1.  

    This is a godsend. I’ve been staring at my Indigo2 for months wondering how I’m going to take the next steps in getting it back online. Bam, here we go! Now I just need to get a working SCSI drive and burn these CDs to reset the root password. Thanks!

    1.  

      Use DINA instead?

      1.  

        How will DINA help if @jamestomasino doesn’t have IRIX install media?

        1.  

          It doesn’t but it saves on avoiding the clumsy install process from CDs which involves swapping disks in and out multiple times.

      2.  

        I had a full Indigo2 with graphics upgrade that got abandoned in a move. :(

        At one time we had a Challenge, a Fuel, an Octane (which I still, have, I think, or maybe an O2?), and that Indigo2.

      1. 4

        I can’t pretend I understand much of his PowerPC writing but alone that he’s working all by himself on building/patching a browser to work on this platform is a massive amount of work, not to be understated. Kudos!

        1. 1

          I’ll be impressed if he gets any of his goals done. Browsers are massively complex. I’d not even attempt such a project alone.

          1. 4

            Have a look at tenfourfox or classila and consider what you’ve just said.

            1. 1

              Oh yeah, I totally forgot the blog name was a browser I saw while back looking at PPC stuff. So, it’s that guy. Yeah, very impressive. classila’s opening paragraph also tells me it was an impressive achievement, too. I appreciate the reminder. I do have a G4 laptop sitting in the closet I could try them on at some point.

              Another that’s not well-known was Lobo, a browser in Java. It was [further] proof one didn’t need unsafe languages for the job.

              1. 4

                I didn’t know about Lobo, I’m currently enjoying netsurf. Besides working great on legacy hardware, Netsurf is secure through not having support (or at least extremely rudimentary) for javascript! ducks :)

                1. 2

                  That one is neat, too. Using subsets of current web like HTML 3.2, little CSS, and no Javascript was what I used to recommend for risk reduction where possible. I mean, no browsers at all if possible but simplest one you can use if necessary. This is pretty close. Also small enough for some embedded systems. I also like it has it’s own layout engine which gives a bit of diversity in a time when almost all browser projects are using just a few. I think Lobo did, too.

        1. 2

          congrats, very very cool :)

          1. 1

            Thanks!

          1. 4

            So Power is switching to little endian by default?

            Only slightly related, but I’ve been looking for somewhere to test a piece of code on big endian, but that seems to be rather difficult as a private person. I think the only options are to find some physical hardware on the cheap?

            I have a Pi3, and that’s supposed to be bi-endian, but I’m not sure how to go about installing a big endian Linux on it. Same goes for a Scaleway ARM virtual machine, I guess.

            1. 7

              Shell accounts at Polarhome are free for developers of open source projects (and cheap otherwise). Their Debian/PPC and Solaris/SPARC are big-endian IIRC.

              You can also run QEMU, here’s a random repo with instructions.

              1. 3

                You should be able to virtualize, Debian for example supports some Big Endian architectures. I don’t reckon it matters much though, Big Endian is definitely on the way out.

                If you do want to go physical, you can get an Octeon-based system, they’re Big Endian mips64. Mostly used in networking equipment. Cavium has an incomplete list of products using Octeon processors, stuff under the consumer tab is probably your best bet for cheap stuff.

                I have a Ubiquiti UniFi Security Gateway running on Octeon. It’s running some kind of Debian derivative, or so I assume since dpkg and the Debian package keys are present.

                $ lscpu
                Architecture:          mips64
                Byte Order:            Big Endian
                [...]
                
                $ uname -a
                Linux ubnt 3.10.20-UBNT #1 SMP Fri Nov 3 15:45:37 MDT 2017 mips64 GNU/Linux
                

                This seems consistent with the development kit information on the Cavium Octeon web page:

                OS: Linux 2.6 (SDK 2.x) for OCTEON II or Linux 3.10 (SDK 3.1.x) 64-bit SMP OS for OCTEON II & III

                My other UniFi hardware runs Little Endian ARMv7 though. Looks like processors made by either MediaTek, or Qualcomm for the wireless gizmos.

                1. 2

                  Yeah, Ubiquiti’s Octeon stuff (specifically EdgeRouter) is quite well known, it’s supported by FreeBSD and OpenBSD for example. But consumer router grade CPUs are uhhhh rather weak :(

                2. 3

                  Or just get actual POWER box. Talos II (mentioned in the article) is relatively cheap for the specs.

