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Compatibility woes / deprecation (Miscellaneous)

posted by Rugxulo(R) Homepage, Usono, 19.02.2009, 02:19

> Afaik, there are more ARMs and MIPS sell bigger numbers than x86s :-) (*)
>
> (*) though the revenue might be /slightly/ larger on the x86s :-)

No MIPS port of FreeBSD? (from quick check) Then MIPS sucks! ;-)

> > The only reason for Itanium 2's
> > lacking support is that it was faster in software anyways, so they
> decided
> > to scrap the hardware compatibility aspect.
>
> Afaik the reason was that they had given up hope attracting the x86
> hordes, and focussed on some high-end businesses and some highend
> computing

Rows and rows of Opterons are (semi-)used in high-end supercomputers (e.g. IBM Roadrunner). But you never hear of any Itaniums. And according to Wikipedia, IA64 debuted in 2001. Pardon my skepticism, but I don't think Intel ever intended it to be mainstream for home users, esp. since they sold lame-o P4s from 2000 until 2006 (Core) although Xeons supposedly had AMD's x86-64 in 2004 or so. And they've hyped the Core 2 to death. So I find it hard to believe that they couldn't (or ever even tried) promote IA64 if they wanted. BTW, CWS says it was good for "number crunching" and "made x86 look like a toy" but "had little driver support". So it's actually surprising that any version of Windows (or anything) supports it. (And to be honest, it feels like SSE1/2/3/4/5 are just things for math nerds and/or multimedia freaks. Or maybe just another way for Intel to promote their compiler. In other words, people wonder why Intel didn't extend the normal GPR size to 64-bits long before AMD.)

P.S. If AMD64 was introduced in 2003, doesn't that mean it's about time to be obsolete?? ;-)

P.P.S. Here's what I've read, correct me if wrong:

PAE: PPro or newer (64 GB max.)
PSE-36: PIII (64 GB max., "simpler alternative"??)
AMD64: 40-bit address space (1 TB max.)
AMD64 / Barcelona: 48-bit (256 TB max.)

> > > The problem with multicore is the apps, not the OS.
> >
> > I know, but the OS does do some things itself, so speeding itself up
> > doesn't hurt.
>
> Well, I assume it the same what the *nixes are doing, improving the
> granularities of kernel locking to avoid all-core stalls, as well as
> better supporting NUMA architectures. But that is only for scalability of
> server apps. Doubt it matters much for home use.

Encoding multimedia, compression, compiling, etc. Not much else really comes to mind. Gaming?? (Well, okay, running antivirus/anti-spyware in background is much much nicer on a dual core than single core. But that's Windows-specific, i.e. I doubt your FreeBSD 64-bits has that issue, heh.)

> > AMD does claim much improved (30%?) single thread speedups.
>
> I can imagine this for maybe an
> ideal compression/checksumming/encryption scenario. But not for avg
> singlethread performance. I think 5% (from SSE5 alone) will be
> optimistic.

Well, are we comparing SSE5 to non-SIMD or to SSE2 or what? They already extended the SSE bandwidth in newer chips (Core 2, Barcelona), e.g. even PIII was fairly limited due to FPU and SSE1 sharing same die (or whatever). So Core 2 should be lots faster at SSE2 than a P4.

N.B. Most of this is just what I've read. I'm really not that well-informed or intelligent or useful. Just a friendly caveat so you don't think I'm being pretentious. :-|

> > I think the README.TXT still incorrectly mentions the EMX port as if
> > still available. I'm not surprised, esp. since EMX isn't actively
> > maintained, AFAICT.
>
> Yes, formally removing them from the list is a big step, and therefore
> always done late. (typical scenario: devel 1 says "we should delist this
> port". Devel 2: "but I just spent some time on it to get it releasalbe
> again" ... deadline passes. Devel 1: "where is the release for xx". Devel
> 2: "Sorry, something came up, didn't have time".
>
> It is simply how it works, and I myself am also guilty of this, many
> times (for instance, freebsd 64-bit support)

I completely understand that. Things happen, lots of support is by hobbyists, so setbacks occur too. (Why do you think FreeDOS is so slow to update?)

Anyways, I've barely ever used EMX, but it was quite hard to find updated binaries of everything (e.g. NT09D, RSX 5.24) due to Hobbes lacking it and Rainer's web gone, and Eberhard is found nowhere. So it seems EMX (esp. the DOS + OS/2 aspect) is mostly ignored by the OS/2 community. Lots of EMX binaries (e.g. VILE, NVI) won't even work on DOS. And DOS just prefers DJGPP while Win32 users prefer MinGW with a very select few preferring Cygwin (more restrictive license, big .DLL). Even RSXNT seemed to have potential, but that fizzled out quite a while back.

