Author Topic: General Introductions  (Read 814 times)

RickCHodgin

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General Introductions
« on: November 16, 2018, 03:47:22 pm »
I wondered if we could get to know each other a little better as a community?  People have most likely branded me as a particular type of person following the flag and banner I pursue, but know little else about me.  I wanted to give you my background and some information so you could know more about who I am, why I do what I do, why I'm interested in an OS/2 clone, and so on.

I was born in the 1960s, raised in middle-America in the 70s and 80s.  A child of our culture I listened to the music, saw the movies and TV shows, engaged with my friends in the things people engage in.  My father owned a welding business from my early teenage years, and I grew up around welding.  I actually love welding.  So peaceful to repair things and make them useful again, or to fabricate and create new things from scratch.  Just a couple weeks ago I fabricated a leaf spring mount for my pickup truck as the factory one had rusted away.  I used 3" x 1/2" flat steel, heated, formed it into a U, made a mount to weld it to the frame, drilled the hole for the bolt to couple to the leaf spring, and it's working great.

I began programming in the late 80s, and was introduce to assembly language programming by a man named Alan Earhart.  He was a quadriplegic who was a building inspector and fell off a roof.  Since then he had been interested in programming.  I went to see him a few times, but on the whole we communicated over a 1200 baud modem, and he would help me understand assembly and MASM 1.0 under DOS.  And I absorbed it like a sponge.  It was like my whole brain was engaged in understanding this machine nature.

From there I moved forward to MASM 6.0 and also Microsoft C 6.0, and finally ended up on MASM 6.11d throughout most of the 90s.  My interest in assembly grew and I basically created a type of C-lib-like creation using only assembly.  I had functions that operated in DOS, in general on data using passed in buffers.  I had written a COM program called 2.It, which went along with a BBS system called Do.It (which was never fully completed).  But, 2.It was akin to the best terminal programs of the day in DOS.

It was in the early/mid-90s I began to realize I could write an operating system.  I began working on q/OS in 1994 (the company I had at the time was called Quest Software (not the famous one)).  It was written entirely in assembly and was a very simple OS.  It was never completed, but I migrated to a more advanced design for what would later be called Exodus OS.

At that time, I gave it the name Exodus for one reason, and one reason only:  Microsoft had begun selling Windows 95, and I learned that every new PC-based computer sold had an agreement with Microsoft that they got paid for their OS whether it was installed or not.  And I absolutely hated and despised that evil.  It gave me the drive and desire to create an alternative OS, which I named Exodus because I wanted there to be a mass departure away from that evil.

I worked on my OS extensively through 2002 when, after getting married in 2001, my wife sort of forced me to re-prioritize my life toward her / our family.  I tried to come back to the OS in 2004, and later in 2010, but each time I would approach it something would happen to keep me away (life things).

The desire and passion I've had to write my own OS has never departed.  And I have seen Microsoft evolve even further into this full-on spy system ever since, especially with the revelations given the world by Edward Snowden in 2012.

I have tried time and time and time again to make it happen.  I have altered my life, regrouped, canceled other plans, brought resources to bear, and I have been halted at every point.  Back here in 2016 / early 2017 I was thwarted by this group because people here didn't like me having a foundation under that flag and banner I pursue, and it showed in the way I was treated.  But as I've moved forward, I've come to realize that Rick cannot do this project on his own.  I am flawed, subject to life things, and in great need of the assistance of others.  But the purpose for which I am moving forward is a particular purpose, and it cannot be founded upon anything other than that which I'm in pursuit of and still remain true to the vision.

My goals for creating an open source OS/2 are to give the world an alternative to other OSes, one that is viable, productive, fruitful, mobile, agile, able to be expanded / contracted as needed.  I want to give people an obvious reason to leave their other OSes, making ES/2 install on multiple different types of systems, including Mac hardware, and PC hardware, and ARM-based devices, and so on.

