Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 15th May 2010 19:23 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes There's one complaint we here at OSNews get thrown in our faces quite often: what's up with the lack of, you know, operating system news on OSNews? Why so much mobile phone news? Why so much talk of H264, HTML5, and Flash? Where's the juicy news on tomorrow's operating systems? Since it's weekend, I might as well explain why things are the way they are. Hint: it has nothing to do with a lack of willingness.
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AaronD
Member since:
2009-08-19

This thread proves Thom's point, doesn't it?

Nobody outside of the hardest core Amigans believe that AmigaOS will ever displace Windows. That doesn't mean that AmigaOS, BSD, Haiku, SkyOS, or any of the other niche operating systems don't have anything to contribue to the big picture of personal computing. Any promising ideas that the small players cook up will quickly be imitated by the big 3 anyway.

My point is that these hobby operating systems give geeks different angles from which to view operating system design. They are a playground in a time when the big operating systems are increasingly set in their ways--because they have to be. Mobile operating systems are exciting for the similar reasons with the added dimension that a new platform is being developed.

We geeks have to stop looking at alternative operating systems through the lens of market viability. So what if they don't make money? There is still value there.

An operating system is not dead as long as there are users and developers that support it. Since when are hobbies supposed to make sense anyway?

Reply Parent Score: 3

Amix Member since:
2006-10-18

You serve a good reply, but then you refer to the OS's which isn't mainstream as hobby OS's. How can you hurt me as a MorphOS user so much?

I use MorphOS for Web, e-mail, irc, msn, ftp... I play games on it, I write documents using Google Docs, I watch 720p movies on my macmini! I can multitask,.. I make web graphics with TvPaint.

MorphOS is not a hobbyst OS. Not for me and my usage! Maybe others uses it as a hobby OS, that doesn't mean it is because the other person doesn't know how to use MorphOS in a serious ways. Yes, the OS have its limitations compared to the big OS'es, but I find it way more comfortable to work with than any other OS's I've tried (never tried BeOS).

Stop treating Amiga, BeOS, SkyOS etc+++ users as dumb people. We use the OS's because they are alive. And yes your right. With more respect, people will have the will to try the small ones maybe. MorphOS needs more developers.. its screaming after that and now it exsists for cheap MacMini G4 hardware. It's never been easier to get a good AmigaOS compatible feeling and yet be able to watch HD content and surf the web faster than on most operating systems ;)

Reply Parent Score: 1

BlueofRainbow Member since:
2009-01-06

This leads to the question - what really defines an hobby OS as opposed to a niche OS or a mainstream OS?

Another interesting definition to clarify is about when a given OS is truly dead.

A number of the great mini/mainframe/workstation OSes of the past can still be experienced but only via an emulator because the underlying hardware has essentially become a museum disply: ITS (PDP-10), RT-11 (PDP-11), RSTSE-11 (PDP-11), Genera (LISP Machine) and many others. Does this mean they are dead?

Similarly for the desktop OSes of the past. Being able to run AmigaOS on an recycled Mac Mini G4 is great. Yet, is there a renewed development of original applications for this OS? Many appear to be ports of existing Linux/Mac/Windows applications.

As an end-user of applications and OSes, I simply wish the geeks to have clear definitions.

Reply Parent Score: 1

AaronD Member since:
2009-08-19

You serve a good reply, but then you refer to the OS's which isn't mainstream as hobby OS's. How can you hurt me as a MorphOS user so much?

I did not intend to offend. I also referred to those OS's as "niche" and "alternative." I didn't want to be repetitive so I was simply using different adjectives.

Indeed, up until 5 years ago I used MOS as my everyday operating system and still own a Pegasos 1 and a Pegasos 2. I know the magic that is MorphOS and I'm glad they are on the move again.

Reply Parent Score: 1