I’ve been a hidden long time fan of non x86 NT, I’ve owned Alphas and PowerPC (still sadly no MIPS), and when it came to the arm platform, ive since picked up the Surface RT and the Surface 2 RT. YouTube works fine on both, although the 2 is far faster and overall nicer user experience. I use the 1st Gen as a winamp player as it’s easier to jailbreak and cross compile to and mess with. But locked down Windows 8.0 for arm is insanely limited.
Enter Windows 10 and another botched shot at Windows on ARM for the general consumer. These ship with a S limited version of windows, which apparently can be easily unlocked to full 10 pro. I chose the Asus as it’s a laptop, and has more ram than the HP. Both however should be enough for casual day to day usage of office and edge chromium. I’ll have to see how it goes for either cross or native compiling.
Although the arm in these machines is 64bit, is there 32bit user land at all? Is it still possible to maintain a 32bit userland of gcc 1/2 and binutils for legacy compiles? How terrible is x86 qemu on arm emulation? DOSBox native? I guess SDL should be a simple rebuild like NT MIPS?
I’m also curious about WineVDM and MS-DOS player.
Oh well, I’m just waiting for a flight in the airport, going slowly insane.
My conclusion is really that the biggest problems with the physical machine is the lack of a backlit keyboard, and the tiny storage. Windows on ARM feels like a solution looking for a problem, but the obtuse problem is non x86 diversity. And in those regards it’s pretty much working fine.
But looking forward to a non x86 usable machine. I even have an unlimited chip for Hong Kong. It’ll be interesting if it can keep up for me, and if I’ve finally hit Ted Smith FORTRAN Maximum usage. Although this has no floppy drives.
So while I’m in Japan, I bought this tiny and borderline useless Fujitsu Esprimo B532, powered by an i5, and not very much else. I upped it to 8GB of RAM, and put in a SSD and upgraded to Windows 10 to make it slightly tolerable.
The i5-3470T is ancient! And so old that newer versions of VMware and Hyper-V won’t run on it. The old solution was simply to use an older version of VMware. In my case the highest version that’ll run is 12.5.9, however when trying to launch it I got this fun message:
Well wasn’t that a big bust.
I guess there is something hidden somewhere, but I just renamed the executable, and set it to Windows 8.0 compatibility mode, and wow it works!
And there we go! Now the latest version of NT can run the first public pre-release of Windows NT. YAY.
So I bit the bullet and updated to Windows 10 build 1903. And then the fun started on my glorious 2006 MacPro. It finished the update, and on reboot I get the login screen, and then almost immediately a blue screen.
Naturally the QR code is useless as it doesn’t specify any stop codes, and the minidump… Well that requires gigabytes and gigabytes of crap to download to get a tool to read it. (I still haven’t finished that rabbit hole, like COME ON! why isn’t it included?!).
However after hitting F8 a million times, I found that safe mode & networking work just great. Searching online was basically useless as there was no specific stop code to go with this WDF_VIOLATION. Further looking around I did notice one thing, and that it was all Macintosh machines that crash out to this WDF_VIOLATION error. It must be something specific to the Apple hardware running Windows 10!?
Armed with this (dis)information, I went ahead and disabled all the Apple specific drivers & startup items.
From MSCONFIG.EXE I disabled the following services:
Apple OS Switch Manager
Apple Time Service
And in the task manager, I disabled the following startup items:
Realtek HD Audio Manager
Boot Camp Manager
I had the other VMWare serial & USB hook previously disabled, as I just don’t want them at all on my setup. The big upshot is that after rebooting out of safe mode, I’m now up and running on Windows build 1903.
Considering the BootCamp stuff was so woefully out of date, don’t expect Apple to fix this anytime soon. And since I’m on a MacPro 2006, I certainly won’t be getting any updates from Apple. But at least I can struggle to keep this thing up to date otherwise.
Now I can enjoy that ‘new command prompt’ everyone keeps telling me about.
I went through this on another Bootcamp Mac, and what I had to do was uninstall the “Boot Camp Services”. It’s startup component triggers the bluescreen as it’s doing some nonsensical inventory, banging around on the drivers in a not friendly way. I had version 4.0.4033 of the Boot Camp Services installed.
Removing this kept all the old drivers, which continue to work just fine.
