Linked by Eugenia Loli on Mon 16th Jun 2003 00:28 UTC
QNX "These innovators sail against the prevailing winds, discovering whole new worlds in biotech and software" Fortune says regarding QNX Software Systems. You can try out QNX Momentics 6.2.1 on your PC today (~260 MB ISO image, requires a primary partition), the desktop edition (developer platform) of their embedded QNX RTOS. Here is our preview article of v6.2.0 with screenshots.
Order by: Score:
marketing
by Anonymous on Mon 16th Jun 2003 00:39 UTC

this article was just posted to slashdot too, and someone over there pointed out that the article is three months old. there is no new os news in qnx, this smells like marketing.

RE: marketing
by Eugenia on Mon 16th Jun 2003 00:40 UTC

It is nice to have some QNX news from time to time. We got an icon to use, it gets rusty sitting in the db all day. :-)

always nice
by the arbiter on Mon 16th Jun 2003 00:43 UTC

It's always nice to see something about QNX, possibly the most neglected dektop platform of our time. I know it wasn't really meant as one, but it does a pretty damn good job...at least as functional as BeOS, if not quite as polished. Wouldn't mind seeing some work done on it to make it a little bit nicer.

I'm glad the company is doing well.

Nice OS!
by Paul Gallant on Mon 16th Jun 2003 00:46 UTC

I used QNX as my "alternative" desktop for a couple of months. It's really nice. It never crashed!. I would use it all the time if it had more "multimedia" type of apps. A video editing/motion graphics program would be great for this platform.

QNX
by Chris on Mon 16th Jun 2003 00:47 UTC

QNC has replaced Linux and BeOS on my machine. Its rock solid, stable and fun to use with a clean, consistent UI. It isn't always the easiest thing to use (You have to start the USB stack from the command line), but I like having it around as a second computer to my Mac.

6.1 vs 6.2 on the desktop
by MattN on Mon 16th Jun 2003 00:57 UTC

I had 6.1 installed and used it quite happily for while some time ago, and I'm going to give it another go on a spare machine just for kicks.

Does anyone who's used 6.2 have any opinions on whether it's worth the download for 6.2 (considering the "missing" bits, rumoured poorer performance on the desktop), or should I just continue with 6.1?

QNX Experience
by Owen Anderson on Mon 16th Jun 2003 01:09 UTC

I've used QNX Momentics, and I must say that it's very nice. I really think that if they took the time and polished it up, it could make quite a good alternative desktop OS. Maybe even up with what BeOS could have been. More power to them, I say!

...
by MPX on Mon 16th Jun 2003 01:10 UTC

I love qnx its really Great! But what i dont like about it is that many of the apps that are supposed to work without they hey-do doesnt...(Dont think its the app in these cases sometimes) and that some apps the the OS comes with when you install it doesnt work! (Not on my Computer(cant remember what theyre called but there are atleast 3))
Other then that I love it....I havent had the chance to go on the internet with it yet but I will as soon as I get my new network card...

Oh and Eugenia? Whats the situation with the DVD? Why isnt it implented yet? Story? Is there somebody working on it? Why not? VLC?

Missing stuff
by Chris on Mon 16th Jun 2003 01:10 UTC

used QNX as my "alternative" desktop for a couple of months. It's really nice. It never crashed!. I would use it all the time if it had more "multimedia" type of apps. A video editing/motion graphics program would be great for this platform.

There is VLC and MPlayer. I don't know it this helps.

Does anyone who's used 6.2 have any opinions on whether it's worth the download for 6.2 (considering the "missing" bits, rumoured poorer performance on the desktop), or should I just continue with 6.1?

You get more than you lose. There are missing "parts" but they are easily replaced. phPDF is long gone but there is XPDF, for instance. Printing is much easier and stable, as is graphics.

There is no qnxstart, but there is http://www.qnxzone.com http://Killerstuff.net, among others

!!!!!
by MPX on Mon 16th Jun 2003 01:28 UTC

Gotta stop posting at late hours.....nobody replies ;)

Sorry I use office a lot

OpenOffice
by Chris on Mon 16th Jun 2003 01:38 UTC

No one has even started a QNX port, iirc, so the wait is a long time.

