Home > Wireless > Multitasking on Tap for Palm OS Multitasking on Tap for Palm OS Eugenia Loli 2003-05-12 Wireless 18 Comments The next version of PalmSource Inc.’s handheld operating system will support true multitasking, bringing Palm OS 6.0 up to the level of its competitors and delighting developers who had been expecting it in the previous version. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 18 Comments 2003-05-12 7:14 pm I do that for years on my Ti92: http://clapcrest.free.fr/revol/ti68k/prosit/shots.html (shame I don’t have time to devote to that anymore :-() 2003-05-12 8:00 pm Here’s an interesting little timeline of when certain operating systems first got pre-emptive multi-tasking. 1991 Psion/EPOC – Series 3 (handheld) 1995 Microsoft Windows – Windows 95 (desktop) 2001 Apple – MacOS X (desktop) 2003? Palm – PalmOS 6 (handheld) 2003-05-12 8:28 pm interesting little timeline … Remember the AMIGA :1985 Multitasking, the first color gui, used its chipset to accelerate the graphics (ALA OSX,Longhorn),with only 256mb of ram and a floppy drive! Yet people used DOS/Windows 1.3?!? It seems people don’t understand how important certain features are until they are mainstream. I wonder if BEOS code is inside? 2003-05-12 8:30 pm sad really, when you think of how long the UNIX world has taken it for granted (I remember migrating to windows at work from Sun workstations at Uni and being horrified!). Whats next, pre-emptive multi-tasking for my fridge? 2003-05-12 9:07 pm ocrow: 1995 Microsoft Windows – Windows 95 (desktop) Don’t forget that Windows 3.0 pre-emptively multitasked its DOS boxes. And DesqView did also before(?) that. By the way, when did Geos come out? That was pre-emptively multitasking long before Psion was around, and fast too. Still, kudos to Palm! 2003-05-12 9:14 pm Palm seems to be regaining what looked like waning interest in its products and OS. I eagerly await a palm os 6 or os 7 laptop. Battery life really is important. I will enjoy listening to the palm os feature set and comparing it to that of the old beos as i suspect the similarities will continue to grow. 2003-05-12 9:29 pm 1987: OS/2, and before the name change – “Protected DOS”, which was started about 1983. 2003-05-12 10:01 pm well multithreading/tasking is just the foundation for the BeOS-like (I think BeOS concepts and not actual code ripped from BeOS will be in PalmOS) multimedia that’s also been promised for PalmOS 6. But it seems that PalmOS 5 is already powerful enough for Tapwave’s game handheld 2003-05-12 10:08 pm I mean, the beauty of the Palm and the Palm OS is the SIMPLICITY and straight forwardness. Lack of complexity. All that. I use Palm devices for that reason. I don’t want to use Windows on a special-purpose device. I’ve tried a Toshiba PocketPC and it bugged the living crap out of me. 2003-05-12 10:20 pm you can have simplicity on a powerful device. Microsoft and Linux aren’t good examples but it’s still possible to do more with less. A powerful Palm can give you useful info from the web wherever you go along with local databases that can act as a second brain of sorts. But if it takes you a long time to figure out how to get this stuff then yeah it can be useless because by the time you look up the subway map on your PDA you could miss it! 2003-05-12 11:24 pm Interesting read there, I own a Psion 3a and didn’t know the little bugger could do pre-emptive multitasking. I also remember Desqview, think I still have my copy on a dusty old floppy somewhere at the office, but multitasking with that was really a pain and probably comparable to my Psion. The best super-unscientific multitasking experience I’ve was actually on an amiga, amazingly ahead of it’s time. 2003-05-13 1:34 am Dan, you really wanted to say that Amiga multitasked in 256KB of RAM, not 256MB, but others may not catch the mistake. Most CPU’s these days have more cache than that! Ah, the good old days… 2003-05-13 4:49 am A lot of the people posting in this thread don’t seem to know that there is a big difference between pre-emptive multitasking and cooperative multitasking. Pre-emptive: Windows CE EPOC32, Symbian platform Unix: incl. NeXTSTEP, OpenStep, OS X, OS X Server (1999), Linux OS/2 1.x onward Win NT and related Cooperative: Mac OS Classic, 1.0 – 9.2.2 Amiga OS (the new, unreleased AmigaOS will not be) Windows 3.x (Win3.1 did not pre-emptively multitask DOS boxes) GEOS, GeoWorks Ensemble DesqView and DesqView/X EPOC 16 Inbetween: Newton OS (mostly pre-emptive) Win 9x (supposed to be pre-emptive, but cooperative for a handful of operations) Cooperative multitasking tends to have some drawbacks, including poorer performance when running multiple processes. However, cooperative multitasking isn’t always equal to a bad response time- look at the Amiga. It did without anything resembling memory management or real, pre-emptive mltitasking, and it did without them very well. It is good to see that PalmOS is getting *real* multitasking. It certainly seems absurd that until OS 5, you couldn’t listen to an MP3 and check a phone number at the same time… Mind boggling! I’m glad in POS 6 they’re going all the way instead of more half-assage. 2003-05-13 6:12 am I can’t hear that, so I step in. though I never had a real Amiga (shame on me) I believe exec was fully preemptive. Not having an mmu to protect memory never stop you to do preemptive multitasking (even multithreading). > Windows 3.x (Win3.1 did not pre-emptively multitask DOS boxes) It did. DesqView was also preemptive AFAIK. You can add RISCOS tot he list of cooperative OSes. Btw, about WinCE… is it still limited to 16 task slots as it used to be ? (ROTFL) 2003-05-13 11:09 am AmigaOS has always been preemptively multitasking (round-robin, if you’re into scheduling), and that should be common knowledge by now. 2003-05-13 4:26 pm Yes, well, some ppl (I hope noone in OSNews audience) still think M$ invented the Internet… *g* 2003-05-13 4:50 pm Al Gore invented the internet. 2003-05-13 6:19 pm No, WinCE isn’t limited to 16 processes. I doubt that has been the case since WinCE 1.0, although that is pretty gimpy. Just did some research, and yes, DesqView and AmigaOS are both pre-emptive multitaskers. Well, mostly. DesqView is fully pre-emptive for DesqView-aware apps, but can be stuck doing cooperative multitasking with regular DOS apps. Most DV users end up using mostly plain-old DOS apps rather than apps specifically for DV. (I did when I used it) DV does pretty good multitasking even when stuck with these DV-unaware apps.