The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Monday, March 31, 2014

So how does one bootstrap a development system from the command line?

A few years ago I mused about bootstrapping a development system under MS-DOS from the command line. Now, I personally haven't done that, but I can see how it could be done.

But Edmund Evans came close to doing just that (link via Hacker News). He “cheated” by having a program that converted hex codes to binary. It's not that bad though, under Linux, you have a bit of an easier time generating binary data:

/bin/echo -e "\177\105\114\106\001\001\001\000..." >hex1

(it's coincidental that this method also uses octal values instead of hex—Unix began life in an octal environment).

That small quibble aside, Edmund did the bootstrapping procedure pretty much how I envisioned it.

And in following a few more links from the Hackers News commentary, I see that Kragen Sitaker referenced my previous entry and did the initial bootstrap (making a program to read text into binary) from the MS-DOS command line (how odd—that mailing list with only one member).

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