Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 11th Nov 2013 00:19 UTC
QNX

This is a quick demonstration of the QNX 1.4 megabyte floppy disk demo.

QNX is an advanced, compact, real-time operating system. This demo disk, released in 1999, fits the operating system, the "Photon MicroGUI", and the HTML 3 capable Voyager Web browser all on a single 1.4 meg disk!

So far no emulator or virtualizer I have tried will run this QNX demo 100%, so this is running on real hardware. The video is captured with a VGA capture device.

QNX is one of the most intriguing operating systems of all time. This demo disk is one of those things that, even today, blows my mind. Be sure to watch through the whole video, especially the part where extensions are downloaded and run from the web, all on a single 1.44 MB floppy.

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Comment by The123king
by The123king on Mon 11th Nov 2013 00:38 UTC
The123king
Member since:
2009-05-28

So QNX made a fully functioning graphical OS fit on a floppy in 1999... Shame Microsoft can't make Windows fit on a CD in 2013...

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by The123king
by WorknMan on Mon 11th Nov 2013 01:04 in reply to "Comment by The123king"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Yeah, for whatever reason Windows went from like 1gb installed (XP) to around 15gb installed (Vista). I know they didn't pack 14gb of new features in there, so where the hell did all that space go? If we go back further, I'd have about 60MB of used disk space after installing Win95.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Comment by The123king
by Drumhellar on Mon 11th Nov 2013 03:36 in reply to "RE: Comment by The123king"
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

Vista Enterprise 64-bit is 8.4GB installed, not counting the swap file and the hibernate file.

Where does all that space go? Well, now there's both 32- and 64-bit system libraries, plus all the drivers that Windows comes with are now copied to disk, plus all of the extra Windows features that aren't installed by default also reside on disk, that way when changes are made to the install Windows doesn't ask for the install DVD.

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE: Comment by The123king
by tuaris on Mon 11th Nov 2013 01:11 in reply to "Comment by The123king"
tuaris Member since:
2007-08-05

It's even more of a shame that this type simplicity, integration, and functionality is still missing from graphical Linux based desktops in 2013.

Edited 2013-11-11 01:12 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by The123king
by The123king on Mon 11th Nov 2013 01:34 in reply to "RE: Comment by The123king"
The123king Member since:
2009-05-28

But any GNU/Linux distribution is just a collection of parts put together to make an OS. It's hard to make any sort of consistent OS when there's, for example, various different windowing systems with a multitude of window managers developed for each.

Edited 2013-11-11 01:34 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Care to share any specifics? I'd have to disagree about several of those points, especially functionality. This from someone who used the qnx demo floppy on a regular basis back then. There is no way its more 'functional' than a modern Linux Desktop.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by The123king
by No it isnt on Mon 11th Nov 2013 15:54 in reply to "RE: Comment by The123king"
No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

Functionality? There's no Linux distribution available with as little functionality as there is on that QNX floppy.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Comment by The123king
by BlueofRainbow on Mon 11th Nov 2013 03:05 in reply to "Comment by The123king"
BlueofRainbow Member since:
2009-01-06

The only Windows sort of fitting on a CD is WinPE which is only used for installation and executing a number of utilities.

As far as I remember, none of the "lite" after-market tools to shrink the Windows XP or Vista install got below a 2 GB recommended USB flash drive.

And for the Linux distributions, there are few which can still fit on a mini-CD (135 MB) and one of the better known is Puppy Linux.

There are a number of hoppy OS projects which pack much functionality within a floppy disk. MenuetOS is one which has been discussed on OSNews a few times.

Could it be that the installed disk requirement of an OS is exponentially proportional to the number of programmers in the team?

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by The123king
by henderson101 on Mon 11th Nov 2013 13:23 in reply to "RE: Comment by The123king"
henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

BeIA could live in a 16MB image with only file ystem compression and give a fullish OS experience when booted to the Desktop. I believe it could be made a lot smaller when crushed (which is what Be Inc called the process of creating compressed ELF binaries by removing common Symbols in to a common dictionary loaded by, IIRC, the kernel.) Crushing the ELF binaries to CELF (magic symbol in binary header goes from ELF to CEL), and using the CFS file system, I think one could get the entire OS down to circa 8MB. If more was stripped out, I think it was possible to get it under 8MB total, i.e., you'd have the OS and actual disk space left in the image file.

IIRC the QNX4 disk (which I used back in the day, circa 1998/1999, when it was pretty new still) was not writeable in any way. Every boot the user had to set the OS up. No data was saved to the disk.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Comment by The123king
by Kochise on Mon 11th Nov 2013 12:03 in reply to "Comment by The123king"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03