set default DISK$DATA:[OS.EOL]

Seeing the news the other day of HP is discontinuing OpenVMS brought back some memories. Mostly of all the different operating system’s I have used that are no longer around or have changed a lot. Back in my undergrad days, one of the first OS’ we used to program on was OpenVMS on a VAX. It was for an engineering class and we had to use Fortran 77. I remember our quota’s used to be about 5MB in size, which at the time was “huge”.

So to list some of the other OS’ I have seen gone by the way side (and other computer related items that had a huge effect on where I am at today.)

1. OpenVMS (used it between 1994 and 1999)

2. VM/ESA (not really gone, now called zOS, but haven’t touched it since about 2001)

3. Gopher (this is the “original” web…)

4. IRIX (SGI’s UNIX platform. I still have 2 SGI Indy’s and a copy of 5.3 and I believe 6.5, but haven’t had them on in years, maybe a vacation project some time.)

5. SunOS (not Solaris, but the old BSD based SunOS 4.x) my things have changed in the 19 years that I have been doing Solaris work

6. mSQL (mini sql). Not really gone, but surpassed by other’s (mysql, mariadb, etc). I used msql as my first PHP/FI + DB + Apache installation on a Solaris 2.6 box. I wrote a network management application that controlled DNS, DHCP, etc for university dorm connection management.

7. Trumpet Winsock, for the good old Windows 3.1 days when you needed a way to do TCP/IP over modem or ethernet.

8. NCSA Mosaic, the web browser that is credited with popularizing the WWW. Used to use this on some old SGI and DEC machines.

9. ULTRIX, DEC’s version of UNIX. It was on a lot of DECstations in the Engineering department and one computer in the CS department. Used to have a teacher that made us make sure everything compiled on it vs the Solaris or Linux hosts.

10. AltaVista, Search engine to use before Google came around. Now it is just a “front end” to Yahoo search 🙁

11. Atari 400, used to have one of these at the grandparents house to tinker on.

12. Commodore 64, used to have a couple of these when I lived at home. We I learned some BASIC programming. (Later went on to try Visual Basic programming on Windows 3.11 on a 80486 DX4-100 AMD PC.)

13. BeOS, was a really neat idea, excellent media support, unfortunately it was around the time of the PC vs Mac battle so getting buy in was hard.


This all also brings back memories how of rudimentary computers were back then and the lack of security. There was no SSH, everything on the VM, OpenVMS and UNIX machines was done through telnet. There was no SSL, and people didn’t think twice about typing in a credit card number on a web site.

I also remember doing web surfing with Lynx on various UNIX systems. And what goes along with Web browsing then email, the first GUI email client I remember using was Pegasus Mail on a Novell Netware based mail system. Once people started doing POP3 mail, people switched over to Eudora Mail. Which I used for a while, but not a lot. I for some reason stuck with Pine a text based mail reader, mostly because I used it on the server that received all the mail.  (And to totally geek out, there were times were I would telnet in to the POP3 port on the mainframe and read my mail by issuing the pop commands by hand.)

As for personal computers, I have had quite a few since my first one. My first computer only had a 40MB hard drive in it. It was a KLH brand 80386 SX 16 that I bought from Phar-Mor. I think I had it maxed out a 4MB of Ram which at the time was huge. I remember trying to play some game on it (I keep thinking it was SimCity, but may be wrong) and it needed more Video RAM cause it only came with 128K of video ram. So I had to buy more to up it to like I think 384K.

As a list of what I have had or still have, here goes:

