Linked by Davon Shire on Wed 23rd Feb 2005 21:51 UTC
Editorial Amazing is the recent interest in full, live, operating systems that can fit on a 50 MB CD-ROM. It's totally astounding that they can cram so much onto such a tiny disk. But wait.. let's run back to the days of old.. back to say 1988.
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Correction and Discussion
by Davon Shire on Thu 24th Feb 2005 12:14 UTC

Correction: Fabrice's compiler is TCC not TTC. My apologies my fingers got away from me.

Thank you for your comments, ideas and suggestions. There's a lot to look at and consider. I had thought AROS was actually only for the new Amiga hardware. My bad I'll have to give it a look.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised by how many people commented on the nostalgic aspect of my article. My focus had been to display some examples of how, given very limited resources. Amazing software and applications could be found. But it's always nice to think back to those days.

Special thanks and honors should go out to those brave mad men and women who created the emulators that give us still a chance to relive the old days even though our hardware may have gone to digital heaven.

I was aware of Syllable which I haven't checked in on since it Showed up on Slashdot being mentioned as AtheOs. An amazing effort indeed.

MinuetOs I have looked at a time or 3. Definitely something to keep my eye on. Curiously everytime I try to run it on Qemu it chews up every iota of cpu time and renders slowly.

Kkreiger is an amazing example of getting the most out of every byte of code. It took me a while to get the hardware needed to actually run this demo. But it blew me away.

Bloat: as referenced earlier. Mental map of your filesystem? I'm not really sure how that correlates with this discussion. Clearly you have a vast mind and I'm sure you feel a disturbance in the force when something erases a library. ;)

Someone discussed how we couldn't edit video or play back mp3's with hardware like I mentioned as I wandered down memory lane.

The article was more about getting the most out of the hardware we have today. It seems to me much more is done by brute force instead of finesse. However I think it's not quite all the developers fault. Time constraints and all asside.

With the Amiga (Yes I'm back to this magic box) you had specialized media chips and busses to perform feats that would have slain the poor 68000 processor if it had been left to do all that work.

You also had most all of the graphic interface and code imbedded in Roms so the software it self didn't carry the added size and weight that a statically linked program would have.

On a more recent tangent, I used windows and a Pentium 200MMX and used it to watch DVD's without so much as a glitch. Course I cheated, my DVD kit contained a Hollywood+ Mpeg decoder card. So here the software and os used again specialized hardware to accomplish what brute force coding couldn't.

There are lots of balances and checks between hardware, software, application and OS design and development.

Embedded systems are amazing things. I haven't really had the spare cash to try out some of the hardware but it does amaze me how much you can get away with if you're clever. Picobsd for instance. Rocked my world when I tried it.

Booting a multitasking system off a single floppy that could route my data and do telnet and such. Was pretty freakin amazing to me after being away from my Amiga for so long. Still it wasn't graphical and certainly didn't play mp3's. It did however give me hope that tight, functional code was still in the future of computing.

The responses to this article have given me lots to consider and when the discussion ends I'll probably be spending a great deal of time going over the links and information generously given here. Thank you one and all.