Quake on HPPA (Gecko) NeXTSTEP

So forever ago I had done a super bare port of Quake to NeXTSTEP.  It was based on a copy of UAE 0.6.0 source code that included hooks for NeXTSTEP.  So seizing on this I built a shaky framework and amazingly got it to work.  Well work enough I had trouble with the mouse part, and never did get around to fixing it, but I kicked it out into the world.  And amazingly the HPPA cross compiled version that I compiled but never tested runs!

My whole misadventure is on nextcomputers.org, and blakespot has a blog about finding the gecko and it’s 32bit video modes here.

The Infocom Cabinet

You haven't played Planetfall??

What? You haven’t played Planetfall??


Over on archive.org:

A collection of digitized scans from a large cache of documents related to the game publisher Infocom, Inc. of Cambridge, MA. Assembled by Steven Meretzky of Infocom.

During his time at Infocom, Steve Meretzky meticulously gathered thousands of pages of notes, journals, maps, memos, forms and other printable materials related to all aspects of Infocom, and kept them in his basement for decades. During the GET LAMP production, Jason Scott scanned in roughly 9,000 pages of these documents across a number of months, borrowing the materials from Steve and scanning them as quickly as possible, at around 600dpi. From these scans, a portion was used in the GET LAMP movie to illustrate various scenes and descriptions by interviewees.

Pretty cool!

Includes detailed information on the Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy, Planetfall parts 1 & part 2, Stationfall, Zork Zero, Leather Gods of Phobos, production schedules and ZIL the interpretive language.   And other goodies!

Great thanks to Steven Meretzky for being a hoarder (aka archiver) and Jason Scott for being a bigger hoarder, and digitizer sharing everything for all!

Snoopy – a basic packet sniffer for Windows

(this is a guest post by Tenox)

A few days ago I wrote a basic packet sniffer / analyzer for Windows for fun. I was working with raw sockets for another application and out of curiosity winged a small packet sniffer in just 200 lines of code. I actually used it already several times to resolve some firewall port blocking issues, instead of spinning up Wireshark, so I decided to release it to public.

The good:

  • Portable, a single, tiny exe
  • Easy to use
  • Doesn’t install any driver like libpcap
  • Extensible, just 200 lines of simple code

The bad:

  • It’s very basic and doesn’t allow anything outside of simple unicast TCP, UDP and ICMP, most importantly layer 2, broadcasts, multicasts, etc are out of question
  • Currently it doesn’t directly support filtering, however you can just pipe it to findstr to filter for anything you want

Raw socket limitations are possibly the biggest issue, but if you just want to find out simple stuff like traffic going to a given port or ip address it’s a perfect little handy dandy tool to carry around.

To use snoopy you specific IP address of the interface on which you want to listen:

snoopy1There also is a verbose mode which shows some more detailed protocol information:

snoopy2Today I decode ICMP message types, TCP flags, sequence, ack and window numbers and DSCP, ECN, TTL and Dont Fragment flags for IP. I’m thinking of embedding /etc/protocols and /etc/services in a .h file to resolve them on the fly.

Bug reports and suggestions most welcome!

Available here: http://www.tenox.net/out#snoopy


OpenNT – Windows NT 4.5

(This is a guest post from Tenox)

Just stumbled across this: someone has forked Windows NT 4.0 and created an open source version of it. But wait, forked what? Windows source code doesn’t live on Github. Is it ReactOS? No! Upon some digging, it was apparently born from the leaked source code of NT4.0, some W2K bits and 2003 WRK.

Enter NT version 4.5:

NT45Test-2015-04-27-18-20-37More screenshots here: http://www.opennt.net/projects/opennt/wiki/Screenshots

The main project site: http://www.opennt.net/

Looking at activity the project seems to be alive and well. There is some background information and discussion going on BetaArchive for those interested.