  1. KLH 80386SX 16MHz – First, no longer have it, came with a 40MB hd, and a EGA 15inch monitor.
  2. AMD 80486DX4 100MHz – Used this to run Windows 3.11, Linux and later Solaris 2.6. It came with a 320MB hard drive. I later paid close to $300 for a 1.6GB hard drive for it. It had a VESA Local Bus video card and a Sound Blaster 16 sound card. No longer have this computer.
  3. Intel Pentium II 266MHz – Bought this in 1997 from a company called Vektron (who later went out of business, like all fly by night computer places back in the early days). It had 32MB of ram and a 500MB hard drive. It ran Windows 95, Windows NT, BeOS, Solaris and Linux. (I had bought bigger and more hard drives later, just can’t remember what all was in it.) I actually still have this machine, it’s most recent use was as a router for my home network running Solaris 10 with 3 NIC’s (one on Comcast, one on Verizon and one on my home network). The hard drive died in it a couple of years ago, so I turned it off, it is still sitting in a rack thought.
  4. Sun SPARCstation 2 – This was my first “workstation”. I got it second hand from a friend’s company. It was where I cut my teeth on Solaris. It ran Solaris 2.5 when I got it, and over the years I upgraded it to Solaris 7. Ironically it only had a 40MHz processor and 64 MB of ram. It had 2 huge external 800MB disk packs and a freakishly heavy 17 inch Sony monitor that used 13W3 connector with BNC ends. I still have this one, but the disk packs both died, so it hasn’t been on in years.
  5. Sun Ultra5 – 360MHz, 128MB of ram. One of the first “IDE” based lower end workstations from Sun. I still have this, but I think the power supply is bad, as I can’t get it to turn on :(. When it ran, I had Solaris 9 on it.
  6. SGI Indy – 2 of these 133MHz with 96MB of ram. One of the coolest “workstations” I ever owned. I believe they both still run, but haven’t been on in years. One ran IRIX 5.3 and the other ran IRIX 6.5
  7. Dual Intel Pentium III 933MHz – Bought this in probably 2001 I think. It is huge, it was a full tower with onboard IDE raid (which only works with Windows because of driver issues.). Right now it has 1.5GB of ram in it, ~2TB of disk and runs Solaris 10 with 7 zones running on it.
  8. IBM Thinkpad i1100, Celeron 500MHz. This one was given to me as a result of work being done for a company. It was my first laptop, and I still have it today. However it’s stats are very underwhelming by today’s point of view. The monitor is an LCD one, but not TFT, so that means there are all kinds of shadows and the picture isn’t crisp. It also only had a 5GB hard drive in it. Which means after installing Windows 2000 on it, there was only maybe a gig free. It also had no floppy drive, and no network ports. So I bought a Linksys WAP11 back in the day (probably in 2002 when I got this) for upwards of $300 so I could have wireless internet on it.
  9. ThinkPad A22p – 900MHz Pentium III. I bought this one as a replacement of the first. Side by side this one is HUGE, as it has a 15 inch display that runs at 1600×1200. It also had a 30GB hard drive (which was split in to 3 10GB chunks, one for Windows XP NTFS, One for Solaris 10 and one for FAT 32 to share files between the two OS’).
  10. AMD 3600+ – Got this one in 2005. It currently runs a combination of Windows XP and Windows 7. Has about 2.5 TB of disk on it.
  11. Sun X2100 – This server. Currently running Solaris 10, with a surprisingly small 160GB of disk with 4 zones on it.
  12. Apple MacBook Pro 2.0GHZ – This was one of the first Intel based Mac’s that was released in 2006. It had a Dual Core 2.0 GHz processor, 2GB of ram an a 100GB hard drive. It did have it’s issues (mostly battery and power adapter ones), but it ran solid for about 5 years. In the fall of 2011 the logic board “died” and it will no longer run in full “user” mode. (I think it is the graphics part of the board.) Still have it hoping for a price drop of replacement boards some day.
  13. Apple Mac Pro – Dual Quad Xeon 2.8GHz with 10 GB of ram. This is the best desktop I have ever had. It is fast and quiet. Right now I think I have close to 13GB of disk on it (both internal and external). I also dual boot it with MacOSX 10.8 and Windows 7 (for a couple of games)
  14. Apple MacBook Pro 2.8GHz iCore7 – the replacement for the one that died above. It is hands down probably 4 to 8 times faster than the 2.0 one that I had before.
  15. Sun V20z – Used to run VMware ESX 3.5 with a Sun T3 fibre connected Disk array. The V20z is fully loaded with processor (2) and ram (16GB). One loud machine…
  16. IBM X3550 – Dual Quad Xeon with 8GB of ram. Used to run VMware vSphere 5.0. Used it to play around with doing virtualization of my house servers. Unfortunately it is too loud to leave running 24×7, so it is only on when needed.
  17. HP XW8600 workstation – Dual Quad Xeon with 16GB of ram. This is my “production” VMware server at  home. It has 3 TB of disk it in and runs probably 11VM’s all the time. It was used to replace the noisy IBM one, and it is super quiet.

As for a list of operating systems I keep current with, it is many and with VMware it is possible to have “test” versions of everything sitting around which helps a lot. Basically the following is what I keep running:

  1. MacOSX 10.7 and 10.8
  2. Windows XP, 7, 8, 2008, 2008R2, 2012
  3. CentOS 6.3
  4. Solaris 10, 11
  5. OpenIndiana 151
  6. pfSense (freebsd)
  7. OpenBSD
  8. Ubuntu Linux

Well that is about enough nostalgia for tonight. Trying to think of other things to put back on the blog to start updating it more often. If you have any idea’s leave a comment (open for 30 days only to keep the spammers away..)