I want dozens of developers working with me to accomplish these goals, and I want us all to be doing it under that flag and banner I follow because of what it represents, both on the inside of our hearts and minds, and on the outside with regards to why we're doing what we're doing, why we invest the time, talent, resources, and then to give it to others teaching them to do the same.

It's a real vision, and a real purpose, and I have a fire in my belly so strong to complete it.  I am again re-arranging the things of my life to press forward on this vision.  My resources are spent.  My supplies are exhausted.  I'm effectively down to the wire in my life's efforts ... and it will be make or break at this point.  My flag is flying.  My banner is pursued.  And my goal is before me.

-----
The short version:  I have high skills in low-level software development.  I have a passion like no other to continue this work and pursue it.  For the first time since the early 2000s, my family is actually on board with the idea and is supporting me.  I have a large library of software I've created over the years which will become part of the apps I create in ES/1 and ES/2 as I move forward.  I am working on a compiler which will serve as the foundation for all of the software I'll write in ES/2.  It's a combination C/C++ compiler, but is it's own thing called CAlive.  You can read about many of its features here:  https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/caliveprogramminglanguage

My plans are to work on the life-rearranging thing presently, with the hopes it will generate revenue for me to then have a near full-time application toward my ES/2 and related efforts.  And I have a goal of having the entire project completed (for an official 1.0 release) by Christmas 2023, with beta versions being released as early as mid/late-2020, with the first versions people can install and test and follow along with development hopefully by Christmas 2019 / early 2020.

I ask for your help, your support, your encouragement.  You have a passionate man here who has the technical knowledge and abilities to give you a true open source OS/2 that is not encumbered by any licenses (it will be released into a type of Public Domain license).  It can be taken and used for personal, educational, open source, or proprietary work, or any other purpose.  The only guidance you'll have on its use is written into the license, and it's not a legally binding requirement as per man's courts, but only a man-to-man conveyance of my wishes and goals for the software, and it's up to you and your morals / ethics to honor my request or not.

Here's to the most successful OS in our world's history:  the future of ES/2 ... together.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2018, 06:21:35 pm by Rick C. Hodgin »

RickCHodgin

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Re: General Introductions
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2018, 02:25:05 pm »
Would anyone else like to introduce yourself?

Mathias

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Re: General Introductions
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2018, 12:35:36 pm »
Hi Rick!

That's a nice idea. I like to join introductions, as I agree getting known to each other might open new paths and ressources to move things forward more easily, than alone.

First of all, of course I suppose there are similarities in all our lifes.. like for instance a girl friend / family reduces PC time quite a bit. In the time before I sat on the machine whole day long, now only one or two hours a day. Real life consumes loads of time, we all know this, and therefore activities needs to be optimised and priorised, in order to get (atleast) the most urgent things done.

Anyway.. born in 1980 I spent my young years in German Democratic Republic (socialism), and already fell interested in computers when our school visited a library. I found books about automation and computers, that ease the production process. Somehow fascinating, I thought.. and liked the machines... not primarily their goal. Unfortunately these things were inhumanly expensive at that time, and so I focussed on other things. Then starting with Germany finally reuniting in the late days of 1989, my dad got fired as a book printer in the company, as all the GDR companies were in need to produce goods more focussed to market interests. Also all GDR companies had way too many employees back then, as automation was expensive, so man power did the job.

As fired, he tried to look for new jobs, in 1990 he decided to buy a PC, using the dismissal wage he got from the company. As things go normal, kids are always interested in things what their parrents do, trying to absorb as much as possible, I always spent time with him on the computer (486 SX/25 with 4 MB RAM, later upgraded to SX/33!!! :D), getting used to DOS 5.0 and Windows 3.1. After a week, we decided to buy a mouse, as Windows "somehow" was more usable with such a device.. ; )

Some time soon I discovered QBasic, and tried out examples in the general help. Testing further, I spent more time on that machine than my dad, which of course upset my mom and him, but always told them this is soo fascinating, and also productive, as it helps to develop forward-thinking mechanisms, also to think around the corner in order to achieve things.
Finally they saw the benefit and let me do my thing, still my dad also wanted to use his computer, and so when I turned 14, they bought me a dedicated machine. (Will never forget that day *__*)

