Archive for the ‘operating systems’ Category

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.

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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.

Pre-History

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”.

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[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.

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koko: reviving timbl’s WorldWideWeb browser

Monday, 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

Monday, 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. (more…)