OS News Archive

LynuxWorks Introduces LynxOS 4.0

"Building upon its expanding success with the most advanced and open embedded operating systems and tools solutions portfolio, LynuxWorks today announced the general availability of its next major revision to its popular LynxOS real time operating system (RTOS). LynxOS 4.0 raises the bar for RTOS vendors by adding Linux binary compatibility and enhancements in networking, porting support, and performance." Read more at LinuxDevices on the release of LynxOS 4 from LynuxWorks.

ROME 2.01 Released

ROME is a lightweight, modular, multitasking, embedded operating system which has been developed and used for multiple research projects. ROME was designed to manage high speed data streams within a multimedia environment. The system is highly modular, with functionality split between multiple processes. To ensure a high throughput with minimal overhead ROME provides a zero copy architecture where pointer references to data are passed around instead of data being copied. The goal of this approach is to maximize the utilization of a given hardware configuration. ROME released version 2.01 yesterday.

Pop-up Ad Scourge

As many people noticed, and quite a few emailed us about, the past couple of days OS News has been displaying a great number of pop-up ads. I'd like to take this opportunity to say that OS News thinks that pop-up ads are generally bad, and that we have stopped using the ad broker that was serving the pop-ups. They made arrangements to not display pop-ups at our request, but didn't follow through on their agreement, so we have yanked them until they do. We're sorry for putting our loyal readers through it, but rest assured that we're trying to balance our need to make a little money and maintaining a good experience for our beloved readers. You may still see the occasional pop-up, but we're determined to keep it to a minimum. By the way, if you'd like to provide support to OSNews, so we don't have to resort to pop-ups and other intrusive advertising, there are two easy ways to do it that won't cost you a cent: First, when you buy something--anything--from Amazon.com, use This Link and OSNews will get a small percentage of your purchase, without costing you more. Also, when you're in the market to buy anything, check OS News' Pricegrabber where we also get a little kick-back.

The Internet Spanning Worldwide Computer

"When Mary gets home from work and goes to her PC to check e-mail, the PC isn't just sitting there. It's working for a biotech company, matching gene sequences to a library of protein molecules. Its DSL connection is busy downloading a block of radio telescope data to be analyzed later. Its disk contains, in addition to Mary's own files, encrypted fragments of thousands of other files. Occasionally one of these fragments is read and transmitted; it's part of a movie that someone is watching in Helsinki. Then Mary moves the mouse, and this activity abruptly stops. Now the PC and its network connection are all hers." Read more about an operating system spanning the Internet that would bring the power of millions of the world's Internet-connected PCs to everyone's fingertips.

STMicro, Philips to Develop Set-Top OS

"Franco-Italian chipmaker STMicroelectronics and Philips Electronics agreed on Tuesday to jointly develop and promote a software system for the next generation of interactive set-top boxes and television sets. Philips said STMicro would back the Multimedia Home Platform software in the emerging fight for the supremacy over the next operating system used by cable operators as they unveil new interactive TV services." Read the rest of the report at ZDNews. Update: Ken writes: "The Multimedia Home Platform (MHP) software is not really an OS, but a set of middleware services that provide basic STB functions. It can sit on top of any OS (like pSoS that Philips currently uses)."

NewOS Now Includes a Network Stack

Travis Geiselbrecht, the developer of NewOS, writes in his web site: "Haven't updated this list in a while, but there's a lot of progress being made. Over the last couple of months we've implemented a rudimentary network stack, full dynamic lib support, and work has been started on a real native filesystem. Also a full-fledged IDE driver is in the work. Thanks to all the people that have helped me out." Download the latest version of this young operating system, in a source form here.

Increase Windows XP Performance & Power Management in OSes

InformIT features two interesting articles (free registration required), excerpts from the two books: Modern Operating Systems (again) & WindowsXP Unleashed. "The first general-purpose electronic computer, the ENIAC, had 18,000 vacuum tubes and consumed 140,000 watts of power. As a result, it ran up a nontrivial electricity bill. After the invention of the transistor, power usage dropped dramatically and the computer industry lost interest in power requirements. However, nowadays power management is back in the spotlight for several reasons, and the operating system is playing a role here." Read the rest of the excerpt article from Tanenbaum's book. "Microsoft’s Windows XP Professional and Home Editions can be made to perform faster than their default installed configurations by making a few modifications at the user level. Louis Columbus shows you the steps you need to take to increase Windows XP’s overall performance." Read the first out of ten articles regarding the optimization of WindowsXP.

A Linux Guy Looks at FreeDOS

"As someone who writes about Open Source, I spend quite a bit of time considering its future in the enterprise. I don't spend much time reflecting on how Open Source can improve on the technology of yesteryear. But there are people who do just that." Read the rest of the story at NewsForge.

