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  #51  
Old 09-24-2019, 12:38 PM
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Surely you mean OS 360 IBM has done a decent job, as far as was reasonable, of maintaining backwards compatibility.
IBM has been very good about understanding that backwards compatibility is a big thing. I spent a lot of time in the IBM midrange arena and got spoiled by stuff just working and decades old software being able to run unchanged in the new environment/system/hardware etc.
  #52  
Old 09-24-2019, 12:44 PM
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VMS came out of DEC, which lives on in some tiny corner of HP. So no chance there either.
Love your post. In a previous (career) life I was a VMS programmer and I loved it passionately. There hasn't been anything since then that made me as excited to come to work. Anyway, not long ago I was feeling a bit nostalgic and looked it up, so I have sad news for you...

HP has exclusively licensed (nice bit of legal trickery there*) all of the VMS assets to another small company calling itself VMS Software, Inc. Might not be all bad, as HP completely wasted it for many years anyway. The footnoted snark is because I can't tell if VSI is a subsidiary of HP or is a separate for-profit company or is some kind of non-profit.

Your point still stands that it seems to now be a museum piece, except for the few installations that are still running/being supported.

Last edited by JcWoman; 09-24-2019 at 12:45 PM.
  #53  
Old 09-24-2019, 01:12 PM
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Twenty dollars, same as in town.
For clarity, you are saying you can't estimate the cost of developing a new operating system? Not even a reference range?

I'm a little bit dense when it comes to new old jokes.

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  #54  
Old 09-24-2019, 01:58 PM
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For clarity, you are saying you can't estimate the cost of developing a new operating system? Not even a reference range?
I can't. I don't think you can either. You're certainly not going to get a useful range by making up a number of lines of code and multiplying it by an hourly rate.
  #55  
Old 09-24-2019, 03:17 PM
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IMHO, one of h things that killed OS research was Linux. And that was pretty sad.
I'm still not convinced that Linux was as important in this process as you say, and I'm pretty sure we've talked about this specific thing before.

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In a previous life I did real world OS research, I have my name on a few research papers on new OS designs, and have met quite a few of he players in the OS research community. There was a golden time that peered out in the mid '90s. Up until then there was a lot of active work, and a lo of new ideas. In addition to some named above, there was work like Choices, Clouds, V-kernel, Grasshopper and more. A common problem all faced was the difficulty in getting a usable environment up and running on top of the base OS abstractions. There is a massive amount of code needed that isn't research. The usual tactic was to port a big slab of the BSD services, and the Gnu toolset. Which of course was what Linux did.
1991 Linux ported a lot of GNU stuff to a very simple monolithic kernel. It wasn't a new idea, a fact the "Linux is obsolete" debate made very clear: Tanenbaum wanted to slam Linux for not being a cutting-edge microkernel design, whereas Torvalds was both sick of MINIX's performance problems and utterly uninterested in trying to turn his terminal emulator into a research OS.

(And despite "let's-make-everyone-happy" BS to the contrary, Tanenbaum was dead wrong about all three things he predicted back then.)

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(Despite his faults, I agree with Richard Stallman that Linux is correctly called GNU/Linux. No Gnu, no Linux.)
GNU was important to getting Linux running, but there's a lot in a finished Linux system which isn't GNU and never has been.

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There are other things that matter. The nature of an OS is about the abstractions that are provided. A lot of the work in the 90's focussed on variations on the common abstractions. Plan-9 took the Unix name space to is logical conclusion. There was a lot of interest in parallel programming support from the OS. OS400 was perhaps the one that had the legs to deliver something new in its persistent programming paradigm. It is a great shame it has been forgotten. And therein lies the problem. The generally accepted abstractions an OS provides have, for all their faults, pretty much been accepted as the 'right way'. To deliver an OS with abstractions that are actually delivering something truly different faces a massive battle, simply because there are billions of lines of code out there that are written assuming things like 'file systems' as the mechanism of persistence, and monolithic isolated virtual address spaces as the unit of computation. And so on.
I can't find any faults with any of this except to say two things:

One, Linux didn't do this. This was fait accompli when the BSD variants became the de facto OS to port to all new workstation designs in the 1980s. Linux isn't even all that different from the BSDs from the perspective of pure OS design.

