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OS I'd Most Like To See Make a Comeback

Displaying poll results.
  1455 votes / 4%
  4350 votes / 13%
  10254 votes / 32%
  6190 votes / 19%
  1103 votes / 3%
Windows ME
  3709 votes / 11%
  4457 votes / 14%
31518 total votes.
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  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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OS I'd Most Like To See Make a Comeback

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  • Newton OS (Score:3, Interesting)

    by justfred (63412) on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @04:51PM (#34565786) Homepage

    ...or parts of it, at least, like the shared data/soup model. In fact, it's surprising no one has built a good NewtOS emulator for the iPad.

  • by Per Wigren (5315) on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @04:51PM (#34565794) Homepage
    I voted AmigaOS because I still get a warm feeling in my heart whenever I think back at my Amiga days. However, where are OS/2, RISC-OS, NeXTSTEP/OpenSTEP and CP/M?
  • Re:Old Code (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kenrblan (1388237) on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @05:12PM (#34566130)
    An updated BeOS designed to run on modern hardware would be interesting. When I was in college, BeOS was quite impressive on the hardware I tested it on. Its handling of video and graphics was very fast and could do things I wouldn't dare try with Windows, like placing multiple videos on the faces of a cube that would rotate while playback remained flawless. With updated codec support, BeOS would be an excellent foundation for a video editing system or just a home media center.
  • by rwa2 (4391) * on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @05:15PM (#34566198) Homepage Journal

    Shoot, I'm still looking for a half-decent migration path from PalmOS.

    GLaDOS might hopefully be on track for a comeback next year if we don't see any more delays...

  • by pavon (30274) on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @05:38PM (#34566608)

    To me the most interesting thing that got lost in the dustbin of history are computer architectures designed to support high level languages.

    We have this huge push for managed environments like .NET and Java as they are theoretically more secure because language constraints are enforced by the runtime environment, but this extra software runtime slows things down and adds memory overhead.

    Consider if things like private variables were enforced in hardware. This could be done in parallel to the task of computing the result, and thus wouldn't need to be any slower, it would just take more room on the die. So we could have our improved security on native code.

    This existed 40 years ago in the B5000. They continued for quite some time (bought by Unisys) but eventually lost out to mainstream processors. I don't know if the design was inherently slower, or if they just couldn't match Intel's fab capabilities.

    And that is just the start of the cool things you could do with higher-level hardware architectures. I would love to have seen what would have happened if the microcontroller didn't swallow up the entire market.

  • RISC OS (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MathFox (686808) on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @05:42PM (#34566650)
    For the people that were lucky enough to use it on the Acorn Archimedes...
  • by Chris Mattern (191822) on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @05:47PM (#34566704)

    Where's Multics?

  • DOS (Score:5, Interesting)

    by michaelmalak (91262) <> on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @06:49PM (#34567604) Homepage

    DOS was so good that Microsoft had to take extra steps to kill it to allow Windows to be successful. The main hindrance of DOS was the 640K limitation, which was solved by DOS extenders. Microsoft killed DOS by killing DOS extenders. When Microsoft C/C++ 7.0 came out, Microsoft compiled its compiler with a DOS extender, but didn't allow users to compile their own software with a DOS extender! Along with my supervisor, I went to a Microsoft show hosted by a "Microsoft evangelist" (that's what they were called then), and my supervisor, irate with the lack of a Microsoft DOS extender, asked the evangelist when DOS extender technology was coming. The evangelist conferred quickly with his colleagues and then immediately shot back, "The DOS extender technology, yes that's a part of C/C++ 7.0" just to get rid of the question.

    Intel put out a great DOS extender and compiler called the Intel 386/486 Code Builder, but soon thereafter discontinued it -- many suspect due to Microsoft pressure.

    The only DOS extender left was Watcom, which is why so many videogames were compiled under Watcom.

    DOS was -- and continues to be -- great for embedded applications. It gives direct access to aall ports and interrupts. DOS continues to live iin the embedded world and with things like FreeDOS.

    DOS is dead. Long live DOS.

  • Re:Missing option (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Feminist-Mom (816033) <> on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @09:49PM (#34569362)
    Another missing option - Commodore BASIC. I love that it was a language and an operating system. Same for the HP 85 and many others...
  • Re:Old Code (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 16, 2010 @07:00AM (#34571848)

    BeOS is not UNIX. Its POSIX API support wasn't even very good. The OS was not ready for prime time and lacked the real-world time testing of NeXT technology. The developer tools scandalously primitive, Be APIs incomplete with circular dependencies, no mutli-user support or notion of security. Everything is pre ANSI/ISO C++ with all the limitations that implies.

    The pervasive threading concept is great but Apple would've died had it taken the Be path. Steve recently revealed the company was just months away from going under.

    If you want to breath new life into the BeOS concept, go work on the BSD-licensed Haiku. (

  • Re:Classic Mac OS (Score:5, Interesting)

    by timster (32400) on Thursday December 16, 2010 @11:32AM (#34573968)

    Really, the thing about file management should be taken as a knock on modern file systems generally. The file system concept is increasingly an anachronism; for a decade or more it's simply lacked the capabilities demanded by modern applications. It's not surprising that when developers (on whatever platform) want to do things that don't fit neatly into the filesystem model, they tend to ignore the FS structure and go at it alone.

    There have been attempts over and over to fix the FS, but that's been a spectacular failure despite massive investments (WinFS, the ambitions of ReiserFS4, etc). I think it's become clear that each application is going to want to structure data according to its own needs; while the FS served us well for years, a growing amount of user data doesn't fit neatly into "file" and "directory", and even when it does, users want files without names (photos), files which appear in more than one "directory" (music), etc.

    With each app's data structure turning into a sort of "unique snowflake", if you will, the idea of a single interface that could manage data across all your applications (the Finder, Explorer, etc) is simply unrealistic. Users have become accustomed to thinking of their data as existing within their applications because no other concept is really workable. The big question is how data will be moved around within these "silos", but that isn't a new problem anyway.

  • by edremy (36408) on Thursday December 16, 2010 @01:21PM (#34575630) Journal
    Came here to give props to VMS.

    I was sysadmin for a VAX cluster back in grad school- one day we came in and got a report that the machine was giving error messages when people tried to access files.

    It turned out the heads had smashed into the main system disk- total destruction. The OS barely noticed, other than it was unhappy it couldn't write log files or find some people's data for jobs.

    We had another time when a student accidentally ran the equivalent of a fork bomb on the system. It slowed down a bit after 12 hours or so. It just prioritized and dumped the rest into the queue- we never did find out how deep the queue was before we purged it.

    Yeah, it was clunky, ugly and tied really closely to the hardware. But damn was it reliable.

If I have not seen so far it is because I stood in giant's footsteps.


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