Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login
The Temple Operating System (templeos.org)
174 points by flipstewart 1394 days ago | hide | past | web | 136 comments | favorite

I don't have a dog in this fight, but some context might be useful to those who didn't instantly recognize this as I did:

This is a from-scratch operating system by LoseThOS, an absolutely brilliant but (allegedly) schizophrenic programmer who posts on HN but has been hellbanned countless times for the unintelligle religious rants and insults he posts.

This version looks like a rebranding of LoseThOS, the previous iteration of the operating system. It's worth Googling if you'd like more history.

SparrowOS is another name for the project. I find the author's hellbanned posts fascinating, at least when they aren't racist!! The project is quite an undertaking for a single human.

Edit: After watching this video, I understand the SparrowOS name (audio required): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6tuXweEJNFI

Terry is the guy behind the LoseThOS monicker, he does not appear to conceal his identity, so it's not hard to find his contact information if you try. I'm wondering if one of us should try to reach him and make an effort to get him to understand that if he lays aside the gibberish addendums and racist insults in his communications he's more than welcome to be a part of this community. I mean, this is actually someone who has gradually been losing it because the world has not been kind to him.

Look at his post from a little more than two years ago: http://i.imgur.com/qL01m.png

There are no insults in that post, instead you see a man who's created something wonderful and isn't getting anything back for it. Of course the icing on this cake is that, that very post was marked as dead... his cry for help was not seen or heard by anyone.

He is schizophrenic. One of the defining features of schizophrenia is that they can't be reasoned with. They have periods of complete lucidity followed by periods of complete craziness due to physical deterioration of the brain.

He deserves a good doctor. If we can do anything, then we should set up a fund for medical treatment. He has said that doctors haven't been able to help him, but maybe whoever is caring for him hasn't been able to afford top-tier care. It makes a huge difference.

In practice, setting up such a fund would be difficult because we don't know who's caring for him or how.

He's quite racist[0] and people won't tolerate his hate. It's for the best he got hellbanned, so the "saner" ones won't be tempted to get into a flame war with him.

[0]:http://i.imgur.com/IIMGYKE.png (the last comment made me laugh)

He's not necessarily racist. He's suffering from a mental illness. He believes god talks to him.

And on top of that, he's still a racist (and a homophobe if memory serves). Some of his rants are also more than a bit violent and scary, I wouldn't want to be near him when he isn't heavily medicated. The tragedy with illnesses like this is that it becomes almost impossible to draw a line between the condition and the person's personality.

I have showdead on all the time and I see him posting his garbage every day. Every day. He has no good days.

Personally, I'm disappointed this is at #1 on the front page, cool project or not.

I'm not sure you can call him a racist. He has an unintrospectable (by us at least) mental state, and the things he says can't be taken as representations of his opinions. He literally can't either control what he's saying, or perceive reality clear enough to get a usable picture of it.

To be racist, I think it should be clear that the person is making value judgments about others based solely or primarily on the target's race. Nobody knows what Terry is thinking.

Either way, please don't hold it against him for prolific use of the n-word and other slurs. Isn't it obvious he has no clue what he's saying? He lives in a world where everyone is a potential attacker/saboteur.

I agree that he's quite probably not racist. He appears to have a fascination with computerised randomisation as a means of divining words from God. This would explain some of his (otherwise unintrospectable) comments. And it also leads me to believe that his frequent mention of the CIA and the n-word has some special, possibly even internally consistent, meaning to him, of which we are simply unaware. I am at least able to pick up on some of the religious allusions he makes elsewhere. That doesn't make him sane. But it might perhaps excuse what would otherwise be unacceptable.

You're disappointed that a cool project is #1 on hacker news?

Willful misunderstanding is of course always an option, I guess.

I was consciously trying not to misunderstand you. I can't parse what you said in any way except "this guy is a nutcase and should be denied praise since he's ill."

I mean, how would you want to be treated if your genes were a little less signal and a little more noise?

Your two posts where you are re-stating my opinion in your own words should qualify as a strawman-like attack, so willful misunderstanding is a fair charge.

This kind of illness bleeds into a person's personality. Mental illness is a complex spectrum, not a boolean value. The more a person's capacity for reasoning about the world is compromised, the less relevant it becomes what that person wants. Clearly, if losethos would get what he wants, we'd all die a horrible death. Let that sink in for a second. So to answer your point: if I was a thoroughly crazy person, what I want would be irrelevant.

Of course, all of these points and counterpoints between us are somewhat dancing around the actual issue. So I'll come out and say it: I don't like that dude. For me personally his views outweigh the programming things he does. Your opinion differs. You write off what you don't like as noise, and cherry-pick the things you like for praise. Both viewpoints have certain merits.

However, when you summarize my point of view as

> You're disappointed that a cool project is #1 on hacker news?

you crossed the line into outright misrepresentation by using a polemic sound bite designed to distort the meaning behind the original argument. Yes, I personally am disappointed this is #1 on HN. Yes, it's a cool project. However, it should also be exceedingly obvious that I'm not disappointed because a cool project is featured prominently. And you did the same thing again with

> "this guy is a nutcase and should be denied praise since he's ill."

Yes, that guy is a "nutcase". And yes, he should be denied praise. But once again you imply a causal link between those statements where you know is none: I don't want to deny praise because he's ill. I want to deny praise because he's an asshole.

You did this maneuver two times. There is little reason to doubt you're trying to ridicule my argument by faultily restating it.

But let's put your rhetorics aside. This all is based on my personal opinion about losethos. You have a different one, and at the time of writing this, it is shared by at least 139 people. Be happy about that. It means you're probably right.

