Seeking System 0.97

Lately, I have been dabbling with retro-computing (actually as part of co-adivsing a student group).  One of the old machines in my collection is an original Macintosh from 1984. For the sake of authenticity, I have been looking for the version of system software that shipped on release day – Jan 24, 1984.

That early in the Macintosh era, there were no official version numbers on the system disks, but the System and Finder files each had their own version number.  Various accounts indicate that I’m looking for System 0.97/Finder 1.0.  After a lot of searching I’ve turned up several candidate disk images, but each seems to have been modified over time.  Here’s one very common version:

sys097There are several problems with this version.  Most obviously, the version of the System font (Chicago-12) used here is quite different from the version seen in other system versions.  This includes the versions seen in pre-release publicity photos.  All of those other versions  used a more familiar looking variant.  Furthermore, the version of Chicago-10 included does match the more traditional version.  Other, more obvious problems exist. The SysVersion program is actually from 1986, and contemporary accounts indicate that Font Mover was included on the second disk, not the main system disk.  I believe this disk was created at a later date and does not represent what shipped with the first Macs.

The obvious thing to do it to go to the source.  Unfortunately, Apple no longer makes those early versions of the System software available on their website.  But various developer CDs have included System Software over the years.  One of the earliest was, Phil and Dave’s Excellent CD.

P&D filesJackpot! This developer disk lists versions of the System Software all the way back to v0.1.  Sadly, booting up the 0.1 System Tools image reveals that it’s really System 1.1/Finder 1.1g.

Screen Shot 2014-06-05 at 11.33.15 AMIn fact, looking at each version in turn, we get:

File Actual Version
0.1 System Tools System 1.1/Finder 1.1g
0.3 System Tools System 2.0/Finder 4.1
0.5 System Disk System 2.0/Finder 4.1
0.7 System Tools System 3.0/Finder 5.1 (800k image)
1.0 System Tools 512 & 128 System 3.2/Finder 5.3

I didn’t bother checking the rest of the disk images, since they were clearly >400K disks.  For the record, I’ve also checked the Apple Legacy Software CD and the September 1994 Service Software Restoration CD with similar results.

The hunt for a valid copy of System 0.97 continues…

New Laptop: Asus Zenbook Prime

I hadn’t really thought about the long-term ramifications of teaching a Malware course, but it appears that I will be teaching it annually for the foreseeable future.  Since I don’t think it’s the wisest idea to mess with live malware on my day-to-day system, I bought a “new” laptop last week.  It’s actually a used laptop from eBay, an Asus Zenbook Prime.  While similar laptops are occasionally available from as refurbs, careful auction hunting  netted it for less.

Here’s the exact specs:

Asus Zenbook UX31A-DH51

Asus Zenbook Prime

  • 13.3″ 1920×1080 IPS LCD screen
  • Intel Core i5-3317U 1.7GHz
  • 4 GB DDR3 RAM
  • 128 GB Solid-State Disk
  • Intel HD Graphics 4000


Since I wanted a computer that could be setup as an example for the students, I didn’t buy another Apple Macintosh.  The Asus is pretty comparable to a mid-level Macbook Air, and this used one cost me about 33% as much.  The new laptop has a ding or two, and didn’t come with all the accessories, but it works and fits my needs.  The speed at which Windows-compatibles lose their market-value is surprising to a long-time Mac owner (and a topic for another post).

I immediately blew away Windows 8, and replaced it with Elementary OS (Luna).  All things considered, installation went pretty smoothly.

BasicTeX 2013

Well that didn’t take long. Only 1 month after the release of BasicTeX 2013, I find myself in need of a new package. The TeXLive repository has already deprecated all of the 2012 pacakges, so I’m off and running installing BasicTeX 2013.

This year the steps are mostly the same, with the addition of more packages as I’m continuing my use of LaTeX apace.

  1. tlmgr uninstall
  2. download and install the current BasicTeX package from
  3. update PATH environment variable to include the current install location: /usr/local/texlive/2013basic/bin/universal-darwin
  4. tlmgr update --self
  5. tlmgr update --all
  6. tlmgr install collection-fontsrecommended
  7. tlmgr install subfigure
  8. tlmgr install exam
  9. tlmgr install algorithms
  10. tlmgr install lastpage
  11. tlmgr install paralist
  12. tlmgr install enumitem

You can find the documentation for algorithms, lastpage, and paralist on CTAN.