Re: OpenOffice
by javito on Mon 16th Jun 2003 01:48 UTC

Thats the only apps that really need to be ported over to QNX IMHO..
QNX is rock-solid, kick a$$, is what software engeneering is all about, MAD PROPZ TO ALL THA QNX ENG OUT THERE...YOU RULEZ

take two
cya
./javito

RTOS?
by nick on Mon 16th Jun 2003 01:53 UTC

What do they mean by a real-time OS?

Re: OpenOffice
by KCardoza on Mon 16th Jun 2003 02:33 UTC

QNX has nearly everything you'd expect from a typical *NIX-like environment, including X11, so you'd think porting it would be a matter of making sure you have all it's needed libraries and their headers installed, and compiling/installing OpenOffice from source... Though I might be mistaken. Does OO.o require java to compile? If so, is there a usable JDK for QNX? Or is there some gcc wierdness that I'm totally ignorant of?

RE: MPX
by JonP on Mon 16th Jun 2003 02:35 UTC

>Whats the situation with the DVD? Why isnt it implented yet? Licensing problems put this project on shelf AFAIK.

Real time phooey!
by jefro on Mon 16th Jun 2003 03:33 UTC

We have about 50,000 or more copies of QNX running everyday. I must admit almost rock solid running industrial machines. I don't think a power hit or daily knife switch has killed a machine yet. The whole realtime line of do-do is more than I can stand. It still is a pokey old unix copy forced to run on a x86 and slowly for most but common serial I/O requests.
I would have prefered that beos was running at near real time. They had the ability to run 603's which also run a LOT of automated machines.
The industrial market pays and that is what has kept QNX alive for this long. Dunno if SCO will look them up too.

RE: RTOS?
by teller on Mon 16th Jun 2003 04:26 UTC

A definition of what a real-time OS is can be found here:
http://search390.techtarget.com/sDefinition/0,,sid10_gci213667,00.h...

Information on QNX and its capabilities can be viewed at this address:
http://www.qnx.com/products/ps_neutrino/faq.html

Re: Real time phooey!
by KCardoza on Mon 16th Jun 2003 05:16 UTC

jefor said:
(Snippety snip)
It still is a pokey old unix copy forced to run on a x86 and slowly for most but common serial I/O requests.
I would have prefered that beos was running at near real time. They had the ability to run 603's which also run a LOT of automated machines.
The industrial market pays and that is what has kept QNX alive for this long. Dunno if SCO will look them up too.
(Snip)

Pokey my hairy irish butt. And it's not a UNIX copy; it, AFAIK, is a completely separate codeline that just happens to conform to the POSIX spec. And you're damn right the industrial market pays; would you REALLY want your heart/lung machine, or the robots at your car factory controlled by a WinXP box? Downtime costs money, and QNX has a reputation for being rock-solid for a reason.

Oh, and SCO can't do diddley squat to QSSL, since QNX isn't in any way derived from the SYSV codeline. SCO doesn't own the POSIX standards, not by copyright or patent, and they sure as hell aren't "Trade secrets," as they've been well-known and publicly documented for decades. Unless there's some shady back-alley deals going on, AFAIK, QSSL and SCO have nothing to do with each other.

Wild innacuracies in this article
by Happy-Hacker on Mon 16th Jun 2003 05:21 UTC

Um... while I won't argue that QNX is a good OS. but the article in Fortune had some problems. QNX is the only company to commercialise a microkernal operating system? The Microkernal structure allows them to run faster? Monolithic kernals don't offer memory protection? It looks like the author talked to the founders of QNX and picked up a lot of tech he didn't understand, and therefore didn't regurgitate accurately.

OSNews Request...
by Anonymous on Mon 16th Jun 2003 05:30 UTC

I know you guys are REALLY busy, but a QNX review would be a nice idea for an article...

