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I must ask: What were investment bank admins doing in the OpenBoot PROM (aka Open Firmware), exactly? Hacking FORTH, using Emacs on the keys, and then saving it in NVRAM?

Did you know that Open Firmware has its own theme song?



Sung to the tune of "The Flintstones"

    Open Firmware
    It's the appropriate technology,
    FCode booting
    Hierarchical DevInfo tree. 

    Hack Forth
    Using Emacs on the keys,
    Save in
    NVRAM if you please.
    With your
    Open Firmware
    You can fix the bugs in no time
    Bring the kernel up in no time
    We'll have an FCode time!
I hacked FORTH with Mitch Bradley, the father of Open Firmware, as a summer intern at Sun in 1987. I love OpenBoot PROM, and his 32 bit 68k/SPARC Sun FORTH system that it's based on, which was derived from Langston and Perry's Forth-83! He also developed a version of it used in the OLPC XO-1. http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Open_Firmware


For production slated machines, we were usually running commands such as "copy-clock-tod-to-io-board", nothing too creative.

While I was there, the Sparcstation 20's reached end-of-life and we were allowed to bring one home (I still have it). At home I had gotten ADSL through a reseller that had an odd routing setup - they wanted the MAC address of my desktop so that they could assign an IP to it. I guess I should have gotten a hub that could do NAT, but I gave them my Intel PC MAC, and then went into the SS20 OBP and changed the MAC address to that of my PC. It worked too, both machines got ADSL. Actually what I wound up doing is doing NAT with the SS20, after I swapped out the PC ethernet card with a spare one lying around.

If you're wondering how it works, it's self documenting: besides the usual "help", it also has a decompiler/disassembler built in: "see", which you use as a prefix before other words, like "see see" to decompile the decompiler!

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