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Stephen Fry rewrites computer history again: This time it's serious

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Stephen is plainly unaware, to begin with, that CP/M was not a piece of IBM software. It was actually created by Digital Research founder Dr Gary Kildall. With CP/M Dr Kildall (not Bill Gates) had truly pioneered the portable operating system for microcomputers – an operating system capable of running on different kinds of hardware that created a common platform for application developers and users – and the low-cost licensing model that went with it.

Worse, it seems clear that Mr Fry is also unaware that the QDOS which Gates so hastily bought up to offer to IBM under the name MS-DOS was a poor-quality effort (QDOS actually stands for Quick and Dirty Operating System) which had been created by simply copying code straight out of CP/M.

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Site Migration Imminent (Updatex6)

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Update #1 (Sunday 9PM GMT): We are expecting to have the virtual machine for the site ready some time by the end of the day. It will run CentOS. A complete snapshot of the site's files (not database) has been copied over to San Diego (security- and privacy-oriented host).

Update #2 (Tuesday 10AM GMT): The target VM is now ready.

Update #3 (Thursday 8AM GMT): It seems likely that this migration will be delayed to ensure quality (no downtime) and adequate operation after the migration.

Update #4 (Thursday 6PM GMT): Data is being copied across at the moment.

Update #5 (Thursday 6PM GMT): Databases frozen in their current state to be copied across.

Update #6 (Friday 11AM GMT): The migration is complete. The databases in use are nearly a day old (but identical except statistics). Please report any issues you still find to r@schestowitz.com. DNS servers may take a while longer to synchronise and there will be another short maintenance window for resolving a minor issue.

SOME TIME in the coming week we will attempt to migrate the Web site and upgrade it, bringing improvements and making all the software up to date. This task is complicated because many modules are involved, several content management systems make up the site, a lot of data is being migrated, and replacements for existing modules may be difficult - if not altogether impossible - to find.

Qualcomm gobbles Palm patents after rummaging around HP's backroom

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HP, meanwhile, looks to unload another piece of a Palm business it paid $1.2bn to acquire in 2010 and then all but killed off just a year later. After being mothballed by HP management, Palm's flagship WebOS platform was eventually sold off to LG, where it has since been remade as a platform for the company's smart TV line.

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How Linux became my job

I've been using open source since what seems like prehistoric times. Back then, there was nothing called social media. There was no Firefox, no Google Chrome (not even a Google), no Amazon, barely an internet. In fact, the hot topic of the day was the new Linux 2.0 kernel. The big technical challenges in those days? Well, the ELF format was replacing the old a.out format in binary Linux distributions, and the upgrade could be tricky on some installs of Linux. Read more

Linux 4.16-rc2

It's been a quiet week, and rc2 is out. I take the fairly quiet rc be a good sign for 4.16, but honestly, rc2 is often fairly calm. That's probably because people are taking a breather after the merge window, but also simply because it might take a while to find any issues. But let's be optimistic, and just assume - at least for now - that it's because all is well. The diffstat is fairly odd, but that often happens with small rc's just because then just a couple of pulls will skew things easily in one or two directions. This time the patch is about one third architecture updates (arm64, x86, powerpc), one third tooling (mostly 'perf') and one third "rest". And yes, the bulk of that rest is drivers (gpu, nvme, sound, misc), but those drivers are still distinctly *not* the bulk of the whole patch. Go out and test, it all looks fine. Read more Also: Linux 4.16-rc2 Kernel Released

OpenStreetMap in IkiWiki and Why OpenStreetMap is in Serious Trouble

  • OSM in IkiWiki
    Since about 15 years ago, I have been thinking of creating a geo-referenced wiki of pubs, with loads of structured data to help searching. I don't know if that would be useful for anybody else, but I know I would use it! Sadly, the many times I started coding something towards that goal, I ended blocked by something, and I keep postponing my dream project.
  • Why OpenStreetMap is in Serious Trouble
    That said, while I still believe in the goals of OpenStreetMap, I feel the OpenStreetMap project is currently unable to fulfill that mission due to poor technical decisions, poor political decisions, and a general malaise in the project. I'm going to outline in this article what I think OpenStreetMap has gotten wrong. It's entirely possible that OSM will reform and address the impediments to its success- and I hope it does. We need a Free as in Freedom geographic dataset.

Linux KPI-Based DRM Modules Now Working On FreeBSD 11

Thanks to work done by Hans Petter Selasky and others, this drm-next-kmod port is working on FreeBSD 11 stable. What's different with this package from the ports collection versus the ported-from-Linux Direct Rendering Modules found within the FreeBSD 11 kernel is that these DRM modules are using the linuxkpi interface. Read more