RE: OSNews Request...
by Eugenia on Mon 16th Jun 2003 05:42 UTC

The preview article we link there, is already a good indication of what one could expect from QNX. Version 6.2.1 is not that different than 6.2.0 you know. Not much have changed in 1,5 years in the QNX Desktop land.

Photon
by John Blink on Mon 16th Jun 2003 06:22 UTC

Photon allows Xfree type programs to display on the interface transparently.

Is this something similar to what Apple has done with their port of Xfree?

Also I don't want to see yet another review on this product. What I would like to see is a tutorial on how someone set it up as a desktop OS, since we read that some people use it as a desktop OS.

I am quite able to install QNX I have done it before, but I am not that knowledgable on how to use it, how to install stuff, how to install the apps needed so it can be used as a desktop OS.

Also Photon didn't seem a smooth on my system and I couldn't get a refresh rate higher than 75Hz, it might have been the graphics drivers, I just don't know.

My specs:
AMD k6-2 450Mhz
384MB RAM
4MB Matrox Millenium II PCI
40GB Seagate HDD

Windows CE
by Mark on Mon 16th Jun 2003 08:01 UTC

After reading the article, I have the impression the author was hooked on crack. He was too enthusiastic :-)

However, the IBM guy was right when he said :
"The typical automotive end user would have no patience with a unit that freezes up or experiences systems errors".

He should have talked about the Malaysian official who recently went through quite a predicament : the windows of his car (controlled by Windows CE) stopped functioning, causing the passengers to suffocate. If they hadn't been rescued, I guess Bill Gates would have become persona non grata in Malaysia.

OpenOffice
by Chris on Mon 16th Jun 2003 09:12 UTC

An X11 port of OO.o is certainly possible but I have never tried it. I imgine it would still take a lot of work. QNX has Java built in, btw.

Re: RTOS?
by Wesley Parish on Mon 16th Jun 2003 09:12 UTC

Simple. An RTOS is an operating system where not only 1+1=2, but 1+2=2 within the next second or it's the wrong answer.

RTOS is for when you don't have time to make mistakes.

RTOS is for when you need determinate responses - no humming and hawing about choosing action A over B.

RTOS is for situations when you need control of machinery, etc, where the control can't be lost or the entire situation will be lost as well.

RTOSes are necessary in spacecraft, for example, or high speed trains, or flight control computers, or milling machines, or lathes, or so ... get the picture?

Re: RTOS? (Wesley Parish)
by John Blink on Mon 16th Jun 2003 09:29 UTC

I only understood the bottom half of your post.

Re: Wild innacuracies in this article
by Chris McKillop on Mon 16th Jun 2003 09:37 UTC

Well...perhaps we are not the only commericalized microkernel (although I am not sure who else has actually brought a real ukernel to market), we where the first.

You take issue with the speed comment, and there are some places where a microkernel will run slower then a monokernel, and there are places where the microkernel will run faster.

The memory protection comment is made by looking at device drivers and systems traditionally put inside of a system's kernel. If your ethernet driver goes off into lala land with a buffer pointer in a mono kernel your system is now in an unknown state (crash, corruption, ... - reboot required). Where as with QNX the driver's process is simply killed off like any other process and that single process can be cleanly restarted on the fly. So if when you read the article you thought it was trying to imply that QNX is the only OS with ANY memory protection, that wasn't the point at all. ;)





Re: RTOS? (Wesley Parish)
by Wesley Parish on Mon 16th Jun 2003 09:46 UTC

It's simple. A RTOS is for situations where - to quote the O'Reilly book "POSIX.4: Programming for the Real World" by Gallmeister:

"Real-time applications fall into two broad categories: hard real-time and soft real-time. ... In hard real-time, a late answer is of no use at all. It doesn't do you any good if the signal that cuts fuel to the jet engine arrives a millisecond after the engine has exploded. ...

"In soft real-time, by contrast, there's more graduation. ... You might get annoyed waiting for your credit card to be approved, but nobody is going to die if it takes thirty seconds instead of fifteen."