My intent wasn't to misrepresent you. It was to clarify you. I have no interest in making people look bad. I'm interested in the truth. Thank you for clarifying that, and I'm sorry if I was being uncharitable.

I'm sorry if I saw intent where there maybe was none. But I hope you see how it would look that way to someone when you paint a picture like that. Also, reading intent in forum posts is hard, especially if you don't know the person. So let me restate that those two conclusions you drew about my motivations are false, but the end result is probably pretty close anyway.

Saying racist things makes you racist, wether you are mentally ill or not.

It does mean we should judge him less for it. But it also means it might be a good decision to ban him so that he does not tarnish the community with too many flame threads.

Then does not saying racist things automatically make you not-racist? Or is there other criteria we need to apply before hanging the label? For example, do they believe the words coming out of their own mouth? What about someone with Tourette's? I'm not trying to fall in a philosophical hole, but I believe that racism is a conscious choice at some level and mental illness is not.

> Then does not saying racist things automatically make you not-racist?

No, that doesn't work. A person not saying racist things might be a racist on his day off. The absence of racist speech cannot be used to declare a person not racist, because:

1. The person might harbor racist but unspoken thoughts.

2. We're all racists.

Number (2) pretty much settles the issue. I emphasize that the fact that we're all racists doesn't mean we're all bigots, or that we're not ashamed of our racism and sincerely wish to be free of racism.

> I believe that racism is a conscious choice at some level and mental illness is not.

I've met people raised in the south before modern times, and for many of them, racism was not a conscious choice. I've often disagreed with federal intervention in local politics, but as to civil rights, I have to say that was one case where federal intervention was absolutely necessary and just:


Also, mental illness can sometimes be a conscious choice as well. We can talk ourselves into a very unhealthy mental state -- or out of one. I'm talking only about the many kinds of mental illness that aren't biological in origin -- the kinds of mental illness that were voted into existence, and that make the DSM* noticeably bigger with each new revision.

* More about the DSM controversy: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/elements/2013/05/the-s...

EDIT: I cannot believe someone downvoted this terrific reply. If I say so myself, it's first-rate, and it represents the height of irony that it was downvoted.

Also, mental illness can sometimes be a conscious choice as well. We can talk ourselves into a very unhealthy mental state -- or out of one.

Lest anyone believe this, let me emphasize that this project's author is suffering from schizophrenia, and schizophrenia is a physical disease. Your brain physically deteriorates.

> Lest anyone believe this, let me emphasize that this project's author is suffering from schizophrenia

That doesn't contradict the idea that many mental illnesses have no physical or biological connection, indeed many are inventions of psychologists for their own personal benefit, and were created by votes, not research.

> and schizophrenia is a physical disease. Your brain physically deteriorates.

Very true, which is why schizophrenia isn't a mental illness, it's physical illness with mental symptoms. This isn't remotely controversial.

According to wikipedia, it is associated with (doesn't imply causation) physical changes to the brain in 40-50% of cases. I'm not any kind of expert, just reading what I see there, but apart from small decreases in brain volume (not known whether this is preexistent or not), I don't see any mention of the brain "deteriorating". Indeed, it seems that around a quarter of sufferers recover completely, others may have long periods between relapse. It is also possible to suffer schizophrenia with a high intelligence quotient.

Yes, noted, and perfectly reasonable. All this will eventually be resolved by neuroscience, as it takes over from psychiatry and psychology, a process that has already begun.

Neuroscience has a long way to go before it can offer what medicine offers for conventional diseases. But in the long term, it will make psychiatry and psychology look like astrology.


Does this mean spambots that get trained on a corpus containing racism are racists? Can you be a racist without knowing what race is? (This tangent brought to you by "things I'd rather HN talk about than this topic")

So I guess a large majority of comedians are racist. That may hurt ticket sales.

Saying racist things makes those things racist. Being mentally ill makes you mentally ill and—in this case—prone to saying racist things.

Just like Jesus?

I often highlight his comments and read them for whatever reason. It's a little fascinating.

Yeah, in a "Daisy, Daisy" kind of way.

A nice cogent summary of the goals of the project:

"The main reason TempleOS is simple and beautiful is because it's ring-0-only and identity-mapped. Linux wants to be a secure, multi-user mainframe. That's the vision for Linux. That's why it has file permissions. The vision for TempleOS is a modern, 64-bit Commodore 64. The C64 was a home computer mostly used for games. It trained my generation how to program. It was simple, open and hackable. It was not networked. The games were not multimedia works of art, but generated programmatically with innocent, programmer (non-artist) quality graphics. It was simple and unsecure. If you don't have malware and you don't have bugs, protection just slows things down and makes the code complicated."

I know the author is a long-hellbanned hn user, possibly with some kind of mental illness.

But just out of curiosity, I downloaded the 24MB ISO from the website and loaded it up in a VMWare instance. It does boot...

It's an odd curses-like interface, with lots of blinking and scrolling. There are command-line looking things around, but all of the commands are kind of like C statements, like instead of 'cd ..' you have to do 'Cd("..");'. Really odd. There's a blue box that pops up possible completions, but it seems to have a whole dictionary in addition to commands.

Play with it if you have VMWare and you're bored, but I'd strongly recommend fully isolating it...

The entire OS is written in a language called C+ (now renamed to Holy C), it is an very interesting language in that it is just in time compiled. It's a mix between old school C and C++, taking some good/bad from both.

The language is fully documented too, see http://www.templeos.org/Wb/Doc/HolyC.html.

