Sandboxie went GPL3!

I’ve been using Sandboxie for a long while to run all those questionable downloads on Windows. It’s a great light weight sandbox (as the name implies) for running random downloads, or even going to questionable websites as Sandboxie does a great job of isolating processes, and their filesystem access.

It’s not been all that cheap, but I felt it was worth it. I went to check to see how much it is as the conversation had come up on discord, and it turns out that Sophos had bought Sandboxie, and opened up the source code!

The downside is that there will be no further official development of the product. So I guess at some point I’ll have to break down and get a signing cert and re-build it if I want to keep using it.

Last version is locally mirrored here, as I understand it’ll be deleted soon enough.


GCC moved to git!

After all that flap about having moved GCC into GIT I thought it would be worth checking out, you know digging for interesting old artifacts.

I found the ‘start’ back over here on github:

Sadly the ‘initial revisions’ only contain a few files, far from the contents of the ’87 archive.


Not that I would envy anyone crazy enough to do such a thing, I was just hoping someone else would have done a better job than I did.

Sourcetrail is now GPL!

Okay, so it actually happened on November 18, 2019 but here we are!

From their blog:

I am happy to announce that all our founding members agreed to turn Sourcetrail, our cross-platform source explorer, into free and open-source software. The source code is now available on GitHub and we aim to fund further development and maintenance via Patreon. In this post I will explain the issues we faced with commercial licensing and why we think this change will improve the situation and benefit everyone.

A Quick Introduction for Newcomers

Sourcetrail is a cross-platform source explorer that helps you get productive on unfamiliar source code. It uses static analysis on C, C++, Java and Python source code and lets you navigate the collected information within a user interface that interactively combines graph visualization and code display.

This is very cool stuff indeed! I quickly downloaded the portable version and pointed it to a copy of Linux 0.10

I have to say the results look pretty good! Granted it doesn’t like the old archaic assembly macros from a quite bygone era, but this makes exploring the source a joy, as you can not only point to functions, but also see what variables / structs that it’ll touch, and it works backwards letting you quickly see what functions use which structs, adding more viability than say something like src2html.

This is going to be a GREAT tool, no doubt for trying to unwind a bunch of the old software I’ve collected over the years (all on CVS!), although I don’t think it’ll allow for something web based, but such is life.

You can support them on Patreon for as little as $5 for this fantastic software. I know they will get my support at the least.

So I wanted to compare the new NCC vs the old one, and found that my CVS was broken.

Don’t you love upgrades that’ll break everything? For some reason now when I cvs init a repo the defaults have changed (where are they even stored?) and it’s been breaking things since going to Debian 9.

Although it presents itself as a warning if you see anything about warnings they apparently are errors. Such as this fine fatal error: “warning: duplicate LogHistory entry found.”. I was getting this from trying to login

cvs [login aborted]: unrecognized auth response from cvs pserver: /ncc/CVSROOT/config [23]: warning: duplicate LogHistory entry found.

But it’s just a warning right? Well it turns out no, and that since I have multiple repos.

Apparently this was a bug in passing going back to 2006!

The problem is that a static variable is defined at line 618 in src/parseinfo.c. It is set when the first --allow-root option is processed for our first repository and then when the second --allow-root option is processed, the warning message is issued (erroneously, I believe) saying that another LogHistory line is encountered. But this is for a completely different repository, so it should have no relevance to the first config file.

Unless, serving multiple repositories is for some reason no longer
supported or the new syntax for using sections in a common config file is now mandatory. I hadn't seen any indications that either were intended, hence my question.

Thanks to Bob Bowen

The way out of this without re-compiling is to now comment out each repo’s LogHistory. Great.

The next issue at least presented itself as an error! .. if that’s progress.

$ cvs -d:pserver:[email protected]:/ncc ls .
cvs ls: failed to create lock directory for `/ncc' (/ncc/#cvs.lock): Permission denied
cvs ls: failed to obtain dir lock in repository `/ncc'
cvs [ls aborted]: read lock failed - giving up

Yep, now the lock directory needs to be specified. Maybe I should have made one per directory although this is pretty much just a read-only anoncvs so I don’t think it matters. And looking back on the logs it was only used by a few people so, honestly that’s fine.

