Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 21st Nov 2013 18:48 UTC, submitted by Rohan Pearce
OSNews, Generic OSes

MenuetOS sits in an interesting nexus between astonishing technical achievement and computerised work of art. The super-speedy, pre-emptive multitasking operating system is still, despite adding more driver support, more included applications, an improved GUI and digital TV support over the years, capable of fitting on a floppy disk (assuming you can find one).

MenuetOS is a technical marvel. Not only is it written entirely in assembly, it also shoves a fully capable multitasking operating system on a single floppy disk.

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RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Fri 22nd Nov 2013 09:12 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by MOS6510"
Member since:

Thanks for the insightful comment!

I also think there is another factor and that is hardware limitations. The Commodore 64 and Amiga, for example, had limited hardware and certainly in the case of the C64 near impossible to upgrade.

So code was written to run well on those machines. Programmers came up with tricks to improve performance or use less memory. With PCs came a period where you were just required to add memory, a faster CPU, bigger hard disk, a new PC. Now I think were are in an age where the hardware is often more than enough to run most applications without breaking a sweat, so there's no incentive for programmers to make code efficient or smaller. They code something and it works fine, so why spend time optimizing it?

Honestly it's hard to blame them and I would do the same thing.

But then you see (and hear) a demo run on a 1 Mhz Commodore 64 with 64 kB of RAM and you start to wonder if your modern computer should't be able to run much much faster.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510
by gass on Fri 22nd Nov 2013 10:16 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510"
gass Member since:

That is true.
Machines are today more than capable of processing anything.
But ... instead of having OSes faster, we have OSes that have no evolution despite graphics.

Windows is one example. xp->vista, windows7->8 .
Linux is another, with the example of gnome shell, for instance, having a *lot* written in scripting, uncompiled, languages.
There were times where the next version of something in the linux world was faster then the previous with more features. But now the competition is big for beautiful and *new* applications. Instead of just being good applications.

Bigger OSes also bring more capabilities. Menuet supports only x86. To support ARM, the size would double. How many archs does linux support? And graphic cards. and other hardware.
Of course, maybe this can all be optimized.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Fri 22nd Nov 2013 10:29 in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510"
MOS6510 Member since:

I used to wonder what-if there was a Linux desktop computer. You know, like an Amiga or ZX Spectrum, so the software already knew what it would be running on. No guessing the hardware, not having to determine the capacities, not writing workaround in case a few were missing.

A system could be much more optimized, faster, cleaner. And easier to sell to the common people.

In the case of Linux all that hardware variety is also one of its strengths and as it's also used on servers it's not something you can or should take away.

But how knows, a Linux for everything and a Linux for the Linux One computer?

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by MOS6510
by twitterfire on Fri 22nd Nov 2013 19:36 in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510"
twitterfire Member since:

IMHO it's an complete and utterly shit to write sensible code (like some parts of the OS) in interpreted languages.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by MOS6510
by BlueofRainbow on Sun 24th Nov 2013 15:07 in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510"
BlueofRainbow Member since:


My first personal computer was a 5 MHz PC-XT on DOS 2.11.

At first, it was OK.....a rarely I could type faster than it could echo the characters (text mode) onto the screen.

Now, I have a dual core multi-threading 2.5 GHz on Windows 7 64-bit.

At first, it was OK....then came the security updates and now I can type much faster than it can echo on the screen (graphical mode).

So, from my user perspective, there has not been any real gains.

Oh, I forgot to mention having now 8 GB of memory compared to the lowly 0.512 MB of my first system.

To combat bloat, maybe developers should be coding on and using the average system users have at home or are forced to use at work.....

Small is beautiful. The main odd feature of MenuetOS is that it is distributed for a 64 bit processor (and closed source) while still targeting a floppy drive as real/virtual boot device which were last available before 64 bit X86 CPUs came to market.

Migration to USB boot is hopefully on the path to release 1.0.

Reply Parent Score: 1