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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RE[10]: LOL
by Megol on Wed 13th Nov 2013 12:10 UTC in reply to "RE[9]: LOL"
Member since:

So basically you think that old == failure. I see what the problem is; your comprehension skills are basically nil. Which would explain things, I guess.

No it is a failure as it isn't used - and for good reasons. The overheads of MACH meant that anyone using it had to have much better hardware than the competition.
It's also a failure in that it retarded the micro-kernel research for a long time as many people thought microkernel = MACH level performance.

I was simply pointing out that Mach is a very old project, it did its thing, it had a lot of influence in the field, and a bunch of products sprung out of it. You know, the opposite of being a failure. 3 decades in the computing field are an eternity however, and a lot has happened since then.

Those products are dead. Even when MACH was used IBM and Apple designed their own kernels to improve performance - and skipped the resulting products when they performed much worse than anticipated.

OS/X isn't a MACH based operating system, it incorporates MACH, yes but:
. it isn't a microkernel design.
. drivers aren't user space.
. drivers doesn't use the MACH model.
. most system calls doesn't touch MACH code.

Now let's look at some other old operating system designs that inspired modern systems:
VMS - still going as the core of Windows NT, also as itself.
UNIX - still going in a variety of versions including one project strongly inspired by it - you may have heard of Linux?

Do you get it now, or do I have to write more slowly?

Ironic as it's you just don't understand.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[11]: LOL
by tylerdurden on Wed 13th Nov 2013 17:31 in reply to "RE[10]: LOL"
tylerdurden Member since:

So you do need me to write it slower. Sigh. OK then.

Let's see if you can grasp the point I was trying to make: I'm not saying Mach took the world by storm, or that was the best thing since sliced bread. I'm simply pointing out that labeling it as a failure is a bit uninformed since it did influence plenty of OS designs, and some commercial products which were based on it were released. It's an old academic project, so it has little relevance currently. But saying it went nowhere is indeed uninformed given how it lives, partially, as part of the 2nd most popular desktop and smartphone OS.

Had it's share of issues? Absolutely. But guess what? So does QNX. It'd be equally disingenuous of me to label QNX a failure because it has very little market penetration, or it has had to be re-written from scratch a few times during its lifespan because it had obvious scalability issues.

So I must ask again; are you grasping this (kind of) basic concept yet, or do you require office hours?

VMS - still going as the core of Windows NT, also as itself.

LOL, this was my favorite part of your post. The level of misunderstanding is hilarious, and yet a bit sad at the same time given how OpenVMS was just EOL'd.

That you picked NT is interesting. Some people who worked on VMS were in the NT team initially and influenced the design indeed. I'm assuming that's what you're using to make the claim that VMS is somehow the core of NT. Incidentally there were a few people from CMU's Mach (Rashid's team) working on NT as well. So in a sense if VMS supposedly is the core of NT, so is Mach. Specially given how NT started as a microkernel (something that VMS definitively is not).

UNIX - still going in a variety of versions including one project strongly inspired by it - you may have heard of Linux?

Wait, now you switch to using "inspired by" as the benchmark for success? Well, in that case given how OSF/xx, Digital Unix, NextStep, MkLinux, etc were all Unix (or Unix-like) variants running on Mach. Using your own metric, Mach was a success after all.

OK, then.

Reply Parent Score: 2