Thursday, June 25, 2015

Local Area Networks Named after Minerals - an Introduction

Insofar as towards applications of information science in development and application of computing systems, I've been developing a small framework for a small local area network (LAN), using FreeBSD. This week, I've been able to install FreeBSD on my 17" Hewlett-Packard (HP) Pavilion personal computer (PC) and to boot the operating system successfully. This would entail an application of the HP Pavilion's implementation of the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI), using the Pavilion laptop's hard disk drive, the latter having a GUID Partition Table (GPT)  format.

I'd installed FreeBSD from the EFI-enabled DVD release for FreeBSD 10.1. Though personally, I was concerned about whether or not the installation might be compatible with the laptop's EFI and GPT framework, but -- in regareds the FreeBSD installer's menu options -- the FreeBSD installation itself required no further modifications in order to bootstrap from the hard disk drive. I'd already configured the laptop's BIOS implementation for legacy boot. Although the laptop cannot presently boot to FreeBSD, unattended, but considering the relative simplicity of the 'ESC... F9' key sequence required for boot device selection at the boostrapping state, in the laptop, and the subsequent selection of the appropriate EFI hard disk partition, it's no great difficulty to boot FreeBSD on that laptop, ultimately using FreeBSD's own boot loader framework -- from the 'boot0' initialization to the final 'loader' application. Personally, I would like to speculate that it may be possible to furthermore configure the laptop's hard disk drive such that the FreeBSD boot loader may then effectively replace the boot-time EFI  menu option, labeled "OS boot manager". So far as the laptop now has a working FreeBSD operating system on it, I believe it's arrived at at steady usable state, as a PC.

Of course, it may not be enough to simply make an artifact of the installation. Proceeding from the initial FreeBSD operating system "First boot" stage, I've installed FreeBSD's Poudriere build tool. Beginning from a simple shell script that I'd begun developing, after installing FreeBSD on my LAN's gateway appliance -- perhaps a relatively less remarkable feat, on that PC, it entailing an ordinary BIOS and MBR  configuration -- I've built a small number of software packages, optimized for 'core2' microprocessors, and primarily for terminal-level applications.

Proceeding from that point, I've still a small number of "To Do" type tasks to complete with my newest FreeBSD installation, viz a viz

  • The "Update base system and kernel over LAN" option
    • To install and configure a network filesystem (NFS) server on the LAN gateway appliance, the latter having served as an initial build host for an updated FreeBSD base system, likewise then optimized for core2 microprocessors
    • To configure a NFS client on the newest FreeBSD installation
    • To have configured the server and client in such a way as that it may support a one-time installation of the results produced by 'make buildworld', in updating the newest FreeBSD installation via NFS
    • To document this series of steps, in such a way as that I  may be easily able to reproduce the process, on my newest laptop, an HP Pavilion x360 notebook.
  • The "Build LAN appliance profiles" option -- that entailing much of a configuration for cross-compiling on an amd64 host, compiling for an ARM host. It may also entail an application of a netboot architecture, for bootstrapping of ARM appliances without further tedium in regards to installation. Lastly, on the amd64 host, it may entail a further application of Poudriere, Once the installation would be complete, for each respective ARM appliance, then it might entail simply some rudimentary terminal-level configuration. The bootstrapping and debug processes may be the most challenging to address, in this model.
  • The "Install desktop environment on my FreeBSD PC" option, in applying FreeBSD on an amd64 PC for developing a simple desktop computing environment.
  • Additional "developer novelties" such as:
    • Further study of C programming
    • Further study of Kerberos and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) systems
    • Further study of CORBA architectures, as something of a matter of application-layer communications infrastructure on an IPv4 network, as may be furthemore complicated of Kerberos and SSL
    • Further study of the architecture of the FreeBSD kernel, my hoping to focus my own attentions as towards applications of the Netraph architecture in FreeBSD
The task that I've denoted, with the phrase, "Install desktop environment", to my understanding it would seem to be the least deterministic task in the list. Not only is there a veritably ginormous variety of alternatives available for developing a desktop environment in FreeBSD, furthermore any single selection of FreeBSD desktop tools may be optimized of a local port build -- and then there is question, by far orthogonal, as to how much of the resulting architecture may ever be applied onto a Microsoft Windows desktop, and by what manners of a means to such a state? Broadly, it may serve to call on a concept of software architectures, if not an opportunity to introduce some concepts about the operating system that I keep denoting, in this article.


