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Apple ][ all the way

Well, I won an eBay auction picking up some old editions od Nibble magazine with tutorials about Apple ][ assembler programming so I'm on my way!

One disappointing thing I learnt is that Appleworks is not Y2K compliant. Damn.

08:29 PM, 23 Nov 2004 by Mark Aufflick Permalink | Comments (1)

Musings about a new Apple ][ Operating System

After having fun with Apple ][ emulators on the weekend (see my dev blog), I got to thinking about writing an operating system for the Apple ][ hardware.

I have always thought that I wouldn't be worthy of the title Uber-geek until I had written my own OS from scratch, and the Apple ][ hardware is delightfully simple.

I want it to be multitasking, although I haven't researched the interrupt options in the 6502 yet. To be pre-emptive the Apple would probably need a thunderclock card or similar.

The memory issue worries me - it may need to be all based around relocateable code and memory handles, like Classic MacOS. One smart (maybe) idea I had was to assume an Apple with loads of ramcard expansion, and then to let each process have nearly all of a 48k/64k page. The code could be fixed, and the scheduler would swap between the pages as well as switching execution point. Of course on a real Apple ][ (as opposed to an emulator) the number of processes would be limited to the number of memory pages you had (A Franklin 500 would be nice!) and processes would be limited to around 40 or 50k.

If anyone has any ideas please post a comment!

05:06 PM, 21 Nov 2004 by Mark Aufflick Permalink | Comments (0)

plutonium + terrorists = bad news

Tonight's Lateline show (ABC TV) featured an interview with Dr Mohamed ElBaradei who is the current DIrector General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (of the UN).

He had many things to say - some very controversial (for the UN at least) - including:

  • that the UN is "crossing it's fingers" that no terrorists have nuclear material - in the face of 600 known cases of illicit trading of plutonium and other fissile material;

  • that the UN's current policy of only using force in response to an attack is no longer sufficient. He floated the idea of "collective pre-emption", saying that pre-emptive attacks are appropriate in certain circumstances, but only in an environment of agreement within the UN member nations;

  • that the world can no longer sustain "narrow blinkered national interest", advocating revolutionising the current vetoe power

  • that the imbalance of power in the middle-east, due to Israel's nuclear capability, is unsustainable, and that middle-east security dialogue must be based on trust
  • He also had things to say about North Korea, nothing new there.

    His implication on a number of occasions was that it is only a matter of time before terrorists get their hands on, and likely use, nuclear material.

    It's a scary world at the moment.

06:24 AM, 10 Nov 2004 by Mark Aufflick Permalink | Comments (0)

My friend Tanya and her business partner have just launched their company blackwhite. WIth cool products, inspiring and informative writing about world and african issues.

Go check it out!

http://www.blackwhite.tv/

06:07 AM, 10 Nov 2004 by Mark Aufflick Permalink | Comments (0)

US Election Voting Machine Issues [catless.ncl.ac.uk]

From the RISKS digest, a concise (and definately not exhaustive) summary of electronic voting issues in the recent US elevtions.

And here is an article about the internals of the Diebold aggregating server:

http://www.blackboxvoting.com/scoop/S00065.htm

If it is true, then it is rediculously scary on so many levels. Using Access is such a bad thing for starters, even if the code is perfect (which apparently it is so not). Do you see your bank storing your data in Microsoft Access? They quite possibly use Sybase, which is bad enough, but they wouldn't dream of using Access.

How did these things ever pass security audits????

07:32 PM, 09 Nov 2004 by Mark Aufflick Permalink | Comments (0)

Nigerian con-man from Dubbo gets five years' jail

As I previously blogged just over a year ago, an Australian from outside Dubbo was a key person behind at least some of the so called "419" Nigerian scams.

Well, he's been in court lately, with coverage provided here by the Sydney Morning Herald.

It's amazing that people actually fell for this - even more amazing that they cam from Dubbo of all places!

10:56 PM, 08 Nov 2004 by Mark Aufflick Permalink | Comments (0)

Sydney Open 2004

Just got home from some of the Sydney Open 2004 sites. For those of you not in the know, Sydney Open is a bi-annual day run by the Historic Houses trust and opens many Syndey buildings to the public (for a small fee).

Buildings include the historically significant (eg. Walsh Bay Piers 8/9), architecturally important (eg. various Seidler buildings) and the beautiful (Macquarie Lighthouse).

Included in the regular ticket were 38 properties and focus tours of other properties were available for booking (at an additional fee).

Highlights of my day were:

  • Walsh Bay Piers 8/9 (recently the headquarters of Murdoch Magazines)
  • Macquarie Lighthouse
  • The Penthouse (Harry Seidler) and the Seidler Offices
  • I shot a few rolls of film, so as soon as I have them developed I will post a few highlights.

    It's really amazing to see so much of the diversity of Sydney's architecture in one day. It is truly a city with depth of character that after 4 years is still surprising me every week.

    There was also an "Epilogue" comprising short talks by architects and other people that I would have LOVED to have gone to (Harry Seidler was speaking), but Kath and I had friends in town to entertain.

06:47 AM, 07 Nov 2004 by Mark Aufflick Permalink | Comments (0)

Holy cow. If this isn't big news I don't know what is. I don't even know if it is positive or negative for the Middle East.

It's just a pity that Arafat couldn't bring himself to really pursue the changes necessary for peace in his region.

Now it's all history.

Update: Apparently not true : Arafat may have liver failure [smh.com.au]

10:41 PM, 04 Nov 2004 by Mark Aufflick Permalink | Comments (0)

The adventures of ... Action Item! [www.fatalexception.org]

Action Item - Professional Super Hero!

Leaping tall buildings with a single memo. Or something like that.

05:50 PM, 04 Nov 2004 by Mark Aufflick Permalink | Comments (0)

Vote Save Error #9 [nickstech.com]

Vote Save Error #9. It could be a hoax. As discussed on another blog, I'm unsure which is scarier - that there are at least 8 other types of vote save errors, or that the voting machine uses the "Chicago" font.

If it were to eventuate that the electronic voting software was written in Hypercard I'm not sure whether it would be dumbfoundingly stupid, or sublimely cool... (Has anyone ported Hypercard to Linux yet?!)

A related site, blackboxvoting.com has people writing in their voting experinces. It's not pretty.

I really appreciate the simplicity of Australia's paper voting system. But then there's not quite so many of us to count ;)

Update:

Here's more, courtesy of the Risks Digest:

Touchscreen voting spawns glitches

And More:

Courtesy of Wired.com:

E-Vote Glitch Inflates Bush Total

07:24 AM, 04 Nov 2004 by Mark Aufflick Permalink | Comments (1)

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