The final error goes back to something I must have figured out with a template that is now wiped out. I have the CVS book, but left it at the office, so I’m here just hacking as a guess, but there is no passwd file being copied into place.

Logging in to :pserver:[email protected]:2401/ncc
CVS password:
Fatal error, aborting.
anonymous: no such user

This is at least simple to take care of, Just copy one from an older repo to a central location and propagate it everywhere. There is no point in doing system authentication as again it’s readonly and I don’t want users on my cvs crap thing.

So in 3 easy lines to remediate the thing, it is:

find ./ -type d -name CVSROOT -exec sed -i 's/LogHistory\=TMAR/#LogHistory\=TMAR/g' {}/config \;
find ./ -type d -name CVSROOT -exec sed -i 's/#LockDir\=\/var\/lock\/cvs/LockDir\=\/var\/lock\/cvs/g' {}/config \;
find ./ -type d -name CVSROOT -exec cp /virtual/unix/SOURCE/cvs-passwd {}/passwd

Current repos include such hits as:

  • 32v
  • binutils
  • cblood
  • cci
  • coherent
  • Corridor8
  • CSRG
  • darwin0
  • darwinstep
  • djgppv1
  • dmsdos
  • doom
  • dynamips
  • frontvm
  • gas
  • gcc130-x68000
  • gcc1x
  • gcc2x
  • gdb
  • gnumach
  • gsmaster
  • hatari
  • linux
  • linux001
  • lites
  • mach
  • mach3
  • machki386
  • MacMiNT
  • MiNT
  • msdos-player
  • ncc
  • net2
  • nextstep33examples
  • ntsdk
  • os2sdk
  • pgp
  • plan9next
  • previous
  • qemu
  • quake1
  • quake2
  • research
  • rsaref
  • sbbs
  • simh
  • TekWar
  • tme
  • truecrypt
  • uae
  • Witchaven
  • WitchavenII
  • xinu
  • xnu

General instructions are still valid on My crappy CVS archive of old crap is now online via pserver!

$ cvs --version

Concurrent Versions System (CVS) 1.12.13-MirDebian-25 (client/server)
$ cvs -d:pserver:[email protected]:/research login
Logging in to :pserver:[email protected]:2401/research
CVS password:
$ cvs -d:pserver:[email protected]:/research ls .

If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.

Back in 1995 I bought this rather expensive, and ambitious book simply called: Developing Your Own 32-Bit Operating

And while it is a LONG read, it really is the embodiment of Apple pie from scratch. Rather than rely on open and available tools, the author Richard Burgess instead goes on to write his own assembler, compiler, and then onward to a simple message passing RTOS.

No doubt the price he paid for eschewing popular GNU tools, and having a non BSD/GPL license for the time is that it was quickly relegated to history as the inevitable rise of Linux took place.

Recently while reading a comment about PC-MOS/386 v5.01 final, I came back to MMURTL, which is now in the public domain.

For those wishing to look, not only is the source code and a few patches available on the site, but so is a PDF of the 1st edition of the book.

While MMURTL may not have caught on in the marketplace of ideas, it’s still astounding to look at the volume of work produced, that even though open source tools and starting points were available (The book easily could have been using CMU Mach 3.0) instead it’s all written from scratch by a single person.

TheGrue is doing further work doucmented on the BBS, along with work on github.

Running SWGEmu Core3

You probably don’t want to do this. Unless you enjoy giant empty islands. Maybe you just want to play it on an inaccessible network. Maybe your social anxiety is so bad that you like the idea of playing a MMO alone. It’s probably not a good idea to do this, in that at the end you’ll get bored quickly, but here we go!

Using Ubuntu 16.04 the steps on got me running quick enough. It is rather intense to built, and for the most part it’s pretty easy, although running documentation seems to be … elsewhere. I’m sure it is somewhere, but I have no idea where.

