Archive for the ‘operating systems’ Category

[koko] Dell Unix sustainable!

Tuesday, January 19th, 2021

“The only thing I knew how to do
Was to keep on keepin’ on like a bird that flew”
(1975) “Tangled Up In Blue” – Bob Dylan

tl;dr with 86Box, obsolete hardware not needed

With prodding and help from Antoni Sawicki, and bits of help from others, I’ve been trying to get Dell Unix to be sustainable on modern hardware. I’d succeeded in building our SVR4 from the last sources on turn of the century and older hardware. VMware and VirtualBox options seemed plausible, but so far we haven’t gotten those to have minimally useful networking, only had slow SLIP. on Dell Unix on 86BoxThough it has been around for years, and used by Antoni before, I was unaware of 86Box until late last year when Antoni posted about it, particularly: Dell Unix on 86Box “Today let me present Dell Unix more properly, with 1024×768, 256 colors video and proper networking using emulated VGA and NIC.” That post illustrates Mosaic, FrameMaker et al.

That left the question “What about using Dell SVR4 on 86Box to build SVR4 from the sources?”

flirted with Big Sur, went back to Catalina

Monday, November 16th, 2020

“The only thing I knew how to do
Was to keep on keepin’ on like a bird that flew”
(1975) “Tangled Up In Blue” – Bob Dylan

tl;dr Updated 2015 MacBook Pro to Big Sur, regretted, restored Catalina from Time Machine, will probably get M1 MacBook (Air or Pro?) soon

Apple Event — November 10


Computer Systems Performance Modeling

Tuesday, August 25th, 2020

“Long ago, far away
Things like that don’t happen
No more, nowadays, do they?”
(1962) “Long Ago, Far Away” – Bob Dylan

Computer Systems Performance Modeling, which Professor K.M. Chandy and I wrote in 1978-9, previously published by Pearson Education, Inc. is now out of print. We are making PDF copies of lightly edited versions available under a Creative Commons license.


Remembering RESQ

Tuesday, August 25th, 2020

    T-Shirt Martin Reiser made for me

Ed MacNair and I published two books based on The Research Queueing Package, RESQ. Those books, previously published by Pearson Education, Inc. are now out of print. We are making PDF copies of lightly edited versions available under a Creative Commons license, at Simulation of Computer Communication Systems and Elements of Practical Performance Modeling. Though we have written two prior articles about RESQ history1,2, those did not cover subsequent development, so another recap seems appropriate now.


In the early 1970s, when computing capabilities were tiny, tiny, tiny compared to even a cell phone today, and those resources were typically time-shared across multiple users, queueing network models became a primary tool to analyze and improve system performance. Queueing models had been studied for years before regarding communication systems and other systems, but networks of queues seemed especially apropos for understanding time-sharing systems. Several of my fellow graduate students and I, students of Professors J.C. Browne and K.M. Chandy, decided we needed a queueing network simulation environment to accompany models solved by numerical and approximate methods. We defined and implemented QSIM3 for this purpose, including abstractions such as “passive servers”.


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

Thursday, 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.