Moved up from the old pair of E5-2620 v2’s to a pair of E5-2667 v2’s. What a big difference from a base clock of 2.1Ghz to 3.3Ghz. And yes, more cores!
And I can build DOSBox in 3 seconds using Visual C++ 6.0 Ultimate. I guess eventually I’ll get a modern machine, but for now this is pretty damned good. Which reminds me the newer processors for my 2006 Mac Pro should be arriving soon enough.
I couldn’t quite justify the more than double price for the E5-2697 v2 processor, although it has 50% more cores, but with a max clock of 3.5Ghz.
So I picked up this board on AliExpress for about $200 USD. Natrually the x79 chipset is NOT a dual CPU chipset, so yeah it’s one of those ‘not exactly 100% legit’ Chinese motherboards.
One thing about Chinese companies that many don’t sell directly to consumers, instead they sell on Tao Bao, Alibaba, or to foreigners, AliExpress. The company’s site is http://www.huananzhi.com, as they had written on the box. Yes you need the www. portion of the name, as again many things are… well dated on the Chinese internet.
High-speed USB3.0, SATA3.0 interface transmission speed is increased
PCI-E expansion slot*4
RJ45 Gigabit LAN interface
North Korean heat sink with HUANAN logo
Yes, I don’t get the whole Korean heat sink thing either. Anyways I thought it’d be fun to try so I ordered the thing. It took 3 days to get to my office in China, and an additional week to get from China to Hong Kong. I hear these things can take upwards of a month to arrive in North America.
Also worth noting is that they will not ship with a CMOS battery, so you need to supply your own CR-2032 battery, otherwise the board will not operate correctly.
The contents of the box are VERY minimal, but they did include 2 SATA cables, some CPU thermal paste, a very bare and … well not very good manual, a CD which I haven’t even tried to read, along with an IO shield.
I decided to pair this with a pair of E5-2620 v2‘s that I got for $40 USD shipped, as I didn’t want to initially spend a lot of money in case all of this just exploded or something. These were the ‘widest’ and cheapest processors I could find, I wanted a v2 E5 as they are faster then the first generation.
Also worth noting is that the board is only capable of driving v1 & v2 E5’s. And they need to be the E5-2 type, which support operating in pairs, unlike the E5-1 set. I have no idea if the E5-4’s aka 4-way part would work in a pair. Although it may be an interesting experiment to try.
The board apparently doesn’t support overclocking or anything that fancy.
Although it reports itself as an x79 based motherboard, it is in reality an Intel C602, based chipset. I don’t know if they are harvesting them off of recycled servers, or if they have located a giant cache of repair parts that have been pushed beyond 5 year warranties, so they are prime candidates for being re-purposed as end user motherboards. Nice things about these boards vs standard server boards is the inclusion of a Realtek HD Audio chip, VIA USB 3.0 controller, and even the nice spacing out of the slots so you could really use all the slots.
Since this is a dual processor board you really want a PSU with dual 8 pin power connectors, however as mentioned in the poorly translated manual, you can take a PCI-E 6 pin adapter, and place it into the 8 pin socket, just position it backwards so that the 12v+ pins are facing inwards.
It may look strange (well more so as I’m using an extension cable that is sadly more focused on aesthetics than function, but heh it was cheap), but rest assured it works!
Another thing to keep in mind is that since this board uses a server chipset, not a consumer one, just as it is using server processors, you will need server grade memory. In this case it’s REG ECC DDR3 based memory. I went with 1833Mhz parts, which are the fastest DDR3 parts they made. Although the processors I chose have a maximum frequency support of 1600Mhz, but the memory works fine when underclocked.
Another gotcha is the CPU fans. These need to fit the Intel Xeon 2011, but have support for the 2011 motherbards. Which unlike the consumer versions don’t have a separate plate to bolt to the underside, rather they screw in all from the top. I had purchased a pair of cheap heatsinks that were about the right size, but didn’t include any of the mounting hardware for a 2011 board. I picked up these GELID Phantom Black CPU’s for about $80 for the pair.
They are quite big, and include a pair of fans for each processor which will make the end build look a little crazy.