The big thing to do is update the galaxy binding in the mysql database to reflect either the LAN address for local play, or the WAN address if you are natting/hosting on the internet.

mysql -uswgemu -p123456 swgemu -e “update galaxy set address=’′ where galaxy_id=2;”

And for the heck of it, I thought I’d build swgemu for both 16 (swgemu-binary-Ubuntu_16.04.6_LTS_x86_64.tar.gz) & 18 (swgemu-binary-Ubuntu_18.04.2_LTS_x86_64.tar.gz). Keeping in mind for 18, that mysql was dumped for mariadb, so you need different packages. For a fresh 16 server, it’d go something like this:

apt-get install openssh-server mkdir /tre chown swgemu:swgemu /tre (from a client machine) pscp *tre [email protected]:/tre apt-get install mysql-server screen libatomic1 libmysqlclient20 liblua5.3-0 tar -zxf swgemu-binary-Ubuntu_16.04.6_LTS_x86_64.tar.gz cd swgemu ./ mysql -uswgemu -p123456 swgemu -e "update galaxy set address='' where galaxy_id=2;"

For version Ubuntu 18, you want the package mariadb-server & libmariadbclient18 instead of the mysql versions.

Make sure to set the TrePath!!!
vi conf/config.lua

Run the server, either under screen (./ or directly ./core3 if everything is going well, the [Core] will come up initialized..

(27 s) [AuctionManager] bazaar Checked 0 auction item(s) and updated 0 item(s)
(27 s) [AuctionManager] Bazaar terminal checks completed in 0ms
(27 s) [AuctionManager] Checking 0 vendor terminals
(27 s) [AuctionManager] vendor Checked 0 auction item(s) and updated 0 item(s)
(27 s) [AuctionManager] Vendor terminal checks completed in 0ms
(27 s) [AuctionManager] loaded auctionsMap of size: 0
(27 s) [FrsManager] ERROR - Unable to initialize frs manager, yavin4 disabled.
(27 s) [StatusServer] initialized
(27 s) [Core] initialized

After that, you can add the new server as a login server from the swgemu launcher, and start it up. By default it will allow anyone to create a user with any password.

self hosted swgemu!

And here we are, all alone.

So the Infocom source code base was just ‘released’.

So I woke up to this incredible news. Jason Scott at the most excellent had just uploaded the old Infocom source code to github. It’s from the infamous ‘found hard disk’ that has been mentioned going back to the failed game ‘The restaurant at the end of the universe’.

So looking at the repos here, you can see the latest ones are all Infocom. It’s best to get them all via git for reason below:

git clone
git clone
git clone
git clone
git clone
git clone
git clone
git clone
git clone
git clone
git clone
git clone
git clone
git clone
git clone
git clone
git clone
git clone
git clone
git clone
git clone
git clone
git clone
git clone
git clone
git clone
git clone
git clone
git clone
git clone
git clone
git clone
git clone
git clone
git clone
git clone
git clone
git clone
git clone
git clone
git clone
git clone
git clone
git clone
git clone

NEW the ‘gold’ versions of various games, these are the ones with built in help systems

git clone
git clone
git clone
git clone

The reason being of course that if there are multiple versions they are stacked. Now why is this important? Who cares? it’s all in ZILL which there is no compiler for, as the TOPS-20 tools are still lost?

Enter ZILF!

Written by Jesse McGrew in an apparent vacuum, this toolchain can Z3 machine based ZIL source code. Yes that’s right it’s a compiler!

I know Zork will get all the headlines, but back the 80’s I preferred Planetfall. I’m not even going to talk about the insanity that was the Hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy.

Zilf is really only suited for Z3 compilation, and looking at planetfall there are two commits of note:

$ git log| tail -11 commit e85ca899aac575e74a4b3845f44d09a891c1563a Author: historicalsource Date: Sat Apr 13 21:35:51 2019 -0400 Final Revision commit 281bd3417faada8011397244d4bfaad562cb7bfc Author: historicalsource Date: Sat Apr 13 21:34:42 2019 -0400 Revision 37 (Original Source)

The source for the Final version won’t build with ZILF. However the Revision 37 source will!