Two, OS design has advanced, but at the pace of evolution as opposed to revolution. Linux is a good example of this: It supports things like cgroups with namespace isolation, which is the technology underlying Docker images and which is the apotheosis of chroot() jails as lightweight but pervasive containment based around namespaces in a way reminiscent of Plan 9. It's nothing hugely new from a 5,000 foot perspective, but it gets the ideas to people who can use them because the ideas are in a system which supports their existing use cases, as opposed to being wrapped up in a pure research OS which doesn't support any use other than research. Also, and this may be more of a programmer talking, eBPF is an interesting example of a non-Turing-complete language being used to solve real problems, including the problem of avoiding runaway plugins.

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This is reinforced by a monopoly of computer architecture design. Not just x86, but computer architectures don't provide support for interesting ideas in OS design. Tagged memory? Hardware capabilities? Nothing new in these ideas, but without any hope of changing the dominant blandness new OS ideas are hard to make work in a worthwhile manner. Multix is another name missing from discussion. But it needed some hardware support.
Multics was interesting, but it seems like most of the interest comes from it having been an early system which pioneered so many ideas we take for granted, like hierarchical file systems and memory mapping and ACLs. Multics seems to be an example of an early OS project the lessons of which have been fully internalized.
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  #56  
Old 09-24-2019, 03:22 PM
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Does the GNU project still maintain the fiction of having a complete OS as their goal? In practice, of course, the "GNU OS" is Linux, even though it obviously can't be, because Linux Is Unix.
  #57  
Old 09-24-2019, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
Does the GNU project still maintain the fiction of having a complete OS as their goal? In practice, of course, the "GNU OS" is Linux, even though it obviously can't be, because Linux Is Unix.
I believe they are still working on Hurd.
  #58  
Old 09-24-2019, 03:42 PM
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If you navigate to gnu.org, there is a big fat link inviting you to download (any one of several flavours of) GNU/Linux, some of which are sponsored by the FSF. You can download and run GNU/Hurd, but it is described as being not a stable version (of course, anyone unhappy with the pace of development that is free to volunteer to work on it themselves, donate a trillion dollars to the project, or whatever).

ETA there was some friction between Bushnell and Stallman, which apparently didn't help the development of the Hurd any, and neither has the subsequent decades-long stagnation.

Last edited by DPRK; 09-24-2019 at 03:44 PM.
  #59  
Old 09-24-2019, 04:18 PM
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Does the GNU project still maintain the fiction of having a complete OS as their goal? In practice, of course, the "GNU OS" is Linux, even though it obviously can't be, because Linux Is Unix.
They're still working on Hurd, but they've given their official OK to certain Linux distros as living up to their standards as regards user freedom. This is one of them.

As for Linux being a Unix: Technically, Linux is just a kernel, and this is one of the few places that distinction matters. A Unix can only be a complete system, a distro in Linux terms, which has passed a certification process and for which a license fee has been paid. Only one Linux distro qualifies: Inspur K-UX, which I've only heard of in the context of being "that one Linux someone actually paid to turn into a Real Unix" and absolutely nothing else.

There's a part of z/OS which qualifies as Unix and FreeBSD doesn't. It doesn't matter. Nobody cares about that trademark anymore. In common parlance, "Being a Unix" is a spectrum and Linux distros are more towards the "Unix" end unless someone's gone to a good deal of trouble to turn the userspace into something alien.
  #60  
Old 09-24-2019, 04:42 PM
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Here's Wikipedia's page on OSes. Knock yourselves out.

Ones I noticed:

Google's new non-Linux kernal OS Fuchsia. Might be a future replacement for Android/Chromium.

Some of the recentish gaming consoles had their own custom OS. Xbox, Xbox 360 but not Xbox One (Windows 10). Wii U. Sony's PlayStations are BSD based and therefore part of the Unix world.

BeOS lives on, sort of, as Haiku.

Then there's Cosmos. A toolkit for building OSes.
  #61  
Old 09-24-2019, 06:00 PM
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I think that's just a natural effect of a market having "matured." Look at the minicomputer and game console landscape of the late '70s and early '80s. So many wildly different platforms all built around the 6502 architecture (Atari VCS, Apple II family, Commodore 64, Atari 8 bit, NES, etc.) all of the differentiation came from each computer maker's unique support chips to do the real heavy lifting for sound, graphics, and input. Ditto the Amiga later. That all went away once CPUs became powerful enough to do all of the work.
This is really not entirely accurate. The original Lisa/Macintosh used the CPU to do most of the work – Macs came without graphics or sound cards and handled the GUI just fine on the back of the CPU. Windows relied heavily on the graphics card for its GUI, and OS X did the same, implementing all manner of eye candy therewith.

