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Chaos Communication Congress upcoming

2008-12-24 by tg@
Tags: event

I have just placed a couple of MirOS CDs and flyers (English and French only though ☺) in the hands of a friend while helping him to move to Berlin. Either him or Benny (bsiegert@) or Andreas (gecko2@) will distribute them at 25C3, or we’ll place them somewhere. I (tg@) will not attend, replaced (ahoka@) probably neither. You might be able to track down Benny in between some of the talks if you have any questions regarding MirPorts and MirOS, though.

To these who do, happy celebrating! is an mksh(1) shell script able to convert from Subversion repositories (remote access via URLs, needs installed svn client) to RCS/CVS repositories (local access via pathnames, needs installed rcs(1) ci(1) co(1) GNU RCS, as well as cvs(1) GNU CVS, for rcsfile(5) handling). For more information, see the included help as well as the commit message.

If you have any improvements or requests regarding this script, please contact me or the miros-discuss@ mailing list. There is a discussion thread for it.

In case you didn’t, read cvs(GNU) a.k.a. The Cederqvist! Another source of CVS tricks is courtesy of «ThunderChicken:#cvs» and includes some from myself.

The 13.rcs(PSD) documentation and rcsintro(1) are online as well!


2008-12-17 by tg@

Today I updated a couple of things (Perl, OpenSSL, OpenSSH, libpng, Lynx, Sendmail) in MirOS-current. Should be pretty much all needed, and stuff should still be working.

XFree86® 4.8.0 is out, we’ll update once we have human resources to do it.

The next snapshot may not contain the newer X11 unless stable. If imported and stable before the #11 release (whose criteria include OpenBSD merge), it’ll be used there.

Today I’ve got an interview at a potential new employer. *crosses fingers* Wish me luck. Or employ me. (Donations to be used for travel and accomodation for “events” are still desired for all of us developers.)

mksh R36b

2008-12-14 by tg@
Tags: mksh

mksh R36b is out, grab it while it’s still hot ☺ There’s an impressive change list for a mere bug-fix version, and this is the first one where ahoka@ has contributed directly. Upgrade is recommended for all users. The new memory allocator has been backed out for stability.

MirOS-current has mksh R36b plus some changes from mksh-current, mostly renaming set -o utf8-hack to set -o utf8-mode denoting said technology is solid after ages of testing. MirOS-stable has R36b.

wb bleu (X40)

2008-12-10 by tg@
Tags: hardware

Yay, the IBM X40 is back. No explanatory letter, just an invoice over 0 € (funny), but it works. The BIOS clock was off by an hour, I suppose they have booted a Windows® — maybe its “driver” has fixed the graphics chip. So I can go back trying to build a working snapshot again.

And never boot a GNU/Linux, especially not KNOPPIX!

PACKSTATION rules! Even though I yet have to figure out how to use it for sending out a snail mail package.

Maybe I should just go and get stuff for soldering odem back to life, though. Anyone want to buy an otherwise perfectly fine working IBM X40 with docking station and laptop bag? It’s not used much even by the previous owner (french company) and in good state.

We have Mirzilla Firetapir now, but I need to figure out how to get a cleanly separated xorg-reachover port for MidnightBSD done… unless I’ll be porting XFree86® (client part only) over.

I’ll still be using nwt this evening for recreation. And the win2k box nocd has RANDEX in Cygwin, using tinyirc, irssi, and mirsirc. I should definitively create a webpage on the site here for randex. Maybe make a tinyirc port — once it can deal with SIGWINCH…

Some search engine bait: Tom Kohnen, thanks for your old nwt laptop. The MirOS OPTU-8 encoding does UTF-8 (WTF-8?) and CESU-8, while OPTU-16 can do UTF-16 in pcc. Mirzilla Firetapir is the Vutral name for Mozilla Firefox, ports/www/firesomething. Vutral too helped to invent the MirOS RANDEX protocol (entropy exchange over IRC), which has nothing to do with the Win32 worm, just random numbers. My graphician — smultron — needs to expand mksh and I suggested, besides letter spelling (em ka es ha, or for the English, em kay es aytch), or the “polish/klingon variant” (m’ksh), or the official expansion “MirBSD Korn Shell”, he call it “MidnightBSD Korn Shell”. The invalid ones were “make shell” or em kay shell, this is something else. On a side note, we’ll be having a logo for mksh(1) soonish.

website updates

2008-12-04 by tg@

If you look carefully, you might notice small changes to the website, both HTML and RSS versions. Enjoy!

