Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 17th Sep 2012 16:56 UTC, submitted by Andy McLaughlin
OSNews, Generic OSes "Visopsys (VISual OPerating SYStem) is an alternative operating system for PC-compatible computers, developed almost exclusively by one person, Andy McLaughlin, since its inception in 1997. Andy is a 30-something programmer from Canada, who, via Boston and San Jose ended up in London, UK, where he spends much of his spare time developing Visopsys. We had the great fortune to catch up with Andy via email and ask him questions about Visopsys, why he started the project in the first place, and where is it going in the future."
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RE[2]: The hardest part
by Alfman on Mon 17th Sep 2012 19:07 UTC in reply to "RE: The hardest part"
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Of course, BIOS is strictly a legacy interface today, essentially undeveloped since the 1980's. Never the less, in it's prime, consider what a huge phenomenal success BIOS was in achieving a level of hardware independence that would have been impossible without it.

The small OS I wrote did run on PCs other than mine. I didn't have to do anything extra to make it run on a laptop, it just did because those standards existed. I am absolutely positive that Andy and all other indy-OS devs you'll find will agree that they crave a standard interface that would just make their OS work everywhere without having to reinvent the wheel and write new drivers for the Nth time.

Let's all have a good laugh comparing the idea to a 16 bit BIOS, but on a serious level I'd rather not dismiss the notion of a modernised standard as a joke. It would be tremendously useful in promoting innovation in the operating system space by making it much easier for alternative operating systems to be taken seriously as competitive platforms.

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RE[3]: The hardest part
by zima on Mon 17th Sep 2012 19:35 in reply to "RE[2]: The hardest part"
zima Member since:

Well then that's what the UEFI does now. Or at least was supposed to, I think - didn't really work out (NVM forcing all OS into the same idiosyncrasies; IIRC it follows some of WinNT, so MS even kinda participates...)

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RE[4]: The hardest part
by Alfman on Mon 17th Sep 2012 20:27 in reply to "RE[3]: The hardest part"
Alfman Member since:

Well, maybe, but I only posted that in response to the BIOS comment. I don't consider UEFI firmware a great substitute for a software driver standard. I don't have practical experience with UEFI, but I see some possible negative implications:

1. The hardware firmware can't be managed as easily/safely as software drivers can be. Can I update firmware drivers for one device independently from the rest or is this a monolith firmware?

2. For UEFI services to work, my devices will have to be supported through my mainboard. If the device uses a newer standard, and my os supports the newer standard, is it possible that my mainboard can never the less prevent me from using it because it lacks firmware updates?

3. I don't think UEFI can contain drivers to support all external peripherals - like webcams, cameras, scanners, various adapters, voip devices, etc. It seems like a bad idea to try and cram all the drivers for these in the motherboard's UEFI services.

To be honest, I'd rather have a standard that is capable of scaling to all sorts of devices and not one that depends on my motherboard's firmware implementation. So I think a software solution would be better....however I'd like to hear other ideas.

Reply Parent Score: 2