In the world of “If you can’t encourage an exclusive, buy it” here we are at this crossroad again. With the new MS console getting ready to be pushed out into the world, there is no doubt that we are not only in for a new deluge of Skyrim ports, but the much anticipated Starfield should be appearing on nextgen consoles, the best way to keep it exclusive is to just buy the beleaguered studio, and push onwards.
No doubt the fallout from … Fallout 76 has burnt a lot of people, so this may just further isolate their diminishing fan base, only time will tell. Or normies just don’t care about FO76 as it was some MMMMOOOORPG thing that normal people don’t care about, and all they want to do is kill dragons, and shoot lazzer beams from their hands.
One thing that is kind of fitting is that the culture of ‘release it and patch it in the field’ is in safe hands at Microsoft!
Way back in the late 90’s from the University of Utah there was this fantastic project that promised to bring Operating System construction to mere mortals but taking existing PC operating systems, Linux, NetBSD, FreeBSD and break them down to their best components, and then interlink them using COM allowing you to glue the best parts together like lego.
And the project was called OSKit.
It was fantastic for something unknown at the time for creating so called ‘bare metal programs’ that didn’t have a real operating system, but rather could use operating features like LIBC, or the EXT2 filesystem. It was almost that level of ‘MS-DOS’ like feeling from protected mode, but being able to take more stuff with you.
And of course transforming the ELF into a multiboot executable that GRUB can load:
And now you are ready to boot, on say Qemu?
I was kind of surprised it never really took off, maybe it was too far ahead of it’s time. The most notable project I’ve seen that used it was OSKit-Mach, although they later on abandoned OSKit.. I’m not sure why but I would suspect the lack of updates post 2002 would have something to do with it.
Building this was… Interesting as I recall this being somewhat difficult, and I know I’ve probably made it more difficult, but I thought it would be ‘fun’ using the tools of the time. And 1999 has us at Debian 2.2r0. Which thankfully is on archive.org and is a mere 3 CD-ROMS for the i386 binaries. Installing that into VMWare wasn’t so difficult, and swapping CD images around I was able to get enough installed to start building things. For those of you who don’t want to install Debian, here is my pre-compiled Linux on Linux toolchain: i586-linux2.tar.gz. It’s i386 on i386, so you will need to be able to run i386 ELF exe’s. For OS X users that haven’t installed Catalina, you can try OSX-Linux-2.00-i586-gcc2723.tar.gz
I should point out, that although things have to be patched around for older versions of OSKit, 20020317 does build fine using GCC 2.95.2 (20000220) from Debian 2.2r0. So if you want to build in a VM, then you really don’t need any of this. But I’m strange, and I have my WSL2 Debian 10 to think about. So the easiest way to build GCC 2.x is with GCC 2.x so why not start in Debian?
First let’s prep our destination directory, and populate it like a good little cross compiler:
And now I can build stuff!… I then tar’d if up and copied it to my WSL instance, and now I can cross compile fine (a big plus of WSL2 is that you can install the 32bit support, and run old EXE’s! Take that Apple!)
Now it’s worth noting that a few things need to be edited, the ‘OSKit on UNIX’ thing won’t build cleanly and I didn’t investigate as Qemu is a thing now. So disable it in the modules.x86.pc file. Then run configure like this:
sh configure --host=i586-linux --prefix=/oskit --build=i586-linux --enable-modulefile=modules.x86.pc
Despite using the host, build or target setting it doesn’t pick up prefix of our cross compiler, so you have to manually edit Makeconf
Be sure to change the tool exports to look like this:
And finally remove -fno-strict-aliasing from OSKIT_FFLAGS, and now you can build!
The bonus is that it’ll build well under a minute on a modern machine.
As mentioned above you should now be able to take the hello world example kernel, and transform it to a multiboot, and boot it via grub.
Again this was such an exciting project I’d hate for it to just suddenly die in absolute obscurity. Maybe it’ll inspire others to try “assisted bare metal” programs, there was a DooM OS, among others in the era.
Again super thanks to shadyjesse for finding and fixing the larger issues, and philpem for his great emulator, freebee!
