 frags, 99063 blocks, 0.0% fragmentation)
/dev/sd0a (d4f7f3ff7ccee1b1.a): MARKING FILE SYSTEM CLEAN
pf enabled
starting network
/etc/rc[498]: read: -p: no coprocess

starting early daemons: syslogd pflogd ntpd.
starting RPC daemons:.
savecore: no core dump
checking quotas: done.
clearing /tmp
kern.securelevel: 0 -> 1
creating runtime link editor directory cache.
preserving editor files.
starting network daemons: smtpd sndiod.
starting local daemons: cron.
Wed May 10 04:54:32 MDT 2023
reorder_kernel: failed -- see /usr/share/relink/kernel/GENERIC/relink.log

OpenBSD/alpha ( (tty00)


And there we go!

OpenBSD/alpha ( (tty00)

login: root
Last login: Tue May  9 12:00:11 on tty00
OpenBSD 7.3-current (GENERIC) #133: Wed May  3 12:45:27 MDT 2023

Welcome to OpenBSD: The proactively secure Unix-like operating system.

Please use the sendbug(1) utility to report bugs in the system.
Before reporting a bug, please try to reproduce it with the latest
version of the code.  With bug reports, please try to ensure that
enough information to reproduce the problem is enclosed, and if a
known fix for it exists, include that as well.

You have new mail.

Did I mention that the root password is password?

Hiding in plain sight: The 64bit Dec Alpha C compiler

Of all the Microsoft Windows NT versions, the few of the rare ones include:

  • The i860 version, the original N-Ten that put the NT in NT.
  • The DEC 5000/MIPS version
  • The Clipper version
  • The SPARC/LE version
  • The HP9000/HPPA version
  • The AXP64/ALPHA64 port, the first 64bit version of 2000

Sadly, I don’t have any leads on any of the above. But while I was looking for the first public Win64 compiler that I could remember, it was just the frontend to the Itanium compiler, not letting you actually compile anything. Anyways I was able to find these two downloads:

And both of them have the same Win64 SDK, which includes this quick note in the readme:

Platform SDK support for Win64(tm)

This release of the Platform SDK will allow you to test-compile your
code for Win64. It supports the new 64-bit data types and pre-beta
releases of an IA64 compiler and an ALPHA64 compiler and linker.

1999 Platform SDK

It’s the same thing on both discs from what I remember.

Installing the SDK is certainly a product of it’s time, with a seemingly incredible amount of products to support.

I haven’t tested yet, but I have to wonder how integrated all the tools are into Visual C++. Stay tuned?!

Also there was still POSIX support. Windows 2000 was the last to support all the subsystems.

And of course, the star of the attraction, the 64 bit Test Compiler. There is an incredible amount of products and options to select, It must have been absolute chaos at Microsoft in the late 90s!

If you are on an intel based system, the 64bit compiler will be the top half of the Itanium compiler. It lacks the C2.DLL so it will not emit any assembly or object files. There is no linker libraries either, so for all intents and purposes it’s useless.

However, if you were to install this super preliminary SDK on a Dec Alpha you would instead discover a version 13 build of Microsoft C/C++

Microsoft (R) & Digital (TM) Alpha C/C++ Optimizing Compiler Version 13.00.8499
Copyright (C) Microsoft Corp 1984-1999.
Copyright (C) Digital Equipment Corporation 1992-1999.
Copyright (C) Compaq Computer Corporation 1998-1999.
All rights reserved.

The Visual C++ 6.0 on the Dec Alpha however is a version 12 compiler. So this is a big surprise for AlphaNT users!

And added to version 13 are these flags:

  /Ap32 enable P32 model
  /Ap64 enable P64 model (default)

That’s right! It turns out that the AXP64 compiler set has been hiding in plain sight for DECADES. I know that it’s so unlikely that we’d ever see any public release of a 64bit version of Windows for the Alpha, but oddly enough the compiler, headers and libraries are all there. YES You can make full EXE’s for AXP64/Alpha64. Of course with no OS, so it’s not like you can run them.

The compilers have been tested on NT 4.0 Terminal Server & 2000 RC2.

For anyone wondering here is how I ran it to compile then link a 64bit exe:

C:\proj>cl /c /Ap64 mt.c /Fomt64.obj
Microsoft (R) & Digital (TM) Alpha C/C++ Optimizing Compiler Version 13.00.8499
Copyright (C) Microsoft Corp 1984-1999.
Copyright (C) Digital Equipment Corporation 1992-1999.
Copyright (C) Compaq Computer Corporation 1998-1999.
All rights reserved.


C:\proj>link mt64.obj /MACHINE:ALPHA64
Microsoft (R) Incremental Linker Version 6.20.8528
Copyright (C) Microsoft Corp 1992-1999. All rights reserved

There is no point sharing the EXE as I mentioned above, there is nothing to run it on. But for the heck of it, here is uuencode compiled into assembly in both 32bit & 64bit mode.