OpenVPN between Solaris and MacOSX

I decided to see if I could get a VPN connection working between my laptop (running MacOSX) and my home server running Solaris 10. It turned out to be pretty easy to do a simple config. I am using OpenVPN. To compile the software on my Solaris box I needed to download 3 items:

  1. Virtual Point-to-Point (Tun) and Ethernet (TAP) devices driver. I got the version 1.1 from in source code form.
  2. LZO version 1.08 compression software from :
  3. OpenVPN software, I am using the version 2.1RC because I wanted the version to match what I am going to run on the Mac. It can be downloaded from

Once I got everything downloaded, just compile the LZO, Tun, and OpenVPN:
I decided to have everything related to the vpn installed in /opt/vpn. One thing to note, I tried using the new version 2.x of LZO, and OpenVPN would not find it, so I had to use Version 1 even though 2 is supposed to be supported. So I did the following to compile LZO:

gzip -d lzo-1.08.tar.gz
tar -xvf lzo-1.08.tar
cd lzo-1.08
./configure --prefix=/opt/vpn/lzo
sudo make install

Next was to compile TUN

gzip -d tun-1.1.tar
tar -xvf tun-1.1.tar
cd tun-1.1
./configure --prefix=/opt/vpn/tun
sudo make install

Only issue with tun was that it did not use the –prefix, it puts everything where it needs to be in /usr/kernel/drv on solaris.

Next is openvpn:

gzip -d openvpn-2.1_rc19.tar.gz
tar -xvf openvpn-2.1_rc19.tar
cd openvpn-2.1_rc19
./configure --prefix=/opt/vpn/openvpn --with-lzo-headers=/opt/vpn/lzo/include --with-lzo-lib=/opt/vpn/lzo/lib
sudo make install

Once that is installed I did the simple 1 to 1 vpn connection (static key) for just testing to see if it would work. So in the /opt/vpn/openvpn/sbin directory I did this:

cd /opt/vpn/openvpn/sbin
./openvpn --genkey --secret static.key

I then copy that key to my client via some “secure” means

Then created a server.conf that looks like this:

dev tun
secret static.key
cipher AES-256-CBC
keepalive 10 120

On my client (MacOSX) I downloaded Tunnelblick from and installed it. Next I copied that static.key from the server to the client and put it in ~/Library/openvpn. I also created a openvpn.conf in that directory that looked like this:

remote a.b.c.d
dev tun
secret static.key
cipher AES-256-CBC

In the above, a.b.c.d represents my public IP address for my solaris server.

Now when you start tunnelblick it will search that directory and find that config file and ask if you want to load it. But we are not quite ready to start yet. The next thing I had to do was forward port 1194 UDP off of my router to my OpenVPN server. I will leave this exercise to you. You will also need to make sure IP forwarding is enabled on the Solaris 10 server (because I only have 1 network card in it, but “two” different networks on the box. IP Forwarding will allow your remote machine to be able to see your local network. And since my OpenVPN server is not the router for the entire network, I had to add a static route on my router to say that is available via the openvpn servers local network address, I.e.

You should be able to start the openvpn server now:

/opt/vpn/openvpn/sbin/openvpn server.conf

Once it is started you can use tunnelblick to connect. Once you are connected, you should see that is is connected and the icon has changed from this:
Picture 3
to look like this:
Picture 2

You should also see a tun0 device show up:

ifconfig tun0
tun0: flags=8851 < up ,POINTOPOINT,RUNNING,SIMPLEX,MULTICAST > mtu 1500
	inet --> netmask 0xffffffff 
	open (pid 608)

You should now be able to see all your hosts on the “remote” network. Next up I am going to work on doing the pki infrastructure so I can hopefully link other clients both static and dynamic.

This make is really nice to be able to see your “home” network while you are away.

Changes to Leopard that most people won’t see or care about

One of the things I like about Leopard is that it is UNIX.. With that one of the changes I first noticed was that now you can use “ps -eaf” instead of “ps -aux”. Nice, I hated doing ps -aux, as I use solaris all the time and /usr/ucb/ps is almost never used. The one draw back is that it does not print the username it prints the uid in the output:

