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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Nostalgia!
by chrish on Mon 11th Nov 2013 13:45 UTC
chrish
Member since:
2005-07-14

Ah the good old days... helping Dan Hildebrand (RIP) build that demo (at least a little, zlib was still new in 1999) is one of my favourite memories from working at QNX.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Nostalgia!
by Alfman on Mon 11th Nov 2013 14:53 in reply to "Nostalgia!"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

"Ah the good old days..."

Yea, it doesn't feel the same any more. I worked on an alternative OS as well. Although I didn't know it at the time, another alternative OS had many of the ideas I had.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sprite_%28operating_system%29

None of the alternative OSes have much viability. Some, like QNX have managed to take root in a niche, but most are lost in time. It's not because they weren't any good, they were just victims of network effects making them redundant. Consolidation rewards the established market winners at the expense of the little guys. Nowadays the OS scene is a sad sight.

What is troubling is that the same consolidations that have killed the OS scene are taking place in regular application and web space. Fifteen years from now in hindsight, we might all be looking back with nostalgia for today's alternatives that we will have lost by then. That's progress for you.

Edited 2013-11-11 14:53 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Nostalgia!
by chrish on Mon 11th Nov 2013 22:29 in reply to "RE: Nostalgia!"
chrish Member since:
2005-07-14

See also mobile software; we've got Windows and OS X again in the form of Android and iOS, and a tiny handful of other systems with minuscule market share.

Homogeneous computing environments are bad news for innovation, not to mention resistance to exploits and malware...

Reply Parent Score: 3