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Topics - sunseeker2k

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Hello,

most people will probably know that not only every modern PCs include a whole bunch of HW components, which contains (patchable / modifiable) firmware: Looking at x86 based HW, this fact is valid at least since the introduction of the PCI standard - Virtually every PCI component contains such firmware, and it can be said for sure that since a certain point of time those firmware components could also be 'patched' not just by physical, but also by remote access (if anyone should be interested in this: much more info on this can be found on blackhat.com etc.). This possibility of firmware being able to get patched / modified by remote access (to give a concrete example on how this can be done: e. g. network devices receive so-called 'magic numbers', which set them to a certain mode - from this point on not only the network device, but the whole system can get 'patched' / compromised [I don't want to go much into details on that, but the introduction of the ACPI standard made this procedure become much more easily]) could be considered as a 'flaw in design (on purpose)' security risk, which would apply to this whole issue.

Now my big question is: Which HW architecture (or a concrete microcomputer) would 1) not contain ANY patchable firmware components, while 2) providing the highest performance / usability?

E. g., I could say that this would apply to the C128, which has a quite powerful Z80 CPU inside (and which would allow running a custom designed Linux / 'Linux-like' distro on it, and which would also allow someone to access the internet for basic things like sending e-mails).

In my opinion, this would not applicable for any Amiga model - But what about other systems based on the 68000 CPU (which would be probably more suited for running a Linux distro on it and providing internet connectivity / usability / performance compared to the Z80 CPU), like the original Apple Macintosh or Atari ST models?


Any hint on this would be highly appreciated.

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Hi everyone,

since this is my first post, I'll use it as a short introduction as well. I'm from Germany, I got my first computer, a C64 when I was 12, and virtually the only stuff I did with it (but this to a quite extensive degree) was learning BASIC and 6502 machine code / assembler  programming by myself. A while ago I bought a used C128 and now I'm excited to get the converter which shall convert the audio and video signal to HDMI (according to reviews it really works).

The C128 has two CPUs, an 8502 @2 MHz and a Z80 @4 MHz. It can't make use of them simultaneously, and the 8502 runs on Commodore BASIC while the Z80 runs on CP/M.
Many people are surprised, when they hear that there were Linux(-like) systems developed which worked on the C64/C128. However, there are some, for example LUnix:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LUnix
Now the Z80 is a really powerful processor: It has more instructions (there are also negative points concerning the architecture though), but even it's clocking on the C128 (4 MHz) is quite high for that time. And I think it's just incredible that you can overclock it to 80 MHz with a lot and to around 20 MHz with relatively little effort (Sorry I can't find the links right now). The 80 MHz set-up involved a water-cooling, so that would not really fit to the C128. But I think 20 MHz could be realized, maybe one would have to use a little bit bigger cover so that a good cooler could fit.

Now my question is: Why was there never a Lunix(-like) OS coded for the C128 running on its 4 MHz? It's obvious that you can't do much with such an OS on a C64 with 64k RAM, but I think if clever coding is being done, then it would run quite smoothly on a C128 Z80 @20 MHz with upgraded RAM.
Did this http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/showthread.php?27978-Unix-on-a-Z80-machine&p=203275#post203275 post really give any well-grounded reasons to say that it would not or only hardly possible?

I would be really curious what others think about this.


Thanks in advance!

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