(Also, seems FPC prefers to compile its own stuff, e.g. WMemu is bigger than default old compile. If so, I assume UPX-UCL is more useful than stock semi-closed UPX-NRV. I made a .BAT to compile that if anybody cares. And just FYI, UPX has three undocumented commands: --file-info, --all-filters, --small)

> > It's just frustrating: invest all your time and energy into this ... oh
> > wait, we've moved onto something else. Try again!
>
> IMHO if you are fair, subtract all your time invested after say 95-96.
> Because by then you should have been able to see it coming.

Uh, not exactly. I mean, as long as FreeDOS and OS/2 and (older) Windows still use it, it's useful. As long as my computers and brain still work, it's useful, at least to me. As mentioned, I consider DOS more stable than Linux (2.2? 2.4? 2.6?) or *BSD (have they ever finished Linux 2.6 emulation or still stuck at 2.4?). Although I like the idea of *BSD, at least (seems more minimal than Linux).

> > DPMI is a standard, MS was very important to its creation.
>
> Yes. And a standard is a document. Not software.

DPMI 1.0. Barely ever implemented. 'Nuff said.

> > It was published by a 12-member committee. Ignoring all the real-world
> reasons
> > why they can't, I'm wondering, why wouldn't they want to
> be
> > more compatible by running more apps??
>
> Oldest rule of marketplaces:
> Costs money/effort etc, and not enough demand.

Then why even bother? Why draw up a standard and not use it? Why like something one day and hate it the next? That's just weird. "Good" doesn't really depreciate over time. It stays good. Now, tastes can change, other things improve, but it's hard to say, "SNES sucks" or "XBox 1 sucks" etc. without sounding a little ... erm, spoiled. ("You kids today! Get off my lawn!") Of course, I won't be using a VIC-20 anytime soon, but I'm sure even that has its uses (if you enjoy it). ;-)

> > All their anti-MS b.s. and yet they do the same damn
> > thing, spit on the little guy.
>
> Well, IMHO the problem IS the little guy. Dos got killed off so
> quickly because in those times the number of computer users became
> 20-40 times as big, and the people that never knew it, never
> understood it.

Is it really better to remake the world (or maybe let the pre-existing world work with you)?

> > > > Lousy DOS support.
> > >
> > > Feature not regression.
> >
> > BTW, DOSEMU claims to work (non-gfx) on NetBSD and "maybe FreeBSD",
> ever
> > tried? Or would that make *BSD less appealing?
>
> I haven't used dosemu in ages. Actually I have run w9x more recently than
> that.

Give it a try, then. Works on x86-64 too, which you use, right? It can't be harder than building cross BinUtils. ;-)

> > ? = Windows 7 (NT 6.1)
>
> Well, versioning can be manipulated out of marketing concerns. But all
> there seems to be is some minor makeup, introduction of old bugs (the
> @$*@($*&( slow USB disk problem that plagued preSP1 Vista too) and some
> damage control on UAC which they are already partially reverting because
> it created gigantic security holes.

Vista is already two years old. Only three more to go before obsoletion! :-P
And I think 6.1 is used so apps don't break. (Besides, it's truly Vista's kernel even if the UI is majorly overhauled.)

> > Progress doesn't have to kill everything that came before it. We
> > are not praying mantises.
>
> Good point there. Progress doesn't actually kill. It just competes for
> resources. Like that modern humans slowly made the Neanderthaler extinct
> by more adept competing for resources.

We can have multitasking but not multi-boot or multi-development?

> See Dos as a Neanderthaler (pun intended)

"Nederlander"? :-D j/k

> > Just as nobody is obliged to keep diplomatic relations with foreign
> > countries?
>
> Bad analogy. Diplomatic relations only work efficient if there is mutual
> benefit. Which is exactly the problem. There is not enough incentive for
> devels to support those targets that users have abandoned in droves.

They don't even try, even when it's easy, even when it IS beneficial. C'mon, you're basically saying that nothing useful ever has or ever could come out of DOS. Besides, not everything is about net profit / gain, sometimes it's just about making something useful for someone else. (I mean, NetBSD running on a toaster isn't majorly practical or useful to me. But it's still cool.)

So you really only see DOS as 16-bits non-*nix single-tasking real-mode, and nothing else?? Or more realistically as a 16-/32-bit hacked real/pmode hybrid that can be used in single-tasking or multitasking with a fairly nice library of apps and APIs?

 

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