                  1. 3

                    It’s still very prohibitively expensive unless you’re very dedicated to having a POWER box. I have access to off-lease POWER6 boxes acquired for cheap on eBay, but those are large, loud, pour out heat, suck up electricity, and generally only desirable if you really want a POWER box but lack funds. (Not to mention the firmware bugs that IBM refused to patch for it, so newer distros don’t support POWER6.)

                    Really, the best way to play with PPC still is to buy an old Power Mac, which is kinda sad.

                    edit: interesting thread on this topic of high-end RISC systems being hard to acquire for devs, which reduces their viability on the market

                    1. 1

                      I guess I am dedicated :D

                      But I’m going to get it because it’s all FOSS, no blobs, that’s the main reason. It’s also not that expensive, considering specs. And it’s just as power hungry as similar Intel boxes. Sure, older POWER generations were much more power hungry, but things changed with POWER9.

                  2. 2

                    the IBM PDP program gives access to POWER based systems, they’ve just added 9 support but previously had 7 & 8 based systems running AIX & Suse.

                    1. 13

                      aw man I thought this was for the protocol

                      1. 2

                        ^^;

                        1. 2

                          likewise

                      1. 1

                        This is nice. There have been ports of Inferno to run on Android before, but not as an app, for example Hellaphone. I’ve often thought a neat project would be to have an Android launcher that used Inferno, so it wouldn’t require rooting a phone to run. This project gives an idea of how it could work.

                        On the inferno mailing list there have been suggestions to write apps that expose phone functionality using the Styx protocol to enable Inferno to access it. I gave an example of how sharing resources on the phone could work using Hellaphone a few years ago.

                        1. 1

                          I tried to install it on my 2012 Nexus 7” running cyanogenmod, system was not happy, will try and follow up with the project and see where the issue lies. Would be cool to have it running.

                        1. 3

                          <3

                              1. 1

                                Very cool :)

                                1. 1

                                  I wonder what about NetBSD 8. Half a year ago it was supposed to come “soon”.

                                  1. 1

                                    check the 8.0_BETA builds, the branch has been cut.

                                    1. 1

                                      I know, I’m just waiting for RELEASE :)

                                      1. 1

                                        ah :)

                                  1. 1

                                    Still no code on their GitHub profile :’(

                                    1. 3

                                      check the FAQ

                                      1. 5

                                        Needs a new distributed version control system where the versioned objects are sheets of paper and changelists are composed of paper cutouts and glue.

                                        1. 3

                                          It’ll certainly bring a fresh perspective to the “your project is still stuck on CVS?” :)

                                    1. 3

                                      If you want up to date packages for OS X Tiger (PowerPC), there’s a small subset of pkgsrc packages here. Currently from the 2017Q3 branch.

                                      1. 2

                                        There’s a homebrew fork for 10.4 and 10.5 that works well, as well, though (a) getting your hands on the needed (ancient) XCode package is nontrivial (apologies, I don’t remember the exact steps I went through to get it on mine) and (b) compilation is painfully slow. You thought installing Gentoo on your Raspberry Pi was bad…

                                        1. 1

                                          this is a compiled packages repo.

                                      1. 2

                                        I really wish there was a first class, stable/maintained docker port for FreeBSD. There are a few forks that are in various states. Last time I tried, I could get my containers running using the local docker client, but trying to connect to it remotely with a newer version of the docker client would fail.

                                        Having a solid docker solution would be a big game changer in the FreeBSD world.

                                        1. 13

                                          Having a solid docker solution would be a big game changer in the FreeBSD world.

                                          Perpetuating a level of mediocrity. How about going the other direction and organise things so you don’t need docker as a “solution” in your environment. That would be a far bigger game changer.

                                          1. 5

                                            +1 docker is an easy way to deploy applications for people with less sys admin experience, but docker more of a development tool, but in my eyes, not the beat deployment technique.

                                            If you really want docker on FreeBSD fire up a bhyve instance of Linux on BSD, and run docker there. Emulating Linux on bsd works really well on bhyve, having docker and freebsd together just opens your solid architecture up to problems, run it in a vm and if it eats memory or crashes, it won’t affect the master host.