You look at the contemporary ARM-based SoCs: they have a variety of logic blocks that would have been the support chips and graphics cards on older devices. Apple puts a so-called “neural engine” in their recent SoCs to support facial recognition, something eight cores working their hardest together would struggle with.

To say that CPUs have gotten powerful enough to handle all the workload of modern devices is simply not correct.
  #62  
Old 09-24-2019, 07:02 PM
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IMHO, one of h things that killed OS research was Linux. And that was pretty sad.
Your response doesn't fill me with hope for new exciting operating systems, but the IT pendulum swings back and forth all the time. Maybe there will be a need for something we can't even dream of yet.

This is excellent and just what I was looking for. Thank you!
  #63  
Old 09-24-2019, 07:37 PM
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Google did a good job creating Android. It is built on Linux but the user interface is entirely new and designed for phones.

I tried learning Linux a couple times and always ended up frustrated. There were so many duplicate programs. There's even two different help systems. I lost count of the desktops. There's at least six that I remember.

I remember (1998) losing a full day trying to edit the config files to set up my DSL and internet. I finally took the pc to our Linux support guy at work. He had six years experience in Linux and it took him a couple hours to get DSL setup and working. A major PITA. The PC did work well after I took it home.

That all got neatly cleaned up in Android.

Last edited by aceplace57; 09-24-2019 at 07:42 PM.
  #64  
Old 09-24-2019, 10:38 PM
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To a certain extent, I think we're seeing a distributed development of the web application operating system. There are common elements that are starting to be used somewhat universally (the icon that looks like a head to click on for user profile, the hamburger icon for configuration, the gear for settings, envelope icon for messages). Maybe we're going from needing an operating system to present to us the common elements of computer use to web developers using derivatives of those common symbols for elements in web apps)?
Interesting point. In the sense that your browser supports application launching and task switching, it's fairly reasonable to call Chrome or Firefox an OS analog. Obviously, at the moment, they're pretty bound to the underlying features of the OS to provide a lot of features (principally I/O) but there's really nothing from a user's standpoint that the OS offers that a browser doesn't as well.

Obviously, that's the whole motivation behind Chrome OS, though I don't know how tightly they attached the browser to the kernel. (I assume that it just runs as an application in an Android derivative OS.)
  #65  
Old 09-25-2019, 01:50 PM
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Interesting point. In the sense that your browser supports application launching and task switching, it's fairly reasonable to call Chrome or Firefox an OS analog. Obviously, at the moment, they're pretty bound to the underlying features of the OS to provide a lot of features (principally I/O) but there's really nothing from a user's standpoint that the OS offers that a browser doesn't as well.
Modern browsers are p-code systems, an idea that's been developed constantly (if not consistently) since the 1960s but is always seen as too inefficient for real-world use by a certain set of managers and developers: They run architecture-indepdendent code from the outside world in a sandboxed environment which provides a rich native API but very little access to the underlying system in order to enforce a security policy. Sun tried to do this with the JVM and Java applets, but they proved clunky enough that they didn't catch on, except in all of the places they did, of course; really, p-code systems in general are seen as inefficient failures except for all of the places they've become ubiquitous and sufficiently efficient to gain widespread use.

(Sarcasm? Me? Never!)
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  #66  
Old 09-26-2019, 12:11 AM
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related thoughts


* I don't really miss OS360 but SWylbur never worked weil on DOS or the WINs I tried.

* $700k? Piffle. I read that the MEDIAN pay for FazeBook employees in SanFran is US$240k. A few ricos may skew the curve, but this still indicates many in the half-million-plus range. $700k? Feh.