I have to say, having never played with an AT&T Unix PC, it’s kind neat with this windowing non X11 UI. Although even in emulation it’s incredibly slow. But such was the Unix microprocessor revolution of the era, it’s crazy to think the mighty SUN-2 is also on the same level of performance, although SUN would at least go the way of the 68020 before giving up on the 68k for SPARC.
Even though the 68000 lacked the ability to recover from bus faults, allowing a better path to UNIX with the 68010, OEM’s still brought their own MMU technology to flesh it out, leading to divergent systems. Not that it mattered all that much for AT&T as they started to establish themselves as the new defacto go to UNIX vendor they quickly abandoned the market leaving the Unix PC, and 3B2’s to die off. While so many like to think that the ‘Unix’ business is booming, it really only boomed once AT&T exited the market until Linux had started to gain enough mindshare post 1.0… Which also included 68000 support, although aimed for the the stronger 68030/68040’s.
Anyways I’m sure you didn’t come here for my ramblings about the 68000 instead you want an easy to run package to click and GO!
There are two executables, for normies, tourists, and people only wanting to witness the fun it doesn’t matter which one you use. For anyone wanting to install the 3B1 Unix, you’ll want “freebee-10sec-O2.exe”. Since the 3B1 uses a non standard format, if you want to use FAT 360kb disks from a PC emulator then you’ll need “freebee-9sec-O2.exe”. Isn’t compatibility great?
I don’t get how this is a search term, all about “Ну вот” so I guess I’ll poison the well.
Ну вот dolor sit amet, nu vot adipiscing elit. Duis ultrices fringilla turpis ac nu vot. Vivamus dignissim arcu ac arcu elementum, non condimentum neque scelerisque. Nullam et turpis non tortor Ну вот commodo. Ну вот vehicula lorem quis sem bibendum, eu efficitur tellus feugiat. Nam tempor, sem ac semper congue, felis mauris dignissim tortor, ut elementum ex leo gravida lacus. Maecenas imperdiet dapibus risus, eu rutrum felis feugiat eu. Nullam sodales bibendum porta. Ну вот diam justo, fringilla et nisi eget, mattis varius lectus. Nullam blandit luctus orci, a finibus arcu lobortis nec. Etiam accumsan fringilla quam vitae pharetra. Fusce consequat rhoncus elit, ut mollis velit egestas id. nu vot quis quam ac arcu efficitur blandit quis in augue.
Nullam vitae aliquet magna. Sed non augue diam. nu vot efficitur egestas quam, quis cursus felis euismod in. Ut ac dui erat. Donec at dui fermentum, fermentum dui nec, accumsan tellus. Vivamus cursus, ex in cursus lobortis, mi orci gravida metus, at maximus quam leo vitae tortor. Ну вот ipsum diam, tincidunt id luctus vel, ultricies nec tellus. In placerat quis neque sit amet facilisis. Sed sagittis nisl eget lectus fringilla laoreet. Ну вот rhoncus at urna vel mattis. Ну вот sed velit lorem. Sed orci mi, facilisis id neque non, sagittis malesuada orci. Cras blandit, tellus quis pretium imperdiet, nibh metus tincidunt dolor, suscipit vestibulum ligula felis Ну вот. Fusce mollis id enim eu faucibus.
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Nulla facilisi. Sed placerat convallis bibendum. Ну вот eu nisl est. Sed tempus eget nisi at blandit. Ну вот sollicitudin sapien et quam aliquet, ut mollis sapien scelerisque. Ну вот ex justo, condimentum quis gravida sit amet, finibus sit amet dui. Ну вот eget posuere nunc, id blandit sapien. Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos himenaeos. Ut euismod lectus eu leo sollicitudin, eget faucibus nunc vehicula. In quis fringilla ligula, mattis porttitor justo. Aliquam erat Ну вот.
32bit computing arrived to the masses. Although it’s incredibly frail by modern standards, Windows 95 did deliver on the promises of OS/2. Depending on your apps, and drivers of course. Although OS/2 did have int13.sys to pass disk calls to a special v86 machine which then used the disk BIOS to make disk access possible, Microsoft and IBM stopped short there, not going all the way letting OS/2 use MS-DOS device drivers. Windows 95, however could.