This was in 1994, when they got me a 486 DX-66 with 8 Megs of RAM, PCI bus and a whopping 512 MB IDE HDD. Quite the machine for back then, as I learned later.. ; )
The machine came preinstalled with a dualboot between DOS 6.0 and OS/2 Warp 3. Of course I used DOS more since I knew more about DOS, and it was quicker to boot up.
But more and more I found OS/2 to be quite cewl and there were soooo many new things to discover!! *__*

From then on I had more time to spend on the machine and "it was okay" with my parrents. So I could develop my stuff, play some games from time to time, fiddle around with hard- and software.. required some cables and a modem to access BBS systems, etcetc

With that we found some cewl chaps in Berlin, who ran a couple of lines on his BBS. They also developed in Basic, just in QuickBasic, including an EXE & DLL compiler. This one also was able to include files to projects, so for instance I could include mouse support to my applications.
From then on I somehow felt the urge to quit working on my 80x25 terminal program, and go graphical all the way, like FX-Term did, back then. Also the fascinating RoboBoard BBS where one could login and select if he would like to see 80x25 mode or 640x480 graphics mode. WOW! I wanted to develop such a thing too! - And so it went.. :>

Later I learned, that in other schools people also learned to work in Pascal or even C++. - But in ours... naw... not even Basic. Too bad. I would wanted to have such a thing.
Atleast I could ask my computer-education-teacher to lend me an rs232 cable in order to try nullmodem too! This was the time, where the school got an IBM Aptiva PC running OS/2 Warp 3. From that day on the computer education teacher decided not to bug me with the usual lessons about how to boot up and shut down the computer in order to start "write.exe".. and I could enjoy some free time on the Aptiva, trying REXX a bit. : )
To me it appeared like I was the only guy to use this Aptiva machine somehow.... always felt unused, no settings changed, everything always was as I had left it the time before. :o

Anyway.. as the time went by, I noticed that dosshell.exe (DOS), nc.exe (DOS), fileman.exe (win3.11) all had the same problem: They use up valuable memory, which should better be freed up for applications to launch! - So I wrote an application surface like Dosshell, also graphical with mouse support.
The idea was to...
1) start my own file-man surface with a wrapper, written in batch, basically in an endless loop, until a trigger is set by the surface itself that says to break the loop and quit the surface.
2) when executing something, the surface sets the flag to loop, ends the surface and executes the intended application.
3) After the started application is finally ended, the batch file will read the flag and see.. "okay.. do a loop and execute the surface again."

So, basically it ended itself to free up memory, and re-executes after the app again.
Week by week I wrote some applications for my surface.. like a text editor, but mainly I experimented with some libs to include to my projects.

At the end of 1996 I ended development on my surface and the whole DOS thing, as all of this felt odd due to the launch of Windows 95. Instead I started over with Visual Basic and found this quite interesting too. : )
Also I went to job school starting with 1997 where I first came in contact with Windows NT4, C++ in HP Unix, using vi and old school terminals. Oh yes.. xD - Among the grey on white terminals, there was ONE green on black terminal, which I took. :> - Interestingly the school had domain policies in place that forbid the use of the internet on *normal* PCs... but the admins had forgotten the HP Unix terminals... and so we could "surf" ftp servers and stuff from there freely at any time *__* Yihawww! : ]

After education at the end of 1998 I was enabled to write perl, CoBOL, C++ (not visual), some html and JavaScript. yeah. xD - The school insisted on the idea that EVERYBODY will need our CoBOL knowledge to get beyond the Y2k problem on their machines... but infact nobody "called.." - So as we thought the time was completely wasted. The companies that still use CoBOL have their valued experts.