Netcraft confirms: my IBM X40 is dying

2008-11-27 by tg@
Tags: hardware

Well, maybe not Netcraft. But I couldn't resist the joke, having been a regular Slashdot reader for years, seeing its quality sink, until I suddenly could not login any more with lynx(1), best browser ever.

This morning, I tried to power it on from cold state, and could not even see that password (machine + IDE) prompt. After I typed blindly, I was able to use Fn-F7 (seems as if it's not enabled that early in the boot process), but only for less than one second each try, despite unplugging the AC power supply again. Well, I made it through the boot and shut down the box cleanly again, but it confirms that it's not a heat issue. But what else could it have been? At first I thought that maybe the PSU sent too much current or something, but that's also not it. Perhaps Tonnerre is right and it's all Knoppix' fault ;)

Looks like I'm going to do some hacking on nwt today...

Laptops — IBM X40 vs MiTAC 4023

2008-11-26 by tg@
Tags: hardware bug

Today, I intended to do some hacking too, maybe on that new allocator for mksh again. However, I never came that far.

Michael "tazz" Kristensen decided he'd try MirBSD. He wanted to boot from a USB stick, before he found out his computer couldn't (now what a surprise, if you ask me...). Since he has a GNU/Linux and GNU grub running, I'd thought we could use memdisk (from SYSLINUX) to boot off the ISO as if it were a hard disc. I ended up making him a hard disc image with a small FAT12 partition (just IO.SYS, MSDOS.SYS, COMMAND.COM and BOOT.COM – a.k.a. /usr/mdec/boot) and a small 4.2FFS MirBSD partition (just bsd.rd), which worked. However, I first needed to produce a test hard disc (image) into which I could place GNU grub, memdisk and the fake disc image. For that, I booted Knoppix 4.0.2, and from then on (coïncidentally or not) strange things started to happen...

My shiny new IBM ThinkPad X40 started to blank the screen while I was typing (so it wasn't a screen saver issue). Fn-F7, waiting for half a minute or so, and Fn-F7 again brought back the screen. It did not come from moving, and it's not the inverter (I checked with a flashlight, the TFT is really out). Anyway, it continued to work for quite a while. Sadly, the intervals it would work eventually got as short as a few seconds. I found out that unplugging the AC power supply helped... for a while. The intervals eventually got down there as well. Cleaning the fan I tried, but it does not seem like a heat issue either.


I cannot simply afford another laptop. I bought this one because it was popular with the OpenBSD people... while the hardware is working nicely, the TFT is a tad small, the keyboard is an absolute shame, and the "mouse" buttons... well, let's just not talk about any IBM laptops, okay? — Nevertheless, I need it for work, development, and other (private or not) things. Fuck.

This wlog entry has been written on a MiTAC 4023 laptop. While it only has a DSTN (or STN?) LCD, 12 MiB RAM, a Cyrix 486DLC CPU with, I believe, 33 MHz, it works (despite the aged custom MirBSD #8-current single-user-only mostly-crunchgen(1)d installation).

Tom "nwt" Kohnen, einer der beiden Luxemburger, von denen ich viel halte, wenn Du wüßtest, wie oft Dein alter Laptop, den Du für wertloser als den Nike-Sticker, mit dem er beklebt ist, gehalten hast, mir schon den Arsch gerettet hat... Leider bist Du nicht mehr im IRC, aber falls Du dies liest, fühl Dir gedankt!

pcc and Win32

2008-11-25 by tg@
Tags: pcc snippet unicode

I think I’m quite finished with the Unicode stuff. You can now do really weird things like this:

今日は(const struct person *$kunde)
        printf("Γεια σου %ls!", $kunde->имя);

ISO C99 permits it.

On the other hand, pcc on Win32 appears broken, cannot be compiled either natively (e.g. due to use of “long long” and other bogus things which may be C99 but not MS-C90) nor cross from GNU/Cygwin32 (because the Win32 port seems to be orphaned and, even if I try to fix these things, it doesn’t work for me). So I couldn't get it to build a simple MessageBoxW() hello world program.