The entire OS runs in a single memory space, so processes communicating with each other is as simple as writing to that processes memory space and telling to go execute.

All of the .z files you find in the source tree directories are a gzip like algorithm that on the fly in the OS automatically unzips them, and then compiles the code contained within.

The interesting thing is that while the programs are generally just in time compiled, the main startup programs can't be, however you can easily change the OS and re-run the compiler, overwrite the already started OS and continue on. The compiler CAN write binaries but it is not recommended by the author.

And I may have spent entirely too much time in this ;-).

The author may be a schizophrenic, what he has built is kinda neat.

Play with it if you have VMWare and you're bored, but I'd strongly recommend fully isolating it...

He's said that networking isn't a goal of the project, as the OS is intended for gaming. So it doesn't have any way to connect to any network.

Isolation is not just about networking.

Hmm.. What else is it about? Using VMware or Virtualbox is actually more dangerous from an isolation perspective because of shared folders and sharing USB drives between the guest/host OS.

Isolation is meant w.r.t. the concept of resources. Resources include, but are not limited to, network and file system access. Other resources, from which you might want to isolate processes, are other processes (or even just PIDs), CPU cycles, and memory. Isolation is also about limiting the impact of an exploit.

> possibly with some kind of mental illness

Oh, that explains very well what I was thinking about those bible cites..

I think he posted an explanation for those seemingly gibberish posts. He wrote a program to grab random text from the Bible and other sources. Supposedly that randomness is what allows the truth to come out.

Will people here show some fucking respect? Using terms like "bat shit crazy" and "inane" are extremely selfish and only serve to make yourself feel better at the expense of someone who is disabled. You don't need to qualify statements. You can appreciate this for what it is and not comment on the author's disability and the negative effects of it. The sad truth is that what was done here is too far advanced for most of us so people can't comment on the actual content and instead decide to publicly humiliate a disabled person.

Agreed, this place can be really disgusting in its intolerance of mental illness. Backgrounds and persepectives represented in a tech/startup-specific community aren't bound to be the most diverse. Most people here are successful Americans.

For what it's worth, there is a far more interesting and respectful discussion from last fall on Metafilter: http://www.metafilter.com/119424/An-Operating-System-for-Son...

My favorite bit:

    I did a flight simulator but it looks awful, at best.
    Boot it in VMWare. Get someone else to run it. It's
    called "/LT/Demo/GameStarters/EagleDive.CPZ" It's an
    eagle diving for fish. It's just a demo mostly. I often
    show restraint in making my demos simple.

  East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94:
    bro i think you can be proud of the flight simulator
    you wrote for the operating system you also wrote

No, I will not pity someone who you, and or society may determine to be 'disabled' for one thing or another. I will appreciate TempleOS as much as the author's other works including the rants for they are one and the same, expressions of self. So guess what, this is an interesting piece of work, you know what else? I don't like being called racial slurs. I'm not going to show any respect for anyone who thinks they can call me or my brethren a racial slur, disabled or not. To tell me to respect someone like that IS insanity. So no, no respect given.

His brain is physically deteriorating. It's schizophrenia. His brain matter is rotting away. It's not an illness like the flu. His thoughts are not his own in the same way yours or mine are. We are all just collections of cells, but his are haywire. He is incapable of choosing to give respect in the same way he's incapable of not hearing voices.

Respect is probably an incorrect word to use here. You rightly shouldn't be expected to respect someone's epithets regardless of the cause.

As has been mentioned, this man has a disease that is causing him to act in a way that in almost every other way he probably wouldn't otherwise act were he to not have this disease.

There was a man several years ago who was convicted of attempted rape. He had no prior history of anything like this yet when he was incarcerated he was constantly propositioning the female officers. It cost him everything including his wife and family. And rightly so. Except, just before his sentencing he was diagnosed as having a brain tumor. When it was removed the predatory behavior ceased and he was a normal man again. Two years later the tumor returned and he started trying to force sex on every woman he saw.

Was he a rapist? Technically, had he succeeded in raping a woman, yes. Should he be imprisoned for it? Probably hospitalized actually but either way I'm sure you'd agree he should not be allowed back into society.

So instead of "respect" how about "compassion"? Can you have compassion for a man who is provably brilliant but also suffering from a debilitating mental illness that just may be the source of his racial slurs?

Ah I know this story well and it sheds light on why we feel one way when someone presumably has no choice over actions (mentally ill) and another when we assume that they have a choice. To answer your question: I don't know. I can envision scenarios where I do empathize and sympathize with someone afflicted, and others not so much. It is mostly dependent on whether the afflicted is self-aware. I don't know how much pain and suffering people cause each other is our own choice or something that we could just 'cut away' with some surgery.

I find it abhorrent that you are offended by the words of someone who clearly has no control over themselves. Are you that insecure that you will take the rants of a schizophrenic and use them to play the race card?

So wait, I'm expected to take TempleOS at face value for what it is regardless of the mental health conditions of its creator, but I can't take his religious or racial rants at face value? Seems somewhat arbitrary from my position.

To answer your question: No. I'm not. If I was, I'd be having a lot more altercations with the homeless in LA and SF. Though to play devil's advocate I could totally make the argument that one should heed the words of the racist mentally ill, as bad things can happen: (See Hitler). Having said that, If someone commands that I should show or 'give' respect and somehow separate the wheat from the chaff in arbitrary fashion to the benefit of the doubt of the mentally ill because he 'clearly has no control' seems somewhat like a disservice with that special treatment tied in, that's just an acknowledgement that this is acceptable. My stance is that it's not, regardless of your condition. How you handle that and prevent it is beyond the scope of this.