The Brave New OS of the Future

"Imagine computers in a group providing disk storage for their users, transparently swapping files and optimizing their collective performance, all with no central administration. But the machines providing this pool of virtual storage dare not trust one another completely. Indeed, a hacker takes over one of them and ruthlessly begins attacking others in the group. But not to worry. Thanks to an experimental operating system technology called Byzantine fault-tolerant protocols, users and their data are protected." Interesting article at CNN, exploring the FarSite project that Microsoft Research and once again exploring the idea and the potential of Distributed Operating Systems.

Several Operating System News

Breadbox Computer Company, announced recently that they have signed a worldwide non-exclusive licensing agreement with Geoworks, to license the GEOS operating system for use on any and all hardware platforms and devices, including desktop computers, PDAs, smart phones, communicators, set-top boxes, and other embedded devices. Breadbox has been devoted to and particpated in most major GEOS projects for the past 10 years. In other operating system news, Roadrunner, a single-user, general-purpose operating system based on the POSIX standards just had a new release, while MenuetOS, the x86 assembly-only OS, had a release with support for more advanced multithreading. Last, but not least, the SkyOS folks let us know of their latest advancements on their OS, which it seems to be shaping up pretty good.

A Look at the Future of Operating Systems

"Operating systems will become highly distributed and self-healing and will collaborate with applications. Imagine computers in a group providing disk storage for their users, transparently swapping files and optimizing their collective performance, all with no central administration. But the machines providing this pool of virtual storage dare not trust one another completely. Indeed, a hacker takes over one of them and ruthlessly begins attacking others in the group." Read the rest of the story at ComputerWorld.

OSNews Web Design Update Complete

After more than a week of coding, the updated OSNews design is pretty much done. While a lot of you (including myself) prefered the older, simpler & cleaner design, which was also much faster to load and even rendered nicely on... text-based browsers, this updated design was necessary. We had to expand PriceGrabber (part of the deal) so we can get some revenue to be able to pay for our (always on-the-increase) bandwidth needs, and the only way to do so was to add a vertical bar. Also, we needed to add more menu items (check out the massively updated "OS Resources" and "Advertise" pages), so we had to make the menu vertical (the 765-pixel wide horizontal menu was not a scalable option anymore). UPDATE: I just added better support for Lynx, Links & W3M text-based browsers. *You will have* to load www.osnews.com/home.php instead of the plain www.osnews.com though because the default index.php is actually static (generated on-the-fly every 1 minute) so it won't work with my PHP text browser detection code. UPDATE 2: Better AvantGo support added.

OS Wars: Microsoft vs Open Source

"The operating systems debate tends to run on religious lines. In an attempt to shed some light on the issue, we assembled a panel drawn from various parts of the IT community (systems administration, systems integrators, market analysts, academia, and recruitment) and asked them to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of various systems for different network services: mail serving, web serving, database serving, file/Print serving, application serving, network services, staffing issues." So, which operating system is good for what exactly? Read what these professionals have to say at ZDNet Australia.

One More Excerpt from “Modern Operating Systems”

Last week InformIT had released two chapters from the bible of the operating systems books, "Modern Operating Systems" by Andrew Tanenbaum. This new excerpt from the book (free registration required) provides an introduction to the causes of OS deadlocks. Deadlock can be defined formally as follows: "A set of processes is deadlocked if each process in the set is waiting for an event that only another process in the set can cause."

PalmSource Previews PalmOS 5 Beta

From the press release: "In a move to dramatically broaden the market for handhelds and smart phones, PalmSource, Inc., the Palm OS subsidiary of Palm, Inc., today previewed the Palm OS 5 beta and announced that final delivery of the new operating system to Palm OS licensees is scheduled for early summer. Palm OS 5 will be the foundation to build a new class of devices that will help make mobile computing ubiquitous. Palm OS 5 will bring the flexibility, innovation and ease of use of the Palm OS to powerful ARM-compliant processors. Licensees can choose from a full range of processors, starting with the ARM 7 CPU and scaling to the highest-performance ARM chips from Intel, Motorola and Texas Instruments. In addition, the operating system will deliver enhanced performance, data security, multimedia and wireless networking, as well as compatibility with existing Palm OS software programs ." ZDNews also has an article about it: "The new OS will feature only a modest influence from Palm's acquisition of the assets of Be. Palm executives said future versions of the OS will use more Be technology, although Palm is not continuing development of the Be operating system."

Geoworks Throws in Towel and Puts GEOS up for Sale

"Wireless software pioneer Geoworks Corp has thrown in the towel, giving up hope of developing its AirBoss application platform technology and has put it up for sale along with the source code for its GEOS and GEOS-SC operating systems. The Alameda, California-based company said the wireless infrastructure market is "very weak" and, while it will eventually be significant as enterprises adopt mobile data applications, Geoworks simply does not have the financial resources to support development of the AirBoss platform and wait for the market to emerge." Read the rest of the story at TheRegister.