I can’t imagine why, but for people who want to take them apart you can download the tools here.

Sadly as of today, there is no way to test. There is one surviving machine with Windows 2003 AXP64, outlined in an article by Raymond Chen. Its a great read about how Alpha64 NT port came to be. The machine is still sitting in Microsoft Archives. Hopefully one day someone can dig it out.

That said there is also version 13 compilers for both Itanium & AMD64. Although we can do stuff with the AMD64 port which I will try to write into something a bit more.. sane.

I found this a few weeks ago, and thanks to @tenox for giving me Alpha access to play a little with this hidden gem. It’s still crazy we’ve all had Alpha64 tool access the entire time.

Adding multiple PCnet NIC’s to a Windows NT 4.0 Terminal server under Qemu

So this is probably nothing that exciting for most people, but for me, I wanted to have a Terminal Server onto a DECnet network. Sure I could have probably just done one nice with tun/tap, dumped all the protocols on there, and called it even. But for some reason I wanted 2 NICs to keep the IP on one side, and DECnet on the other.

One thing I wanted was an internal bridge for DECnet only traffic, and since I just need MSRDP access, SLiRP can handle a single TCP port redirect.

The flags are as always pretty simple once you work them out:

qemu -vga std -cpu pentium -m 384 -vnc :0 -net none \
-hda nt4tse.vmdk \
-device pcnet,netdev=slback \
-device pcnet,netdev=decback \
-netdev tap,ifname=tap1,id=decback,script=/root/nt4tse-up,downscript=/root/nt4tse-down \
-netdev user,id=slback,hostfwd=tcp::3389- \
-cdrom Windows\ NT\ 4\ All-In-One\ (Workstation\,\ Server\,\ Terminal\,\ Enterprise).iso

And the two network scripts starting with nt4tse-up:

echo starting $1
ip tuntap add mode tap tap1
ifconfig tap1 up
ifconfig tap1
brctl addif decnet0 tap1
brctl show decnet0
echo done with tuntap

And the nt4tse-down:

echo shutting down $1
ifconfig tap1 down
brctl delif decnet0 tap1
brctl show decnet0
ip tuntap del mode tap tap1
echo done shutting down $1

for completeness here is the bridge config in /etc/netplan/50-cloud-init.yaml

            - SOMETHING/24
            gateway4: SOMETHING
                macaddress: 00:f4:c1:56:40:7e
        dhcp4: no
        addresses: []
        dhcp4: no
    version: 2

This way I have an IP bound bridge for things that talk IP, and a raw bridge, decnet0 that has my non IP decnet stuff on there. Naturally it’ll have my SIMH VAX on there:

# brctl show decnet0
bridge name     bridge id               STP enabled     interfaces
decnet0         8000.aede9f227e7b       no              tap0

Also the ability to mount directories as fake fat drives had it’s syntax change as well

 -drive file=fat:rw:win95cd

into something like this:

-drive file=fat:rw:dos,id=fat32,format=raw,if=none -device ide-hd,drive=fat32

Not as fun as Win64 Itanium, the earliest AMD64 Windows I can find

It does feel a lot like Windows XP for the Itanium, that strange half world of existence. It’s also from September 2003, the release image being named: 5.2.3790.1069.srv03_spbeta.030905-1850_amd64fre_client-professional_retail_en-us-AB1PXFRE_EN.iso

I’m sure if you google around you can easily find it.

To install you apparently need an early AMD 64 processor, otherwise it’ll trap on the installer. Back in 2004, I got a newly refurbished AMD Athlon 64 3200+ processor, from Tiger Direct. The machine was only a few months old, and I was able to get an early XP build for it. Oddly enough it’s simple enough to install on Qemu. I was able to use 0.90 & 7.20, jumping at extremes, although the PCI NIC IRQ’s do jump around on 0.90 preventing the networking from working.

I had a LOT of trouble getting a bootable hard disk image out of this for some reason. So I’ve found keeping C around 2,000 Megabytes, and installing MS-DOS 5/6 got me a bootable system. Also preserving the FAT disk. Not sure why but doing formats of FAT or NTFS always seemed to result in a non bootable disk

qemu-system-x86_64w.exe -cpu Opteron_G1-v1 -hda 2g.vmdk -m 512 -M pc-i440fx-2.0 -net nic,model=rtl8139,netdev=f00 -netdev user,id=f00,hostfwd=tcp::5555-:3389 -usb -usbdevice tablet  -accel tcg,thread=multi

Special thanks to RoyTam for the suggestion of the USB tablet & turning TCG multithreaded for v7+ of Qemu

Setting up is pretty normal.