...the race card

A word almost solely employed by racists, when expressing dislike about the fact that anyone dare identify a racial component in anything, anywhere. Just FYI.

People have a right to be offended by derogatory words, especially -- but not only -- if they are directed towards themselves or people like them. The issue here is that Terry most likely doesn't have the ability to use a different word, or express his fear/anger in controlled way. His vocabulary is an expression of the culture in which he lives -- if he were in Russia he would be expressing fears about the KGB, not the CIA, for example.

Someone else compared his writings to a Markov chain -- the n-word is part of the input corpus to his diseased mental processes then. I personally don't infer intent on his part.

Being offended by racist speach from someone with Schizophrenia is like being offended because the guy with Alzheimers couldn't remember your name.

Taking offence to those things isn't a good thing at all, it just shows a massive lack of sympathy and understanding in the people who chose to take offence to it.

Sorry I was typing on a mobile device and probably didn't choose the best words to describe my intent. What I meant by "the race card" was taking a situation that has nothing to do with race relations (ie. Temple OS) and turning it into a discussion about race.

>> ...the race card > A word almost solely employed by racists,

This is an absurd statement. I believe I've given as much justification as you did, BTW.

You need to get over yourself. The author of those clearly awful comments has a mental illness. For you to take those comments at face value and hold the author completely accountable is something I literally can't understand as an empathetic human being. You are simply being self-righteous at the expense of someone with a mental illness. That is a level of selfishness, obtuseness, and ignorance I can't understand.

Big words and not quite respectful either.

For me? This is unacceptable. Any technical project that is tied into religion is already, by definition, not for me. TempleOS and its weird language are already far off the scale of sanity.

Believe is something very personal and I never attack someone for that. Unless.. they try to spread it, claim that this madness is superior in some sort of way.

So - that guy here might have medical issues. That's really sad and I do believe that he's impressive as a programmer.

But this submission cannot judge the OS without the bag of insults and religious madness it includes. I'm close to invoke Godwin (hey, at least I'm German. Now that'd be new..) to convince you that "But that's a neat project" isn't good enough if the message, the whole idea behind that thing is totally, fatally flawed and unacceptable.

I'm not trying to insult the man behind the project. Still, the project itself is worthless and not even remotely interesting to me, _because_ of the man behind that project.

People start judging startups because of the CEO here everyday. We still have anti-MS zealots, that throw Bill Gates jokes around. This project isn't 'protected' from being considered inacceptable, just because the guy behind it has a medical condition.

I flagged the submission. I heavily disagree with your idea of appreciating a piece of work while ignoring the dangerous ideas and opinions the creator shouts out - even if no one _wants_ to listen.

I'm pretty sure chez17 was talking about the author. The comments here are despicable in regards to how they talk about him, especially when it was someone else that posted this.

By "appreciate it for what it is" it means you can appreciate it at 0 or even less, that's your prerogative. But we shouldn't be attacking this man. Judge the project for what it is, but the personal attacks against the man are unnecessary.

I agree, to a point. No one should attack the man.

But that project shouldn't be here either. The author is banned from discussing his work. He is considered 'unwanted' already, in a way (and without us, the mere mortals that take part in the discussions here, having a say).

So while you're certainly right in some way (personal attacks are uncalled for), refusing to give him a platform to present his propaganda is still just fine in my book. And please look at the linked page, try to call it anything but that...

A medical condition, severe as it might be, is no reason to accept everything with a 'Ah, but look: That guy has a problem'. He needs help. Not a link to his 'I talk to God and dates start when Jesus was among us' .. thing.

No. He is not considered unwanted. He's hellbanned because that is the only reasonable course of action for this case. He can post his comments and people can see it if they choose to. He's respected as a human being and fellow programmer suffering from a terrible disease. And I assure you this post would already be dead or buried if the mods didn't explicitly approve of its presence.

Hellban: "We don't want your stuff here and hope it takes you ages to figure out that we don't read it, before you create another account to write the same things"

"I assure you this post would be dead or buried if the mods didn't explicitly approve"? Really? You claim to know that? I call BS. You defend both project (meh!) and author (understandable, in parts) throughout this thread.

Now you're claiming that this post is 'signed off' somehow? With that brand-spanking-new account? Are you hiding some information? Do you sit in PG's office? Are you 'sillysaurus', the old/respectable account? And if that's the case, what leads you to this crusade with a '2' suffix?

"I assure you this post would be dead or buried if the mods didn't explicitly approve"? Really? You claim to know that? I call BS.

You don't need to take my word for it. The thread was sitting at #3 at 01:05 UTC. It was then manually adjusted by a moderator, or automatically adjusted due to flagging, or automatically adjusted due to the flamewar detector, to #26 at 01:10 UTC. http://hnrankings.info/6308017/ Also, mods are typically quick to bury stuff that they feel wouldn't be good for HN, especially during primetime hours. This post was #1-#3 for several hours, so this leads me to suspect this thread was either automatically adjusted by the flamewar detector or penalized due to flagging, and that a moderator had already seen this and decided not buried it. Also, for the stuff they truly do not want on HN, they bury the story by adjusting its gravity to be infinite, e.g. it's not merely moved to page 2 or page 3 but to >page 10. And this story wasn't buried.

Yes, I was sillysaurus. I was hellbanned for posting controversial comments and then deleting them. Now I make controversial comments and don't delete them.

He's hellbanned because that is the only reasonable course of action for this case.

Is it the only reasonable course of action or is it the only course of action the site or its policies allow? Does anyone get banned outright? Has that even been tried in his case?

