Remember comp.sources.hp48?
08-21-2017, 09:27 PM
Post: #1
 Joe Horn Senior Member Posts: 1,774 Joined: Dec 2013
Remember comp.sources.hp48?
Some of y'all might be old enough to remember that there was a USENET newsgroup in the early 1990's called comp.sources.hp48, moderated by Chris Spell. Many cool programs were posted to it, but the momentum died out and the final programs appeared in November 1993.

The earliest postings used uuencode to post their programs. Unfortunately these uuencoded blocks seem to have gotten deleted at some point in time, forever losing those programs.

Fortunately, Chris Spell soon asked that all programs be posted after encoding them with a program called "Ship" instead of (or in addition to) uuencode. The postings contain blocks of random-looking text (similar to uuencoding) which look like this:

Code:
$ship qed.zip s:V9"5{{{{<o.o7-qp4M62'7{JuR@{(Ke{{Ma7TA6d:JD7StDgx{;2&=?3ZM<*K->"&QZ#s{{Yr Iu,gXKvc+K)l,;3:nN578Q5ZBtOb;3D0ez'k+-AL;io_+30$1)MDx9B2pFFW$Y(39EE)&GED&PS [huge block of noise snipped here] ugkm/3'hPL(Ke{{{{{{{"'*{{#diUJo#{{{5OAs/SE+m:-28*'8b{{{"R(buQLYz<4KJxmB:(bu w8ln${{{{{{{{{{LQk,Jtq$&{aeb7A&XefE-n/pB4_Va"'{{{{'Eww{uj&{{z(E*{<qk;e0iC7$ end

The HP 48 programs thus encoded can be "reconstituted from concentrate" by running Ship on these text blocks (similar to the way uudecode works). Has anybody made any attempt to retrieve and un-ship these programs and upload them to hpcalc.org? Some of them are already there, but many are not. Putting them there would be great, before comp.sources.hp48 evaporates altogether and these programs are lost forever.

<0|ɸ|0>
-Joe-
08-21-2017, 10:42 PM
Post: #2
 EugeneNine Member Posts: 282 Joined: Feb 2017
RE: Remember comp.sources.hp48?
Brings back memories. I got my 48sx in 92 and would download stuff from columbus freenet which was a free dial up isp provided by THE Ohio state university and the Columbus public library. Scrolling back through google now I didn't find where they started using ship yet. I lost track of usenet a few years ago as it seems no one carries it anymore other than via google's web interface. I wonder if its available someplace via a newsreader.
08-21-2017, 11:41 PM (This post was last modified: 08-21-2017 11:48 PM by Joe Horn.)
Post: #3
 Joe Horn Senior Member Posts: 1,774 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Remember comp.sources.hp48?
(08-21-2017 10:42 PM)EugeneNine Wrote:  Scrolling back through google now I didn't find where they started using ship yet.

The earliest one I can find is this one by Dan Kirkland, posted on 7 March 1993.

Unfortunately the most recent one was apparently this one by Rick Grevelle, posted on 20 November of the same year. So apparently "Ship" didn't sail very long.

Chris Spell explained the "Ship" program, and his newsgroup posting requirements, in this posting on 22 April 1993, which was titled as a "repost"... but the original posting (of which this was a repost) seems to have evaporated.

<0|ɸ|0>
-Joe-
08-22-2017, 12:09 AM
Post: #4
 Didier Lachieze Senior Member Posts: 1,369 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Remember comp.sources.hp48?
The source and DOS executable for Ship seems to still be available here: ftp://ftp.hs-niederrhein.de/pub/hp48/msdos/unship.zip
08-22-2017, 12:17 AM
Post: #5
 Joe Horn Senior Member Posts: 1,774 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Remember comp.sources.hp48?
Awesome. Thanks, Didier!

