The world’s geekiest advent calendar returns, geekier than ever!

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The world’s geekiest advent calendar returns, geekier than ever!

A marvelously obscure VM each day from now until Christmas, from the crew at QEMU

The world of virtualization is dominated by VMware, Microsoft, Xen and KVM.

But one of the hardy perennials of the virtualization scene is QEMU – aka the Quick Emulator - an open-source emulator that as the name implies can run a lot of VMs without much fuss.

QEMU’S definitely a niche offering. But the QEMU community punches above its weight with lively blogs and an advent calendar unlike any other.

How unlike, you ask?

Well … the QEMU advent calendar counts down the 24 days from December 1st to Christmas by releasing a different bootable disk image every day.

And marvelously obscure disk images at that: day one for 2019 features “F-Bird”, a five-kilobyte download coded in x86 assembly language. This Flappy Bird clone manages to drive a PC’s speaker, despite its tiny size.

Day two featured a disk image capable of running old Infocom adventure games. Day 3 offered, a one-kilobyte x86 OS installer that can get Linux, BSD and other OSes onto your machine.

Past QEMU advent calendars have offered treasures like a Sinlcair ZX Spectrum emulator and FreeGEM, a UI for DOS, and a text version of the game “Moon Buggy” for IBM’s s390 mainframes.

The calendar has previously appeared in 2014 and 2016, with the 2018 edition available here.



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