I've looked at the page, I do find the content offensive. The project itself (stripped of the bullshit) is somewhat interesting. Whether the project is worth any mention or platform is to the individual. I personally wouldn't have posted it for the fact that it is offensive.

My issue is that it wasn't him that posted this. The reason he's 'unwanted' is so he doesn't receive the platform. [ETA: sillysaurus says it much better than I.] The core of my issue is that it wasn't him that posted this. He's been dragged into the spotlight by a third party and then attacked.

And I agree that medical conditions are not a reasonable bye in most cases. In this case, it's an attempt to put forth some ground of understanding.

We're not too far apart.

He didn't post it. No need to attack the person behind the project.

But the project (you saw the page) offers quite some opportunities for criticism already. I agree that we shouldn't bash the guy for his .. background. I still think that the "Oh, but this is so amazing" and even more, "Don't criticize the guy, he has a medical condition you insensitive clod" is useless, crap and no better than the "That guy is a nutjob" insults.

Judging the project on its own, looking at nothing but the link, I'd say that this in inappropriate. That's my position, nothing else - and I don't mean that guy any harm.

The basic idea behind this, as I understand it, is that the author views the operating system as a way to interact with God.

See the following thread of comments on reddit: http://www.reddit.com/r/programming/comments/1aqdxn/temple_o...

This is essentially the equivalent of "outsider art" in the technology world.

Indeed. He has the bizarre belief that his computer's PRNG is actually the holy spirit.

Wouldn't a deity be insulted by a pseudo random number generator?

Perhaps, given such a deity, no such thing as true randomness would even exist.

Here's my proof that we will never prove the existence of true randomness.

* To demonstrate the randomness of the members of a set, we must examine the entire set.

* A candidate set cannot be finite in size, because a finite set is by definition not random.

* Therefore the only legitimate test of randomness is against an infinite set.

* To examine all the members of an infinite set would require infinite time.

This doesn't mean randomness doesn't exist, it only addresses the issue of proof.

Why is a finite set not random? What if it's a random selection from the set of all sets?

> Why is a finite set not random?

First, for a given finite set, one cannot say it's not random, only that its randomness cannot be proven.

Let's think a bit about what we mean by "random".

* Is an even distribution of the digits 0-9, and no preferred sequential order, evidence for randomness? Yes, but not very good evidence.

* How about sequences of digits taken two at a time -- if each pair of digits is equally likely and shows no discernible pattern in their order, then we can say that the set meets the twin test.

* Now to triplets -- does each set of three digits show a complete absence of pattern, i.e. are 000, 001, etc. equally likely and have no preferred ordering?

Do you see where this is going? For any finite set size, the randomness tests must end when the digit sequence size to be tested equals the set's finite size. That means we cannot fully test the set, and the reason is that it's finite in size.

> What if it's a random selection from the set of all sets?


* Typical examples drawn from an infinite random set won't themselves be provably random. Consider if we draw three digits from an infinite, random set -- they won't be likely to be random in isolation. Extend this to a selection of N digits from an infinite, random set -- as N increases, the probability of the selected set being random increases, but cannot be truly, provably random for any finite value of N.

* A random selection isn't the same as a random set. If I randomly select a location within an infinite set, I have no assurance that my random choice of N digits will itself prove to be be random, therefore my having chosen a random starting point doesn't either aid or hinder the process.

Consider these seeming paradoxes (not really paradoxical):

* Within an infinite random set, there will be an infinite number of examples (and repetitions) of infinitely repeating digits, i.e. infinite sequences of 1111 ... , 2222 ..., etc. In fact, if we accept the premise that the infinite set is in fact random, such repeating sequences must exist somewhere in the set, or the set is not random.

* Within an infinite random set, with appropriate search tools, we will find every book ever written or to be written, every state secret, every mathematical equation ever written or to be written, essentially everything. It's a simple matter of knowing where to look.

Given these examples, if we choose an arbitrary index within the infinite random set from which to extract 40,000 numbers in base 26, we cannot be sure the extract will not be a work of Shakespeare with every word spelled correctly. Obviously that's not a random subset. Therefore we cannot have any assurance that a subset of a random set is itself random.

Consider the infinite sequence represented by the digits of Pi. If we examine the digits of Pi expressed in base 26, where A = 0, B = 1, etc., it should be obvious that we will begin to see dictionary words of increasing size rather quickly in a practical search using present-day tools. To get a work of Shakespeare, one need only search more deeply.

Thanks for your answer!

You mean consecutive n-tuples, right? If you're checking every permutation of n-tuples in the set, it's equivalent to checking single indices.

I see what you're getting at, but i'm not sure i can accept it as-is - the result is pretty closely tied to your particular choice of a randomness-test, which predetermines several of the later examples. My concept of "random" would not be strictly based on comparing n-tuples, but more about 'unpredictability' - so how about a randomness test based on kolmogorov complexity? Although i expect that finding the shortest possible algorithm that describe a set must be NP, if possible at all (that consecutive n-tuple comparison algorithm certainly isn't guaranteed to find it).

> Although i expect that finding the shortest possible algorithm that describe a set must be NP, if possible at all (that consecutive n-tuple comparison algorithm certainly isn't guaranteed to find it).

Okay, you've mentioned Kolmogorov complexity, that's a reasonable approach. In that definition, a function able to produce random numbers is not (cannot be) smaller than the resulting set, i.e. it has maximum entropy. The reason is that a function that is smaller than its result implies that a pattern is being exploited, and that, in turn, implies that the set isn't random (such a set by definition would have no exploitable patterns).

