Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The code for MS-DOS at last!

Microsoft have donated the source code for MS-DOS 1.1 and 2.0 and Word for Windows 1.1a to the Computer History Museum. The source code can be downloaded and read. Its fairly interesting but only for historical reasons.

I had a brief look through the source code for COMMAND.COM, my 8086 assembler is a bit rusty (and was never that good to be honest) but it seemed fairly straightforward. Of course these early versions of MS-DOS were far more basic and limited than modern operating systems like Mac OSX but then again the file sizes were somewhat smaller...

I still remember buying MS-DOS 4.01 on diskette to upgrade the Amstrad PC we had at the time, which came with version 3.2. I used to be quite nifty at writing batch files though can barely remember any of the language nowadays! @echo off or something...

Completed Dauntless

The first model aircraft of the year has been completed, a Douglas Dauntless of course and it looks pretty good even if i say so myself. As i just have.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

So you got a Masters, what next?

As you may know after years of work and research, toil and tears (et cetera) i completed my Masters in History this year. So the question is now, what next? The OU would like me to continue with a PhD and that does sound interesting though lack of funds and time at the moment means i can't consider it for the moment. To be honest after 9 years continuous study with the OU i want a bit of a break from required reading and TMAs. I'm not sure what i could research for a doctorate anyway, it was hard enough coming up with a masters project!

I do not have to continue studying formally of course and can continue study and research for myself, indeed i have recently begun to research an aborted canal building project of the late 19th century and hope to write an article for my waterways blog at some stage. I came across the canal project while researching for my dissertation last year, i need to make a trip to the National Archives though, something thats not so easy this year i am in employment!

At the moment though i mostly want to read something different, i have just started Mary Beard's new book and that is very good. I've also recently got into the excellent Ships in Focus Record journal on the history of merchant shipping.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Dauntless approaches completion

The latest (and first for 2014) aircraft model project, a Douglas Dauntless, is nearly completed. Just a little bit of painting touching up is required then to apply the decals (which is when things usually got a bit Pete Tong to be honest) and varnish!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Canary Wharf

As my wife works there Canary Wharf is a place i have been to many times, however i've never walked around the waterways that ring the centre of the world's financial might (or something).

Until now that is. Canary Wharf sits on the Thames of course and also has a couple of quays including West India which has a lovely collection of boats amid all the thrusting skyscrapers. You can see my photos here.

Sunday, March 16, 2014


So its time i went somewhere new. Now i may have gone to Hereford before, my Mum seems to think i went on a cub scout camping trip (though i think it was Bridgnorth), but anyway if i have been to Hereford before i don't remember anything about it so surely that counts? Anyway another nice city, reminding me of York and Shrewsbury with its cathedral and river. Best bit though was surely finding the wonderful Hereford Model Centre!

As usual i took plenty of photos which you can find here.

Saturday, March 8, 2014


After a couple of buildings for my model railway the first aircraft model of the year, project #054, is a Douglas Dauntless. Building is nearly complete so now just the painting to go.

Friday, March 7, 2014

End of the affair

So after working on my dissertation for about a year and a half (including research and feasibility studies) at the start of 2014 i submitted it hoping it would be good enough to score me a Masters in History with the Open University. This week the result came out at long last, and it indeed was good enough!

So now i am an MA, i can add that to my assortment of other letters. Its been a long road but my formal academic career will now end after 9 years at the OU (BA then MA) at least for now. I would like to do a PhD but time is a scarce commodity for me these days and funding is not in place and this is likely to remain the case for some time.

Its a shame but maybe it doesn't matter too much, maybe after 9 years its time to end anyway. Its not like i will stop learning in any case, just now i will be reading histories for the interest and not because i have to.

Well i say its all over but i have my graduation to look forward to in June.