So you are in a hurry and need to build a network in a box. It was a bit of a surprise, and you have no time. On site there is ONE computer, it’s a NUC. A tiny one. And you cannot replace the base OS for “reasons”… No problem, you say, just add in Hyper-V and you can build an ‘older’ but useful domain controller, exchange server, VPN & utility servers and then yeah you find out the killer:
Windows 10 Home.
Well it turns out that you actually *CAN* install Windows 10 with a little command line shake and bake:
dir /b %SystemRoot%\servicing\Packages\*Hyper-V*.mum >hyper-v.txt
for /f %%i in ('findstr /i . hyper-v.txt 2^>nul') do dism /online /norestart /add-package:"%SystemRoot%\servicing\Packages\%%i"
Dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:Microsoft-Hyper-V -All /LimitAccess /ALL
I’ve been informed that the toolkit includes some fancy memory tools to detect incorrect access types when you use void pointers for fun and profit, but accidentally copy in too much ( or little ) and can really mess stuff up. Just because of alignment and it ‘fits’ doesn’t mean you are doing what you think you are doing!
The intel toolkit is expected to integrate with Visual Studio 2017 or 2019. I have the ‘community version’ and it picked it up fine. In addition 2019 has ASAN which also helps combat the infamous memory issues of C/C++
<need quote from [HCI]Mara’akate…>
With the win being the profiling tools, and the memory leak tool. I just haven’t had time lately, I’ve been busy IRL, and wanting to wrap up some a.out to OMF adventures.
So I’d been sleeping under a rock and missed the whole Epyx last last year had put a bunch of games onto steam! I’d just been talking to someone about Impossible Mission as I had no idea what was going on in the first one, but as a kid I’d actually beat Impossible Mission II! Oddly enough the Summer Games & Jump Man Jr are absent, perhaps some long standing deal elsewhere. But at prices between $12 & $28 ($1.55 & $3.61 USD) I was hyped and bought a bunch.
I was curious which system would they be for? Commodore 64? Atari 400/800? Commodore Amiga or ST?
Turns out there was an IBM PC version. I never knew, but back in ’88 I was still using my Commodore 64, and everyone else I knew had either an Amiga or Atari ST. School had those QNX machines but that was just a big missed opportunity from everyone an everything.
The steam/PC version. .. is certainly not right out of the box. As you can see from the box it supports CGA/EGA/Tandy/VGA-MCGA. And it’s configured for EGA by default. Strange, as the MCGA/VGA is the best of all platforms with it’s 256 colours. However here is where it falls flat very quickly is that back in ’88 they didn’t code for that big thing last year, the 1987 AdLib. Ooff! Even worse no IBM PCjr audio (same as the Tandy) either.
So yes it’s glorious PC SPEAKER. Yuck.
What went wrong?
The Cinemaware Anthology: 1986-1991 managed somehow to get an Amiga emulator that boots up from ROM disks and is so transparent it’s easy to forget there is any emulation.
So inside of the executable there is 20MB of data. let’s rip further:
28/10/2014 09:29 am floppy 24/10/2014 11:21 am img 22/10/2014 12:37 am maps 28/10/2014 09:30 am os 28/10/2014 09:30 am rlst 28/10/2014 09:29 am romdisk
floppies, rom lists, rom disks and an OS?
28/10/2014 09:30 am . 28/10/2014 09:30 am .. 03/07/2013 12:02 am 262,144 Kick12.rom 27/10/2014 09:45 am 1,794 rdd.rom 2 File(s) 263,938 bytes
Really? Did they get some kind of sweetheart deal?
I copied of UAE, and fired it up, and yep it’s v1.2
Pretty cool. And sad too as Pixel Games UK obviously couldn’t secure such a cool deal, and all we have is the sadly inferior PC versions. And that is the crux of it, on the one hand I want to support them, but the PC versions frankly are unplayable. Jump Man barely can pick up 2 keys at the same time so it’s almost impossible to run and jump. Maybe it’s a DOSBox thing, maybe its an ancient DOSBox, I don’t know. On the other hand the only one that really doesn’t suffer keyboard issues, is from it’s design and that’s Rogue.
so I’m really mixed on this. And 33 years ago someone should have told them at Epyx to get one of those ‘peanut’ machines and get the PCjr sound effects going or at the least get one of those new fangled AdLibs that Sierra Online kept harping about.
I’m sure there will be a redux. But basically things happened and old things make way for new things where old wars will inevitably come back and cause further fractions to whatever a tiny user base it is.
