[koko] the Ides of March 2020

March 15th, 2020

“Genghis Khan and his brother Don
Could not keep on keepin’ on”
(1971) “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere” – Bob Dylan

In spite of the pandemic, I feel blessed today. Blessed that my mother was a public health nursing professor, who taught me hygiene and many other useful practices especially useful now. Blessed that my father was a public health statistician, that my sister is a family practice physician, that my graduate studies and early professional life engaged me in probability, modeling, and simulation. I feel better prepared than many to understand and adjust to this new reality.

COVID spread graph

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[tbt] childhood amateur radio projects

November 21st, 2019

6M converter

As part of redecorating our house and trying to organize my chaotic archives, I stumbled across a paper copy of The Radio Handbook (William Orr, Editor) 17th Edition. While in junior high school I built several projects out of The Handbook, probably the 16th Edition. [This paper copy is dated 1967, so too recent. The Radio Handbook (William Orr, Editor) 15th Edition 1959 doesn’t seem to have my projects, but I haven’t obtained 16th edition PDF.] Read the rest of this entry »

[koko] (welcome to …) eight Jurassic O.S. on 1992 Dell 486D/50

September 26th, 2019

“Genghis Khan and his brother Don
Could not keep on keepin’ on”
(1971) “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere” – Bob Dylan

tl;dr multibooting a 1992 Dell 486D/50
   WFW3.11+Win95+Win2K+DellSVR4+NEXTSTEP+RedHat5.2+OS/2 3.0+OpenBSD2.5

(Maybe it should be tl;dw — didn’t watch — the video is long.) This post is intended to both be more accessible summary and provide details that are not in the video.

As part of prolonging JAWS, I bought a 1992 Dell 486D/50 on eBay for $99.99. Though lacking the JAWS graphics memory, EISA and some custom Dell VLSI, that machine is otherwise similar to the JAWS machine, sharing chassis, power supply, SmartVU, probably other items I’m forgetting. The seller didn’t think the 486D/50 was working but I thought I could at least use it for the chassis, etc.

Over the last couple of months, I’ve made the 486D/50 into a robust machine, capable of multi-booting all of the 1990s operating systems listed above — three major Windows versions, OS/2, two competing Unix versions, NEXTSTEP, and Linux. The video demonstrates using a Web browser in all eight environments. I could probably have used the Mosaic browser on all eight, did use Mosaic on most, but (of course) used Tim Berners-Lee original browser on NEXTSTEP, and chose to use Netscape 3 on BSD Unix and Linux.

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koko: reviving timbl’s WorldWideWeb browser

July 1st, 2019

on NEXTSTEP 486 on JAWS

“Genghis Khan and his brother Don
Could not keep on keepin’ on”
(1971) “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere” – Bob Dylan

With working NEXTSTEP 3.2 in hand, I wondered if I could find sources for the original browser that Tim Berners-Lee wrote when he invented the World Wide Web at CERN, and if I could, could I get that browser working. Success!

Tim Berners-Lee WorldWideWeb on NEXTSTEP 3.3 on JAWS

Tim Berners-Lee WorldWideWeb on NEXTSTEP 3.3 on JAWS

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koko: exploring NEXTSTEP 486

July 1st, 2019

“Genghis Khan and his brother Don
Could not keep on keepin’ on”
(1971) “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere” – Bob Dylan

installing NEXTSTEP 486 3.2 on JAWSWorking with the JAWS machine brought me back to thinking about NEXTSTEP 486 being developed on that machine. I only know part of the story first hand. Andy Groves and Steve Jobs were friends. Between the two of them, it was decided that NeXT should create a 486 version of NEXTSTEP and that JAWS would be the best development platform. If I recall correctly, it was late December 1991 that Steve, Avie Tevanian and a few other NeXT folks came to Michael’s conference room and told Michael, Glenn Henry, probably Dennis Jolly, some other Dell folks and me about their plans. Glenn and I went to hear Steve announce NEXTSTEP 486 and demo on JAWS at NeXTWorld in January 1992. Dennis was the primary sales VP providing impetus for joint Dell/NeXT efforts — Dennis and I would routinely go to the (in)famous NeXT headquarters in Redwood City to discuss our joint plans. Read the rest of this entry »