Friday, January 30, 2009

First contact pictures

Over the time, I collected photographs of several exotic (i.e. non-x86) machines booting HelenOS for the first time. Below you'll find pictures of SGI Indy, Sun Ultra 60, Dell PowerEdge 3250 and iMac G4 all booting HelenOS in some point of its evolution. Some of the pictures are in a very poor quality as they were taken using a cell phone.

The first picture was taken by Ondrej Palkovsky and depicts the early mips32 port running on SGI Indy. The Indy support has been removed from the trunk some time ago as part of some cleanup, but continues to live in our memories and, in the first place, in our repository history. I believe the picture predates the userspace support in HelenOS and therefore you can only see the kernel having passed some sort of test followed by the kinit kernel thread printing "kinit..." in 1-second delays over and over again.

The next picture illustrates one sparc64 email debugging session attended by me and Martin Decky. I believe the picture shows the first successful boot on Sun Ultra 60 in Martin's office. The picture was taken using a cell phone when Martin wanted to share his view with me. Note that at that picture, the visual for the Ultra 60 framebuffer is still wrong and the kernel panics due to a bad fast_data_access_mmu fault.

On the next picture taken and sent by Jakub Vana, you can see one of the first successfull boots on a dual Itanium II system. Even though the ia64 port was long able to run entire userspace in the Ski simulator, the real world Itanium was something quite different and required additional work to reach a comparable level of usability.

The last picture (so far) motivated me to write this blog entry. It's only several hours old and shows an astonishing progress on a real-hardware support for the ppc32 port. It was taken by the same Martin in the same office, I believe, using the same cell phone as the sparc64 pictures. HelenOS/ppc32 runs in the PearPC simulator, but seeing it run on real hardware after lots of failed attempts was very rewarding, even though the full credit goes to Martin.

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