Sidebar: Proprietary Convention, Unproprietary Science

The author assumes that perhaps the reader may have be in any ways more familiar with the present topic, perhaps in regards moreover. with more "Time in shop" than the author, as to applications of the FreeBSD operating system, in the kernel, base system, and userspace applications of any single distribution of FreeBSD. Perhaps the reader may even be familiar with any numner of typically proprietary applications of FreeBSD. To the author's own point of view, a software architecture in itself may not be an expressly proprietary concept, however some operating systems have been commercially branded, across any number of discrete eons in Internet history. Inasmuch, the author would by no means ask any reader to divulge any manner of proprietary concepts as towards designs or applications of computer operating systems, Aside so many of the fables of Aesop, historically -- a proprietary manner of success perhaps seeming like the highest grape on the arch, so to speak -- however, the author wishes to believe that in computing, all works may be derived of an extension of sciences and mathematics. Not as though to make a mythical ordeal of a concept: That whatever extensions there may be, in any manner of abstraction, extensions produced of original works in the mathematics and the sciences of computing -- that whatever there may be of proprietary notions,  moreover, in concepts of designs and implementation of computing machines -- that however far any institution  may ever brand in application of semiconductors, in works made under the sun, and in projects directed more towards a location of the earth's core -- as in consideration of the terrestrial mining projects below the sun-swept surfaces of the earth, and projects addressed to the surfaces of the seas -- that beyond all concepts of brands and branding, and beyond all modes of storytelling and the storytellers, semantically and functionally it's all an extension of the maths and sciences. Thus, so many proprietary concepts may resume a neat, tidy arrangement as being products of projects produced in scientific developments of existing work.

As anyone whom owns a personal computer being a software designer -- in any discernible manner of abstraction, a computer owner at least designing software applications as may be developed in worflows produced of existing software products, a sort of "Value added" endeavor, if not moreover writing lines of software code as to cause a computer, ideally, to perform "New work", in any dicrete sense of "The new"  -- certainly, anyone whom owns a personal computer may be likewise considered as a stakeholder in the nature of computing, itself. Viewing a matter of semiconductor manufacture, then, as of an ever broadening and ever more specialized field of practice -- not neglecting the untold potential of new developments for semiconductor manufacture, and the contentious questions perhaps not yet unaddressed of material technology, such  as of whether or not it may be possible to produce a microchip in a zero-gravity near vacuum of outer space -- it is not as if to relegate a work of computing to the doldrums of material micromanagement. As stakeholders, perhaps we may think more broadly about the existing works under the sun.

Such a philosophical introduction aside, if only momentarily, the author hopes that he may presently resume a development of a single technical thesis topic. Though perhaps it may seem to verge towards the proprietary, characteristically, but if it is not without something of a broader sense of view, the author hopes in all sincerity that the author's own thesis topics may not be too coldly received by the court of public opinion, in any media or in any society as this online media may be received by. Essentially, there is a broader mathematics of computing, such that may be traced to the very origins of logic and communications. As the author being a stakeholder likewise, the author's own "Piece of the pie" may represent only a very small fraction of all of the existing work yet known of humankind, in development of computing machines. As to the subtler nature of a concept of metasemantics, the author would not wish to distract the reader, in developing this present article of discourse.

The history of development of computer operating systems, broadly -- if such a very broad archaeology may be denoted, in however of an abstract view, as a single concept -- such a single concept, in itself, may represent a very broad topic however, not even singularly addressed of all operating systems as ever distributed from singular servers. Individual operating system distributions, moreover -- inasmuch as of applications of operating systems -- from points of implementations, any single concept of an operating systems may be observed moreover as for how an operating system is applied, in any manner of a proprietary workflow, in any manner of a proprietary production. Not as if to entertain any theory of social mechanism, an analysis of an application of an operating system may be approached as though to produce an analysis about added value, as in regards to applications of computer operating systems -- if there may be any single application of computer operating systems such that would not be in itself a controlled property, an intellectual property of wherever it is developed of, and wherever applied.