This was always the winning strategy of Windows, is that it relied on the incredible OEM driver support for MS-DOS. Of course this would also be a catastrophic weakness. From my personal experience being able to leverage ancient MS-DOS drivers also helped squeeze as much as possible out of existing hardware. Case in point, the NDIS2 drivers for the AT&T Starlan 1mbit cards worked fine under Windows 95, additionally you could lost just the lower level drivers, and 95 could then load it’s protocols on top of that stack allowing you to have a TCP/IP network over that 1mbit Starlan stack letting you telnet into your 3b2 (or setup SAMBA, and doing file/print sharing).
If anything the biggest flaw of Windows 95 was not installing TCP/IP by default. However unlike many OS’s of the time, Windows 95 did include LAN and dialup stacks. There was plenty great about OS/2, but it’s refusal to integrate networking into the operating system hamstrung things like named pipes, peer, and larger apps, as you would have to buy and license a stack of stuff to bring OS/2 up to where it should be, while NT and 95 were complete out of the box.
Windows 95 was an excellent bridge OS for the era, until OEMs finally got around to writing drivers for Windows NT. Once the mainstream could finally take that leap, and leave MS-DOS far behind. But that didn’t really happen until Windows XP.
That being said, the favorite thing is to run Windows 95 in a browser. I found https://copy.sh/v86/ the fastest and best, as it loads a short 6MB compressed core image, and you are instantly teleported to the 95 desktop.
I have this old toolchain that relies on MSYS 1.0 from 20+ years ago. It’s great. I know others always love the newer, but I’m happy with this one.
Well this morning I wanted to rebuild some Qemu 0.90 thing and I got this fun error trying to run configure:
0 [main] us 0 init_cheap: VirtualAlloc pointer is null, Win32 error 487
AllocationBase 0x0, BaseAddress 0x71110000, RegionSize 0x440000, State 0x10000
d:\mingw\msys\bin\bash.exe: *** Couldn't reserve space for cygwin's heap, Win32 error 0
What the heck?! MSYS uses cygwin? I guess I should have known. So the solution is to ‘rebase’ the DLL, as it tries to take a static ‘grab’ at some memory block, because…. I guess subsystems or loaded DLL’s suck?
I rebooted and got the same error.
So obviously it’s a lot more involved.
So looking the rebase I have is part of the Platform SDK. Maybe there are others.
D:\MinGW\msys\bin>"D:\MinGW\include\directx\Microsoft Visual Studio 8\VC\PlatformSDK\Bin\rebase" -b 0x50000000 msys-1.0.dll
REBASE: Total Size of mapping 0x0000000000110000
REBASE: Range 0x0000000050000000 -0x0000000050110000
And now I can run stuff again. YAY.
I’m sure this has been covered time and time again, but you know it’s mostly to remind me in another 20 years.
However, with the latest updates, from github, adding in a prior botched attempt, and some messing around, and finally, I got it to ping at first, then it was a matter of where to place the ‘slirp tick’. I first though putting it on the interface poll was a good spot, but for some reason the machine causes a deadlock/stall on boot before the PROM can even initialize. I’m not sure why. Searching further I found a good timer portion and injected the code. And sure enough I was greeted with the login banner:
I’ve been able to paste in about 100kb of a uuencoded tar file, and it didn’t lock the VM, and I was able to uudecode it, and actually build the source (Infotaskforce ’87 if anyone cares). So I’m at the point I think it’s stable enough to shove into the world, although I guess until I revisit it again.
Seriously, the sad thing is that they wasted all their time, and bandwidth. The good thing is that PHP7 is far better at this, than PHP5. I know it’s not hipster neaveaux but PHP7 is really awesome stuff.
I didn’t wake up to a million messages about being down, rather a look at what was going on showed me this:
Obviously something is up.
I checked Cloudflare:
All those hits, and no change in user traffic. So I’m not popular.