I wonder what Microsoft has to say about this :)

NVIDIA GRID – GPU Virtualization under Windows

(this is a guest post by Tenox)

I spent a day evaluating NVIDIA GRID K1 card, which is a GPU for high end, graphics intensive desktop virtualization (VDI) deployments. Otherwise called vGPU. What does it actually mean?

gridk1As you can see on the stock photo, the card doesn’t have VGA, HDMI, DVI, DP or any video output port what so ever. The output happens purely through Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) extension called RemoteFX. On VMware and Citrix it works little bit different but I will be covering Windows / Hyper-v installation only.

The GRID K1 is somewhat similar to Quadro card so the driver is not your usual GeForce package, but the experience is quite similar nevertheless. Upon installation you see 4 different physical GPUs in Device manager:

grid1This works similarly to having multiple CPU cores that show up as separate processors in the OS. Here is a first fun fact: you can’t actually use any of these directly, as they simply have no output port and can’t display any graphics… Instead, you have to use Hyper-v with RemoteFX extension:

grid2Then for each guest machine, you add a RemoteFX graphics card as hardware:

grid3In order to use RemoteFX you need to Remote Desktop (RDP) to the guest machine. The protocol is fortunately available since version 7.1 so even Windows 7 can use it. However only Enterprise editions of Windows support it.

Inside the guest VM you see a virtual RemoteFX Display Adapter in the Device Manager:

grid4And as you can see Direct3D is available and enabled. Note that this is over RDP to a VM! The VM’s console curiously displays following message:

grid5Hard to show on static screenshots, but I have to say that RemoteFX user experience is noticeably better compared to a regular RDP. Everything works smoother and faster, scrolling pages, moving windows is a snap. You can play videos / YouTube, etc. But I was more interested in real use case which are high end 3D applications. So I proceeded to install Steam…

remotefx2Yes! this is GTA V running over Remote Desktop in a VM!

remotefx3The frame rate sucks quite considerably, even in safe mode, but it was playable and quite responsive (no lag). I actually spent couple of hours going through it and except for low FPS had no issues.

I also spun up this Wyse Thin Client terminal:

20151111_215651146_iOSdisconnected my RDP session and reconnected from the terminal… poof the game was still going:

20151111_232610662_iOSI even got sound out of the little thing.

I suspect that the low FPS is rather to do with small GPU horse power and vRAM assigned rather that with remote viewing or NVIDIA itself. Unfortunately in Hyper-v it’s impossible to control or fine tune assignment of GPU resources to a particular VM beyond simple on/off switch. The K1 card supports 32 users, so I was only getting 1/32th power and RAM. Perhaps I could have spawned 32 VMs with GTA. Or Call Of Duty multiplayer….

In ending notes I have to conclude that this is a rather interesting technology. According to NVIDIA, Cloud is future of Gaming. In fact they already have cloud game streaming service:


Beware of campers who now will be able to disconnect from online games for months at a time.


QNX Updates

(this is a guest post by Tenox)

A few interesting things have happened in QNX area in a last month or so.

First of all, there is a QNX BSP for Raspberry PI:

qnxrpiIt’s an early developer release, not fully complete, but it does boot and work. It adds an interesting os beside RISC OS and Plan9 to the Pi family. The BSP is available from SHC Products. They have a binary and source code version.

Secondly, in the archaeology department, this has surfaced:


But even more interestingly I’ve found a beta / preliminary release v0.4 of QNX:

qunixCan’t wait to get the disk images :)


Blue Lion

While I was sleeping this happened:

That is right, a new re-release of OS/2.  But don’t go all too crazy the targeted release date is Q3 2016.

That being said, they don’t apparently have source code, so yeah.  Me?  I still run OS/2 2.0, and I really don’t see much need in upgrading.  It runs MS-DOS just fine.  At the same time, I really wonder how much IBM charges to brand out your own version of OS/2?  Not that I really need one.

PHP 5.4 is now obsolete on Debian

While doing an update, I got this fun message:

php5 (5.4.45-0+deb7u2) wheezy-security; urgency=medium

* PHP 5.4 has reached end-of-life on 14 Sep 2015 and as a result there
will be no more new upstream releases. The security support of PHP
5.4 in Debian will be best effort only and you are strongly advised
to upgrade to latest stable Debian release that includes PHP 5.6 that
will reach end of security support on 28 Aug 2017.

