OS News Archive

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.

OSNews Web Site News

It has been 5.5 months since OSNews is online in this form and we have grown incredibly. The scary part (bandwidth-wise) is that we are continuing to grow incredibly fast. For example, when we started back in mid-August 2001, we were merely receiving 600 page views per day, while January 2002 has awarded us with 23,500 page views per day on average (~740,000 page views per month). I would like to thank you all for participating in this growth and encouraging us continue... news hunting. I would also like to inform you that the site layout of OSNews will change soon slightly and also I would like to prompt everyone who would like to have up to the minute access to OS News and other well known sites (Slashdot, CNet, FreshMeat and 90 more sites) from his/her Windows desktop, to download KlipFolio and the needed OSNews klip file (to get it, browse their Directory page after the necessary registration). Screenshot available.

Two Excerpts from “Modern Operating Systems”

InformIT.com features two special articles (free registration required), excerpts from the "Modern Operating Systems" book by Dr. Andrew Tanenbaum (who is also the author of Minix - the 'grandfather' of Linux). This book is valued as the Bible of the operating system design and implementation and every serious OS designer/developer has by his/her side. The two free chapters featured, are "A History of Operating Systems" and "Operating System Threads". A must read for everyone and if you are serious into operating systems, you should very well buy the book with no second thought. Our Take: It's that good. Highly recommended by both myself and my husband (who is already largely involved in three operating systems so far).

The Life and Times of the Multics OS

Descriptive quote from the article: "Multics is a mainframe timesharing OS that started as far back as 1965 and was put to rest after a long life in October 2000. You may be asking why you need to know more about an OS that is no longer in use. The answer to that question is, "You'll never know where you're going if you don't know where you've been." Although this saying is a bit corny, it is especially true of Multics because of its influence on today's mainstream operating systems."

THEOS Corona Now Commercially Available

Friday 11th January saw the commercial release of the THEOS Corona, a multi-user operating system for Intel PCs. Latest in a long line of THEOS products, this updated version of the popular business-oriented operating system includes support for more PCI, USB and PCMCIA devices, enhanced screen objects for different console types, integrated TCP/IP networking, large file system / long filename support, and much more. More information is available from www.theos-software.com (the US developer) or www.theos-gb.com (the UK distributor for THEOS products). THEOS was originally known as the OASIS operating system on Z80 supermicros such as those from Onyx, Altos and IBC. It was relaunched for the IBM PC-AT and compatibles in the mid-1980s and renamed as THEOS. The core development team has remained constant for all that time, with additional development for THEOS Corona being done in Madrid and the Canary Islands.