And it’s all from the United States. Going back to WordPress I can see it’s mostly from one user!
A look through the 30MB log, and it’s a broken site scrape
This is just terrible you are quoting the link to the link, having slashes going every which way. What the heck!? Don’t be a jerk, pace the thing, why are you trying to DOS it? While my hosting is clearly not robust, why can’t you wait a few seconds between each query? Also look at the output and URL’s it’s sending it’ll never work!
That’s right it’s Flight Simulator 4! .. Although it was more fun downloading it directly from Microsoft back in the day. That said you may find this one, from archive.org more interesting as it’s got a patched exe giving et4000 support!
Naturally you need to configure dosbox, or pcem to use an ET4000 compatible adapter to play this, but the driver does support 800×600 gameplay!
Going back to the FTP site, you’ll find various test builds of Excel & Word for Win16, Win32, and Windows 95! This could be the thing you need if you have to work with old documents and don’t want to go through the conversion fun. It’s a treasure trove of testing apps for mucking around on a typhoon kind of day.
What started as a spriling out of control build of SLiRP for User Model Linux (UML) I had so many issues with GCC 8, I figured I’d try v4 where I recall it building easily. Well that was. Fun.
Anywas I’m using Linux (Debian 10.5), and the build tools currently has me running GCC 8.3.0. Anyways a straight build introduces this fun:
../.././gcc/toplev.c: At top level:
../.././gcc/toplev.c:524:1: error: redefinition of ‘floor_log2’
floor_log2 (unsigned HOST_WIDE_INT x)
In file included from ../.././gcc/toplev.c:59:
../.././gcc/toplev.h:175:1: note: previous definition of ‘floor_log2’ was here
floor_log2 (unsigned HOST_WIDE_INT x)
../.././gcc/toplev.c:559:1: error: redefinition of ‘exact_log2’
exact_log2 (unsigned HOST_WIDE_INT x)
In file included from ../.././gcc/toplev.c:59:
../.././gcc/toplev.h:181:1: note: previous definition of ‘exact_log2’ was here
exact_log2 (unsigned HOST_WIDE_INT x)
make: *** [Makefile:2064: toplev.o] Error 1
make: Leaving directory '/home/jsteve/src/gcc-4.1.2/host-x86_64-unknown-linux-gnu/gcc'
make: *** [Makefile:3905: all-gcc] Error 2
make: Leaving directory '/home/jsteve/src/gcc-4.1.2'
Ugh isn’t this fun. Well it turns out it’s largely from the confusion from how GCC now handles inline functions.
I’ve uploaded the patch here. It’s not great, I know but I got a working C compiler out of it, however I had to manually place xgcc/cc1/cpp from gcc-4.1.2/host-x86_64-unknown-linux-gnu/gcc
I did see further hints on this ‘gist‘ that also boils down to using GCC in 1989 mode for inlines:
And also this ‘stack exchange‘ that mentions that toplev also has issues with the same inline issues. Naturally if you just define inline to nothing you’ll end up with two floor_log2 and exact_log2’s from libiberty. And both are different. Fun times ahead!
As for slirp, well I took the version from the Debian source project, and manually applied all the patches and I ended up not only having to manually create some missing headers, but after getting it to build it’d just crash immediately. Bummer.
I rebuilt it as a 32bit exe, and wow it ran just fine. Go figure. For anyone crazy enough to want to build it on it’s own, this patch take slirp-1.0.16 to a ’17’ with all the current Debian patches, and my sad patch, was what I did to get it to compile with GCC 4. Note you will want to save aside the ‘.p files’ which are the headers, as the configure will remove them and either save them as empty files, or files that don’t work. … Well at least they didn’t work for me!
The whole thing started as a ‘oh wow Linux is now in 5.1.0 release’ and I figured the easiest way to check it out was to use UML. I found this page with a quick ‘how to build and roll’ your own UML’s, although the SLiRP config is a bit off in the host, as it should be 10.0.2.15 for the UML kernel.
The new killer feature is UML can mount a directory as a filesystem so you don’t have to mess around like crazy to make disk images. It makes the experience more docker like, which I enjoy.