The author cannot by any means ignore that there are proprietary models for development and applications of computer operating systems -- however much a matter of best practice, however much a matter of proprietary convenience in communications, however further a matter of resources of intellectual property managed under known auspices, however not publicly known. In any regards, perhaps a concept of a proprietary design may serve to lend a sense of focus towards a work of production in the broader computing -- if not only narrowing towards a concept of a specialized contrivance. So, not to narrow a thesis beyond any scientific view of any specialized designs, and neither as if in any ways to radicalize any of the present set of existing works, on the web -- the author must presently take pause from this simple thesis article. It is as though all of a community may set itself afoot as to impede any of a further progress in a conceptual design, to distract, to dissemble, and to nearly disembowel any of a concrete concept, as soon as any of a sense of progress may soever seem as if to have begun, if a thing is ever put forward before it is all complete already. 

There is a complete nature of mathematics, a nature not asking or assuming anything more of the open universe, merely asserting 2 + 2 = 4 in conventional addition. Likewise, there may be a complete nature of technologies applying of mathematics. from the earliest logical system to the latest specialized, logical or numerical calculus ever emerging of contemporary academia. What simple mathematics may there be, furthermore, to the old assertion of "Hacking" as juxtaposed to engineering, in any of a classically benign sense of "hacking" moreover? What, then, of marketing, and the "Sports car effect?" The author shall endeavor to present a thesis of these concepts, too, henceforward.

Species and Formulas of Licensing

In a sense of developing knowledge, in any field in which oneself would be directed to be cognizant of, perhaps it may be as well to observe of when oneself is lacking knowledge in a matter? Though it might not make for a good read, to write, "I don't know," but even in an unknown conceptual area there might always be some further knowledge to proceed back to? The author being not a doyen of the Microsoft Solutions, and neither a Shaman of Linux kernel design, but quite a fan of Tandy's old Deskmate, and the uncluttered environment of FreeBSD. 

Deskmate was an operating system derived effectively after Digital Research's CP/M, more directly derived of IBM-DOS -- however aside the lawsuit after Traf0Ddata made a conspicuous theft of Digital Research's work in CP/M, moreover involving an interaction with IBM. Deskmate itself was featured in some Tandy computers, near a time when Microsoft had developed a window shell on top of an MS-DOS system. Parallel to those consumer-focused products, there's been all the evolution of UNIX. Parallel to the lot, there was Apple's emergence during and previous to the convenient year of 1984. Furthermore in parallel, there's the old legacy of Lisp Machines, however gone in the drift of the AI Winter. In all of the broad sky of operating systems -- and the more of desktop operating systems that the author has not denoted, including BeOS -- perhaps in a candid sense, the old "Microsoft vs Linux" conflicts might seem like some theatrics, previous to that there was an issue of a legal conflict as in the SCO lawsuit. Considering that the SCO lawsuit had effectively introduced a concept of source code licensing, in a legal conflict in the courts -- thereby, a further concept of an intellectual property in computing machines -- and if the very act of reading a line of source code could entail, of itself, a licensing issue, but is there not a science-friendly operating system under the sun?

The unpretentious BSD license, in any species of BSD license, it asks not for any further application, sufficing as a single license about a single product, in every instance of its application. Perhaps it may seem much akin a mathematical concept -- the BSD license, itself, not asking any of a marketer's assistance for its validation,, not either in commerce or software development. In a sense, the validity of the BSD license -- in applications of software -- is founded entirely on the characteristics of the software it licenses.

Towards an Overview of an Architecture of FreeBSD

The present topic -- there's a lot of work under that heading. The author cannot pretend to have encompassed it all, in any one sitting. If the author has newly discovered some resources under such a heading, it might have seemed well to begin to collect the references and to present a list of resources for public consideration. Concerning the metaphor to mathematics, however, perhaps it may be as well to simply apply what there is?

The author hopes to resume a more succinct manner of writing, sometime. The canvas, so to speak, it might seems to need a broad brush, today.