Ideas about OS for 21-st Century

Atari talk, or the life and the universe and things. Just keep it clean!
Post Reply
Trusted Guru
Trusted Guru
Posts: 550
Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:32 pm

Ideas about OS for 21-st Century

Post by Petari » Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:53 am

People just thinking in very wrong way: equalizing PC with Windows . No, in many things they are opposite. Success of PC is in opened architecture, competition between manufacturers.
On the other side, M$ made huge monopol with Windows in OS market.

Who to blame ? Surely, there were some even illegal moves from M$ - they were even fined by EU, with 500 M Euros. But main reason are users of home computers + need for "standard SW"
PC is some kind of standard HW - so all motherboards need to be compatible. Same thing with SW would be greatest computer related thing what can happen on this Planet. But that's much harder thing.
Imagine established OS basic functions like for display, storage, network, GUI, etc. That would allow compatible SW to run on every OS, what supports those (very numerous now) functions .
OS-es from diverse companies would/could differ in Desktop, efficiency, possible some extra stuff - mostly supporting SW, not mandatory for run of 'standard' SW. And in name, price, of course ,
Of course, this is pretty much idealistic idea. And maybe it is still too early for. There are many things about some OS to establish. But good concept will make easy to add new functions, features.
Probably hardest part is to determine what filesystem to use. Here just reminded Calimero, and his talk against files on computers. Surely we need files and filesystem. And actually, there are some, which are used worldwide - FAT16 for instance. Of course today need something more powerful.
So, 64-bit filesystem (max file len 2 POW 64 - should be enough for centuries ?) . Support for very large drives - again 64 bit partition parameters.
I guess that such already exist. I'm not familiar with new Linux filesystems, not even with NT (Win). Later is of course out of consideration.

Such OS could be designed to be CPU independent - so can always recompile for some new CPU. Yes, it is possible to perform OS function call in way that it work on diverse CPUs. For instance TOS is it: parameters go on stack when calling some TOS function. In case of DOS, it was via CPU registers in many if not all cases - that's faster, but not universal. Luckily. computers are now so fast, that we don't need to care about those small speed drops.

What about SW code, compiled for specific CPU ? The answer is in question: recompile for it.
Now, of course many will say : Linux !
Yes. Linux could do all it already. But it did not happen. Actually, I experienced sometimes exactly the opposite approach. For instance KDE . I made SW for KDE , and it not only that works not on other Linux Desktops - what was of course to expect :D , but works not on 4 years later KDE. Boom. Sorry guys, even M$ does it better. We know that main, most popular Linux distros went commercial. Red Hat, Mandrake/Mandriva ...

So, what could be the solution ? I think that some billioner, like G. Soros to invest some 10 billions in it - instead idiotic things what does ...
More realistic idea is some movement. And I think that forcing it to be freeware is not productive idea. Actually, despite good intentions, we can see that in case of Linux it works not really well.
Here is something what works well on Planet scale: Internet. that must be standardized, of course. And there is financial interest in it - of course.
So, some consortium for establishing basic rules, which will maintain it over time ...

What we have now is: I have some great game - let sell it to Sony for good money. And Sony will use it in purpose to sell better his PS99. The result of such narrow minded, care only for own interest approach is simply that authors of game will earn much less at the end than if it would be available for more platforms, people.
Let HW sell self because it is good HW, not because some SW runs only on it. Let SW sell self because it does his job well, not because some SW runs only on it. Monopoly (not the game) sucks.
There is 2 kind of people: one thinking about moving to Mars after here becomes too bad, the others thinking about how to keep this planet habitable.

User avatar
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 876
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:38 am
Location: Germany

Re: Ideas about OS for 21-st Century

Post by IngoQ » Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:20 am

Interesting topic... My thoughts on this:

I believe the main problem of modern operating systems is the complexity. OSes try to implement more and more functions and therefore become increasingly complex. But are these functions really necessary? I believe the main function of a operating system should be hardware abstraction, so I agree on the idea of a "universal" operating system, but a much simpler one.

There are already a lot of ideas to have at least on application layer some sort of hardware independence, but it comes at the cost of heavy performance loss. See Java for example. It is ugly and slow (personal opinion ;) ), but it is platform independent. Most other systems like .NET i.e. are only semi portable. Skript languages have come a long way, but not everyone wants to provide a readable source code. Containers would work as well, but would be wasting huge amounts of resources, if used for everything.

Pure Client/Server architecture could be another way, like having apps being web-based and the local client only displaying the gui. But this would make the client beeing dependent on the server and raises other issues like data security, etc. So not ideal either.

I believe, that in the future we will see the shift towards Open source on everything that is standard. Reason beieng, that apparently you cannot earn enough money with operating systems and standard software to make it profitable. You can already run a system at home exclusively on open source software , if you're not as picky as I am about some things, and will still have full functionality. Microsoft seems to struggle in finding new ways of earning money of their user base, but at least here in Europe they will fail. It is too late for them to become google anyways.

And my last thought in this post on this: I strongly believe, that trying to have the same system work for business and personal use is not going to work in long term. Personal use is about efficiency, you buy a computer and want to achieve the most with it. It should be in your control and not waste ressources. In Business systems it is all about control. You need to be able to centrally manage systems and only allow specific tasks, if you do not want to end in chaos.

The solution? In my mind, i'd say, have a lean, efficient operating system for home use, that provides basic functions and leave as much system ressources to the user as possible. And in business have a pure Client/Server architecture, probably web based. Only very few computing ressources locally required and maximum of control.

