Video: tom7’s Harder Drives

tom7, aka suckerpinch on YouTube, is a freaking genius. I don’t believe in geniuses, but he is a strong counter-argument, I will admit.

His modus operandi is to take some absurd premise and carry it to its logical conclusion, usually using some form of technology along the way. He then makes a video about it. Sometimes the video is in connection with a paper he’s written for SIGBOVIK, which is an entire oil tanker full of worms that I really don’t want to get into here, suffice to say it’s hosted on the site of the Association for Computational Heresy.

The PDF of their 300-page record of proceedings calls itself, “The fifteenth annual intercalary robot dance party in celebration of workshop on symposium about 26th birthdays; in particular, that of harry q. bovik,” about which all I can say, honestly, is, woof. I encourage you to go to that side and read, or at least try to read, some of their papers. You will come to feel like a complete imbecile, but you’ll probably be entertained.

AnYwAy. This post isn’t about SIGBOVIK but about tom7. The post above is about his questionable quest to construct mass storage devices out of unlikely things, like masses of Nintendo Tetris emulators, or a mass of used COVID tests. In the past he’s done fascinatingly-insane videos on bad chess algorithms, generalizing the concepts of uppercase and lowercase, created a number of weird bikes, or (to stick with the blog’s theme) teaching a computer to play Super Mario Bros. in a fairly silly way, which at least will teach you what lexicographical ordering means.

Found via a Metafilter post from user zengargoyle.

Running DOOM on an IBM RS/6000 Under AIX

I’ve been rather taken by NCommander’s YouTube channel lately, in which he regularly tries to build and run old versions of Unix and software for it. He’s run an old boxed version of Debian 2.1, Internet Explorer 5 for Unix, the first Linux live CD (Yggdrasil), and–get this–even a version of System V made for the Commodore Amiga that was officially published by Commodore! It comes out of the box with NetHack 3.0! (Warning: that one’s a seven hour live stream.)

A highlight of the channel that falls under our jurisdiction is him trying to get DOOM running on an old IBM machine running old IBM Unix. Over an hour long, the video is a long sequence of sadness, involving misconfiguring hostnames, getting X running, discovering that IBM’s C compiler costs about $2,500, running into basic C functions IBM didn’t implement, building OSS for AIX (and buying a $10 license for that), and then the issues with building and running the game itself. So yes, add it to the long list of devices that run DOOM, but at what cost?

Well, to NCommander, $10 plus several days of time. To you, about an hour of entertaining (somewhat) learning about obscure computing esoterica!

NCommander at YouTube: What Does It Take To Runu DOOM On A $10,000 IBM RS/6000 From 2001?