Unix v5 on PDP-11 using SimH

Have you ever wanted to run some ancient Unix on original hardware? Well, the hardware is hardly accessible nowadays, but fortunately, we have SimH, the simulator for historical computers.

In this post, we’ll briefly boot up Unix v5 on a PDP11 and see how it looks and feels like.

I’ve chosen a PDP11 on purpose, because that was the machine that Unix was written on.

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NSA Blinded by Too Much Light?

A lighted candle in the dark shines much brighter than at noon, in the bright sun.

Right now, the National Security Agency‘s internal division responsible for assuring the security of the NSA may very well be blinded by too much public exposure of the organization. The NSA’s immune system may be quite vulnerable at the moment and for many more months, and perhaps even years to come.

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Obama to Syria: Burn, Baby, Burn!

So, it’s official. Not even 12 years after 9/11, US President Barack H. Obama has decided to arm Al Qaeda so that it may destroy Syria, the last secular Arab country in the world! Well, not Al Qaeda directly, that would be too unpopular at home, but the Islamist terrorists, a.k.a. “rebels” or “activists” in western media, who can be considered as the political arm of the terrorist Al Nusra Front, Al Qaeda’s branch in Syria. How did this ridiculous mind boggling policy come to pass?

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Water is a Human Right

All Citizens of the EU,

the EU Commission is planning to privatize the water supply infrastructure, a move that will not only significantly raise the costs of water, but also turn water into a scarce commercial commodity.

Please support the petition against this short-sighted policy.

Thank you.

Update 2013-06-26. Good news at last: the petition was successful. EC Commissioner Michel Barnier has just backed down (PDF) form his plans to force privatization of the water sector across the EU.

Stupid German Money for Europe

Hollywood Studios coined the phrase “Stupid German Money” for the 80% or so of German taxpayers’ subsidies to the movie industry that went right into Hollywood’s pockets instead of going to local independent film studios that were the intended recipients. Even though they’ve finally closed this loophole a couple of years ago, Stupid German Money remains the best example of German politicians’ incompetence in financial matters.

Now history is about to repeat itself on a much, MUCH larger scale by Stupid German Money soon to be spent en masse on the ESM to automatically bail out French, Spanish, and Italian banks… on a regular basis, without any way for Germans to have a say in the matter whatsoever.

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Censorship in German Weekly DIE ZEIT

When we talk about censorship, we usually imagine old fashioned book burning ceremonies, or journals with parts forcibly blacked out or blanked out by the authorities.

Yet this isn’t the worst kind of censorship, because at least, that was highly visible. Less visible and not government-mandated, yet maybe worse in scope and quality, is censorship-based bias in moderating dissenting readers’ comments in commercial newspapers. One particular, if not really all that important, illustration is the obnoxious behavior of the moderators and journalists from the German weekly DIE ZEIT.

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More ANSI Common Lisp Introspection

In the previous episode, we’ve obtained a list of all symbols with the function OBLIST, and looked at their internal slots with SYMBOL->CELLS. While this was useful to examine a single package like, say, COMMON-LISP-USER, it didn’t tell us what other packages were available.

In this post, we’ll revisit OBLIST, rewriting it with the somewhat unlispy LOOP facility. Then we’ll see how to get a list of all packages, and how to obtain a package description where available.

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