Another test, based on the same ideas, is a hypothetical compression algorithm, not one that we know of or can write, that is put to the task of compressing the "random" set. If the compression algorithm cannot make the set smaller, the set is random. This also addresses the issue of exploitable patterns and entropy.

But all these ways of thinking about randomness relies on the set being infinite in size (or an inexhaustible function as a source for the test values). If this condition isn't met, and if we acquire a finite set of numbers of size N, one can argue that the next set of that size will be a repetition of the same values, therefore not random. This objection can only be answered by defining the problem in terms of an infinite set.

That last paragraph sums it up pretty well. You're obviously correct, an inexhaustible function = infinite set is required.


So, this is like the machine spirit from WH40K? That's sorta awesome. As for the whole religious \ racist thing, I've been around computer scientists and mathematician long enough to know a great many of them tend to favor one theory \ paradigm over the next for the most irrational reasons...

Anyone trying to bring back the spirit of the Commodore 64 gets a +1 from me, even if they are batshit crazy. In fact, you have to be crazy to do a project like this.

Here's to the crazy ones.

So I will just leave this here: http://www.templeos.org/Wb/Demo/DateTime.html

I love this.

First of all, a single day being equal to 32 bits - that's a nice touch right there.

Second, given the way most of the world reckons time (it is the year 2013, after all) seconds since Christ makes a lot more sense than seconds since 1970 ...

This is the operating system made to run Dwarf Fortress.

Oh god, the LoseThOS guy returns.

Do yourself a favor: Turn on showdead in options and browse a bunch of threads. You will see his markov chain generator going nuts, plus his rants.

Ohh man, I used to work with a guy like this....though he would sing and write poetry to you over IM and slowly descend into madness.

He also believed his code was bulletproof and never needed changing/refactoring. He was a team culture killer.

I really want to have a spare laptop on which I can install all kinds of weirdo OSes just to see what they're like, not for "real" use. I'm perfectly happy running Win7 and OSX but that's like being happy with vanilla and chocolate at Baskin Robbins! I need some kind of heavy-duty bootloader and partitioning agent, though. Any recommendations for a starting place?

The obvious choice of boot manager would be GRUB 2 [1] but Plop Boot Manager [2] is entirely sufficient in many cases and easier to install and configure.

You can partition the hard drive, real or virtual, with Parted Magic [3].

If the reason you want to go with real hardware is that something like VirtualBox doesn't feel transparent enough to you (i.e., there's a lot of magic that happens in the background when you configure it through the GUI) I'd suggest trying out QEMU first. It requires more manual configuration (you'll have to read the man page and find the right set of command line options to make it do what you want) but the end result is that you have a better understanding of the virtual hardware your guest OS is running on. Plus, the Cirrus graphics card it emulates by default is well supported by old software.

[1] One good option is to use http://www.supergrubdisk.org/super-grub2-disk/.

[2] http://www.plop.at/en/bootmanager/

[3] http://partedmagic.com/doku.php

>> I really want to have a spare laptop on which I can install all kinds of weirdo OSes just to see what they're like

Actually, is there somewhere a list of all the weirdo OSes? I'd be interested to see that.

Here are some links for when you have a few minutes:

What does your OS look like? Screen shots http://forum.osdev.org/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=12087

Wiki list of projects http://wiki.osdev.org/Projects

I don't meant to only report on the ones at osdev.org, but from the osdev.org wiki you can find the other main osdev sites and find their project lists. If you approach this with the attitude of open exploration, I think you'll enjoy it more.


Virtualisation is the best option rather than booting, for most operating systems. Xen is a good option, most OSs will run well under it (though probably not this one). You can boot other stuff from USB instead of bootloader.

Why not use VirtualBox, VMWare Player, or qemu?

That works, but I couldn't get audio to work. So no listening to Songs by God and Me or anything else in the OS.


It depends on what audio controllers he's written device drivers for. In most VMs you can specify which devices are present and visible to the OS. For example, VirtualBox has implementations of the Intel HD Audio, ICH AC97, and SoundBlaster16 controllers.

Why not simply use virtualization? Whether QEMU, Bochs, or VirtualBox?

I love this project no matter in which iteration it's sent (just hate the inevitable wtf comments from those who don't bother to do the minimal dig-in) It's as if it was taken from some (good) psychological thriller/hacker movie. A genius schizophrenic writes an OS that will bring him closer to God, sprinkled with esoteric religiously sounded phrases throughout.

I don't even... is this some kind of joke? The website reads like a Christian version of the timecube website.

The author has some mental issues of some kind.

He is a great programmer, though, and his work shouldn't be discounted just because he's a bit off.

A bit off, that's like saying Stalin had the odd off day or Machiavelli was a tad manipulative.

LoseThos is balls to the wall flat out crazy.

It's interesting that he's done more actual work than most of us. I would imagine he spends most of his time working on the OS rather than interacting with people. Kind of puts into perspective how productive we could be... And also how useless some forms of productivity are.

has he? making a booting from metal OS is a semester long undergraduate project, and this person has been working on it for way longer than that. in a semester, university programs expect you to write a kernel that boots to a shell with virtual memory management and multi-tasking. templeos doesn't even have virtual memory management.

He doesn't want virtual memory management... the guy wrote his own just in time compiler that compiles and runs programs on the fly...

Most universities let most programmers avoid doing all of that by themselves, which is probably the most impressive part of this project.

TempleOS doesn't want nor need VMM. That is what static analysis and being a "Real Programmer" ;-) is for.