You do get 360 days to use the beta. More than enough for simple testing. I’ve seen that the timebomb doesn’t work correctly so it may work forever. But it’s so rough around the edges, I can’t see anyone trying to run this native in 2023.

Notice it’s all AMD branding. Intel officially didn’t have their EMT64 Pentium 4’s, although IBM was pushing Intel hard to get them out the door. And I think they held off on a larger x86_64 launch as Intel had not publicly caved.

And in no time you are up and running. I find the mouse really weird on Qemu, so I always enable the remote desktop function and find it much easier to deal with.

One of the advantages of RDP is that audio redirection does work, so you can play pinball!

One annoying thing (to me) is that the SysFader process will hang all the time locking explorer.exe . Along with that it’ll leave phantom UI elements haning around like the Run… above. Yes, its annoying!

The solution is of course System Properties, and Performance, and either disable the Fade elements, or just turn off all the ‘eye candy’ which basically doesn’t really exist for this release anyways.

While there is some DirectX support, it is most likely just simple GDI passthrough, and of course no acceleration as the OpenGL screensavers run incredibly slow.

And thanks to for some hints & tips. I haven’t tried the VMware path, since AFAIK there is no other NIC drivers for this release.

As mentioned, hardware support is VERY limited. The single audio driver is a MPU401 port. This obviously was meant for an exceptionally limited audience.

The one thing I cannot find, is any version of a Platform SDK that targets AMD64 so early. The earliest I can find is version 14 from 2005.

The 2005 compiler does have this note:

The Microsoft® C/C++ AMD64 Processor Family-targeting compiler is a cross-compiler targeting the AMD64 processor family. The compiler runs on an x86 or AMD64 computer running Microsoft Windows® XP or Microsoft Windows® Server 2003. It is the compiler used for Microsoft® internal development and is used for building Microsoft Windows NT®, Microsoft SQL Server®, and other major applications. For debugging we suggest the use of WinDbg for AMD64. Visual Studio Whidbey will support the use of the Visual Studio debugger for debugging AMD64 applications.

2005-06 – 2944.0 – Platform SDK for Windows Server 2003 SP1 (April 2005 Edition)

With the compiler being:

Microsoft (R) C/C++ Optimizing Compiler Version 14.00.40310.41 for AMD64
Copyright (C) Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

If anyone knows of anything earlier, I’d love to know! If only for the sake of messing around with it.

Fun with RF & PAL TVs

Since I was a kid growing up in Canada, everything was NTSC. And my first computer the Commodore 64 was of course NTSC based. My parents refused to get me a monitor, so I had to use the RF modulator to get it to work on a TV. In north America we had these RF modulators on the back of the TV’s to connect our systems up (Atari, Commodore, Nintendo, SEGA etc..)

Vintage Atari 2600 Colecovision C64 Computer Switch Box RF Adapter

And the picture looked terrible, it was an antenna so it was suspectable to all kinds of RF emission interference, grounding issues and all kind of all around problems. It’s no wonder I had 20/20 vision as a kid, but it was absolutely destroyed because I was even forbidden to buy a proper monitor.

So thanks to patreon and ebay, I found this amazing bundle for 49GBP, a Commodore 64, plus tape drive. The catch being it didn’t include any proper cables, so I went to Tesco and bought an RF lead. I have this weird LG TV, a LG 50PC1D 50in Plasma TV. The original list price was an eye watering £1800! I got it used a while back for a more reasonable £130.

Lots of Inputs!

While I was at Tesco, I didn’t see any kinds of RF boxes. I was hoping I could just plug the cable directly from the TV into the Commodore C64, and it turns out that is exactly how it works.

With the cable plugged in, I was able to eventually get an image. I found out that the LG is more than capable of locking the RF image from the Commodore 64, and it looks awesome!

One man and his Droid over the RF on the LG 50PC1D

It’s a lot better than I was expecting. Clearly RF on a ‘modern’ TV works great.

Of course getting this to work wasn’t all that intuitive, and again probably because I’ve only delt with NTSC TV’s where the channel would be locked to either 3 or 4. Not so in Europe.

Channel 4

So setting the TV to channel for, and the band to ‘cable’ you can see the distinct border of the basic screen. The image of course is useless but you can see it trying. And that is because after letting the TV scan and find the picture on it’s own it’s actually channel 36.

Messing with the image options I found that there is 3 systems to choose from:

System L

You can see the image trying to form under System L, but it’s obviously no good

System BG

While the image looks better, the speakers erupt with absolute static. And the image is a bit faint, but immediately recognizable. It does look better in person however.

System I

And finally we have System I, over V/UHF on Channel 36.

I don’t know if this will help anyone trying to get anything working. Maybe it’s only relevant for people new to PAL territories like me.