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Too clever?


Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid

Or not clever enough?

If you answer that question, you lose your own Buddha nature. Or maybe you don’t.

Why DID Microsoft want to buy Yahoo!?


I’ve been thinking about the abortive Microsoft-Yahoo! deal last night in bed, and what came to me has been crystallising in my head ever since.

Basically, Microsoft‘s plan is, and always has been, to provide as much of the software for as many of the computers in the world as they can. Doesn’t sound too worrying when you say it like that, does it?Read More »


The Thursday O/S: 4.4BSD-Lite


Given Linus Torvalds‘ recent quote that the OpenBSD team’s approach to security made them look like a gang of masturbating monkeys, I thought it might be a good time to start up an idea I’ve been considering for a while: operating system of the week.

BSD, in case you don’t already know, was developed at the University of California, Berkeley from 1977 until the mid-90s. It started on the classic DEC PDP-11 as an add on to Sixth Edition Unix, and in its second release added my favourite text editor, good old vi (well, vim‘s actually the one I use, but that’s a side issue.)

In June 1994 came the first truly “open” version of BSD: 4.4 BSD-Lite, which contained no code from AT&T, and therefore wasn’t “encumbered” (which was the name of the version that did include AT&T code). A final release – 4.4BSDLite-2 – was made in 1995, and since then, development has continued with various distributions diverging from it since then: DragonflyBSD, FreeBSD, NetBSD and OpenBSD being the most common today (I’ll cover them at a later date).

You can still get hold of 4.4BSD-Lite release 2, however, despite its long being discontinued as a maintained system (well, by the University of California, anyway). So, for your delectation and delight, here is the download link (to Japan):

I’ve downloaded it myself, and might well be covering running it in a virtual machine at some later date.

For the mean time, enjoy this little look back at the way things used to be.




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