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

posted by Arjay(R), 02.02.2013, 18:37

> 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.
From my memory, it was a first since I remember seeing it support better applications, e.g. Ventura publisher however it was very quickly overshadowed by Windows 3.0.

> 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.)
True, but remember that when the first versions of Windows came out that's effectively all they were: glorified file managers! There wasn't much for Windows and the reason I removed Windows 3.0 from my first PC in 1991 (a few years later) was I went "oh paint program" and .... erm ok. So I went back to using cshow and I think neopaint (or whatever was the equivalent then) which fitted up nicely on my 52megabyte harddrive and still allowed me to have room for other useful things like a word processor and battle chess. Whereas oh most of my harddrive (still large at the time!) went to the operating system (DOS) and operating environment (Windows!). Later Windows I discovered stacker and reading the Windows manuals (a lot) - so I removed some bits I didn't need. It was a few years later I continued that work....

I got a Windows 2.0 machine in around 1995 and believe me it's not great, cardfile, calendar. In fact I'll joke that I recon the reason Solitaire came so popular was there was nothing else installed to use back then ;-) heh

The different is GEM did it smoothly in comparism I think what started to kill GEM was Windows (3.0 DMPI over VCPI) and Windows 3.1 (drag drop) then Windows 3.11 (oh networking!) then Windows 95 when Microsoft documented the drag and drop functionality that already existed in Windows 3.1 added a slicker shell and the rest is history...

> 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.)
The original gaming was with null-modems. I remember PC networking taking off with Doom which supported IPX and lots of small home network cards were then sold there was a "personal netware" which I have installed for work in the past at the time and I remember seeing friends buy it for doom (which I used but never bothered to network myself - I was too busy with BBS's).

> I don't know if I'd call any of today's stuff a "traditional PC" anymore.
Well it's got the same heritage and until the last couple of years was pretty constant for years.

> 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).
Attack or just evolution. I'd say it's evolution but unfortunately the waters are being muddied by certain people who don't play well in the playground but there again it's always been like that. It's easy to go to Ralph Brown's interrupt list and look up all sorts of information but remember that the whole reason things like that came about was interrupts API calls were often closely guarded secrets.

> In what way? BIOS + x86 compatibility? IBM? Microsoft? Or just home
> computing?
I meant the IBM PC. When I saw and used the archimedes it blew me away, when I first played Lander in late 1988/early 1989 I was blown away. Incredible, remember PC's at the time didn't have sound cards and CGA/EGA was still common as the VGA only came out in 1987 - there was really nothing much out for it in 1988 (some MCGA stuff but mostly CGA/EGA). Lander was like seeing the future but like various things it became the betamax of it's time. A bit like when I used a touch screen HP computer (used light beams) to play cards in 1989 by touch - wow. Now that's common and it's what's the big deal. The deal is back then all of that stuff was incredible because it was a million miles away from what was common at the time. So I could see just from those experiences that the PC sucked and sucked bad. I still fell in love with it but it's been obvious that there would come a time when it died and I think that's now.

> 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.
Original laptops were called luggables for a reason. Likewise the original cell/mobiles were called "bricks" - I remember a friend having one in their parents car trunk/boot (yes they were well off) with a full DB25 on it - geez!
Anyway my point being that what you see now is the next step IMHO but needs more refinement but we've not just turned to a new page (e.g. Extensible Firmware Interface) but instead to a new chapter (tablets and multiple computers). The idea of a single large empty box of air is over. The next few pages will fix some of the issues that you refer to but I don't believe we are going back. In terms of power remember that the original PC needed things like negative voltages for moving parts, e.g. disk drives, cd-rom drives. We are now fully in the era of flash solid state hardware which doesn't need the juice that was needed previously. Flash? Isn't that some legacy video scripting text system? /sarcasm oh I admit I did recently have to stick a flash browser onto a device not supporting it... but flash is dead.
I remember I spending some money on tools for it to help a client, approaching it thinking it was programming and then quickly realising that Flash is just the modern day equivalent of FLIC files. As for keyboards I fully agree but on larger tablets I find them fine for a lot of tasks, e.g. reply to email and without the hassle of weight, opening up the laptop screen etc.

Over the coming years I recon we will see more multiple devices just talking to each other better and more things like GPU processing over traditional CPU.

> There's still tons of legacy software that has to be used (moreso by big
> companies),
Well. I've watched the changes inside those big companies as well.

> 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
I agree but don't forget that both OSX and Windows have existed on RISC (ARM) cpu's for some time.

> 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!
Lol. I remember this with 32k, 32MB and soon it will be 32TB. I always thought that 640k was enough for anyone personally!

> (And I don't recall this being a server machine either,
> another area where portables can't compete.)
I agree as I've just brought an external network drive to stick stuff on, it came with it's own battery and my phone/tablet talk to it absolutely fine.

> The main draw for the "IBM PC clones" was the openness, the competition,
I think your forgetting that there were lots of battles to get to that point, e.g. Compaq and others reverse engineering the IBM BIOS, AARD code, Galoob vs. Nintendo to name some examples.

> 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.
Nothing changes.

Unfortunately, most companies just
> don't play nice, but at least it's still "mostly" working. 300+ Linux
> distros can't be wrong. ;-)
Yup and IOS and Android being 2 well known examples on the mobile arena ;-)
The hardware changed the software hasn't if you see what I mean and that's my point here the IBM PC as we know it is I feel now dead. 1981-2013 (32 years!), ok it's still around a little bit longer (obviously) but it's death has started and give it a couple of years and firms will be shutting down the PC divisions.

> Why? It's cheap, powerful, and ubiquitous.
Cheap? Are you kidding me? It depends what your using them for, e.g. I have just brought a whole load of machines that for video play back kick completely over PC's and I got them for less than the price of a single PC.
It's why tablets are doing so well as for people who just want to send email, browse the web (e.g. the majority of people) they are absolutely ideal hence tablets have just stomped all over PC sales over Christmas for good reason.

> I don't see those going away any time soon (or at least not the latter).
I agree PC's will be around for a while but what I'm saying is they've started to well and truely die and this is the year that it's truely started.


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