* It's like I'm watching the automotive industry circa 1900, before steamers and electrics were vanquished by petrol and diesel ICEs - blame electric starter laziness. The world yet evolves. PREDICTION: Implants linking human consciousness to the Net will be here soon. What OSs can/will integrate us? How hackproof will they be?
  #67  
Old 09-29-2019, 03:44 AM
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As has been said already; all those legacy applications. I saw the switch from 8-bit to 16-bit programs on the IBM PC, and that took a while. Or old CP/M programs reworled for the PC. Then the big switch to Windows. It used to be that there were dramatic changes every few years, but from Windows 2000 onward the OS have been similar and the apps as well, with the proviso that applications needed to be upgraded because of internal changes in Windows, such as .NET. The recent incarnations of Windows have been aimed more at making them more Web-oriented and able to work well on tablets and smartphones. I mainly process text on a PC, and Windows has not got any better over the years. The same for many applications; upgraded over the years, with some bugs still not fixed. But I can live with it, and I am not prepared to dump my entire suite of software for something new. Which is the main reason I have not gone over to Linux.

Linux is the obvious alternative, but not exactly easy to get started with. However, as a free system, it parallels the situation in the PC world where many free apllications are available. But while Linux is free and constantly updated, it has not gone beyond a niche player even with big companies. I wold love the idea of presenting Redmond with the rigid digit and going off the M$ grid and living free, free of the endless paid upgrades, but the true cost comes in the time to learn the new system and to find substitute programs. At the end of the day, what do have that is better? windows is reasonably relaiible these days, and so are most application programs.

And another issue. It is becoming increasingly less important which system you use because some much now is done by interacting on the Web. These days you spend most of your time working with the browser instead of the OS.
  #68  
Old 09-29-2019, 04:06 AM
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Linux may still be unpopular as a desktop OS, but it is the most common server OS, to the point that Microsoft started including a version of Linux as part of Windows. It's popular with power users as well, which is why Microsoft is integrating a lot of the functionality of Linux programs like bash into Windows 10.

I also have seen the desktop OS as popular with people who are turned off by the problems with Windows 10, but are worried about staying on Windows 7. You have Steam's Proton and SteamOS for gaming, and Wine for other Windows apps you might need. While it's usually the more technically minded power user who does it, it is increasing in popularity.

But, yeah, there's no real need to make more OSes when you have the paid one everyone uses, and the most popular free one that people can update to add new stuff to. The rest of the OSes are more niche for specific uses, or just for fun. Since everyone is using ARM or x86, and all the OSes run on them.there's not much need for the constant development we had back when CPU choices were more diverse.

It was oddly Apple who created a "new" OS in building iPadOS, though it's really just an extension of iOS with a different shell. Still, they can only pull it off because they control the hardware.

Last edited by BigT; 09-29-2019 at 04:08 AM.
  #69  
Old 09-29-2019, 07:35 AM
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Bash is 100% GNU, not sure why you credit it and its ilk as "Linux programs"; like you said, they run on everything including Windows.

Also, not "everyone", even excluding the niche users you dismiss, is running ARM or x86, even to run Linux, and not all operating systems run on those platforms- especially z/OS, VMS, and similar (hardly brand new operating systems!) But that is more a question about why there are not more cheap processor alternatives; a mainframe is one thing, but, as someone pointed out in another thread, there was a time when I could get a Sparc or Power laptop for a reasonable price, but not right now.
  #70  
Old 09-29-2019, 10:16 AM
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Bash is 100% GNU, not sure why you credit it and its ilk as "Linux programs"; like you said, they run on everything including Windows.

Also, not "everyone", even excluding the niche users you dismiss, is running ARM or x86, even to run Linux, and not all operating systems run on those platforms- especially z/OS, VMS, and similar (hardly brand new operating systems!) But that is more a question about why there are not more cheap processor alternatives; a mainframe is one thing, but, as someone pointed out in another thread, there was a time when I could get a Sparc or Power laptop for a reasonable price, but not right now.
Yabbut z/OS (or whatever IBM is calling it this year) is basically “invisible;” unless you are doing something in a 3270 window (which I do sometimes) you almost never know it’s there. VMS is rather niche at this point and isn’t going to make any inroads into broader use.

Though you could say VMS has, in a way. The underbits of Windows NT are/we’re quite similar to VMS thanks to being spearheaded by Dave Cutler after MS swiped him from DEC.
  #71  
Old 09-30-2019, 03:16 AM
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Just stumbled into this discussion and reading it was quite interesting, although there seem to be a lot of people talking past each other and missing definitions.