So with the collapse of freenode, we’ve moved off to the new libera.chat
For all the IRC refugees point your client to irc.libera.chat, use TLS, or the comic chat proxy for us old peoples!
So yes, it’s most certainly built from a MacBook Air looking frame. But it’s not the same build materials, which of course is to be expected as these are far cheaper. Unlike the other ARM book I have, this one doesn’t have a GPRS modem, and as of this moment doesn’t natively run Windows. Which with it’s paltry 4GB of RAM and 64GB of disk space is just as well.
adding a 32bit runtime
Just as the MIPS64 had it’s weirdisims, the ARM64 is in the same seat. I didn’t see anything all that clear on Manjaro, and 32bit, at the same time debootstrap is available in the repo, allowing you to quickly install a 32bit Debian userland to chroot into. It’s pretty much the same steps as before, with the only real change being to use the armhf processor family giving a 32bit tree.
Maybe it’s my overall familiarity with Debian, but I find the environment far easier to deal with. Well that and of course many things just build so much nicer in 32bit mode, than 64bit mode sadly. It’s a shame that many distros don’t seem to include a matching 32bit/64bit libset but here we are.
Another plus is that Debian has far more robust mirrors world wide, and downloading components and updates is FAR faster than Manajro.
In the first week however disaster struck as I had it ‘sleeping’ one night and plugged in to charge, and when I opened the lid, I got nothing. The charging led showed RED for some reason like it was still charging, and no matter what I tried on the keyboard it just would not turn on.
Searching online didn’t give me much other than people saying that they were replacing the built in flash and didn’t seat it correctly. Did my kids or cat knock it over when I wasn’t looking? Was it on the edge of not being seated from shipping? I have no idea.
Well as much as I love opening new stuff, it was acting dead so I guess nothing to lose. That said the screws come off pretty easily but there is 2 sizes as the ones up front are super short. With the lid off you can see that the battery is 2x the size of the motherboard. And yeah of course it being ARM, its very raspberry pi – ish. And I guess it’s really no surprise.
On the mainboard there is 2 push buttons, and 2 sliding jumpers. One is hidden beneath the black tape. I hit the reset button, and slid both sliders up and down and then pressed down on the 64GB chip. I flipped it over to see if that did anything, and surprisingly it’d turn itself on!
I quickly shut it down, and screwed it back together. And I’ve been using it daily over the last week without any further issues with it powering on. Again I have no idea what was wrong but at least it seemed easy enough to open up and hit some buttons. Which brings me to the overall feel:
It’s really hard to slam the PineBook Pro. It has incredibly lofty goals, and for the pricepoint it’s absolutely insanely good value. The body has been molded from what at best could be called an ‘inspired by the Mac Book Air’ but it’s the keyboard and trackpoint where it falls short. The keys have too much travel for their own good, and seem to twist a little giving a klunk as they don’t depress quite right. I have had issues with the arrow keys trying to play DooM via DOSBox. And I’ve become so spoilt with backlit keys, that although I know how to touchtype I still look from time to time.
The trackpoint is miserable, it’s constantly jumping the mouse (no palm detection)? and it just doesn’t glide or click ‘right’. But I know I’m being 100% unfair as I’m comparing this to a laptop that is 5x the price. I’ve written this and other stuff on the laptop and it’s just been so jumpy at times for seemingly no reason when I type it’ll jump and click at the worst possible moments.
The flip side is that FPS stuff is impossible as the keyboard and trackpoint won’t deliberately work at the same time. And I have no idea how to go about dealing with that. I guess use an external mouse.
Another stupid low point is the speakers. They are so tinny which I guess is to be expected, but they are so quite. I guess I should play test tones, and get some app to measure dB, but comparing it to anything else again just seems so unfair.
That said the screen is AMAZING. I had worried that the screen was going to be terrible, but no the screen is an absolute high point of the machine.
Battery life has been pretty good, and from opening it up, it’s no surprise as it does have a massive battery. They do include clips to bypass the battery all together if you want to run it from DC mains 100%. The only issue I have had with battery life is that Manjaro doesn’t seem to have hibernation support. And many times I put it to sleep when I go to sleep it’ll wake up with zero percent remaining. I don’t see that as a fault of the physical build, rather the OS.
Software and FSF flailings?