I didn’t want to spend a lot, and went with the cheapest PSU I could find to output more than 450 watts. Although it did turn on and run with the lower PSU the machine did shut off overnight for no apparent reason. I’ve been okay with the larger and cheap Antec NX 650 PSU.
Although, this is the older style ‘bundle o cables’ type of PSU which I’m not such a fan of.
If I had charged up a cordless screwdriver this would have taken a few minutes, but screwing in the heatsinks was a chore, and they really do dominate the boards real estate.
I thought I had a case, but it turns out that it was for normal ATX sized boards, and this is an E-ATX board so it simply will not fit.
Another nice server like feature is that the board has an LED readout for early post codes, as booting this board will take some time. I think with 32GB of RAM it’s almost a minute.
I took the SSD & Hard disk out of my MacPro 2010 and put them into the new machine, and it booted up right away. Once connected to the internet Windows 10 picked up the new hardware and downloaded and installed the board drivers as needed. Interestingly enough Windows 10 also wanted a new activation code as the CPU/Motherboard was changed, although it didn’t complain about it.
When it comes to jobs that can run in parallel this is an incredible build. Obviously single core performance at 2Ghz is. well. terrible. I know going to a 4Ghz max E5-2667 v2 won’t be exactly magic either, but there is something nice about having 32 threads. Running stuff like parallel compiles, compression and video encoding is a dream on these massively parallel machines.
Games, are ‘okay’. I get 60fps with Fallout 76 on this current 2Ghz build on medium settings with the 1050 video card.
I do plan on getting faster CPU’s after the Chinese New Year, as right now basically everything is shut down (it sucks being the only person in the office building, literally), and shipments wont’ resume for at least another week.
So I have this 2006 Mac Pro 1,1 that I’ve had laying around and I wanted to put my old Nvidia 1030 into it, along with Windows 10 for a newer (stronger?) home machine.
So I burnt the downloadable ISO from Microsoft onto a DVD, tried to boot it up and got this:
I got stuck at this “Select CD-ROM Boot Type : ” prompt, which you can’t type anything into. Apparently it’s a common and known issue with 64bit boot code, as the older Intel Apple Mac’s are of course 32bit only. So there is a fix, you have to use something called “oscdimg” to rebuild the ISO with a 32bit friendly loader.
So first I just used 7zip to extract the downloaded ISO, and then create the new 32bit ISO with the following:
While building the latest DOSBox SVN using Visual Studio 2003 I found something kind of annoying under Windows 10. The first thing is that if I search through the source code base, the application locks up, hard. It turns out that this has been an ongoing issue with Windows 8 (maybe Vista/7?) with Aero rendering of all things. The fix is to disable Desktop Compositing & Desktop Themes, but the application comparability tab is hidden on many applications for Windows 10.
See how the application preview doesn’t render anything at all? This is the hint that it’s broken. I think it may be worth sharing this ‘fix’ as I’m sure that other applications that behave strangely have the same issue.
In order to do a full build of DOSBox I had to re-build SDL, SDL-net, zLib, libPNG, and set them to a common C runtime linker setting to get a build where the final link didn’t complain. However when it came to existing project files I did have to find some older Visual C++ 6.0 stuff for many of the components, but using those I was able to ‘upgrade’ them to the 2003 environment and produce a working set.
I’ve got to say, that the AVI capture in the newer branches (I’m using build r4177) is really great!
One of my favorite things about VMware is that it can run itself. This allows me to test & stage new setups, test API stuff on my desktop, allowing me to build a “micro data center” that I don’t need to ask & beg for permission to take down, or if I do something stupid, I’m just a quick revert away from putting it back, and more importantly not making other people mad.
This also let’s me step back in time, in this case to the dark & ancient world of 2005, where I’d first deployed VMware ESX 2.5.2 along with vCenter 1.3.1 . I figured that I could use my ancient Dell P490, as I’d been using it as a desktop at home for casual use, but this seemed like a good thing to stress the system on. Also handy to have is the installation guide, which VMware still has online.
I installed Windows 10 Pro, and VMware Player 12.5.9, The box has a single physical processor that is dual core, 8GB of RAM and a 1TB disk. Not exactly a high end machine, but it’ll suffice.
The first thing to do was install ESX 2.5.2, I’d set it up as a Linux VM, with 1 CPU, 2GB of RAM, and 3 disks, one for the OS, another for SWAP, and a Data store / Data disk.
