foone Profile picture
12 Jan, 36 tweets, 7 min read
Today's pickup: A GW-12887-1! This is a replacement for the DS-12887 chip, with a replaceable battery instead of one embedded in plastic.
The reason? This thread's rack-mounted PC:
It had a DS12887A soldered to the board, for the clock & BIOS settings. While some systems will let you get by with a dead BIOS battery, this was not one of them.
So I desoldered the dead DS12887 and soldered in a slightly-incorrectly-sized socket.
And today, about two weeks later? BAM!
we've got a replacement.
So now I can stick it into backplane with the ILLEGAL VGA CARD and hopefully get it to work this time.
And it boots! well, it doesn't boot. but it gets past the POST screen, and then complains there's nothing to boot from.

Which means it works! yay!
of course the main problem with it taking 2 weeks to get the replacement DS12887 and the battery is that now I'm not really sure what my plan was with this board. I was certain there was something I needed to do with it.
oh yeah! I wanted to try to dual-boot the QNX installed on it.
I just gotta figure out where the heck I put that drive
Found it. I thought it'd just be connected to my archive machine, but it's been two weeks! of course I archived something else.
Well that's underwhelming
so, how do I log in? let's see from my extracted files.
We've got a couple accounts on /etc/passwd, but no encrypted passwords. oh god, shadow passwords.
although it's an old QNX. and apparently they implemented their own crypt()... and a slashdot post from 2000 says it was cracked
oh fuck me, it's a reversible encryption?
you ever log into a system and it's been almost 21 years since the last time anyone logged into it?
but yeah. for anyone keeping track, the passwords for the accounts were all "avcs", except for root, which was "Guede'"
and now I gotta figure out what the qnx equivalent of "startx" is
the answer is apparently "windows", confusingly enough.
And we've got a GUI! technically.
of course I have no mouse. lemme go find a serial mouse

and a serial port.
Got a serial mouse!
Although I have no idea if it should be in MS or PC mode
uh-oh. that's probably not a good thing sign
I rebooted and it works now. I'm not gonna ask.

It seems there's nothing unusual installed in the graphical environment, they must have done all the work in the text mode (or through terminals in graphical mode)
Windows Info.
Let's see if the "Press Esc for alternate OS" works, and I can boot Windows.
nope, it just boots QNX faster.
so either they didn't actually intend to ever boot windows (then why is it still on the disk?) or they had to use a boot disk to get into windows
LEARN TO USE LILO, PEOPLE
23 years!
huh. after launching the GUI twice, it now realizes I have no license for it.

or rather that my license is expired since it's been a couple decades?
ahh, no, it's just a bug caused by trying to enter graphical mode from the root account.
it won't work, but it leaves it in a broken state, so even when you switch to a normal account, it still doesn't work
it uses a cute version of Xeyes (which is just Eyes, because there's no X)
it's all square! like a robot!
if you want to decrypt your own QNX4 passwords, the code is here:
web.archive.org/web/2001010500…

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More from @Foone

14 Jan
Something that I didn't realize but hurt my brain to learn:
John Norman (aka John Frederick Lange Jr.), of the Gor series of sci-fi/BDSM novels, is still alive.
He released two books (one of them a Gor book, #35), in 2019. Image
I guess with the fact that the series started in 1966 and feels like it's always a historical thing... I assumed he had to have quit writing and/or died back in like 1986.

Nope. Still alive, he's 89, and was apparently still writing as of 2 years ago.
also, my brain being what it is, I totally just googled for the book's cover image by entering "trans man of gor" which is NOT the title.
Read 14 tweets
14 Jan
gonna get in line for the vaccine because I've heard all these urban legends about tracking microchips

and I think I might be able to root it and install Doom
supposedly bill gates is involved, right?
so it's probably like a miniaturized 386 running ROM-DOS.
the doctor walks in, looks down at my charts, and sighs.
"well, the bad news is that you've got the virus. I'm sorry..."
"and the good news?"
"well..."
*at doom's gate starts faintly playing from my lungs*
Read 44 tweets
14 Jan
My favorite part of being sick with ADHD (by which I mean having ADHD and being sick for unrelated reasons, I'm not ill with ADHD, at least not any more than usual) is when you're too tired to do more than one thing at once, but this doesn't affect your need for stimulation
so you're doing one thing while trying and failing to find something you can do as the second thing. I've refreshed reddit, twitter, tumblr, and ebay about 20 times each, tried to work on about 4 hardware and 2 software projects, and it's just not working
so I'm just laying back in my chair watching some letsplayer shoot zombies on youtube and VIBRATING WITH ADHD BOREDOM
Read 22 tweets
13 Jan
fun fact: for a brief period in the early 2000s, Microsoft tried to increase the number of users who would register their software by employing hypnosis Image
This is actually the registration card that came with this odd piece of microsoft hardware. It's a set-top box from 2001 which displays JPEGs on your TV, off floppy disks. Image
I guess the idea is that it let you use a big living room TV to look at photos, instead of a small PC CRT? Image
Read 64 tweets
13 Jan
shout out to ebay who periodically decides my search on "minisport" isn't getting enough results, so it decides I must have spelled it wrong, and corrects it to "mini sport", then suggests "men sport", and I get emails like this: Image
I DO NOT WANT TINY BASKETBALLS, EBAY
I WANT ZENITH MINISPORTS Image
anyway I went in and fixed the search to have quotes in it.
ebay will fiddle with your searches unless you quote it, but sometimes it may take months before that has a noticeable effect
Read 5 tweets
13 Jan
Here's a CPT Phoenix Jr Terminal on ebay.
And wow, it's... weird!
Check out that portrait CRT, and angled keyboard! Image
It seems they tried to make the keyboard symmetric for... reasons, but the left numpad isn't a numpad, it's just got a bunch of custom keys, like TASK and PARA and LINE/SKIP/OUT/ADJ.
I imagine that was designed for customizing for the specific terminal task in mind? Image
Real Monitors Have Curves Image
Read 28 tweets

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