Oh well....
by JCooper on Mon 16th Jun 2003 09:56 UTC

Would have liked to have tried it but:

"Maximum download limit reached. Please try again later.

Thank you for registering for the free download of QNX Momentics Non-Commercial (NC) Edition v6.2.1. Due to the large volume of requests, we have reached our maximum download limit at this time. As you have already registered for the download, please bookmark the link provided and try again later."

Tried it (6.2)
by Manik on Mon 16th Jun 2003 10:33 UTC

Great desktop. Only problems I had: clicking on a file wouldn't do anything (except for images and html files - mp3 I don't know, I don't have any). Other problem (and the reason why I ditched it), it was very very slow on the internet (with Mozilla 1.3, or the last Opera, or Voyager), and wouldn't even display about one third of the sites I used to go. I have no idea why!

Busy Server
by Jay on Mon 16th Jun 2003 11:34 UTC

I tried to get on the server to download QNX last night and at the crack of dawn this morning - busy. This article must have generated much interest to us OS Junkies :-)

Re: RTOS? (Wesley Parish)
by Anonymous on Mon 16th Jun 2003 13:24 UTC

A real time system means it guarantees that an action performed are executed untill it's finished. In "traditional" OS's e.g. windows/linux there is no such guarantee, the kernel might suddenly decide that now the process has used its time so it switches to another. Or it might get an interrupt from e.g. a disk drive, and run the interrupt handler and thus halting the current process for a little while. RTOS'es doesn't do this. They run the process untill the process itself gives up the CPU, or wait for some other task to complete, or a process with higher priority starts to run. Any OS processes and the kerne run on low priorities and never ever cause "user" processes to delay.
Just imagine how important this is in the real world. If your program is controlling the autopilot of an airplane, you have to make sure it turns/throttles/whatever when it should. Not 1ms later, not sometimes 3 ms later

Re: OpenOffice
by ralpht on Mon 16th Jun 2003 14:26 UTC

OpenOffice uses X11 already and does need Java to compile, however you would probably need to implement a C++ "bridge" for a QNX port. The bridge is a part of UNO and allows calls into OpenOffice (C++) from other processes/hosts/languages. It also allows calls in OpenOffice (C++) to be intercepted and (say) actually call a procedure in a different language.

Writing the C++ bridge is non-trivial and must be done for each compiler/CPU/ABI combination (and ABI normally differs slightly between OS on the same CPU...). OpenOffice crashes when you try to do stuff like open/save without a C++ bridge. (I wrote the bridge for the GCC-2.95/MIPS/N32 IRIX port of OpenOffice, and personally favour the approach taken by Qt's moc which allows similar COM-style things to be done in a non compiler/platform/...-specific way).

Ralph

Re: Busy Server
by IBjr on Mon 16th Jun 2003 15:02 UTC

Or slashdot. I tried at 10pm, midnight, 3am, 6am....

Busy Servers
by Chris McKillop on Mon 16th Jun 2003 16:04 UTC

Yep - the download server is attempted to provide a minimum quality of service to the people doing the download. Hopefully in the future we will be moving to some other system, maybe Bit Torrent, to improve the download situation.

If you look around on qnxzone.com and openqnx.com you can find some mirror sites, like http://www.qnxzone.com/secret/qnxnc621.iso


I'll wait for the next version
by Anonymous on Mon 16th Jun 2003 16:08 UTC

Now, I know that qnx isn't designed for desktop usage, but I decided to give it a try anyways. I have an HP n5340 laptop that I tried installing qnx onto, and while the installation seemed ok, I quickly found that it wasn't able to discover my ethernet card (I have an smc8035tx, it's on the 'supported hardware' list) but no matter what I tried, it just wouldn't work. I've already spent far too much time learning how to get debian to install properly on the machine to take the challenge of getting qnx to run on it as well. Hopefully the next version makes things a little easier to configure, because I was impressed with the performance that I saw.

Re: RTOS?
by jack perry on Mon 16th Jun 2003 17:59 UTC

In "traditional" OS's e.g. windows/linux there is no such guarantee, the kernel might suddenly decide that now the process has used its time so it switches to another. RTOS'es doesn't do this.