After the nice GUI setup is completed we are dumped to a console on reboot. ESX is meant to be managed remotely.
Once the OS installed, edit the VMX file, and make the following changes, to allow VMware to setup the passthrough capabilities so the VM can run other VMs.
Now the Version will report that it’s VMware ESX. The other thing you’ll find out quickly is that you need a browser to manage the server (funny how things went back to this direction, later versions relied entirely on the ‘fat’ .NET client), and I found that FireFox 1.5 works the best.
The .NET client requires .NET 1.1 to operate correctly. It will not install on Windows 10 by default, as the .NET 3.5 (which includes .NET 2.0 runtime) is not acceptable, it has to be the 1.1 runtime, along with the J# runtime, which it’ll install if needed. I went through the installation steps in the aptly name ‘Installing .NET 1.1 on Windows 10‘. post.
Of course you’ll need a place to run the vCenter server, I just setup a Windows 2000 server, installed SQL 2000, .NET v1.0 & v1.1 and then the Virtual Center component. VirtualCenter relies on a database backend, and I thought it’d be interesting to look at the tables through MSSQL, although Oracle, Access and some generic ODBC are also options for this ancient version of VirtualCenter.
For those who don’t know, VirtualCenter is the application that lets you build a ‘virtual datacenter’ join multiple ESX servers together, and more importantly orchestrate them together into a cluster, allowing you to vMotion VMs between servers, which of course is the ‘killer feature’ of VMware ESX. If you don’t have vCenter / VirtualCenter then you are missing out on so much of the products capabilities, which is sadly hidden away.
I setup a tiny Windows NT 4.0 domain, with a domain controller, and a terminal server. My host machine is a bit weak to setup more ESX hosts, as there just isn’t enough punch in the box. Although any modern machine will probably exhaust RAM before CPU running a mid 90’s workload.
Back in the day, I had moved our entire DC onto 4 ‘killer’ machines with fiber channel storage and had consolidated the entire DC to a single cabinet. It was incredible that we were initially able to almost meet existing performance. Of course the killer feature again is vMotion so a year later, I only needed 4 new servers which was an easy budget ask, and in the middle of the day I vmotioned from the old servers into the new servers, and things across the board were now faster. Finally the bean counters saw the light that we didn’t have to buy faster gear for a single group, or that we no longer had the issues where we had ‘important enough’ to be in the data center but with no hardware maintenance, or proper backups. Now everyone is on equal footing and all the boats raised with the tide so to speak.
In this quick re-visitation it would be fun to setup shared storage, multiple hosts and vMotion, but back in the days of ESX 2.5 there was no support for having VMFS over NFS or iSCSI. As much as I’d love to use the Dr Dobbs iSCSI Target Emulator, it just sadly isn’t an option. The ability to move beyond Fiber Channel shared storage (or other supported dedicated host bus adapters) was added in version 3, greatly expanding the capabilities of ESX.
Obviously the career mistake here was to be a happy Admin, and concentrate on other things as now the infrastructure ‘just worked’ and it freed up an extraordinary amount of time. The smarter people were either taking these types of experiences and turning it into a consultation gig (low effort) , or taking lessons learned in VMware space, and focusing them onto QEMU/KVM and building libre infrastructure (high effort).
Such is life, be careful riding those trendy waves, eventually you have to either lead, follow or just get out of the way.
I’ve been pretty dismayed for the longest while that newer versions of Windows bundle newer versions of ODBC that refuse to talk to any version of SQL Server prior to 2000 (at the moment). Of course if I were ‘professional‘ Id be upgraded to the latest version, maybe even running on Linux. But I’m not, and you didn’t come here for how to upgrade/update but rather how can you use tools from the 90’s in the 10’s.
If you try to use the current SQL Server driver, you’ll get this message. Don’t be fooled, SQL Server 7.0 isn’t supported either (probably because of the SUN vs Microsoft Java debacle), it will only work with SQL Server 2000 or later versions.
It’s been this way since Windows 7, and I’ve just given up and gotten used to having to have a VM to access older databases. That is, until today.
