November meeting notes

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Aaron Johnson

Nov 13, 2019, 11:57:14 AM11/13/19
The meeting started prompted at 6:37, there was a computer from 1992 sitting in the corner... alone... creepy...

Next Christian announced that we will be having the regular Christmas party at QC Family Entertainment Center on December 10th so don't miss it!
Also Dec 10 is his birthday so don't forget to bring him a present!

Then we went around the room and introduced ourselves, there was one new face, welcome Steve :-)

Nick shared that the Fedora 31 upgrade on his laptop broke his gnome installation so he was forced to switch to KDE :frowny_face:
Also to get into KDE he has to type startx or something to get it to run as it won't start using the display manager automatically lol

Next Nick began his topic on Gopher

Gopher is an Ascii based protocol that features no encryption and was launched in 1991
It was used originally as a news board for universities as well as a file sharing system
Also it was used in libraries for card catalog systems and could have been used for other things

He was kind enough to bring printed RFC documents for Gopher (rfc1436) as well as CCSO Nameserver (rfc2378)

Next he demoed how to use Gopher via "Cool retro term" and browsed to gopher://

another site he visited was gopher://

These sites are actually called "gopher holes"

Nick really, really loves Gopher. I mean, really really LOVES it.

The client (gopher-exe) program that he used he actually wrote himself in Haskell O.O ;-)
He will be sharing it on gitlab in the near future and maybe even on the QCLUG github site :grin:

Also he plans on renaming it using a Caddyshack reference

Check out more awesome retro goodness such as and for your listening needs

He then did a show-and-tell on his client code and explained how its internals work

We got to see the Haskell interpreter (ghci) as well

Next was Aaron's Retro Linux topic "Installing linux on a 486 DX4 75MHz PC in 2019"

- Found the a office 1995 iso file on
- Aaron used a stock template he found in that iso for his presentation.

First Aaron tried debian 1.1 Buzz
486 (i386) has long be dropped from any modern distro.
Debian Buzz was released June 17th, 1996

You can't boot Aarons 486DX4 from CDROM (without help)
Buzz was on floppy so this seamed like a good first option
Linux 2.0 Kernel with 474 packages
You have to read ALL the installation docs

Aaron bought an IDE CF adapter and CF card to install Buzz onto

Aaron was limited to 2GB for IDE, set partition to <2GB and that was good.

Debian Linux 1.1 installer was a nightmare.
- you're always going to back to the same screen but working through the list.
- Watch the post install.

Aarons presentation is a travel through time!!!

Aaron was really impressed with the bad-blocks feature of the old pre-sarge installer.

Installation was 5 floppy disks, after 5 swaps things booted to Linux!!!!
-> No Nic Support tho :(
-> No CDROM Support :(

Buzz 1.1 was no fun though!  No

Aaron Jumped in time to Debian Sarge 3.1
 -> He didn't have 32MB memory (only 16MB in his machine) so it was a fail :(

So third attempt Debian Woody

Aaron needed to download a 700MB ISO and boot it, BUT

His PC is so old he couldn't boot from CDROM directly.

So Aaron tired smart boot manager, downloaded it wrote it to a floppy and it worked like a champ!

It booted, but his CDROM was not listed.  So Aaron needed to RTFM

Aaron then needed to figure out the IO ports by hand.

Aaron found the common IO ports for 486's and luckily it worked!!! YAY!

The Debian Woody install took 2 hours.  Was very slow.

Post Install was a nightmare.  It took 30mins.

Aaron went with md5 passwords!  Awesome.

skipped tasksel and dselect it was going to take too long

Did a minimal install and it worked!!!

But Aaron was exhausted at this point!
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