I don’t know much about Manjaro but it’s default setup sure feels a lot like the way Debian felt when they were under pressure to keep all non-free stuff segregated and partitioned away from users. The problem as it’s always been is that popular software has almost always been commercial, especially for normal uses. Turning on Community and Contributions should really be the default setting with people who want to be FSF pure having to click the button giving normal people the best possible experience. As an old person who’s been hearing about the ‘year of the Linux desktop’ is at hand back in 1997 (Va Linux et al), and been an on and off user since SLS, it’s always about the users. All the plugins and bookmarks and shared data stuff I have is on Chromium and having to hunt down how to turn it on sucked, as I was moments away from just doing the usual ‘user’ thing of wiping the install because I can’t find an app.
Distro shopping has been the worst thing to plague Linux since it was apparent that Linus wasn’t going to bless us a userland, unlike BSD. I know some see it as a strength but it’s always been such a critical weakness for the user. Oddly enough the circle has come around to bite enough people that Docker is a thing to deal with dependency and distro hell.
Well without a doubt visit astr0baby’s blog and enjoy some good hand holding to get a bunch of open stuff built. It’s toally worth it. And incredible to play 64bit Duke Nukem 3D!
Is it worth it?
Well if you want non x86 on the go, the price simply cannot be beat. However the default Linux install is alien to me, but I’m trying to learn to deal with it. And of course the weird power on issue really precludes this from normal people. I’d recommend it to anyone comfortable with Linux and a screwdriver. If you are 100% hardware focused it’s a laptop, no GPIO so it’s going to be a little bit of a bummer. If you are scared of opening it up, you may find like I did that you very well might have to. However for anyone in the middle absolutely.
“Normies” this isn’t the laptop you want. .. I’d say “yet” as I’m sure that build quality will only improve, just as software will hopefully get a bit more friendly for adding stuff like Chrome (what a mission to get it installed!).
Years ago in college we joked that 30 years in the future you could get a quad processor Dec Alpha as a bundle in with a box of cereal. That a computer would be an impulse purchase at the supermarket. It seemed so laughable but a given as manufacturing and acceptance of that internet thing was a given. But that was the future from 30 years ago.
This is something that honestly deserves so much more. Back in the original scope of NT OS/2 it was going to be a C parallel of OS/2 2.00 Cruiser that had the promise of running on one of those new fangled microkernels, and those trendy RISC workstations. The 486 / Pentium were considered like the 68040/68060 to be the peak of CISC processors and from there on it was going to be a RISC world, the only question was to be which one?
Many of the Motorola customers who couldn’t afford to make their own (SUN with the SPARC), or license a school project (SGi with MIPS) were expected to use the 88000 processors that were expected to eclipse the 68040. There was an Apple initiative, and even a NeXT RISC Workstation built among many others. Only with the launch of the 88010 it was discovered performance was nowhere near expected and it’d take significant work to fix.
Back on the i386 side, Microsoft had been working with Intel on their upcoming RISC, the NTen aka i860. And just like the 88000 it too had performance issues, which resulted in Microsoft retargeting the MIPS.
Things changed along the way, and not only was the primary CPU platform dumped, but Windows 3.0 became such an incredible seller that OS/2 Cruiser was dumped from NT OS/2, and it became Windows NT. NT had been promised with the ability to run OS/2, MS-DOS, and POSIX applications, with an emphasis on Win16 and the new extended Win32 applications. However MS-DOS was super limited, POSIX was just enough to run vi & tar, Win16 was incredibly slow as it ran through WOW (Windows on Windows), and OS/2 had been kneecapped to the 16bit 1.x support as it was primarily a vehicle for running Microsoft SQL Server 1.0/4.0 . Another consequence of this is that OS/2 was command line only. In the back of deployment guides, and resource kits there was always an inference to a Presentation Manager subsystem for NT, although I’d never seen one in the wild.
Until I got a hold of a bunch of Microsoft Select CD-ROM’s that mostly were multilingual service packs of Office and Windows 98 / NT 3.51 & NT 4.0 But burred in there was a copy of Presentation Manager for NT 3.51!
First off it’s a text based install. It feels like October 1991 all over again. It installs a parallel OS/2 directory with presentation manager support.
Once it is installed it’ll setup program icons from the Windows NT side. Presentation manager runs in a separate window from the GDI. This is akin to how OS/2 would run Windows in a ‘full screen’ session. So oddly enough both support each other’s 16bit applications full screen, while reserving the desktop for 32bit applications. IBM would later introduce dual mode video drivers capable of rending Windows and OS/2 applications at the same time. Clearly Microsoft would never do this.