While I was dumping data and moving stuff for my blog (something I need to write about another BCP adventure), I wanted to do a simple Access database to make sure it’s looking sane. And I figured I’d jump down to Windows 95, and load up Office 95. Well sure enough there was no proper SQL Server ODBC driver. Popping in the SQL Server 6.5 CD, naturally there is no ODBC drivers for Windows 95, but rather a 16bit driver for Windows 3.1, and 32bit drivers for Windows NT. I installed the NT version, and was still unable to connect until I installed the SQL client which then let me run WINDBVER.EXE so I could configure the appropriate transport DLL (TCP/IP) and then I could connect.
And this got me thinking, is it possible to just take those DLL’s and move them onto Windows 10? Well naturally that won’t work as the driver sqlsrv32.dll is a system protected file, and you can’t overwrite it without a lot of pain. However this got me to thinking that it should be possible to just tell the system it’s a new driver with a different name.
Looking through the registry I notice that HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\ODBC is where the 32bit ODBC stuff is stored, so this is where I’ll make my ‘OLD SQL’ driver. I simply used the existing one and renamed the driver/setup DLL’s to sql65-sqlsrv32.dll so that way the 2 DLL’s can co-exist without freaking out.
With that done, the key Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\ODBC\ODBCINST.INI\ODBC Drivers will need a new SZ string saying the ‘OLD SQL’ driver is installed.
I also copied the following files from the SQL 6.5 client into a subdirectory of SysWOW64 so I could configure the transport:
Now if you are going to use named pipes it’ll just work out of the box. Running WINDBVER you’ll see that it’s set that way by default.
to change it to TCP/IP I coped the files DBMSSOC3.DLL & DBMSSOCN.DLL into the SysWOW64 directory and re-ran WINDBVER, and then selected TCP/IP.
Now we can go ahead and add a SQL DSN. Remember to use the 32-bit ODBC Data Source tool
If everything is setup correctly you should see the ‘OLD SQL’ Database driver. Scrolling to the right you’ll see that it’s version 2.65.02.01 dated 7/7/1997
Now we just need to configured the driver. Be sure to hit the Options button and type in the database name, otherwise it’ll just go to the default database. Since I’m just using the ‘sa’ user that would be the master database, but I want Access to instead use the ‘pubs’ database.
Sadly these old drivers don’t have any test functionality. So there is no real way to know if it is working at this point, however I would imagine it should as we have added a regsitery key for the driver, added it to the available driver list, selected (if needed) a transport DLL, and populated the needed fields. The next thing to do is to try to use it.
Start Access, and select a blank database. Go to the External Data tab, and then choose the New Data Source, and the From Other Sources option. This will bring up the ODBC database wizard.
I’m going with linked, as I want the data to be used from the SQL Server all of the time. You will be then prompted to choose the Data Source
You can select the DSN we setup earlier, and then it’ll prompt you to login.
Again I’m using SA because… why not. And now for the moment of truth, if everything is correct you’ll be presented with the list of tables! This means that it’s working!
You can choose to save the password, and if needed select unique fields, or just leave it as it is. Now you should be able to access your SQL 4.21 database!
And there we have it.
If anyone is brave/crazy enough I extracted the driver here: sql65odbc-files.7z SQL Server 6.5 should not only be able to access 4.21, and 6.0 but I think it ought to be able to access SQL Server 7.0, although I haven’t tested it out yet.
Yes, I know this is crazy but… I don’t know if anyone else would care. Windows 10 (7 & 8 as well, I guess…) include a .NET 2.0 option or a 3.5 which includes 2.0 install but if you need the first real ‘release’ version of .NET v1.1 you cannot install it. And some applications were pretty much hard coded to 1.1, even though the whole point of .NET was to avoid this kind of version/DLL hell.
Well I had come across this great post here on techjourney.net. And yes it sounds crazy but it works!
All you need to do is download the version 1.1 framework + SP 1, and slipstream the SP 1 patch into the directory and run the setup..
I’ve gone ahead and combined the .NET v1.1 framework + SP1 into this zip file: dotnet1.1-withsp1.zip, so you can bypass those steps, and just go. No more bizare errors about the debugger not finding itself and crashing out the installer.
And now I can manage my nested VMware ESX 2.5.2 cluster on Windows 10 natively as managing from a VM just wasn’t the great experience I’d been hoping for.