[chef:~] unixwiz% ps -aef | more
0 1 0 0 0:01.06 ?? 0:01.14 /sbin/launchd
0 10 1 0 0:00.58 ?? 0:00.66 /usr/libexec/kextd
0 11 1 0 0:02.75 ?? 0:04.55 /usr/sbin/DirectoryService
0 12 1 0 0:00.52 ?? 0:00.75 /usr/sbin/notifyd
0 13 1 0 0:00.65 ?? 0:01.05 /usr/sbin/syslogd
0 17 1 0 0:01.57 ?? 0:02.86 /usr/sbin/configd
1 18 1 0 0:00.42 ?? 0:01.01 /usr/sbin/distnoted
65 19 1 0 0:00.05 ?? 0:00.09 /usr/sbin/mDNSResponder -launchd
0 24 1 0 0:00.12 ?? 0:00.30 /usr/sbin/securityd -i
0 28 1 0 0:00.33 ?? 0:00.48 /usr/sbin/ntpd -n -g -p /var/run/ -f /var/db/ntp.drift
0 30 1 0 0:06.96 ?? 0:06.96 /usr/sbin/update
0 34 1 0 5:20.79 ?? 11:21.33 /System/Library/Frameworks/CoreServices.framework/Frameworks/Metadata.framewo
501 35 1 0 0:00.39 ?? 0:00.84 /System/Library/CoreServices/ conso
0 36 1 0 0:00.01 ?? 0:00.01 /usr/sbin/KernelEventAgent
0 38 1 0 0:00.01 ?? 0:00.01 /usr/libexec/hidd

Some notes from the ps man page…

The biggest change is in the interpretation of the -u option, which now displays processes belonging to the specified username(s). Thus, "ps -aux" will fail (unless you want to know about user "x"). As a convenience, however, "ps aux" still works as it did in Tiger.

and this one is very interesting:

The ps utility supports the Version 3 of the Single UNIX Specification (``SUSv3'') standard.

The ps command appeared in Version 4 AT&T UNIX.

Since ps cannot run faster than the system and is run as any other scheduled process, the information it displays can never be exact.

The ps utility does not correctly display argument lists containing multibyte characters.

So if you want the output to have usernames in it, do a “ps -ej”

Another change is to the iostat command, the old iostat command mostly printed the disk io and User/Sys/Idle time. Looks like they have now added the load average to every line so it looks like this now:

[chef:~] unixwiz% iostat 1 5
disk0 disk1 cpu load average
KB/t tps MB/s KB/t tps MB/s us sy id 1m 5m 15m
24.95 85 2.08 22.38 65 1.42 16 14 70 0.86 1.14 1.35
49.14 154 7.39 33.47 251 8.20 17 26 58 0.86 1.14 1.35
93.75 110 10.06 59.62 148 8.61 17 20 64 0.86 1.14 1.35
38.05 191 7.09 35.92 241 8.44 18 30 51 0.95 1.15 1.35
53.78 190 9.97 38.98 272 10.34 20 28 52 0.95 1.15 1.35

Another command I found is “zfs”, but it does not appear any where in the gui. So I wonder if it is not fully implemented yet.

They also changed the sar command:

[chef:/usr/bin] unixwiz% sar 1 10

23:29:36 %usr %nice %sys %idle
23:29:37 34 0 42 24
23:29:38 35 0 44 21
23:29:39 24 0 30 46
23:29:40 17 0 22 60
23:29:41 16 0 21 64
23:29:42 19 0 22 59
23:29:43 26 0 30 44
23:29:45 32 0 42 25
23:29:46 28 0 34 38
23:29:47 25 0 31 44
Average: 25 0 31 42

They added a %nice column

First couple of hours with Leopard

Went and picked up MacOSX Leopard today… I decided to do a fresh install instead of trying to upgrade my current Tiger installation on my MacBook Pro. Well after backing up my entire hard drive to a external drive. I started the Installation. It took about an hour for it to install. The funny part is 30 minutes of it, was the installer verifying the integrity of of the DVD. First time I have seen an OS verify the entire disk before it started to even do an install to the hard drive. Anyways, 30 minutes after the verification was done, it was installed. The opening video is pretty cool basically flying through space. I then started the restoration of my files from the external USB Drive. Funny thing was as soon as I plugged the drive in to the MBP, time machine kicked in and asked if I wanted to use the external drive as a back up device. So I said yes and it started backing up what I had just installed while I was restoring files from the same drive.

Some little things I have noticed now:

  1. If you leave iCal on the Doc, it now shows the current date, unlike Tiger only showing it if you had it actually running.
  2. Everything seems a lot quicker than Tiger. But it could also be that I had not reinstalled Tiger since I had bought the MBP.
  3. Coverflow in finder. It is cool for going through my documents folder.

I also picked up the new iLife 08. I like the new iPhoto. Now to just get everything set back up the way I had it before.. So far I like what I see, and like the new speed..