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blog:minnie_is_now_64-bit [2015/12/31 18:10] (current)
wkt created
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 +====== Minnie is Now 64-Bit ======
 +
 +12th December 2015
 +
 +I've just moved my web site, [[http://​minnie.tuhs.org|minnie.tuhs.org]],​ to a 64-bit virtual machine with 2G of virtual RAM and 48G of SSD disk space. To me this is quite amazing because, when I first set minnie up, she ran on a 10MHz 8088 [[https://​en.wikipedia.org/​wiki/​IBM_PC_compatible|XT clone]] with 640K of RAM and a 30M RLL disk drive.
 +
 +When I was at uni (in the late 80s) I got into the [[https://​en.wikipedia.org/​wiki/​MINIX|Minix]] operating system, and I managed to bring Minix 1.2 up on my XT. It was hard work because I started with Minix 1.1 and it didn't have a driver for my [[http://​www.overclock.net/​t/​422938/​1985-seagate-st-238r-30mb| Seagate ST-238R]] hard drive controller. I had to hand-patch 1.1 up to 1.2 from the patches that Andy Tanenbaum sent out on the comp.os.minix Usenet newsgroup.
 +
 +By the time I'd got Minix working, I was hooked on operating systems and I wanted to contribute back to the community. Australia had just been [[http://​www.rogerclarke.com/​II/​OzIHist.html|connected to the Internet]] and I'd taken a job at a [[https://​www.unsw.adfa.edu.au/​unsw-adfa| university in Canberra]] with an Internet connection. My XT had been replaced by an AT clone and was sitting idle, so I set it up with [[https://​en.wikipedia.org/​wiki/​KA9Q|KA9Q NOS]], a [[http://​www.computinghistory.org.uk/​det/​37824/​Western-Digital-WD8003E-Network-Card/​| WD8003E]] thinwire Ethernet card and turned it into an FTP server to host the important Usenet postings about Minix. Google still has a copy of my [[https://​groups.google.com/​forum/#​!msg/​comp.archives/​aB15wWXAHFQ/​o1BhZZkzBlkJ|announcement of "​minnie"​ (]][[http://​minnie.tuhs.org/​minannounce.txt|cached version]]). In April 1994 minnie was running as a webserver, [[https://​web.archive.org/​web/​19981203073422/​http://​minnie.cs.adfa.edu.au/​|minnie.cs.adfa.edu.au]],​ just 3 years after the worldwide web had started. Then in [[http://​bgp.he.net/​dns/​tuhs.org#​_whois|May 2000]] I registered the //​tuhs.org//​ domain and I switched the [[https://​web.archive.org/​web/​20010501231820/​http://​minnie.tuhs.org/​|web service]] and the FTP service over to this domain.
 +
 +Each time I bought a new computer to upgrade my home system, I would pass the old hardware down to become the new minnie. So I've gone through all the major changes in PC hardware in the past 30 years: RLL, ESDI, IDE, ATA, 16-bit AT, 32-bit '386 etc. I used to keep a table of the hardware changes:
 +
 +|**Period Starting** |**CPU** |**Disk Capacity** |**Memory** |**Net Connection** |**Operating System** |
 +|Early 1990 |10MHz 8088 |30M RLL |640K |10Base2 |KA9Q NOS |
 +|Circa 1992 |20MHz 286 |80M ESDI |2M |10Base2 |JNOS |
 +|March 1993 |33MHz 386SX |140M ESDI |4M |10Base2 |386BSD 0.1 |
 +|Circa 1994 |40MHz 386DX |140M ESDI - 1G IDE |8M |10Base2 |FreeBSD 1.1.5.1 |
 +|Circa 1996 |100MHz 486 |4G - 16G IDE |16 - 32M |10BaseT |FreeBSD 2.2.8, 3.2 |
 +|May 2000 |400MHz Celeron |28G - 40G ATA |64M |100BaseTX |FreeBSD 4-STABLE |
 +|June 2004 |500MHz P3 |40G - 60G ATA |192M |100BaseTX |FreeBSD 4-STABLE |
 +|June 2005 |2.4GHz P4 |320G ATA |768M |1000BaseTX |FreeBSD 5-STABLE |
 +|June 2009 |2.4GHz P4 |500G ATA |768M |1000BaseTX |Ubuntu 9.04 |
 +
 +Around 2010 I moved minnie to a virtual machine hosted in America (we say "in the cloud" now); there was no point in trying to work out how to describe the new hardware, given that it's not real ;-)
 +
 +Minnie'​s journey also tracks my own journey through operating systems. When I started, Minix didn't have a working network stack, so I had to use KA9Q NOS on top of MS-DOS (urk!). I'd already fallen in love with [[https://​en.wikipedia.org/​wiki/​Unix|Unix]] and Unix-like systems, so when [[https://​en.wikipedia.org/​wiki/​386BSD|386BSD 0.1]] came out it was obvious that I had to move minnie to a //real// operating system. When 386BSD fell by the wayside it was over to [[https://​www.freebsd.org/​|FreeBSD]].
 +
 +FreeBSD was great fun: lots of source code, everything was configurable the way that you wanted. But at some stage I found that keeping the system patched against security vulnerabilities was difficult, and I had to recompile things from source each time there was a patch. I decided to defect over to [[https://​en.wikipedia.org/​wiki/​Linux|Linux]],​ where I could apt-get dist-upgrade to keep things up to date.
 +
 +So now it's the end of 2015. I still love the command-line,​ tweaking the configuration of things, and //vi// is still my editor of choice. But things have come a long way since I hand-patched Minix to get my ST-328R driver to work!
 +
 +\\
  
blog/minnie_is_now_64-bit.txt ยท Last modified: 2015/12/31 18:10 by wkt