Anyway, after being employed at a software company (still working there) that produces software to optimise railway processes, I found myself developing in Visual C++ finally. But as a matter of interest, I also did the hard- and software maintenance in that company (including licenses), which both were things that nobody else wanted to do..
I found out that both, developing software and maintaining the machines was not a good thing, since both tasks had release days, and it turned out to be impossible to do both things at a time.
The company grew and grew (I was the 10th employee that joined), and as there were more international railway companies interested, our company grew further and at some point I was completely occupied by administrating the software solutions to work together, buy new licenses, read, read, read, tell the boss, making decisions, buying new hardware for customers to pre-release our software products bundled with hard- and software, etcetc... later on we decided to offer our customers to host their applications here too. At this point this already was a 12 hour job per day.. and so we had to hire two more admins... as I had 64 days of holidays over, and many many over-working-hours accumulated. Also not to think to fall ill..

This normalised the work hours, as intended, and I could finally look to build a family also.... which kept me occupied also from then on hehe.. Real life all the time, which limits computer time (besides work) to 2 - 3 hours per day... which usually are spent with our son playing Minecraft or such.. also creating things. :>
Just in case somebody is interested, yes we do also have a server up and running, that concentrates on building things, no enemies enabled, no rules but the usual ones.. do not destroy what you don't own.. do not steal, etcetc.. so quite laid back. No need to be there every day or week. : ]

In 2013 I all of sudden remembered on my good old 486 DX-2 with 8 MB of RAM. Of course I still had this machine, as it was my first computer. *___*
Found it in the basement, and still was in quite a good shape. - Interestingly no rust on the case, but the case turned a bit more yellow on the plastic parts. This clearly is in a HUGE contrast to the painted metal parts... one day I'd like to bleach the plastic ones to match the metal parts..
But first of all I turned on the machine. Unfortunately the screen remained black, but ran nicely.. no beeps and such.

I asked my mates in the Amiga IRC channel, from whom I know they make old Amigas fit again.. and indeed they could help me.
The main culprit was the drained BIOS battery, which was not yet a CR2032, but such a solid black block, mounted on the mainboard. This one needed to be ordered new.
Luckily there was no physical damage to any of the components, just the PSU needed to be replaced. So the AT PSU had to go, being replaced by an ATX one, which included the need to invent something, so the AT board can make use of an ATX PSU. - This solved, and upgraded to 24 MB MB EDO RAM, the machine is nicely doing its work again. : )
Installed SuSE Linux 6 to be able to do some forensics like dd_rescue and produce images and stuff, utilising the machine's 3,5" and 5,25" floppy drives.
Then DOS 5.0, upgraded to 6.0 (in order to keep Dosshell.exe), then 6.22, then installed Windows 3.11, then OS/2 Warp 3 again. Yihaww, finally back to where it was back then! *__*
Excellent machine.
This thingy accompanies me on my yearly visit @ Leipzig's computer gamers night, where usually also a lot of retro machines have found their display. This event is nicely visited, and most of the time, there even is no space to walk between people within the house. The event is hosted on a high school complex, and a whole house of four stories is used for this. No entry fee, just come and see... and if you have something to display.. let them know and you'll get your license to do so .. also for free. : )
In case you'd like to know more, please let me know. I've got info material! : D

After a while I heard that ArcaNoae was working on ArcaOS and was impressed! Instantly I knew I had to give this a try and bought a copy as soon as possible.
Soon I learned there is no german translation yet, so I got myself involved. Translating all the small parts, until the big stuff comes together is quite a cewl thing, and easier than I thought... translation wise : )) - Of course behind the scenes Lewis and Alex do the main work, whom I'd like to THANK big times at this occasion btw! : )

In 2019 I'll take my ArcaOS machine to Leipzig at this Retro Con. Let's see... :D


« Last Edit: November 19, 2018, 12:44:04 pm by Mathias »

RickCHodgin

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Re: General Introductions
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2018, 06:24:36 pm »
... This normalised the work hours, as intended, and I could finally look to build a family also.... which kept me occupied also from then on hehe.. Real life all the time, which limits computer time (besides work) to 2 - 3 hours per day... which usually are spent with our son playing Minecraft or such.. also creating things. :>
Just in case somebody is interested, yes we do also have a server up and running, that concentrates on building things, no enemies enabled, no rules but the usual ones.. do not destroy what you don't own.. do not steal, etcetc.. so quite laid back. No need to be there every day or week. : ]

That's one of my son's biggest complaints about Minecraft.  He stays in creative mode because of those things.  And your suggestion here made me think maybe there's a way my son and I could play together.  I've never played Minecraft, but maybe we could set something up like that and try it out.