Avoiding Cisco AnyConnect on the Mac

I haven’t had much luck with Cisco VPN software on the Mac in the past.  Unfortunately, the Cisco AnyConnect software that we use at Towson doesn’t accept connections from the built-in Apple VPN client.

Luckily (and predictably), the open-source community has a solution to this problem.  OpenConnect is an open source replacement for AnyConnect.  It was a pretty easy install as these things go.  I use homebrew for packages on Mac OS X, so if you use something else your mileage may vary, but here’s the steps I used:

  1. brew install openconnect
  2. download and install TunTap virtual network drivers
  3. startup drivers manually, or reboot.
  4. test out your vpn connection.
In my case, I had a few other small things to do, I needed to extract and install the root certificate for Towson, and allow access to openconnect in /etc/sudoers.

For the record, uninstalling should be pretty simple, just:

  1. Re-edit /etc/sudoers
  2. delete the cert in ~/Library/Certificates
  3. brew uninstall openconnect
  4. rm  -r /Library/Extensions/tun.kext /Library/Extensions/tap.kext /Library/StartupItems/tun /Library/StartupItems/tap

BasicTeX 2012

I just upgraded to BasicTeX 2012, and here’s a quick synopsis of the steps:

  1. tlmgr uninstall
  2. download and install the current BasicTeX package from
  3. update PATH environment variable to include the current install location: /usr/local/texlive/2012basic/bin/universal-darwin
  4. tlmgr update --self
  5. tlmgr update --all
  6. tlmgr install collection-fontsrecommended
  7. tlmgr install subfigure
  8. tlmgr install exam

The Exam package is new (chalk it up to the new job), and the impetus for the updated install. The rest of the steps are really based on my previous TeX posts: here and here.


I’m such a geek. I just got Synergy running at work. Now my Mac keyboard and mouse are controlling both the iMac & PC.

To generate the ctrl-alt-delete sequence needed to log-in to Windows, I need to modify the Group Policy to allow Synergy to generate the attention sequence.

  1. Open the Start menu, and type gpedit.msc in the search line and press Enter.
  2. Navigate to: Local Computer Policy\Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Windows Logon Options
  3. Set the Secure Attention Sequence to enabled for “Services and Ease of Access applications”

Now whenever I need to generate a ctrl-alt-delete sequence on the PC, fn-control-command-delete on my Mac does the job.

Update #1: I had to modify power settings on my Windows 7 system to get around a bug:

    For Windows 7 Synergy servers

powercfg -REQUESTSOVERRIDE process synergys.exe system display awaymode

powercfg -REQUESTSOVERRIDE service "Synergy Server" system display awaymode

    For Windows 7 Synergy clients

powercfg -REQUESTSOVERRIDE process synergyc.exe system display awaymode

powercfg -REQUESTSOVERRIDE service "Synergy Client" system display awaymode

Uninstalling Java for OS X

Wouldn’t you know it, I install Oracle Java SE 7 for my Mac just days before a serious exploit is found in this newest version of Java. If you’re like me, it’s easier to just uninstall Java until Oracle has a chance to fix exploit. Here’s how:

Using the Terminal application (/Applications/Utilities/Terminal) enter the following commands one at a time:

sudo rm -rf /System/Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/*.jdk
sudo rm -rf /Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/*.jdk
sudo rm -rf /Library/Internet\ Plug-Ins/JavaAppletPlugin.plugin
sudo rm -rf /Library/PreferencePanes/JavaControlPanel.prefpane

The first one should request an Administrator password, but the rest should run without it. You may encounter a “No such file or directory” error with some of these commands… no worries then, you just didn’t have that component installed.

Since I need a version of Java installed for development purposes and to use Photoshop CS4 (??), I went ahead and re-installed Apple’s supported version of Java SE 6. Java for OS X 2012-004 sounds like it requires a previous install of Java, but it seems to work fine with Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8.1) and no existing SE 6 install.