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I have not used Linux on a PC but I don't think it's something your grandmother would use.
I have thought the same 2 years ago, having grown up with Windows. I've been using Linux for a good year now and am by now convinced that I could set up the computer of my Grandad with Linux and he wouldn't even notice. It is much better today than most people think, and btw I also game regularly and can play most games on Linux without performance losses.
  #72  
Old 09-30-2019, 09:10 PM
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Bash is 100% GNU, not sure why you credit it and its ilk as "Linux programs"; like you said, they run on everything including Windows.
Simple version: because the version of Bash included in Windows 10 runs on top of the Windows Subsystem for Linux. It is thus the Linux program Bash.

I am also unaware of any port of Bash that runs natively in Windows without some sort of compatibility layer, like WSL, CygWin, or MinGW. This makes sense as the GNU utilities were created to run on Unix-like OSes, even before Linux came around.

Finally, while Linux was created outside the GNU Project, it was the first truly free OS, and thus was the first OS under which the GNU goal was met: it ran the free software utilities on top of a free software OS. GNU/Linux, as the combination was sometimes called, was thus endorsed by the project.

Today, we usually say Linux to refer to GNU/Linux, as the two are so intertwined.
  #73  
Old 09-30-2019, 09:42 PM
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Are you talking about portable code being widespread in application development? I don't understand what you are saying about emulators. There needs to be an operating system to emulate before an emulator can be written.

~Max
Yes, I was talking about portable code being widespread in application development. I was not referring to operating systems like Windows, MacOSX or Linux.
  #74  
Old 09-30-2019, 10:27 PM
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Simple version: because the version of Bash included in Windows 10 runs on top of the Windows Subsystem for Linux. It is thus the Linux program Bash.
That is true (about Microsoft providing a Linux compatibility layer), but be aware that Bash pre-dates Linux by several years.

Quote:


I am also unaware of any port of Bash that runs natively in Windows without some sort of compatibility layer, like WSL, CygWin, or MinGW.
How about this one. Or this one. Or all of these...

Last edited by DPRK; 09-30-2019 at 10:28 PM.
  #75  
Old 09-30-2019, 10:43 PM
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Android is relatively new as "OSes" go. It's technically only 12 years old.

Android uses the Linux kernel and the Linux filesystem and most Linux shell commands work as expected. And the C/C++ portions of it are generally built by GCC.

So it has old underpinnings. And in many cases the device drivers for an Android computer are the same ones that would be shipped with Linux. (as expected, since Android is based on the Linux kernel)

And Android uses SELinux, a kernel level security mechanism.

With that said, unsurprisingly, these underpinnings are both very reliable and in some ways trash. The Linux kernel is both extremely well tested and reliable and also very difficult to read and maintain as it's mostly all written in C, with some non-standard additions that means you must compile it with GCC.

The problem with it fundamentally is that it's very, very, very complex and fragile and most of the complexity is not required to be in the kernel itself or necessary for the operation of a specific computer.

The obvious modernization effort is to rewrite just the kernel as a microkernel design, with feature rich frameworks to support sanely written, reliable device drivers. Fuschia is partially an effort towards this end.

With Fuschia + Android, this would technically be a young, new OS, with all components of it developed after 2005. Almost all Android apps would continue to work without modification.
  #76  
Old 10-01-2019, 12:32 AM
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The obvious modernization effort is to rewrite just the kernel as a microkernel design, with feature rich frameworks to support sanely written, reliable device drivers. Fuschia is partially an effort towards this end.
You're something like 27 years late to this debate.
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Old 10-01-2019, 05:34 AM
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You're something like 27 years late to this debate.
ah yes, the geek obsession with "pure" microkernels. Purity always gives way to real-world requirements. Windows NT started out as more or less a microkernel, but performance shortcomings pushed them to move more stuff into kernel-mode. Ditto NextStep/OS X/macOS. and Linux is used everywhere while MINIX remains a toy for students.
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Old 10-01-2019, 11:16 AM
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ah yes, the geek obsession with "pure" microkernels. Purity always gives way to real-world requirements. Windows NT started out as more or less a microkernel, but performance shortcomings pushed them to move more stuff into kernel-mode. Ditto NextStep/OS X/macOS. and Linux is used everywhere while MINIX remains a toy for students.
QNX. It's a microkernel and is widely used in some sectors. Device driver code is unable to crater the entire system which is crucial because next year's hardware needs new drivers which means new bugs.

The other reason for microkernel is it is possible to formally verify the kernel/asil D certify it. The ONLY OSes with this cert are microkernel.

