11 December 2008 - Christmas Break TODO List

Happy Birthday to this website! It's been running in one form or another for the last three years. A lot has changed since then. Originally it was just a convenient place for me to put SkyOS programming guides. Now, it's a site about Programming, Alternative Architectures, and Open Source (and still a convenient place for me to put things I don't want to lose.) It's evolved quite a bit in the last three years. I've got it, along with many other interesting things, on my TODO list for Christmas break.

Classes are finally out for the semester. Exams are over. I can finally get back to doing things I enjoy.

Since involving myself in Alpha/Linux by creating the Alpha Linux Wiki I've found out there are quite a few pressing things to be done. Firstly, we can't use recent Xservers. On the Samsung UP1xxx motherboards, the only Alpha motherboards with AGP slots (outside of EV7/Marvel servers), we can't even operate at AGP speeds. I'd love to be able to fix these myself, but I'm not knowledgeable about Linux Kernel programming. I'm therefore forced to pester kernel developers into finding a solution.

A possible work-around for the first problem is to hack libpciaccess to access /dev/mem directly, essentially doing what older Xservers do. I feel like I may, with enough help from knowledgeable developers, be able to do this myself.

On another front, ever since Compaq stopped providing Java for Alpha/Linux we've done without. This isn't so bad you may think, but the next time you chose between Azureus and Transmission for your BitTorrent client, realize we don't get a choice. Other programs taken for granted on x86[-64] are unavailable to Alpha users. OpenOffice is a great example.

Maybe Red Hat's IcedTea project can bring Java back to Alpha/Linux users. In the next month, I intend to find out.

I used to maintain a guide to using Intel's C Compiler with Portage on the Gentoo Wiki, but ever since they've lost their database, I've been reluctant to continue work on it. Why should I write content for your site and help you generate ad revenue, especially when you can't even make backups of my work?

Fortunately, there is a static archived copy available. I plan to transplant it onto my site where I can make sure that it is going to benefit the Gentoo community.

It looks like my list thus far is

Lastly, I've picked up some interesting computers recently to compliment my AlphaServer DS20L. These deserve a place on my website as well, so I'm creating a computers section. Check back soon for information on my HP J6700 PA-RISC workstation and my Samsung UP1500 Alpha system.

Tags: alpha linux