And funnily, we already had that in the past.... Efficient home computers for personal use and Terminal Servers with dumb clients for business use... I might be biased, but it worked quite well ;)
Ingo :geek:

| Atari 1040STE@32MHz | Amiga 1200 (ACA1220) | Atari 800XL (U1MB, SIDE2) | Atari 130XL (Sophia DVI) | C64 (1541 Ultimate II, Rev3 RFMod Replacement) | TI 99/4A (F18A, 32k, FlashROM 99) | Sinclair ZX Spectrum 128 (Stereo, DivMMC) | Amstrad CPC664 (512k, M4 Wifi) | ... |

Trusted Guru
Trusted Guru
Posts: 550
Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:32 pm

Re: Ideas about OS for 21-st Century

Post by Petari » Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:44 pm

I agree that personal and business SW should run on different OS. I really can not even think about what all must some business OS fulfill, so I will focus only on personal OS - what of course can be used for instance in schools, smaller firms, basically everywhere where is no high security risk. Very big firms can afford SW made only for them, and that really has not much with idea proposed here.

I don't think that can not earn enough money with selling OS - as said some Linux distros went commercial. Surely, that's something very hard - to make up to time OS, and that's huge task . If your target is whole Planet, or let's say 4 billion people, then you can earn extremely lot of money. If only 0.1 % will buy it. The problem with PC OS was that M$ took very fast huge monopoly. There were attempts, even by IBM self (OS2), what was pretty good - I liked it, but it seems that even that big firm did not push it enough hard.

I say that complexity and count of supported functions needs to be high, and that's not problem today. 1-2 GB for OS install package is not big deal, fits on 1 DVD, or can DL in couple minutes. My point is not in HW independence - that's already solved in big part. We need more - universal functions for all common tasks in normal usage, by running typical SW - so Internet, gaming, multimedia, some office SW, educational SW, etc.

Java is not good example when talking about appl. layer - Java is interpreter - and that's reason why is slow. Application layer is just simple code, what converts standard calls to concrete code for specific HW . Even some hard disk driver can be considered as it. You have commands to access disk in OS, as standard functions, and driver converts it to concrete SCSI, IDE commands, parameters. Speed still depends mostly from HW, or in case of PIO mode from RAM, CPU speed. .NET is made by M$ to make people not using standard C, standard tools - just another anti universal move.

System resources are not problem now. Everyone can have 16 GB RAM and other goodies. Since very beginning of personal, home computing, SW compatibility is one of biggest problems. People just wants that their good old SW work on new computer, if possible faster. With 8-bit machines it was like: nothing for older model works not on new - Commodore is good example in it. Then, with 16-bit machines it became much better, partially because CPUs self were designed with SW compatibility in mind. Then we got Linux, with nice ideas, but compatibility with old SW is actually worse than in case of Windows, in many cases. I think that the reason is often just rush, don't care for it, etc.

If there would be some normal competition on Market, between some number of mainstream OS-es, that would be so-so acceptable. But there is nothing from it. We have Windows and Linux for PCs, and practically nothing else (don't know is there some other (local) popular OS in China) . M$ is now completely lost. They do very stupid things with Win 10. When it starts to harm normal usage, that's just bad. Let users to decide when to update.
Only above is good enough reason to do something. As with WEB browsers, for what nobody dares to ask some money, contrary, they spend lot of money on advertisement for something free (in terms of cost at start) , it starts to be with OS too. Even M$ gave early Win 10 (as biggest leap in Win development - what a blatant lie - they even did not change logo of W8) for free. Obviously, there is something in background - taking control over people. Internet is dangerous thing.
It was much better 20 years ago - was not Google monopoly. Now they can do whatever want, it seems. Too much power in hands of one man or firm is dangerous. Everyone who watched James Bond movies know what I talking about :lol:
We need free market, but how to beat multinational companies ? Do it better ! That's what Taiwan did in 90-es. So much talented people around - should do same with SW. That's what open source community thinks that doing. But it has only small success. Sure, I use many good free SW, and some is even better than commercial ones. but that's not typical. Very complex SW needs coordination and years of work.
If just some heads would realize how SW, OS is important in every day life, and would take some measures. They spend billions to help farmers in US, France, or here wine manufacturers (little absurd), and many other examples. What about computer usage culture ? What we have now is everything but not culture. It is so bad, that I see only M$ SW in schools, offices ...
There is 2 kind of people: one thinking about moving to Mars after here becomes too bad, the others thinking about how to keep this planet habitable.

Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2018 4:03 pm

Re: Ideas about OS for 21-st Century

Post by SolderGirl » Sat Sep 01, 2018 9:20 pm

I think that linux can serve as a base for more variety.
Because linux is not a system itself, but more like a framework.
There are distros that focus on security like Beowulf, anonymity like Kali/Tails,
gaming like SteamOS, also specialized versions for Enterprise, Servers, Workstations, whatever.

So there is a common base, with relatively little effort for porting over applications.
But at the same time it can be specialized for almost every purpose or platform.
x86, ARM, 68000, PowerPC, i can't possibly name them all.
MediaCenters, Enterprise-Servers, Home PCs, Laptop, Smartphone, almost everything can run on Linux.

There may not be the "perfect" linux for everyone right now, but it still makes good progress.
I still remember compiling the linux kernel for the first time, that was a 0.9 kernel on my 386 SX-16,
and compiling it took 2 days. There was no support for drivers or loadable modules or dynamic libraries at all,
everything had to be compiled statically into the kernel.
We have come a long way, and it still keeps going.

What keeps me and many others using Windows is just games. But for someone just doing web-browsing, office and email, there is really no need for M$-SpyOS. And i think linux will keep growing and eventually take over some day, if enough people just keep pushing for it

Post Reply

Return to “CHAT FORUM”