Launching the control panel reveals that it’s OS/2 version 1.3. No big surprise there. You can return to the Windows NT desktop either via the Windows NT icon in the bottom right, or via a Control+Alt+Delete.
The DeScribe 3 beta installs pretty smoothly into the subsystem. However running Describe is a different story:
It hangs trying to open or do anything. Even the ‘help about’ is too much. Such a pitty.
The readme warns against trying to copy the file manager from OS/2 although it does tell you what files to copy in manually. Naturally there is no ‘console’ for Presentation Manager, rather that is handled on the Windows desktop.
No doubt there had to be some big customer that demanded a way out for their investment in Presentation Manager on Windows NT. Otherwise this would have been built in. And it’s only 5 diskettes so it’s not a space issue. I suspect since it was on a Select CD, it really was not meant for wide scale distribution.
Last time I tried, Excel 3, and Word 1 had issues running on Windows NT, as the loader tried to intercept them as Win16. Things didn’t go so well. Or maybe it’s my memory. I went ahead and installed Excel 2.2 for OS/2
Despite it being text mode, it has Presentation Manager hooks, and needs PM Shell to be running. It’s a simple setup program, but yes, it’s text mode.
One nice thing about Describe & Excel is that they can see the program groups on the NT side, and create icons over there. However NT has no ability to read OS/2 resources so the icons are all incorrect.
And yes, Excel for OS/2 runs on Windows NT! Back then Excel was super expensive, this is before the big Office OEM bundles that took over the industry. So I could totally see preserving this massive investment in Excel.
Despite having 80286 emulation in the earlier versions of NT, and 80486 emulation in Windows NT 4.0 (Yes DooM runs on the MIPS!) the OS/2 subsystem was never available on the RISC platforms. I suspect had Windows 3.0 not been a big seller it may have. Then again without the big ‘rabbit out of a hat’ like DOS Extenders, Windows would have died on the vine. Who knows, maybe NT OS/2 is a thing in a parallel universe.
I’ve always been fascinated with DOS Extenders, as they are such an ingenious method of breaking the rules of an environment by cheating the system. The first one I, like many others I imagine was using was DOSX that is the heart of Windows 3.0 on the 286. An incredibly tiny program but it let Windows run in protected mode, unlocking the potential of the machine. Great!
But as an aspiring programmer things were a quite a bit different. While QuickC for Windows did give you Microsoft C 5 hosted inside of Windows, effectively making the $99 for Windows and $99 for QuickC for Windows the cheapest DOS Extender dev kit of the time, it was of course limited to the 286. The 386 stuff although being the genesis of the DOS Extender was far more expensive.
But then with the advent of EMX for OS/2 and DJGPP for MS-DOS, both of them included DOS Extenders, and even better they were gratis! But of course they were GCC focused, and me being a kid saw the incredible 1MB++ size of CC1.EXE was thinking it’s insanely bloated, and of course slow. I don’t think many people were using 80386sx-16’s but I was.
Then there was this incredible offer from Watcom, who’d just become an internet (yes on usenet!) darling for being the compiler used to port DooM from NeXT to MS-DOS and it was available to students for a whopping $99. Neat!
Being in collage this was great. Another big plus of Watcom is that it was able to host on MS-DOS, Windows NT, and OS/2. And target far more!
Back then there was such incredible platform diversity in the PC space. Servers could be NetWare, Unix, OS/2 and that new fangled and often delayed Windows NT. Watcom was uniquely positioned to support so many of them, all from the same compiler set.
And of course most famously was DOS/4GW included in the box!
Despite having this, I’d always wanted Phar Lap TNT, as it brought insane features of Windows NT to MS-DOS, like DLL’s, and threads! But it was expensive, and I couldn’t justify it.
And this is where the story gets weird as I was also looking for their 286 product, and I found a copy on Ebay, and even better I easily won!
I can’t get a higher resolution image as the auction has expired out. But take note of the thumbnail.
And this happened. I was all happy expecting it to arrive when out of the blue the order was cancelled and refunded. I contacted the seller as I was totally wanting to get this, and to see if there had been some screwup in shipping, and they had told me that they didn’t know either has they had been refunded the sale price+shipping. So there we both were, me without my 286 Extender, and the seller with no disks to try to sell back again. And then this happened:
The disks showed up again for sale. We were both dumbfounded, how did this happen? Somehow someone intercepted the sale, and refunded us both, and then is trying to sell it on their own? Interestingly they won’t ship it to me, almost as if they are trying to block me from it.
