Can DOS viruses ruin modern PCs? Yes.

For some viruses, there’s no escape.

Nostalgia Nerd took it upon himself to ask and answer this question by running 6,000 DOS viruses on a new Windows 10 PC. Using archive.org’s Malware Museum and VX Heaven, NN picked up some of the most infamous viruses known to DOS and ran them all individually and then altogether.

It’s a wild ride and not something you should necessarily try on any computer, testing or otherwise; it’s called malicious software for a reason.

Recreating the PIN cracking scene from Terminator 2 with an Atari Portfolio

Who needs Mr Robot when you have an Atari Portfolio and some rudimentary code to hack into ATMs?

Bertrand Fan is an engineer for Slack but in his spare time, he does cool stuff with old tech like Slack on a SNES or using Microsoft Cognitive Services to create baby bump timelapses. But this one is pretty cool.

It involves the scene from Terminator 2 where John Connor used an Atari Portfolio to hack an ATM and steal money. While Bertrand didn’t reverse engineer an Atari Portfolio to do exactly that, he did emulate what we, the viewers, so on the LCD display using Python.

The ATM hacking scene

And then he ported the code to Pascal. By the end, he concluded the post with this:

In the spirit of owning less stuff, I’ve gone through the mental exercise of what it would take to make the rest of this a reality but will not follow through on any of it:

1. Buy an Atari Portfolio on Ebay.

2. Buy an Atari Portfolio parallel interface and probably a new screen bezel because it’s likely scratched.

3. Find a parallel cable in my box of cables.

4. Find a PC or laptop with a parallel port, install MS-DOS v6.22 on it.

5. Download FT.COM and put it on the PC.

6. Build the EXE in Dosbox-X and transfer it to the Atari Portfolio.

7. Steal a debit card.

8. Wrap part of the card in aluminum foil, buy an Atari Portfolio serial interface, run a cable to the card.

9. Run the program.

10. Easy money!

Read the full post on his blog.

Happy 25th, Windows 95!

I couldn’t remember Windows 95 like the big tech writers could so I compiled a list of their anecdotes for the operating system’s 25th birthday.

What was your first OS? Mine was Windows 95 as it was for many people of my age (unless you were a Mac user maybe) and today it’s 25 years old. The release was a huge media event with Jay Leno announcing it with Bill Gates, the famous awkward stage dancing, and Jennifer Aniston and Matthew Perry from Friends giving a walkthrough of the OS.

Naturally, the tech blogs are awash with Windows 95 stories and retrospectives so rather than hash my own together with my limited memories, I’ve compiled a list of the best:

Also some other links about Windows 95 you might find interesting including:

And that Windows 95 guide with Rachel and Chandler? You can stream it in full below. Could I be anymore helpful?

Meet the Odyssey X86J4105: A single-board computer with Windows 10 and 4K support

The Odyssey X86J4105 also comes with Arduino compatibility and 8GB of RAM.

The Odyssey X86J4105 also comes with Arduino compatibility and 8GB of RAM.

According to Global Market Insights, the single-board computer market is projected to be worth $1bn by 2025. That’s a lot of money for palm-sized computers.

But there’s more to the single-board market than variations of Raspberry Pi’s and if you’ve got a bit extra in your pocket, you might consider the Odyssey X86J4105.

Technical specs

  • Intel® Celeron® J4105, Quad-Core 1.5-2.5GHZ
  • Dual-Band Frequency 2.5GHz/5GHz WiFi/ Bluetooth 5.0
  • Intel® UHD Graphics 600
  • Dual Gigabit Ethernet
  • Integrated Arduino Coprocessor ATSAMD21 ARM® Cortex®-M0+
  • Raspberry Pi 40-Pin Compatible
  • 2 x M.2 PCIe (B Key and M Key)
  • Pre-installed with Windows 10 Enterprise
  • Compatible with Grove Ecosystem
  • USB 2.0 Type-A x2, USB 3.1 Type-A x1, USB 3.1 Type-C x1
  • Micro SD card Socket and SIM Card Socket
  • DC Jack or Type-C PD

Straight off the bat, the Odyssey X86J4105 comes with a quad-core processor capable of speeds up to 2.5 GHz alongside 8GB of LPDDR4 RAM. You also get Arduino and Raspberry Pi compatibility.

The series comes in two different models:

ModelCPUCoreRAMMemoryConnectivity
Odyssey X86J4105864Intel Celeron J41054 Core 1.5GHz, Clocked to 2.5GHz8GB LPDDR464GB eMMCWi-Fi 2.4G/5G Bluetooth 5
Odyssey X86J4105864 (pre-installed with Windows 10 Enterprise)Intel Celeron J41054 Core 1.5GHz, Clocked to 2.5GHz8GB LPDDR464GB eMMCWi-Fi 2.4G/5G Bluetooth 5
Odyssey X86J4105800Intel Celeron J41054 Core 1.5GHz, Clocked to 2.5GHz8GB LPDDR4N/AWi-Fi 2.4G/5G Bluetooth 5

As you can see, the X86J4105800 model doesn’t come with any storage but you can add your own using its SATA III connector, microSD card slot and two M.2 ports.