                                            1. 2

                                              Yeah, I have a feeling nix + jails would be a better solution overall than docker on freebsd and probably already works fine.

                                          1. 2

                                            The word beer appears only 3 times? I don’t believe it.

                                            1. 2

                                              :D

                                            1. 3
                                              1. 2

                                                Looks like these Node Summit 2017 videos haven’t been made public yet.

                                                1. 1

                                                  Added a note, apologies.

                                                1. 4

                                                  That was a very interesting video to watch.

                                                  It raises some questions for me, however:

                                                  1. How much better/worse would Xanadu have actually been? It seems like it’d give more control to 3rd parties. I also think of things like pingbacks, on blogs, which rarely seem useful, although having microtransactions cracked/solved would be preferable to ads, at least as an option.
                                                  2. Did Englebart get a chance to similarly give an end of life lecture?
                                                  3. It is a bit funny to watch a guy place himself up there with Alan Kay/Englebart, and claim first invention of so many things.
                                                  4. I hope I have as much mental acuity at 80, if I make it that far.
                                                  1. 3

                                                    Regarding point #3, would this change you opinion?

                                                    1. 4

                                                      There’s also this from Woz at the same event.

                                                      I personally think Computer Lib / Dream Machines was a great book, and it was published at just about the right time (1974) that its ideas of pervasive individual DIY control over computers were slightly but not unrealistically ahead of their time, just becoming plausible to implement. I’m less enamored by Xanadu really, especially the later claims that it would’ve been much better than hypertext as it actually happened. But hey, of course he’d have that opinion.

                                                      Anecdote: I sat next to him on a plane once. I was heading to AAMAS 2008 and he was apparently heading to keynote a conference in Portugal somewhere. I didn’t recognize him and probably wouldn’t have initiated a conversation. But he saw me editing some LaTeX document on my laptop and asked what I did, so I said I was a CS grad student. I politely reciprocated and asked him what he did and he said something like, “oh a lot of things, but people mostly know me for coining ‘hypertext’”. Then I got a lengthy demo of a version of ZigZag.

                                                      1. 2

                                                        It does give it more context. Thanks for the link

                                                      2. 1

                                                        I also think of things like pingbacks, on blogs, which rarely seem useful, although having microtransactions cracked/solved would be preferable to ads, at least as an option.

                                                        Pingbacks mostly seem to be a way to circumvent the comment-spam-blocker. It seems to be a good idea to see everything which links to something. However, it requires filtering and nobody has solved that yet afaik.

                                                        Do you suggest micropayments to solve the comment spam problem, like “pay 1c to comment”? Or do you generally prefer paywalls to ad-selling-click-spam, like “pay 10c to read the blog”?

                                                        1. 3

                                                          To be honest, I’d rather have something akin to Youtube Red or Flattr, likely, where I pay a fixed amount in, and that amount is split among the sites I visit, excepting payment for larger things like books.

                                                          It seems that Patreon is the first major platform to start taking a bite out of ads for a decent subset of creative types.

                                                      1. 7

                                                        Among the many fun details, they have notes about making exploits reliable. Don’t want to crash the target or make a lot of noise that the user might notice. Fortunately (for attackers) when WiFi crashes the user just sees an icon blink and then it restarts and you’re ready for another attempt.

                                                        Theres a lot one can learn about how we build reliable “self healing” systems.

                                                        1. 1

                                                          Is this what Tanenbaum was talking about?

                                                          1. 6

                                                            Actually, yes, in a bad way. Funny, Colin Percival asked a question about this very topic after a talk at a BSD con. How do you defend against exploits? “Just let it crash and restart.” Tanenbaum didn’t seem to grasp the idea that there are outcomes worse than crashing.

                                                            To elaborate on my point, device manufacturers have given up on making WiFi reliable, but users don’t like phones that don’t work. So the solution is to just keep restarting things. Make it all as invisible as possible. Of course, as noted, this allows an attacker to launch many attacks without notice.

                                                            But they are not alone in this attitude. How do you make a server web scale reliable? “while (1) restart();”

                                                            What’s often called fault tolerance is perhaps better described as fault masking. Maybe that’s ok, but sometimes it’s not.

                                                            1. 1

                                                              ah :)