Sketchy as hell as they say they are reselling from 3rd parties. Is there some kind of hustle going on where someone at a combined overseas shipping centre grabs random items, they can issue a refund for both parties so we don’t care, and then use a proxy sales site to sell them again?
Interestingly they know the disks read fine, as I know that too as I’d asked the seller to image them for me incase anything happened in shipping. I just never imagined it’d have been intercepted and resold. Maybe it’s common place, but I’ve been using Ebay since 1998 or so and well it’s the first time I’d ever seen something like this. Naturally bringing it up with Ebay is a total waste of time.
I’ll have to continue this with a deeper look into Phar Lap 286|DOS-Extender 2.5 as this is already far too much of a diversion from where I was going. But I thought I should point out this thing so buyer beware about the current listing.
Well seems I had the opposite effect I was looking for:
One of the more interesting things about OS/2 1.x is how it had this interesting idea of how to strattle the bridge between old and new, and it was a very common bridge tactic where you can have a shipping program that can simply run in both the older operating system, and the new one. Naturally there is trade offs, you can’t fully take advantage of all kinds of features on the new side, you will be largely held back on the old side, but all is not lost, there is space for things that fit in the ‘same but bigger’ world where you have an overlap between old and new.
For OS X, this was the Carbon era, for Windows this was the famous Win32s extensions, and for OS/2 it’s the Family API.
As a quick example, allocating memory under MS-DOS may be limited to 640kb, but under OS/2 you have access to so much more memory, the entire capacity of an IBM AT class machine. And this also got OS/2 tools into a lot of MS-DOS developer’s hands as the early compilers and tools were built around the Family API and were able to run on so called legacy environments. Although it was far better to run on OS/2, the advantage 30+ years later is that MS-DOS emulation is more common and prevalent than OS/2, especially on non x86 processors.
As an added bonus you really don’t have to mess with the API at all, as the LIBC will use it no doubt.
At any rate, using Microsoft C 6.00 (I can’t get the syntax right for 5.1 to save my life, I suspect I need to run it UNDER OS/2 to build for OS/2 properly), you can compile a typical stdio compliant program, and get an OS/2 executable.
The real fun is from the bind program which will convert that OS/2 program to a full Family mode app with the bind program.
And now on MS-DOS (Under OS/2) you can see very quickly that the OS/2 app won’t run, however the family mode one does!
So this is what let’s me run the older SDK tools as I’d simply forgotten about this great mode, letting you run programs in either environment.
Of course the added fun is the 3rd party product Phar Lap’s 286|Dos-Extender that provides some OS/2 services under MS-DOS in addition to greater memory but DLL’s! But that’s for another story.
**EDIT Oh and another edit, here is how to make the OS/2 program ‘window’ compatible with a link time definition file:
and then on the console:
And there we go with some magical flags & def file it’s now marked as being compatible with window mode. So no full screen VIO tricks for you!
Operating System/2 Linear Executable Linker
Version 2.01.005 Mar 16 1993
Copyright (C) IBM Corporation 1988-1993.
Copyright (C) Microsoft Corp. 1988-1993.
All rights reserved.
Run File [mt.exe]:
List File [nul.map]:
Definitions File [nul.def]:
LINK386 : warning L4071: application type not specified; assuming WINDOWCOMPAT
and on 2ine?
$ ./lx_loader /mnt/c/msos2/test/mt.exe
not an OS/2 module
Well this all sucks. But how about a 3rd party linker? Watcom?!
C:\msos2\test>cl386 /c mt.c
Microsoft (R) Microsoft 386 C Compiler. Version 1.00.075
Copyright (c) Microsoft Corp 1984-1989. All rights reserved.
C:\msos2\test>wlink d all SYS os2v2 op m op maxe=25 op q op symf @mt.lnk
Volume in drive C has no label.
Volume Serial Number is 3C41-1D63
Directory of C:\msos2\test
13/05/2021 01:48 am 5,160 mt.exe
1 File(s) 5,160 bytes
0 Dir(s) 646,855,708,672 bytes free
Obviously this needs more testing on later versions of OS/2. I tried wlink from Watcom C/C++ 10.0 and it won’t run. Once more again the devil is in the linker, and just as last time, it turns out that the ‘portable’ tools are 16bit!