Quote
In 2013 I all of sudden remembered on my good old 486 DX-2 with 8 MB of RAM. Of course I still had this machine, as it was my first computer. *___*
Found it in the basement, and still was in quite a good shape. - Interestingly no rust on the case, but the case turned a bit more yellow on the plastic parts. This clearly is in a HUGE contrast to the painted metal parts... one day I'd like to bleach the plastic ones to match the metal parts..
But first of all I turned on the machine. Unfortunately the screen remained black, but ran nicely.. no beeps and such.

There's a YouTube channel I watch where the host goes through old equipment and restores it.  He's done several videos on how to restore the cases to a like-new state.  He also has programs where he gets with other people and they repair motherboards, replace capacitors, re-solder chips, etc.  Very interesting stuff for older PCs:  https://www.youtube.com/user/adric22/videos

Quote
I asked my mates in the Amiga IRC channel, from whom I know they make old Amigas fit again.. and indeed they could help me.
The main culprit was the drained BIOS battery, which was not yet a CR2032, but such a solid black block, mounted on the mainboard. This one needed to be ordered new.
Luckily there was no physical damage to any of the components, just the PSU needed to be replaced. So the AT PSU had to go, being replaced by an ATX one, which included the need to invent something, so the AT board can make use of an ATX PSU. - This solved, and upgraded to 24 MB MB EDO RAM, the machine is nicely doing its work again. : )
Installed SuSE Linux 6 to be able to do some forensics like dd_rescue and produce images and stuff, utilising the machine's 3,5" and 5,25" floppy drives.
Then DOS 5.0, upgraded to 6.0 (in order to keep Dosshell.exe), then 6.22, then installed Windows 3.11, then OS/2 Warp 3 again. Yihaww, finally back to where it was back then! *__*
Excellent machine.

I've purchased some old IDE hard drives on eBay over the years, and it's always interesting what you get on them when they show up.  I usually pop them in and see how they're partitioned, and see if they'll boot, then format them and begin with the new stuff I have in mind for them.  I had about 15 hard drives like this, and went through them a couple years back and of the 15 only 8 were good.  I went back here recently to pull some out for the OS/2 security research and of the 8 I had, the first three I tried failed.  So, those older drives definitely have a shelf life.

Quote
... After a while I heard that ArcaNoae was working on ArcaOS and was impressed! Instantly I knew I had to give this a try and bought a copy as soon as possible.

Me too.  I was so excited to hear about ArcaOS.

Quote
Soon I learned there is no german translation yet, so I got myself involved. Translating all the small parts, until the big stuff comes together is quite a cewl thing, and easier than I thought... translation wise : )) - Of course behind the scenes Lewis and Alex do the main work, whom I'd like to THANK big times at this occasion btw! : )

In 2019 I'll take my ArcaOS machine to Leipzig at this Retro Con. Let's see... :D

That'll be nice.

Very interesting story.  The railway processes work sounds interesting.  My day job has me working with C/C++ and Visual FoxPro primarily.  We still maintain apps written from the early 90s through until current active new development.  Quite a bit of legacy ability there in VFP... it's why I began working on Visual FreePro.  And I, like you, only had so many hours available each day, but I pushed myself too hard for too long and in 2015 got really sick for many weeks, and other symptoms endured for a couple years.  It's only been here in 2018 I've bounced back and it's been primarily because I've cut back a little bit on my after-hours work.

It's why I'm trying to figure out how to develop a source of revenue so I can make my day-time hours be my work-on-ES/1-and-ES/2 hours, and then have evening hours for welding or whatever else I want to do hobby-wise or fun-wise with the family.

Interesting story.  Thank you, Mathias.