Windows 10 support

I’m a Mac user but I use Windows 10 at work. My base unit is a lot bigger and more powerful (just) so this is pretty awesome.

The X86J4105864 with Windows 10 pre-installed will be the go-to choice and a great small computer to use for all kinds of mini-projects.

4K support

According to Seeedstudio, the X86J4105800 supports DisplayPort 1.2a and can output in up to 4K at 60 Hz over DisplayPort or HDMI.

Price

The Odyssey X86J4105 has been deemed as a “Raspberry Pi alternative” but at $188 (for the X86J4105800), it’s far from it in terms of price. The X86J4105864 costs more at $218 and the model with Windows 10 will set you back $258.

Would you be better off getting something cheaper? Maybe. Single-board computers like the Raspberry Pi 4, Odroid C2, and Banana Pi all support 4K for a lot less. And the LattePanda can run Windows 10.

Where you can buy an Odyssey X86J4105

The number one place to buy an X86J4105 is from Seeedstudio themselves but if you’re in Poland or mainland Europe, you can grab one from Botland.

Could we get a Raspberry Pi 4 with 8GB of RAM?

Was the mention of 8GB on the Raspberry Pi 4 manual a typo or a sign of things to come?

Update/TL;DR

Raspberry Pi officially announced the launch of the Raspberry Pi 4 with 8GB of RAM, retailing for $75. They also addressed the mistake on their original manual saying:

We were so enthusiastic about the idea that the non-existent product made its way into both the Beginner’s Guide and the compliance leaflet.

So the answer is finally YES!

Tech fans are revelling in the arrival of the Raspberry Pi 4. The influential single board computer is on its fourth iteration with the following specs:

Specs

  • Broadcom BCM2711, Quad core Cortex-A72 (ARM v8) 64-bit SoC @ 1.5GHz
  • 1GB, 2GB or 4GB LPDDR4-2400 SDRAM
  • 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz IEEE 802.11ac wireless, Bluetooth 5.0, BLE
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • 2 USB 3.0 ports; 2 USB 2.0 ports.
  • Raspberry Pi standard 40 pin GPIO header
  • 2 × micro-HDMI ports (up to 4kp60 supported)
  • 2-lane MIPI DSI display port
  • 2-lane MIPI CSI camera port
  • 4-pole stereo audio and composite video port
  • H.265 (4kp60 decode), H264 (1080p60 decode, 1080p30 encode)
  • OpenGL ES 3.0 graphics
  • Micro-SD card slot for loading operating system and data storage
  • 5V DC via USB-C connector
  • 5V DC via GPIO header
  • Power over Ethernet (PoE) enabled

But according to Jenny List for Hackaday, there was an interesting addition to the instruction manual.

Raspberry Pi 4 manual

“It’s not the lack of an Oxford comma that caught his eye, but the tantalising mention of an 8 GB Raspberry Pi 4. Could we one day see an extra model in the range with twice the memory? It would be nice to think so.”

I agree. The Raspberry Pi has changed a lot about computing and accessibility to everyone. It has allowed people with little-to-no experience with computers or coding to get started right out of the box. And for the tech-savvy, it’s the perfect base for all kinds of projects, from Pokédexes to media players that play random Simpsons episodes.

4GB of RAM is the most significant improvement for the new RasPi, just ahead of the USB-C compatibility, but 8GB would be incredible. As Jenny mentioned, they’ve released memory upgrades fairly quickly in the Pi’s life and Moore’s law is shrinking in duration.

But for the meantime, the current specs are more than enough for most projects and general use. I really want one but I don’t know what I could do with it. I have a Pi 3 I use for OSMC but that doesn’t have 5GHz IEEE 802.11ac wireless like the 4 does. I also want to try Chromium as I can’t afford a Chromebook. Decisions, decisions.

Here’s ETA Prime using his Raspberry Pi 4 as a Linux PC.

UPDATE: While you can’t get a Raspberry Pi 4 with 8GB of RAM, you can get a 2GB variant for the same price as the 1GB. It’s available on the official Raspberry Pi website. Amazon is still selling them for the old price, the scoundrels!

South Korea to migrate government systems to Linux

It looks like the republic is one of many nations to switch to the open source OS.

Yay, a Linux article at last! South Korea’s Ministry of the Interior and Safety confirmed they’ll be moving their systems from Windows 7 to Linux in the coming months. The migration is said to be influenced by cost-cutting and generally keeping things more open with their OS.

I don’t have a strong knowledge of digital infrastructures but on the surface, switching to Linux looks like a good idea. There’s no word on how much would be saved but Windows to Linux will cost around £514m according to The Inquirer. There’s also nothing on what distro they’ll choose but North Korea use Red Star. That has its own security issues so they’ll want to avoid that one.

If you were the Minister of the Interior and Safety, which distro would you choose? Let us know in the comments.