-- OndÅej Surý <ondrej@debian.org> Sun, 04 Oct 2015 17:05:37 +0200

Time to upgrade!

After a bit of digging around here is how I did it.  I’m moving from PHP 5.4 to PHP 5.6

# php --version
PHP 5.4.45-0+deb7u2 (cli) (built: Oct 17 2015 09:01:48)
Copyright (c) 1997-2014 The PHP Group
Zend Engine v2.4.0, Copyright (c) 1998-2014 Zend Technologies

Ok, so here is the version I’m starting with on Debian 7.9 (Wheezy). During this process, I’m using unsigned packages so get used to this fine message, and packages being held back, unless I manually install them:

Reading package lists... Done
W: GPG error: http://packages.dotdeb.org wheezy Release: The following signatures couldn't be verified because the public key is not available: NO_PUBKEY E9C74FEEA2098A6E
W: GPG error: http://packages.dotdeb.org wheezy-php56-zts Release: The following signatures couldn't be verified because the public key is not available: NO_PUBKEY E9C74FEEA2098A6E
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.

But if you can read this, then it worked!

First add these to the /etc/apt/sources.lst file:

deb http://packages.dotdeb.org wheezy all
deb-src http://packages.dotdeb.org wheezy all
deb http://packages.dotdeb.org wheezy-php56-zts all
deb-src http://packages.dotdeb.org wheezy-php56-zts all

Then we can run the usual apt-get update / apt-get upgrade shuffle.

On my first run I got this fun output:

The following packages have been kept back:
libapache2-mod-php5 libmysqlclient18 mysql-server php-pear php5 php5-cli
php5-common php5-gd php5-mysql
The following packages will be upgraded:
1 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 9 not upgraded

So I went ahead and updated mysql-common.  And during that upgrade I got the new message:

WARNING: The following packages cannot be authenticated!
Install these packages without verification [y/N]? y

So yes these packages are all unsigned. :(

After this, I ran:

# apt-get install php5

And got the following scary looking output

The following extra packages will be installed:
libapache2-mod-php5 libt1-5 libvpx1 php5-cli php5-common php5-gd php5-mysql
Suggested packages:
Recommended packages:
The following NEW packages will be installed:
libt1-5 libvpx1
The following packages will be upgraded:
libapache2-mod-php5 php5 php5-cli php5-common php5-gd php5-mysql
6 upgraded, 2 newly installed, 0 to remove and 3 not upgraded.
Need to get 7,659 kB of archives.
After this operation, 5,220 kB of additional disk space will be used.
Do you want to continue [Y/n]? y
WARNING: The following packages cannot be authenticated!
php5-mysql php5-cli php5-gd libapache2-mod-php5 php5-common php5
Install these packages without verification [y/N]? y

And then finally, after another apt-get update / apt-get upgrade I finally get this output:

The following packages have been kept back:
libmysqlclient18 mysql-server
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 2 not upgraded.

So just update the held back packages and get it over with.

apt-get install libmysqlclient18 mysql-server

Ugh, it isn’t pretty.  But now we are on the newer train of PHP!

# php --version
PHP 5.6.14-1~dotdeb+zts+7.1 (cli) (built: Oct 2 2015 03:39:20)
Copyright (c) 1997-2015 The PHP Group
Zend Engine v2.6.0, Copyright (c) 1998-2015 Zend Technologies
with Zend OPcache v7.0.6-dev, Copyright (c) 1999-2015, by Zend Technologies

Hopefully things continue to work.

DooM shovelware CD archive!



In the mid 90’s the CD-ROM format was becoming insanely popular, and seen as a ‘get rich quick’ scheme for a brief time.  And of course one of the greatest, customizable games ever, DooM is from that era!  Combine the two, and you have an awesome collection of shovelware CD’s featuring DooM utilities, mods, and levels!

Perhaps one of the more popular CD-ROM distributors was Walnut Creek, which had a good relationship with FreeBSD.  Oddly enough it would eventually merge with BSDi, and split, merge, acquire, become acquired by others.

Archive.org has their massive CD-ROM collection online!  And, it of course includes the DooM 1994 CD.