Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 21st May 2010 12:45 UTC, submitted by martini
OS/2 and eComStation After god knows how many years, it's finally here: the final release of eComStation 2.0. We first reported on eComStation 2.0 back in December 2005, when the first beta was released, and between then and now, we've seen countless betas and release candidates come and go, but the wait is finally over.
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RE[3]: Hmm
by vodoomoth on Fri 21st May 2010 21:08 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Hmm"
vodoomoth
Member since:
2010-03-30


32bit kernel? That is not... a good choice for an OS, too limited. Even today, people can not use 32bit Windows to its full extent, more and more need the power and memory freedom from 64bit. If you really need stability and performance and no practical limitations, choose a real Unix, not Linux.


That's what I was saying in my previous comment: we've just settled for what's been given to us as some sort of OS gospel dyed with consumerism. Does anyone recall what was the standard laptop RAM size in 2000? I'm really interested into knowing. I have memories of my father using a word processor on an Amstrad CPC6128 in the late 80s. In 2000, I was using Office 97 and Windows 95 on a Pentium 133Mhz Olivetti laptop with with god knows how much RAM. What is it, that's so crucial, that Word 2007 can do today that I couldn't do in 2000 with Word 97?

Can you think of a single relatively common application (or task) that:
- exists today
- didn't exist in 2000
- requires that amount of RAM ?

I can't. Please, don't reply "games".

I've never filled the 2GB in my laptop in 2 years. So memory freedom is something I had never thought about.

The questions that arose from that comment are:
- why can't OS makers make smart OSes? Remember that 32 bit versions of Windows up to Vista were limited to 3GB? 32-bit Mac OS X 10.5 managed more than that. Obviously, there was a problem with Windows. My RAID controller and the Intel Turbo Memory are mutually exclusive. There's no explanation nowhere and I just have to deal with it.
- what's the proportion of 32-bit XP, Vista, Windows 7 compared to their 64-bit counterparts? Is it so unbalanced in favor of 64-bit that the viability of 32-bit in the coming 5 years is questionable?
- is RAM the reason for a 64-bit architecture? I thought it was twofold: speed of data transfers to memory and between registers, and width of computations.


... and in some time, hardware will cease to support 32bit architecture.

There's no way this will ever happen. As far as I know, all x86 still support using 8-bit registers in instructions and memory I/O. Same for 16-bit. Unless OS and CPU makers agree to get rid of the sacro-saint backwards-compatibility paradigm, thereby forcing it upon compiler and IDE actors, unless there's a radical shift and "legacy" becomes a banned word, this will not happen.

Furthermore, there's technically no justification to not supporting 32-bit on a 64-bit architecture. Computation-wise, you just dismiss the higher bits; same thing when reading from memory: read 64, use 32. But writing to memory would require reading 64 (or, in the worst case, 128 bits, with alignment considerations) first before changing only 32 and writing back all bits. That's what happens when changing overwriting 1 byte in a binary file: the whole sector (or cluster) is read before being written back.

Of course, software makers will get either lazy or greedy, come up with an excuse saying that 32-bit support is slowing things down (as if speed ever worried them) and we'll have to move on to something supposedly faster only to realize that we should have remained where we were (from my personal experience when I moved from 10.5.8 to Snow Leopard).

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[4]: Hmm
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Sat 22nd May 2010 15:50 in reply to "RE[3]: Hmm"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

I am not a typical user. I am a power user. As such, there are several applications i use that consume a large amount of memory.

Eclipse
Virtual machines ( yes I typically run two or three vms at once )
Gimp
Inkscape
open office
firefox
chromium
opera
Kontact

I actually do know how well that workload works on a 2000 era computer: Not good. You can do the same things but you have to close one app to open another. It takes longer. I'd also have to have separate physical machines to replace the virtual machines.

Win 32 bit didn't support the PAX extensions that allow you to use more than ~3 GB. Mac/linux/ win32bit servers did. It used that as a product differentiator to get people to pay for server OSes. however it would limit each process to ~3gb. Making it unsuitable for really memory intensive apps ( databases and the like).

There have been 64 bit architectures that don't have a 32 bit version. Like Itanium. Though yo could really point to that lack of legacy support as a reason for its relative failure to meet its expectations.

Ram isn't the only reason for the change to x86_64. There are a lot of other changes in the instruction set that make it a better choice. I'm not an expert on them, but I know they exist. But those are specific to one implementation of 32 vs 4 bit that would not pertain to other instruction sets like POWER.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Hmm
by jido on Sat 22nd May 2010 20:51 in reply to "RE[3]: Hmm"
jido Member since:
2006-03-06


That's what I was saying in my previous comment: we've just settled for what's been given to us as some sort of OS gospel dyed with consumerism. Does anyone recall what was the standard laptop RAM size in 2000? I'm really interested into knowing. I have memories of my father using a word processor on an Amstrad CPC6128 in the late 80s. In 2000, I was using Office 97 and Windows 95 on a Pentium 133Mhz Olivetti laptop with with god knows how much RAM.


My laptop bought in 2000 had 128MB RAM for Windows 98, if that is any indication.

What is it, that's so crucial, that Word 2007 can do today that I couldn't do in 2000 with Word 97?


Oh please.

Can you think of a single relatively common application (or task) that:
- exists today
- didn't exist in 2000
- requires that amount of RAM ?

I can't. Please, don't reply "games".


I am sure you could do most of the stuff we use computers for back in 2000, BUT user expectations have changed. It feels sad when you try using an OS from back then and run into something that it can absolutely not do -- even if it is as simple as handling a modern file format.

That is why keeping an old OS up-to-date with recent versions of the apps is very welcome, you get a mean and lean OS which responds to (most) user expectations.

I've never filled the 2GB in my laptop in 2 years. So memory freedom is something I had never thought about.


A general trend is that the more recent the application, the more memory hungry it is. So if you want a good user experience (by today's standards) you better have enough RAM available. That said, I agree that 2GB is still quite comfortable (depending on OS).

The questions that arose from that comment are:
- why can't OS makers make smart OSes? Remember that 32 bit versions of Windows up to Vista were limited to 3GB? 32-bit Mac OS X 10.5 managed more than that. Obviously, there was a problem with Windows. My RAID controller and the Intel Turbo Memory are mutually exclusive. There's no explanation nowhere and I just have to deal with it.


Actually the consumer version of Windows was limited to 2GB and the pro version to 3GB if I remember well. The former was an arbitrary limitation added by Microsoft, which didn't exist in MacOS X and Linux.
However there was a hardware 3GB limitation in a number of computers, notably laptops-- you could add more RAM but only ~3GB were addressable.

- what's the proportion of 32-bit XP, Vista, Windows 7 compared to their 64-bit counterparts? Is it so unbalanced in favor of 64-bit that the viability of 32-bit in the coming 5 years is questionable?
- is RAM the reason for a 64-bit architecture? I thought it was twofold: speed of data transfers to memory and between registers, and width of computations.


The speed of data transfers to memory depends on the width of the bus. You could have a 64 bit bus on a 32 bit architecture.
On the Intel architecture a significant benefit of 64 bit is the increase in the number of registers, which reduces the need to hit the caches. A 32 bit OS cannot benefit from it.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: Hmm
by Cody Evans on Sat 22nd May 2010 21:00 in reply to "RE[3]: Hmm"
Cody Evans Member since:
2009-08-14

One thing Office 2007 can do that office 97 can't is to interface with Microsoft's latest proprietary formats, which are the default used in each office release.

Gotta love lock-in and planned obsolescence...

Reply Parent Score: 1