I wonder what the reception of my patch will be. I wish support for wchar_t were a release goal, then I could try to tap into that BSD func *smile* but anyway, I was just bored, and we need wchar_t support in pcc anyway, and better I do it than some ISO-2022-JP fanboy. And that above example… well, three more lines of code, so that you can actually write “int blöd;” ipv “int bl\u00F6d;” ☻☺ I think it’s worth it, even if such can confuse the hell out of people trying to read your code.

This thread contains the patches (three versions, until now… use today’s please), in case you want to help testing.

pcc and OPTU — and just how much Mirzilla Firetapir sucks

2008-11-23 by tg@
Tags: pcc unicode bug

Today, I was sort of bored, so I enhanced something other than our libc, namely pcc, with support for Unicode/UTF and wide character literals and strings. Kind of fun it was.

Still missing is support for \uXXXX literals in multibyte strings (need ucs2utf function for that, which can be taken from our libc again), and, maybe, automatic UTF-16/CESU-8 conversions, if the target has UCS-2 (MirBSD, Windows) and the host doesn’t, or so.

Every single time Benny works on ports/www/firesomething, it sinks in my esteem. Generating crypto keys during fake install is not how things should be done (use a post-pkg_add script!). And I still think it’s only rumours that it had been rewritten after the Netscape® code was opened — it would be better than before then, not worse. I’d rather shoot myself than publish such filth, if, like Benny says, the code had indeed been rewritten. Well, at least it is aware how insecure it is and kills itself:

14:46⎜«benz» Nov 23 16:40:29 mirbulk firesomething-bin: stack overflow in function virtual nsresult nsCryptoHash::Finish(PRBool, nsACString_internal&)

And if he wouldn’t document this in a wlog entry, I do ☻☺

But then, I don’t believe him totally unaware:

14:09⎜«benz» The name "Minefield" is strangely appropriate

galloc and OPTU

2008-11-22 by tg@
Tags: unicode mksh

aalloc was a failure and prone to mis-type; I’ve started on galloc, which is supposed to be even more type-safe and flexible, yet still segfaults on me as well.

In the meanwhile, to not stay bored, I enhanced the Unicode (MirOS OPTU-8/OPTU-16) function suite in MirBSD and hacked an implementation of Plan 9’s Rune functions — dubbed p9¾_*.c due to usage of our “internationalisation like Plan 9, just on the next layer, and within the confines of UNIX®” approach to internationalisation. These (as well as some well-known ones like wcsrtombs(3)) should be OPTU safe, and we now have a macro telling us if a wide character is part of the OPTU Raw Octet codepoint range (in the CSUR PUA assignment).

I’ve contacted Bruno Haible again because his libutf8 misses the Unicode Title case (complementing Upper and Lower case)… I’ve got an idea how to implement it but would like to double-check with him to ensure nothing breaks. The Plan 9 functions need it (these two are currently implemented as stubs that just throw ENOCOFFEE).

The number of manual pages also raised…

I built XFree86® with a (slightly beefed up) Reiser CCCP in use as sole C Præprocessor now… and have yet to notice failures in operation. Now we’ll have to find out what else stuff is there depending on the existence of /usr/bin/cpp, possibly switching it, like the <> mirmake(1) file, to ${CC} -E - (which is not 100% compatible, because cpp can also read from stdin without the dash, whereas, with the dash, neither can read from only a file). X11 etc. can be switched to /usr/libexec/cpp then.

aalloc and COFF

2008-11-17 by tg@
Tags: mksh

I got (E)COFF executables to work, even though I cannot produce them except with a hand-crafted binary yet. Maybe these produced by kencc work now.

I didn’t get the time or nerve to continue hacking on aalloc today… the whole pointers thing in C is so useless. If I could use assembly, it were so trivial. Anyway, the TPtr data type will probably have to get lost, and I plan on using more temporary local variables for overview.

Besides a beer discussion, IRC channel today featured plans on getting a temporary setup of fast enough machines for crossbuilding OpenJDK; replaced confirmed that someone had success in doing what I planned, although the nōn-free JDK 1.5 only. We’ll see…

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