Linked by Hadrien Grasland on Sat 19th Feb 2011 10:24 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems Okay, source material is more than 10 years old so this is not exactly news, but I think it's interesting anyway. This BeOS promotional video is a good reminder of how powerful modern hardware truly is, what hardware should be needed for light computer use, and how laughable modern desktop&mobile OSs are as far as performance is concerned. Here are part 1 and part 2 on YouTube.
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It's not only the OS
by d3vi1 on Sat 19th Feb 2011 16:38 UTC
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While BeOS was fast mainly because it was designed for and on modern (at the time) hardware it's not that impressive. We had a Linux on AMD K6-2 350MHz with 128MB of RAM and a consumer 4 GB hard drive that ran a J2EE 1.4 website with 10.000 parallel clients. The bottleneck was the 5200 RPM hard-drive, because of the database. Initial software would only allow 500 users and a lot of code, JavaVM, OS and DB tuning later it would cap at the 10k users mark, which was acceptable for us. Right now, it serves half a million users on 4 intel Mac Mini systems, with the DB one using SSD storage and the other ones just a RAM bump to 8GB.
Want a better comparison? The Apple iPhone 3G (in its iOS 2.x and 3.x era) was pretty fast in multimedia apps, while having a 400MHz CPU and 128MB of RAM, thus about the same config as the BeOS system you have over there. If you test and optimize for a platform, you can do it!
An even better example: IBM PS/1 2133-W13 running an Intel 80386SX at 25MHz with added FPU and 16MB RAM (the maximum allowed on 386SX), could do routing and NAT saturating a 10Mbps Ethernet link on Linux on a recent Linux Kernel 2.4.
The question obviously at hand is: how? Simple, if you have enough time (a very precious resource nowdays) on your hand, you can fine tune stuff to run on the lowest end hardware. The question is, is it economically viable? For us the K6-2 experiment was an economical requirement, it was the only system we had on hand that was unused, and we had no budget at the time to do better. The 386 experiment, on the other hand was one that we did just for fun, loving that piece of old hardware and testing to see if we brought it back to life.

I loved BeOS, I like Haiku-OS, but I don't want to see BeOS on our desktops anymore, since the design is already 15 years old. I want to see the next BeOS, designed to run on 64 core systems, with another 1000 GPU cores at hand and a crapload of RAM and SSD/Flash. And I want it to run with the best power-management out there. This fictive OS should have double the battery lifetime of the iPad on the same hardware (except for the exceptional standby, where you can't do anything about it).

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