Linkspam: Starring the Computer

Starring the Computer is a fun – if somewhat geeky – site recording the use of various computers in films and television. As long with the usual suspects – such as the Apple Macintosh SE and the Commodore 64 – they have some more obscure devices, such as the Thinking Machines CM-1 pictured below. It is really worth a look.

The Thinking Machines CM-1 in The Fly, looking like a super-computer should look.

Retrieving the Time Machine Estimated Full Backup Size

Another handy little magic spell for MacOS Sonoma’s Time Machine tool is…

log show --predicate 'subsystem == ""' --info | grep "Estimated full backup will"

…which – when entered into a suitable Terminal instance – will print out Time Machine’s recent estimates of the storage costs of a full backup…

2024-05-02 06:46:35.507588+0100 0x3c5be8   Info        0x0                  291    0    backupd: (TimeMachine) [] Estimated full backup will contain 3113124 files (8.91 TB) from all sources
2024-05-02 07:46:49.802454+0100 0x3cd657   Info        0x0                  291    0    backupd: (TimeMachine) [] Estimated full backup will contain 3113163 files (8.91 TB) from all sources
2024-05-02 08:46:57.526626+0100 0x3d611b   Info        0x0                  291    0    backupd: (TimeMachine) [] Estimated full backup will contain 3113223 files (8.91 TB) from all sources
2024-05-02 09:47:03.731963+0100 0x3e04eb   Info        0x0                  291    0    backupd: (TimeMachine) [] Estimated full backup will contain 3114585 files (8.91 TB) from all sources
2024-05-02 10:47:35.409635+0100 0x3ecb04   Info        0x0                  291    0    backupd: (TimeMachine) [] Estimated full backup will contain 3116304 files (8.91 TB) from all sources

All very useful when shopping for a new target disk of if your monitoring your storage growth.

Getting Red Hat Linux 5.2 up and running on 86Box

A somewhat oddly rendered Feb 2024 in Netscape 4 on Red Hat Linux 5.2. I suppose we’re lucky a 26 old browser can access google at all..!


One of my longer-running goals for Period Sites in Period Browsers was to include a good number of non-Windows hosted web browsers and the first stage in that is the creation of a functioning instance of the operating system hosted within an easily managed virtual machine. Unfortunately, whenever I’ve tried to install premillennial versions of linux within QEMU, I have categorically failed.

And, given the lack of guides on the internet, I’m not the only one.

In this guide we’re going to install and configure a working (albeit non-perfect) version of 1998’s Red Hat Linux 5.2. By the end of this guide we will produce a Red Hat Linux 5.2 install with a working network connection and functioning XWindows/Desktop environment.

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Period Sites with Period Browsers – Machines No. 99 and 100

I’ve just added two somewhat interesting machine/browser combinations to Period Sites in Period Browsers.

Machine 99 – Windows 98 RTM x86 with Grail 0.6

Grail 0.6 running on the release to manufacturing version of Windows 98. Grail 0.6 is interesting as it’s a cross platform browser written by Guido van Rossum in Python and uses the Tcl/Tk windowing toolkit for display. Was Windows 98 the ideal platform for Grail? Probably not, but it did run and it did pretty well with pre-millennial web pages…

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Counting Chrome Tabs on MacOS (Or, I have an open tabs problem!)

Another aide-mémoire; open Chrome tabs can, on MacOS, be counted via the following incantation. This particular incantation will pull the tab count from all open windows – minimised or otherwise – without the need to activate Chrome in any way.

osascript -e{'set text item delimiters to linefeed','tell app"google chrome"to url of tabs of windows as text'} | wc -l

Which, when run on my currently open set of tabs, comes back with a number slightly higher than 4,000.

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