My children have hijacked all the laptops! At least the appeal of the Z88 is limited - mainly due to the fact that it knows nothing about CBeebies!
Why is it the things you need to get the quickest on ebay are always the last to come? On the positive side, my initial post of 'Does anyone have Solaris 2.6 media' on news:/comp.os.solaris met with a single response 'try ebay' (which to be fair there were some Solaris 2.6 media kits available, but only to US citizens) but then it crossed my mind that my work is a big Sun user and thought someone there might be able to help. It only took one email and I was pointed in the direction of someone who has the media. Hurrah! Why do I want Solaris 2.6? The SPARCbook is running Solaris 2.3. Up until Solaris 10 the native C compiler was a pay-for option, so unless there is a binary compilation of gcc available then you are really scuppered in any attempt to get opensource programs compiled up. Solaris 2.5 is the oldest version of Solaris for which there are freeware binaries available. All this, and the fact that the serial cable for my venerable Nokia 7110 has not yet arrived may foil my plans to dial into CHIMPY (Sampsa Alpha with modem attached) whilst on holiday. I may have to resort to providing updates by hooking up to wifi (boo-hiss). Sampsa recommended that I get in touch with Vodafone to determine what call costs would be (using the modem in your mobile phone is classed as 'circuit switched data calls') but predictably the answer (GBP 5/500MB) seemed unlikely as these kind of calls are typically charged on a time basis rather than data size basis. I was told that Vodafone 'frown on circuit switched data calls' which I took to mean that their days are numbered. It was clear from the phone call and from the (lack) of information available on the internet that this is something people 'just don't do anymore'. Of course, that is the primary reason why retro-enthusiasts will try it!
In other news, the very nice Modula-3 developer continues to compile up Modula-3 on the DEC Alpha by accessing it remotely vial telnet. The VT330 that I was planning to write Lunar Lander for originally supports the DEC Regis graphics standard (which is effectively a vector graphics standard) and (I'm lead to believe) the DEC SIXEL raster graphics standard. A while back I tried out gnuplot on the VT330 and posted a video on youtube - you can watch it below. Seeing the terminal render the graph reminded me of my brief computer graphics course at University where we used very esoteric Techtronix graphics terminals and were able to print out our 'creations' on a lovely wax-ink based printer which produced an embossed effect. Lovely!
Right, time to reclaim a laptop so I can get this post uploaded!