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DR FlexOS? 2013 = PC death+year of Linux "tablet" desktop? (Miscellaneous)

posted by Rugxulo(R) Homepage, Usono, 02.02.2013, 17:23

> > Hi, I just stumbled at some information about something called FlexOS.
> I had heard of FlexOS but
> am not that familiar. It's existance interests me though in the evolution
> of operating systems and the various temporary side paths that occur like
> this.

Dunno, but it sounds like "yet another" offshoot of CP/M-86 and DR-DOS.

> GEM was much better than Windows at that time.

But GEM didn't run any Windows apps, nor did it multitask DOS apps, nor provide DPMI. :-) But I guess back in pre-Win-3.x days, it might've been more useful. (I'm just saying, maybe I'm wrong, I know GEM has some apps, but it seems more like a glorified file manager than what Windows eventually became.)

> > The list of features is impressive for the time (1986).
> Yes and No. Yes, in the PC world at the time but No when you consider the
> Amiga launched in 1985 and
> the Archimedes
> in 1987, when you compare against them it makes you realise how behind PC's
> were.

Dunno, you probably have more perspective than I do. Compaq's 386s vs. IBM PC AT 286s (or PCjr) tried to fill a lot of gaps, though I admit software took a while to catch up. For whatever reason, gaming became a big focus of PCs, which I don't think was intended. (And that ignores networking, which would take longer to become ubiquitous but was/is huge.)

> Which has made me think more about the future or lack there of for our
> beloved traditional PC. I find the world is a funny place in that things
> often go fall circle in popularity and FlexOS has reminded me of just that,
> e.g.
> Unix - CPM - DOS - Windows - Linux (Unix!)
> Mainframes - midrange - PC's - Distributed cloud computing (= mainframes!)

I don't know if I'd call any of today's stuff a "traditional PC" anymore. Sure, it's got a BIOS, it's got x86, but even that is under attack, moreso from people who hate compatibility (yet have nothing 100% "better" to offer, IMHO).

> even back then I knew the PC's days were limited but I
> never thought that PC's would last for as long as they have.

In what way? BIOS + x86 compatibility? IBM? Microsoft? Or just home computing?

> Still like most here I've have spent years evolving and upgrading
> along with PC's but also still keeping close to the continued
> expansion of the ARM architecture, which has now
> gained massive market share from PC's, to the point that this year PC's
> were finally recognised to be obsolete

I don't think it's obsolete, but indeed, people would rather have something pocket-sized than a huge behemoth. Even laptops are "too big" for some people. However, honestly, the big drawback is battery life, laptops just don't compare to tablets, etc. (esp. for multimedia like Flash). But tablets are (usually) harder to type on, even though external keyboards exist. Still, there are efforts underway (ultrabook?) to combine the traditional PC with detachable forms for on-the-go use.

> I'm afraid as much as I have nostalgia for PC's, we've gone full circle
> with hardware and their demise is going to continue to obviously happen
> hence why my recent new PC wasn't a PC! I feel anyone who believes tablets
> are a temporary thing is very much mistaken. I guess it could finally be
> argued that (2012) 2013 is finally the year of the Linux Desktop only it's
> the Linux Desktop on a ARM based tablet and NOT an Intel PC running Windows
> 8.

There's still tons of legacy software that has to be used (moreso by big companies), so there's little chance of everyone abandoning Windows, Linux, OS X, x86, etc. any time soon. Esp. with all the love going into AMD64 (though AArch64 is on the horizon, will probably become quite popular though presumably only after a few years). I read about someone the other day buying 32 GB of RAM. I'm not aware of any phone, tablet, etc. that can use that much! (And I don't recall this being a server machine either, another area where portables can't compete.)

> I do however wonder what
> Windows
> 9 will bring and suspect that it won't be long before a new GUI via
> "revised" Windows 10 running some "revised" Intel hardware will come into
> existance. A bit like when Microsoft suddendly had to play catch up with
> Netscape and the Internet. I think we are kind of at that Windows 95 to
> Windows XP stage at the moment where the world has changed and several
> companies have just woken up to it the hard way.

Bah, MS always makes weird decisions. I don't envy them, esp. since I think they've overextended themselves (too many products, too many markets).

> Regardless IMHO I think the PC we've all loved is now finally dead (RIP)
> :-(

The main draw for the "IBM PC clones" was the openness, the competition, and the tons of standard software that still worked. In recent years, it's been adding more and more features but sometimes making things incompatible and harder to use (not to mention constantly fighting battles over patents, closed specs, and sometimes painfully poor driver support). If anything, it was already halfway "dead" due to this. Unfortunately, most companies just don't play nice, but at least it's still "mostly" working. 300+ Linux distros can't be wrong. ;-)

P.S. I'm no hardware guru, but it seems the most popular cpu hardware is covered by Debian and FreeBSD (and of course tools like GCC). Yet it's become fairly obvious that "top tier" always includes x86 as well as x64 these days, usually over all others. Why? It's cheap, powerful, and ubiquitous. I don't see those going away any time soon (or at least not the latter). If I didn't feel the immense pressure for them to maintain 32-bit, I'd have been more surprised they all didn't (stupidly) switch entirely to AMD64 (bad idea! some think it's wise, but ...).


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