Last edited by SamuelA; 10-01-2019 at 11:18 AM.
  #79  
Old 10-01-2019, 12:07 PM
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I've actually used QNX (that brand-new operating system from 1982). Real-time performance was fine; I didn't try any supercomputing with it.
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Old 10-01-2019, 01:03 PM
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I've actually used QNX (that brand-new operating system from 1982). Real-time performance was fine; I didn't try any supercomputing with it.
A microkernel isn't necessarily any faster. The reason to use one is to isolate the critical code needed or the system crashes from the supporting subsystems that can be restarted if they crash.

So reliability and confidence in the code, not speed.(Linux kernel is immensely complex and so while it is highly reliable anyone inspecting it will realize it isn't something you would want to be your life on. Autonomous cars, etc, are bet your life mission critical systems.)

Last edited by SamuelA; 10-01-2019 at 01:05 PM.
  #81  
Old 10-04-2019, 07:42 PM
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For your space shuttle you are not going to pick something completely experimental...
No, of course not. That could doom it to failures from unforeseen bugs.
No, you'd go instead with something that's leading edge but not bleeding edge; something proven to work with a good consumer base but not so archaic as to be outdated. Something with a good expected longevity like AmigaDOS.


I think the incentive for a radically different OS would come from a radically different hardware, much in the way DOS and WIN was considered too large and clunky for a portable phone so iOS, BlackBerry and Android systems were created to accommodate them.

I would expect that, once good strides have been made on quantum computing hardware, they'll need a radically different OS to [begin to] thoroughly leverage its abilities. The end result will make forecasting next summer's hurricane patterns as easy as playing tic-tac-toe on an Atari 2600.

--G
  #82  
Old 10-05-2019, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Grestarian View Post
I would expect that, once good strides have been made on quantum computing hardware, they'll need a radically different OS to [begin to] thoroughly leverage its abilities. The end result will make forecasting next summer's hurricane patterns as easy as playing tic-tac-toe on an Atari 2600.
I know of no weather forcasting method that works a ton faster non-deterministically. And even if there was one that doesn't necessarily mean that a quantum computer would be helpful. I.e., "quantum" does not mean "magic".

And speaking of Amiga OS, MorphOS, an Amiga-like OS, just announced their most recent release 3 days ago. This particular OS is closed-source and started in 2000.
  #83  
Old 10-09-2019, 10:50 PM
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One interesting concept about 2 decades ago was a project called “Mungi”, which was a 64-bit-specific design (on MIPS or Alpha processors). The distinctive aspect to it was that it used the entire address space once, instead of mapping each process to its own address space. I am not clear on whether each process had limited access to a small part of the space or was it mapped wide open (I got the impression it was the former). Mostly they were touting the idea of persistent image storage (large blocks data on the HD would always appear in the same location in memory, so that pointers could be stored in files as-is), but, as appealing as that might sound, I find the notion only somewhat beneficial, at least in a general use system.

But obviously, at that time, 64-bit CPUs were more spoken of than actually implemented, so the single-address-space system (SASOS) was not destined to get much traction. In this day and age, though, as 32-bit CPUs are seriously on the wane, I could see the possibility of some real interest in a process-access-limited SASOS arising.
  #84  
Old 10-10-2019, 08:39 AM
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There's a new OS out for a special situation: the post apocalypse!

It runs on the Z80 processor (!) which is in a lot things. So scroungers can gin up a simple computer and get elementary things done.

It seems an odd choice given that there will be a ton of "real" PCs around. The main issue will be electricity, not the hardware. (Unless the doomsday fry-all-the-electronics H bombs are unleashed. But then even then the 8-bit Z80s are doomed.)

(Going the other way, more and more Linux distros are dropping 32 bit support.)
  #85  
Old 10-10-2019, 08:54 AM
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more and more Linux distros are dropping 32 bit support
The latest version of NetBSD still runs on a Mac IIx, don't sweat it.
  #86  
Old 10-10-2019, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by eschereal View Post
One interesting concept about 2 decades ago was a project called “Mungi”, which was a 64-bit-specific design (on MIPS or Alpha processors). The distinctive aspect to it was that it used the entire address space once, instead of mapping each process to its own address space.
the as400 has a single level store. 64 bit perm address for every object (and everything is an object) whether it's in mem or stored in some external storage.

But, there is still a mapping at the hardware level when that address is loaded into memory, there is a mapping from the 64 bit perm address to the temporary memory location.
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