<0|ɸ|0>
-Joe-
08-22-2017, 12:37 AM (This post was last modified: 08-22-2017 12:55 AM by EugeneNine.)
Post: #6
 EugeneNine Member Posts: 282 Joined: Feb 2017
RE: Remember comp.sources.hp48?
I think that whole group died around that time as well. One of those groups is probably where I first download those (in)famous horn disks

Up a couple levels on that ftp has it for Unix too and looks like it works.
Code:
sh-4.3$gcc ship.c.v1.0.c /tmp/ccmyBi33.o: In function newship': ship.c.v1.0.c:(.text+0x216): warning: the use of mktemp' is dangerous, better use mkstemp' or mkdtemp' sh-4.3$ mv a.out ship sh-4.3$./ship$ ship -

it successfully 'shipped' a file, just need to find the switch to unship

ohh, there is it unship -u

hmm, broken
Code:
sh-4.3$ls qed* qed sh-4.3$ ./ship -u qed  unship error: no files received sh-4.3\$
08-22-2017, 01:03 AM
Post: #7
 Eric Rechlin Senior Member Posts: 353 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Remember comp.sources.hp48?
It's really funny you're mentioning this now, because I've been going through all sorts of old postings for the last 2 months as I've tried to "complete" my web site (as you may have noticed, I've added around 600 programs, mostly from the 1990-1993 timeframe, that I had previously missed when creating my web site).

It's not just ship, but there are other now-obscure formats that some of them were originally published in. Some are in "shar" (SHell ARchive) format. Another tool used in comp.sources.hp48 was "brik", which seems to be pretty much dead now.

I've been using DOSBox and WSL to run some of these old tools.

I do have a large number of original postings from comp.sources.hp48, but I'm sure I'm missing some. I fear that some may be lost to time. DejaNews never got an archive of comp.sys.hp48 from spring 1993 to spring 1994, either, so all those posts are gone for good unless somebody here still has them. Anyone here have old backup disks from 25 years ago containing comp.sys.hp48 posts?
08-22-2017, 08:59 AM
Post: #8
 Giuseppe Donnini Member Posts: 120 Joined: Feb 2014
RE: Remember comp.sources.hp48?
Hello,

I recently went through many old posts at comp.sys.hp48, comp.sys.handhelds, and comp.sources.hp48 with the intent of resurrecting the accompanying encrypted programs. A tool that proved very helpful in using old 16bit executables like SHIP.EXE can be found here:

http://takeda-toshiya.my.coocan.jp/

Although the site is entirely in Japanese, the zip file includes English documentation. With this tool you can simply convert your 16bit exe file to a 32bit one which works perfectly fine on a modern 64bit Windows system. No need to use DosBox anymore, you can run the converted executable directly from the command line.

P.S. I wish to thank Eric Rechlin for his recent HP-48 uploads. Every day since mid-June I eagerly await the "new" gems.
08-23-2017, 06:42 PM
Post: #9
 Egan Ford Member Posts: 172 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Remember comp.sources.hp48?
(08-22-2017 01:03 AM)Eric Rechlin Wrote:  I do have a large number of original postings from comp.sources.hp48, but I'm sure I'm missing some. I fear that some may be lost to time. DejaNews never got an archive of comp.sys.hp48 from spring 1993 to spring 1994, either, so all those posts are gone for good unless somebody here still has them. Anyone here have old backup disks from 25 years ago containing comp.sys.hp48 posts?

Here is post number 1:

08-23-2017, 08:27 PM
Post: #10
 pier4r Senior Member Posts: 2,075 Joined: Nov 2014
RE: Remember comp.sources.hp48?
I admire all your work (saving old contributions is great!) and I also observe that is impressive how things gets lost also in the modern era, like software to compress results that maybe is taken for granted but then, well, just disappears.

Wikis are great, Contribute :)
08-23-2017, 09:03 PM
Post: #11
 Massimo Gnerucci Senior Member Posts: 2,351 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Remember comp.sources.hp48?
(08-23-2017 08:27 PM)pier4r Wrote:  I admire all your work (saving old contributions is great!) and I also observe that is impressive how things gets lost also in the modern era, like software to compress results that maybe is taken for granted but then, well, just disappears.