Please be a bit more respectful of peoples mental health issues.


Well bully for you.

About Machievelli: The Prince was (proably) a sarcastic piece[0], denoting the things he saw politicians doing and he thought should not be done. It's a shame that he's remembered as though it was an instruction manual.


I read The Prince when I was a lot younger, fascinating book.

I often start thinking the same of people on HN, but I still listen for those occasions when they say something interesting.

That's not very nice.

The truth often isn't, it is still the truth.

How convenient for you that your opinions are always The Truth.

I know, it's great isn't it.

And this guy: https://news.ycombinator.com/threads?id=SparrowOS

And this guy: https://news.ycombinator.com/threads?id=TempleOS

And he may have another ID for all I know.

But the OS is real. The author is indeed strange. Some say he is schizophrenic.

I knew I wouldn't be the only person to think, "Oh my, it's Timecube all over again..."

Can we reach out to this guy and help him somehow?

This project would greatly benefit from a Github repository and an appropriate issue tracker. But then again, Terry completely loses foucs of reality every now and then (this is partly because of his mental disorder) and goes on to a path of complete anhiliation, destroying everything he created. This happened a few times with documentation and supporting websites he put up.

Can't anyone of the fine folks here help him with that?

More info and examples of the developers schizophrenic chatter here: http://www.reddit.com/r/programming/comments/1aqdxn/temple_o...

Why is this (re)posted now? Personally I find these kinds of submissions (just link to front-page of a old project) bit annoying as they provide no context for why it's supposedly relevant now.

edit: here is some background info for those who are not familiar with this https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4992749

Regarding schizophrenia/psychotic states and the religious connection:

People here do not realize this is what happens when your spirit gets crushed- the psyche regresses into a state where hope is the only thing left. That is where religion comes in, which is fundamentally the psyche's last grasp on reality by clinging onto hope in society. (Father, save me.)

The psychology involved is absolutely real, and the effects can be seen in any brainwashing victims who have had their will destroyed through deceit or betrayal. This is documented stuff- you can make someone schizophrenic. Ever been dumped by a girlfriend and felt "lost" for some time, losing some ability to reason? Congratulations, you have experienced damage to the psyche caused by emotional shock, otherwise known as "heartbreak." This is what religion is referring to through the metaphor of the "soul."

Furthermore, society has responded to this man's determination and faith in redemption, i.e. "God's Will." We're adjusting and slowly coming to accept his mental state and are beginning to appreciate the impressive effort put into his project. His faith is working, and in this we are both observing and are participating in the 'miracle' of faith, which is due to the emotional bonds that humans create.

We are pack animals like many others in nature, we create family units, and we are essentially structured just like the natural world around us despite what we like to think about ourselves- our conscious thoughts are produced by our subconscious, we're not in control, and we have no idea what the hell we're doing except chasing a vision of success. Success in what, exactly?

Religion is not what you think it is! It is not entirely pointless superstitious nonsense, it is an ancient way of describing the matters of the pull of emotion from the heart and the effects it has on the human psyche through abstractions and metaphor. It is very difficult to understand except through experience, because it's relying on a different state of the brain and attempting to describe feelings. People call it "wisdom" because that is the easiest explanation, since it is dealing with emotional states of the human mind that cannot be explained logically, only through abstract stories, warnings, and the like, same as Greek mythology (don't fly too close to the Sun). Thou shalt not steal, because the subconscious guilt may eventually damage your trust in yourself and you may be cast out from your peers. (i.e. the Kingdom of God.)

Likewise, Hell is a metaphor for what happens when you are lost in the world with a shattered psyche, with no social bonds to pull you back up. It is a terrifying fate, and it certainly happened thousands of years ago to men just as it happens today- where do you think the minds of the homeless pushing around shopping carts are? Modern psychology (at least some of it) is essentially a scientific explanation of the situations and consequences that the ancients described in the Bible.

It is not literal, nor did that have any meaning when it was written. It is the "Word of God" as again, a metaphor, describing the nature of human beings and their common behavioral patterns leading to predictable consequence. The Old Testament is essentially an ancient Almanac, containing metaphor about the creation and nature of the universe, orally passed down legends and tradition about the beginning of mankind, a history of the fate of various sects and tribes and family lines of man originating from Israel, and collections of poems, songs, and Confucian-like snippets of wisdom collected by kings.

The traditions, symbolism, culture, music, and weird mannerisms of the church (or any religion in any culture) are there for a reason. They are symbols that affect the subconscious and evoke emotion, the same way that subliminally seeing a fast food sign in your peripheral vision will make your stomach rumble, and the reason why all advertising works. Described in an ancient way, this is magic. It's real, and you're exposed to it every day in both positive and negative forms.

The "house of religion" where participants submit into a particular culture of tradition gives humans in various situations and walks of life something to bond together with, creating a social family unit i.e. "children of God, flock, congregation, etc." This feeling is subconsciously uncomfortable to the logical crowd like this one, which is compromised of young men driven by their very nature to break free of their parental family unit and create their own, while not realizing that is exactly what they are doing or where their ambition comes from. They are clinging to their confidence in themselves, and if that doesn't pan out, the only thing left to hold onto is hope in the compassion of your fellow man as a collective. It is sort of like a recursive self-deception where people place their faith in their own emotions (God's name is Jealousy) which actually works and helps people pull themselves back out. Hard to wrap your mind around the illogical!

Let's not disappoint the man. He deserves recognition, and it is in our very nature to give him a hand and pull him out of his rut. Perhaps he will even find a woman to bond with, set up a steeple above their heads in "holy matrimony," and become a King himself.

