Saturday, 8 May 2010

Grafx 1.0 for MINIX

Isn't this Internet thing cool! Using Google Group's Usenet archive, I managed to locate the project I completed in the 3rd year of my Bachelor of Applied Science in Computer and Information Science, way back in 1991/92.

My supervisor (Bob Buckley) offered to post the finished source code to the comp.os.minix newsgroup on my behalf (as students didn't have permission to post to newsgroups at that time). Strangely, the older posts in this newsgroup don't appear to be indexed properly by Google (eg. searching for 'gardiner' doesn't return any matches), but for posterity, here are the links to the overview and 4 parts:

Quoting from the introduction text:

The Grafx package gives MINIX the ability to display graphical output.
It also partially implements the UNIX plot(3X) library.
Graphics is driven through the BIOS (with all the associated implications).

Hardware Requirements:
        IBM-PC or BIOS compatible
        Graphics Adaptor - CGA,EGA,VGA,(Hercules Untested)

        Other platforms eg. 68K should be able to use this package
        with a small amount of work.

The documentation is distributed in the following files:

usrdoc.txt      - User documentation - ASCII text
sysdoc.txt      - System documentation - ASCII text

These are wordperfect output - so bold and underline may look odd
on your screen, but should print OK. Mail a request for the WP
files if you want to print with different fonts, etc.

I would welcome your feedback on this package. It was my 3rd year
project, as part of the Computer Studies Degree course at the
University of South Australia.

- Dave Gardiner, 14/2/92
Internet: [email protected]

Historical notes

  • The 4 separate posts are part of a "shar" shell archive – a popular way of sharing scripts and source code in newsgroups.
  • It was in August 1991 that Linus posted to comp.os.minix about a new operating system he was working on (later to become Linux).
  • I'm pretty sure I got a response back from Prof. Andrew Tanenbaum – I can't find anything online so it may have been an email which has since been lost. I believe he encouraged further work on the idea – but unfortunately that never happened.

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