Especially in this era I'd dare to say.
I've got 5.25" and 3.5" floppies, QIC cassettes that I would like to be able to retrieve today but...
I also have some rather old PCs, kept just for this, but - alas - you can't stop enthropy!
:)

Greetings,
Massimo

-+×÷ ↔ left is right and right is wrong
08-23-2017, 09:45 PM
Post: #12
 Eric Rechlin Senior Member Posts: 353 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Remember comp.sources.hp48?
(08-23-2017 06:42 PM)Egan Ford Wrote:
(08-22-2017 01:03 AM)Eric Rechlin Wrote:  I do have a large number of original postings from comp.sources.hp48, but I'm sure I'm missing some. I fear that some may be lost to time. DejaNews never got an archive of comp.sys.hp48 from spring 1993 to spring 1994, either, so all those posts are gone for good unless somebody here still has them. Anyone here have old backup disks from 25 years ago containing comp.sys.hp48 posts?

Here is post number 1:

You linked comp.sources.hp48. I'm talking about comp.sys.hp48. Google is missing everything posted there from spring 1993 to spring 1994 that wasn't also crossposted to another group.
08-23-2017, 10:32 PM (This post was last modified: 08-23-2017 10:33 PM by pier4r.)
Post: #13
 pier4r Senior Member Posts: 2,075 Joined: Nov 2014
RE: Remember comp.sources.hp48?
(08-23-2017 09:03 PM)Massimo Gnerucci Wrote:  -cut-
Yes! I mentioned the modern era because a lot of times I see people sad for the library of Alexandria without realizing that we may lose many of those every year due to digital sources lost or inaccessible (or wiped out by mistake).

For example there was a nice awk site once, that slowly was collecting libraries made in awk. Gone.

Another example. hpcalc.org for some reason gets wiped (dunno, we get really unlucky). Is there anyone making mirrors of it? If not, it would be lost.

Wikis are great, Contribute :)
08-23-2017, 11:56 PM
Post: #14
 rprosperi Senior Member Posts: 5,022 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Remember comp.sources.hp48?
(08-23-2017 10:32 PM)pier4r Wrote:  Yes! I mentioned the modern era because a lot of times I see people sad for the library of Alexandria without realizing that we may lose many of those every year due to digital sources lost or inaccessible (or wiped out by mistake).

For example there was a nice awk site once, that slowly was collecting libraries made in awk. Gone.

Another example. hpcalc.org for some reason gets wiped (dunno, we get really unlucky). Is there anyone making mirrors of it? If not, it would be lost.

For a short while, after his untimely death, Prof Rautenberg's site with HP49G/49G+/50g programs totally disappeared. I had bookmarked it of course, but we often take for granted that these resources will 'just be there' and it's shocking when they're not. As there were apparently lots of folks like me that were crushed to lose such a valuable site, it was restored somehow through the University in Berlin where he taught, and is available again.

If you are not familiar with his work and are a fan of RPL, definitely check out this site, and get copies of everything, for you never know if it will go away again...

http://www.math.fu-berlin.de/users/raut/WR49/index.htm

--Bob Prosperi
08-24-2017, 01:22 AM (This post was last modified: 08-24-2017 01:30 AM by EugeneNine.)
Post: #15
 EugeneNine Member Posts: 282 Joined: Feb 2017
RE: Remember comp.sources.hp48?
(08-23-2017 11:56 PM)rprosperi Wrote:  but we often take for granted that these resources will 'just be there' and it's shocking when they're not.

I started a while back carefully documenting both the link to the site where I got something and a local link to where I stored it so if the site goes away I still have it. I don't have a lot of hp48 stuff yet though, but here is an example of my forth doc

ehh, forum doesn't support tables so its messy, reformatted so its at least readable.