Your comment implies that (a) everyone on HN is an atheist and (b) religious people are incapable of logical/rational thought.

I don't think that's true.

I didn't intend to imply either, it's just directed at those who don't understand (one of) the needs that religion fulfills or what it's about. Of course it is only my own understanding and I'm asserting an opinion.

You can make someone schizophrenic.

I have no idea what you're talking about. Schizophrenia is a physical illness. Your brain physically deteriorates. You can't make anyone schizophrenic any more than you can make them lose an arm. In fact, making them lose an arm would be much easier than making them schizophrenic.

No, there is a large amount of factors that have been linked to being able to cause schizophrenia. There is no final answer to the debate at the moment.

See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Causes_of_schizophrenia

Interesting... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Causes_of_schizophrenia#Urbanic...

"A particularly stable and replicable finding has been the association between living in an urban environment and the development of schizophrenia, even after factors such as drug use, ethnic group and size of social group have been controlled for.[142] A recent study of 4.4 million men and women in Sweden found a 68%–77% increased risk of diagnosed psychosis for people living in the most urbanized environments, a significant proportion of which is likely to be described as schizophrenia.

The effect does not appear to be due to a higher incidence of obstetric complications in urban environments.[144] The risk increases with the number of years and degree of urban living in childhood and adolescence, suggesting that constant, cumulative, or repeated exposures during upbringing occurring more frequently in urbanized areas are responsible for the association.

Various possible explanations for the effect have been judged unlikely based on the nature of the findings, including infectious causes or a generic stress effect. It is thought to interact with genetic dispositions and, since there appears to be nonrandom variation even across different neighborhoods, and an independent association with social isolation, it has been proposed that the degree of "social capital" (e.g. degree of mutual trust, bonding and safety in neighborhoods) can exert a developmental impact on children growing up in these environments."

So it does seem that it's inflictable, though we don't quite know by what. I can see that brainwashing may trigger it if someone was genetically predisposed to it. One theory may be that living in an urban environment is more of a trigger for those who are genetically predisposed to it. It seems like genetics is a requirement, though, suggesting it's not inflictable at will.

Yeah. We do sort of know why, it's just not exactly something that is easily proven or explicitly demonstrable through scientific method.

However, anyone who has gone through a bad breakup and gone a bit wacky has felt what emotional stress can do to the mind, you see it all the time seeing couples arguing and yelling psychotic things into the phone and slamming it, etc. It jams up the conscious process! Too much of this does cause schizophrenic states, and left unresolved can cause significant damage.

Please look up schizophrenia and the connection to brainwashing victims.

(Unfortunately it is difficult to sort through real information vs forum posts written by schizophrenics whose minds are attempting to blame imaginary targets because they cannot determine the real cause.)

Would you please enlighten me? I've spent a lot of time researching schizophrenia and I've never come across anything that would suggest it's inflictable.

Malicious mind control techniques (gaslighting, etc) can cause a victim to doubt themselves, damaging the psyche, causing paranoia, and leading to a psychotic state, sometimes semi-permanent. The mind needs to resolve some issues and without doing so it will accumulate cognitive dissonance. Mania induced by these psychotic states can actually cause physical damage to the brain. It is not known exactly what causes schizophrenia but it is known that it can be the consequence of these sort of psychological stressors, i.e. people lose their shit and have breakdowns when they get too emotionally damaged.

I say this with great respect: Mad Genius.

I don't quite understand what he meant by 'identity-mapped' - can anyone clue me in?

I haven't looked through it, but it probably means that you can access individual physical bytes in memory by using their physical address (there's a one to one correspondence between the physical address and the logical address of a byte).

I'm not exactly sure how that is achieved, as far as I know, in order to switch to long mode, you need to have enabled paging.

I've been myself looking to start my own OS (protected mode), but it will probably be a unix code. What this guy has done obviously deserves a lot of admiration.

virtual memory makes a translation layer between virtual addresses and physical addresses.

an identity-mapping for virtual memory is then a mapping that directly translates a VA into the same PA, so VA 5 is PA 5.

the word 'paging' is overloaded to mean, to the cpu, the act of having the mmu perform translation from a physical to a virtual address, and, having the OS perform demand-loading of certain physical pages.

so non-identity mappings would happen when you switch a VA from mapping to a PA to mapping to nothing. the OS takes the contents of the PA and stores it on disk. the next time the VA is accessed, there is a 'page fault' and the data for the page is brought in to some other available PA and the VA is remapped to that PA (if the mapping exists in the stored pages on disk).

identity mappings are very simple because they remove the layer of indirection normally present in a virtual memory system. so you can run the processor in long mode, and use as much of the memory as you can address, but have none of the benefits of disk-paging, processes, separation, etc.

it's ironic because if you used processes, your system could be more performant, because your address space only contains the pages needed to run your particular task. if you run everything in r0, then you don't even need an OS. you sidestep a lot of the challenges in writing an OS at the expense of performance...

Identity mapping refers to how the page tables are set up. It's hardly at odds with paging. The term doesn't even make much sense if paging isn't enabled.

Virtual memory addresses equal to their mappings in physical memory.

A "muflax" created a distribution on GitHub: https://github.com/muflax/templeos

One minor version/2 months or so behind.

Released into the public domain, very cool!

The crack about the holocaust in this story is not funny, sorry it just isn't.

You should understand a bit about the author before you let this concern you. It certainly wasn't intended to be humor.

Or anything. I doubt he "intends" much.

I spent longer than I care to admin playing AfterEgypt.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | DMCA | Apply to YC | Contact