$ git checkout 281bd3417faada8011397244d4bfaad562cb7bfc Note: checking out '281bd3417faada8011397244d4bfaad562cb7bfc'. You are in 'detached HEAD' state. You can look around, make experimental changes and commit them, and you can discard any commits you make in this state without impacting any branches by performing another checkout. If you want to create a new branch to retain commits you create, you may do so (now or later) by using -b with the checkout command again. Example: git checkout -b HEAD is now at 281bd34... Revision 37 (Original Source)

Ok, now let’s trash the directory! (you did backup the repo first, right?)

C:\temp\zilf\zilf-0.8\planetfall>..\bin\Zilf planetfall.zil ZILF 0.8 built 3/19/2017 1:34:17 PM Planetfall [warning MDL0417] C:\temp\zilf\zilf-0.8\planetfall\MISC.zil:509: ROUTINE: only 3 routine arguments allowed in V3, so last 2 "OPT" arguments will never be passed in INSERT-FILE called at planetfall.zil:14 in IFILE called at planetfall.zil:25 [warning ZIL0208] C:\temp\zilf\zilf-0.8\planetfall\SYNTAX.zil:143: preaction routine mismatch for 'V?ZAP': using PRE-ZAP as before [error ZIL0113] C:\temp\zilf\zilf-0.8\planetfall\MISC.zil:150: SETG: argument 1: bare atom argument must be a variable name [error ZIL0113] C:\temp\zilf\zilf-0.8\planetfall\MISC.zil:315: SETG: argument 1: bare atom argument must be a variable name [error ZIL0113] C:\temp\zilf\zilf-0.8\planetfall\MISC.zil:317: SETG: argument 1: bare atom argument must be a variable name [error ZIL0113] C:\temp\zilf\zilf-0.8\planetfall\MISC.zil:319: SETG: argument 1: bare atom argument must be a variable name [warning ZIL0504] C:\temp\zilf\zilf-0.8\planetfall\PARSER.zil:244: treating SET to 0 as true here [warning ZIL0502] C:\temp\zilf\zilf-0.8\planetfall\VERBS.zil:156: RETURN value ignored: block is in void context [warning ZIL0204] C:\temp\zilf\zilf-0.8\planetfall\VERBS.zil:1879: no such global variable 'WHERE', using the local instead [warning ZIL0505] C:\temp\zilf\zilf-0.8\planetfall\COMPTWO.zil:3035: COND: clauses after else part will never be evaluated [warning ZIL0308] : too many parts of speech for 'PORT': Object (C:\temp\zilf\zilf-0.8\planetfall\GLOBALS.zil:78), Adjective (C:\temp\zilf\zilf-0.8\planetfall\GLOBALS.zil:224), Direction (C:\temp\zilf\zilf-0.8\planetfall\GLOBALS.zil:11) [warning ZIL0306] C:\temp\zilf\zilf-0.8\planetfall\GLOBALS.zil:224: discarding the Adjective part of speech for 'PORT' [warning ZIL0308] : too many parts of speech for 'BRUSH': Object (C:\temp\zilf\zilf-0.8\planetfall\GLOBALS.zil:548), Adjective (C:\temp\zilf\zilf-0.8\planetfall\GLOBALS.zil:549), Verb (C:\temp\zilf\zilf-0.8\planetfall\SYNTAX.zil:283) [warning ZIL0306] C:\temp\zilf\zilf-0.8\planetfall\GLOBALS.zil:549: discarding the Adjective part of speech for 'BRUSH' 10 warnings 4 errors C:\temp\zilf\zilf-0.8\planetfall>dir *zap Volume in drive C is BOOTCAMP Volume Serial Number is 903B-72D4 Directory of C:\temp\zilf\zilf-0.8\planetfall 04/17/2019 08:32 PM 247,803 planetfall.zap 04/17/2019 08:32 PM 162,476 planetfall_data.zap 04/17/2019 08:32 PM 1,336 planetfall_freq.zap 04/17/2019 08:32 PM 40,495 planetfall_str.zap 4 File(s) 452,110 bytes 0 Dir(s) 238,542,704,640 bytes free C:\temp\zilf\zilf-0.8\planetfall>..\bin\zapf planetfall.zap ZAPF 0.8 Reading planetfall.zap Reading planetfall_freq.zap Reading planetfall_data.zap Reading planetfall_str.zap Measuring.. Assembling Wrote 121952 bytes to planetfall.z3