I could be wrong, but that seems to have more to do with what style of multitasking they use, than with whether they are real-time. One can run processes in the manner described in the post, and not be real-time. In particular, Windows & Linux are not pre-emptive in their multitasking and don't pay attention to priority queues.

RTOS's guarantee a response to some event within a certain period of time. That's all the definition one should need. Getting an interrupt ought be such an event. To take up the example: the autopilot is turning the plane, but the radar picks up a new incoming object where you would be going -- do you really want to ignore the ensuing interrupt just to respect the current process? Think fighter planes here, for example: turning into an incoming missile is not a great idea.

The kernel itself would have HIGHER priority than the user process -- but would do very little, in order to facilitate the required fast switches from one process to another. I have been told by someone who several times implemented QNX-based solutions that the process scheduler is one such example: the kernel doesn't schedule processes; it calls a process that is the scheduler.

So, that's my interpretation of RTOS -- but I might be interpreting it wrong. Can someone show me how?

Re: RTOS? (cont'd)
by jack perry on Mon 16th Jun 2003 18:20 UTC

Or it might get an interrupt from e.g. a disk drive, and run the interrupt handler and thus halting the current process for a little while. RTOS'es doesn't do this.

Following up on what bothered me in the above statement... Check out the definition of pre-emption on this page: http://colos1.fri.uni-lj.si/~sis/COMPUTING/SRC/TICS/ticsdef.htm#pre...

Re: Busy Server
by Eugenia on Mon 16th Jun 2003 21:21 UTC

>Or slashdot. I tried at 10pm, midnight, 3am, 6am....

slashdot never mentioned QNX Momentics neither even linked to Qnx.com to their article. Only OSNews did and included shots and info on the OS enough to make people download it. ;)

RE: ( Eugenia's reply) Busy Server
by IBjr on Mon 16th Jun 2003 23:50 UTC

You are splitting hairs, they did link to a Forbes story and it had nearly 500 replies (link below), and similar complaints about swamped servers. It wasn’t OSnews.

http://slashdot.org/articles/03/06/15/1730232.shtml?tid=185&tid=190

RTOS is still phooy and ...
by jefro on Tue 17th Jun 2003 04:48 UTC

Don't use QNX to run my heart machine. While I said it was rock solid I should have stated that it still drops processes and won't tell you squat. What I should have said was that the file system is rock solid. Every one of our machines has gone off line. Our AIX machines have yet to do that ever or drop a process. Our old DECs are equal to RTOS and they still drop stuff.

Please use AIX to run my heart machine.

re: RTOS is still phooy
by Chris McKillop on Tue 17th Jun 2003 07:02 UTC

Won't tell you squat? What are you talking about? QNX6/Neutrino allows you to not only capture when your processes crash (the only time a process goes away, other then on a purposeful exist) but also to restart them seamlessly.

BTW, you made the mistake of posting from work last time. So if you want to talk about QNX please state the fact that you are using QNX2. ;)




Download
by rjh123 on Tue 17th Jun 2003 13:33 UTC

I would like to try the 26Mb download on my Win 98 machine. Does anyone know where i can download this from, as QNX only seem to be providing 6.2 now which is far to big to download just to try out - especially as it also needs it's own primary partition.

Re: Download
by Chris McKillop on Tue 17th Jun 2003 16:15 UTC

The smaller, windows install download has been discontinued. We don't support the windows based install anymore, mostly due to XP and NTFS.

RE: ( Eugenia's reply) Busy Server
by Eugenia on Tue 17th Jun 2003 20:33 UTC

Slashdot did not include any links or information regarding Momentics, it is very unlikely that all this traffic happened from people who suddenly discovered all by themselves the QNX Momentics, which is not very prominent anymore in the QNX site.

On the other side, OSNews did link and explained what it is, and included shots, which is the ultimate "push" for people to try out stuff. I don't know how you think of OSNews anymore, but we do serve 120,000 pages per day these days.