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

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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I remember that floppy
by steampoweredlawn on Mon 11th Nov 2013 06:18 UTC
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I tried that QNX demo back in '99 or 2000 on an IBM PS/2 Model 80 (386DX 16MHz) and was blown away by how much they managed to cram on that floppy, and how fast it was on such old hardware

QNX has given me a nerd boner since.

Reply Score: 6

RE: I remember that floppy
by acobar on Mon 11th Nov 2013 13:39 in reply to "I remember that floppy"
acobar Member since:

+1 for plan9 mascot.

Now, seriously, there is a reason to something be fast, and on my personal experience QNX was not (the ever coming back, personal, statistically insignificant source of mockery).

Oh yeah, boot to GUI was fast, and click around on the GUI apps/settings was fast, but as soon as you really started to use the system for "real" you could feel the trade-in involved.

Perhaps, the hardware was not ready to give the needed performance by then, being it micro-kernel and RTOS at same time probably did not help as it had to deal at same time with problems related to context switching and resource reservation.

These problems are fixed now on current hardware (actually they were years ago). Of course, non RTOS/micro-kernels were also benefited and as so there are even less incentive to opt for one kind or another OS based only on it being RTOS, for example.

There are particular cases where you still may have to think about what would give you best results, be it maximum performance (i.e. numerical simulations, rendering and other computational intensive applications) or well-defined time processing (like on computation of events on high-constrained schedules), but, for most of us these high specialized constraints really do not apply and any reasonably well designed OS can handle well our tasks on current hardware.

Reply Parent Score: 3