Code:
Date        1978-05 Title       Forth for Microcomputers             Dr. Dobbs Journal             Volume 3, Number 5 Web Link    http://6502.org/documents/publications/dr_dobbs_journal/dr_dobbs_journal_vol_03.pdf Local Link  /mnt/Shares/Reference/Computers/Software/Language/Forth/dr_dobbs_journal_vol_03.pdf Date        1978-06 Title       Forth Dimensions Newsletter Web Link    https://archive.org/details/forthdimension?&sort=-date Date        1979-01 Title       FORTH Assembler for 6502 Microprocessor Web Link    https://archive.org/details/FORTHAssemblerFor6502Microprocessor Local Link  /mnt/Shares/Reference/Computers/Software/Language/Forth/FORTH Assembler For 6502 Microprocessor.pdf Date        1980-06 Title       Adding Arrays to Forth             Dr. Dobbs Journal             Volume 5, Number 46 Web Link    http://6502.org/documents/publications/dr_dobbs_journal/dr_dobbs_journal_vol_05.pdf Local Link  /mnt/Shares/Reference/Computers/Software/Language/Forth/dr_dobbs_journal_vol_05.pdf Date        1980-08 Title       The Evolution of Forth              Byte Magazine Volume 5 Number 8 Page 79 Web Link    https://archive.org/details/byte-magazine-1980-08 Local Link  /mnt/Shares/Reference/Computers/Software/Language/Forth/1980_08_BYTE_05-08_The_Forth_Language.pdf
08-24-2017, 01:47 AM
Post: #16
 Eric Rechlin Senior Member Posts: 353 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Remember comp.sources.hp48?
(08-23-2017 10:32 PM)pier4r Wrote:  Another example. hpcalc.org for some reason gets wiped (dunno, we get really unlucky). Is there anyone making mirrors of it? If not, it would be lost.

A mirror of the site is included in the USB drives given at the HHC conferences, so it could always be revived by attendees. And this year's drive will have way more than ever before -- every old version of every file ever included on my site will be on the drive, in addition to the current site.
08-24-2017, 03:43 AM
Post: #17
 AndiGer Senior Member Posts: 380 Joined: Oct 2015
RE: Remember comp.sources.hp48?
Eric,
Thank you
Andi
08-24-2017, 11:01 AM
Post: #18
 EugeneNine Member Posts: 282 Joined: Feb 2017
RE: Remember comp.sources.hp48?
His is hpcalc.org

How would one get one of those flash drives if they can't go to a conference?
08-24-2017, 11:05 AM
Post: #19
 Paul Dale Senior Member Posts: 1,726 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Remember comp.sources.hp48?
One could try:

Code:
wget -r hpcalc.org
08-24-2017, 11:56 AM (This post was last modified: 08-24-2017 11:58 AM by pier4r.)
Post: #20
 pier4r Senior Member Posts: 2,075 Joined: Nov 2014
RE: Remember comp.sources.hp48?
(08-23-2017 11:56 PM)rprosperi Wrote:  For a short while, after his untimely death, Prof Rautenberg's site with HP49G/49G+/50g programs totally disappeared.

Exactly and unfortunately there are plenty of those gems (not only calculator related, could be even related to the history of, dunno, Portland - Oregon or Ragusa Italy) that get lost and little is done.

For example from your observation I realize that we may start organizing a sort of scraping of important websites for the hp community at least (even better if the author is active and we can get the dumps of the site).

For example an idea would be those mentioned here http://www.wiki4hp.com/doku.php?id=resources:start (if you know more, please share).

If we create a recurring torrent - that is great for those activities - we can maintain a sort of versioning of the most important sites with little effort. One produces the torrent, the others collect it and keep sharing it.

Would it be an idea? If yes, we can start another thread to organize the action and start small (I'd say: hpcalc.org / MoHPC / comp.sys.hp48 first)

PS: I know the site of the prof rautenberg. I ended up there for the first time only some weeks ago to get "filer6". I never knew it had such amount of examples/programs. Really a nice site. Also for the moment I live in Berlin (and I plan to live here) if they take it down again I may go to the FU university in person and ask for the data. I may do it nevertheless actually, and maybe it can be hosted somewhere else that is more stable, like a subdomain of Eric's website?

Wikis are great, Contribute :)
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