Sure it said 4 errors, but it compiled! Using a z3 or higher interpreter we can load up Planetfall


At first glance it may look the same, but check the serial number. 190417. That’s today!

I’ve played it about 1/5th of the way though. There is a walkthru here.

There seems to be so much in flux about this source dump. replicate while you can!

Wasting some cycles on FrontVM


A while ago I had chased FrontVM to and found 2 links. One from 2003 which is a dead link, and the 2004 version which was archived by the wayback machine!

It was an interesting build, as it still used 68000 emulation from Hatari/UAE this pre-dates the 68000 to C or i386 ASM. However since it ran (mostly) the original code, it was more ‘feature complete’, although loading save games is broken for some reason (I think the decryption was not disassembled correctly). It was actually a stupid file mode setting. I just updated the source & put out a new binary, testing save games between Linux &Windows.

Anyways, it originally built on Cygwin, so I filled in the missing bits, and have it building on both MinGW & Visual C++

Parked outside Willow in the Ross 154 system

So yeah, it’s Frontier, for the AtariST with the OS & Hardware calls abstracted, still running the 68000 code under emulation. I think it’s an interesting thing, but that’s me.

I put it and the other original versions I found over on

Download Frontvm

Oddly enough it’s already been downloaded, so go figure.

ttyplot – a real time plotting utility for the terminal

(This is a guest post from Antoni Sawicki aka Tenox)

I spend most of time in a day staring at a terminal window often running various performance monitoring tools and reading metrics.

Inspired by tools like gtop, vtop and gotop I wished for a more generic terminal based tool that would visualize data coming from unix pipeline directly on the terminal. For example graph some column or field from sar, iostat, vmstat, snmpget, etc. continuously in real time.

Yes gnuplot and several other utilities can plot on terminal already but none of them easily read data from stdin and plot continuously in real time.

In just couple of evenings ttyplot was born. The utility reads data from stdin and plots it on a terminal with curses. Simple as that. Here is a most trivial example:

To make it happen you take ping command and pipe the output via sed to extract the right column and remove unwanted characters:

ping | sed -u 's/^.*time=//g; s/ ms//g' | ttyplot 

Ttyplot can also read two inputs and plot with two lines, the second being in reverse-video. This is useful when you want to plot in/out or read/write at the same time.

A lot of performance metrics are presented in as a “counter” type which needs to be converted in to a “rate”. Prometheus and Graphana have rate() or irate() function for that. I have added a simple -r option. The time difference is calculated automatically. This is an example using snmpget which is show in screenshot above:

{ while true; do snmpget -v 2c -c public{10,16}.9 | gawk '{ print $NF/1000/1000 }'; sleep 10; done } | ttyplot -2 -r -u "MB/s"

I now find myself plotting all sorts of useful stuff which otherwise would be cumbersome. This includes a lot of metrics from Prometheus for which you normally need a web browser. And how do you plot metrics from Prometheus? With curl:

{ while true; do curl -s | grep "^node_load1 " | cut -d" " -f2; sleep 1; done } | ttyplot

If you need to plot a lot of different metrics ttyplot fits nicely in to panels in tmux, which also allows the graphs to run for longer time periods.

Of course in text mode the graphs are not very precise, but this is not the intent. I just want to be able to easily spot spikes here and there plus see some trends like up/down – which works exactly as intended.I do dig fancy braille line graphs and colors but this is not my priority at the moment. They may get added later, but most importantly I want the utility to work reliably on most operating systems and terminals. 

You can find compiled binaries here and source code and examples to get you started – here.

If you get to plot something cool that deserves to be listed as an example please send it on!