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Comment: Something Hybrid (Score 1) 407 407


The OS/2 and Windows shells together, complement features missing in the other. The sort of hacks you can do with REXX and the WPS don't cut it in Windows, but MSFT got the idea right when they had proper files, rather than just EAs for their shell. I even added items to a windows desktop remotely. IBM gave a lot of flexibility to the REXX api to the shell, but the SETUP string was a single element, and it could had been something akin to an environment in an INI file.

One could had done some interesting things with PIF files. For example, they could had launched an application off-path, and the same icon could have had several pages for different operating systems, so for example, the Boxer.pif could launch boxer, tko or boxer/2 for different operating systems. You put a mob of these in a directory and you could launch different applications without having to go to the desktop, or some menuing system.

So, you could have a fairly decent file patcher, and still just have a single link in the PIF file.

EXTPROC in OS/2, is the DOS version of the UNIX /! thing. Where in UNIX, you have to have perl in /usr/bin/perl or something, in the new shell, it would simply look for perl.pif, either in the pif or extproc directory. Doing this means you could run the same perl script under different environments. Extproc could be added to other languages, so one could see or launch a script under something like FAR or some other program that takes an external script.

For example, the OS/2 EWS "StartDOS" expects a REXX script as input, so if you made REXX handle EXTPROC, you could start the startDOS script as extproc /rexx StartDOS

Alternate DOS/Unix command line personalities, so that programs that look for UNIX or DOS would not have to be rewritten. Likewise, you could convert the drives into different pointers in the unix system, so that you could have multiple cwd's (eg subst c: /usr )

Run a file under a different extension. You can already do things like start OEMSETUP.BIN with the extension, and many utilities load .TMP, .MOD etc as exe files, so it's hardly a bug there. Note that in Windows 98+, the xcopy32.mod is just xcopy.exe, and works without the other files if so loaded. What it can do is to allow you to open an exe as a rar file, etc, eg open .rar rarexe.exe would instruct RAR to open it as a rar file.

Clipboard and Select interface from the command line. You could do things like 'select = ls pk*.*' , which would add the output files of the ls command to the select list, select /a is append to the list, and then /copy. /paste. /cut, /all, /move /reverse, /u would do various things to the list. @select is then a virtual list that can be used in any command that accepts lists.

Multiple desktops at session level. Something like LaTeX involves lots of little files in the path, which are largely used purely for Latex. A TeX desktop (by setting desktop=tex in the PIF), might open up a window of utilities that share more or less like the same virtual machine. You create objects in there which inherit the common Latex settings, so ye could have an Editor in there, like WinEdit, etc. When you are not playing LaTeX, these are no longer in the path. These could be in 'groups' like Win31 Progman, and you put links out to the common paths.

Multi-language interface, so one can use REXX. Lua, or a variety of other languages to access system functions. Something like 'fdisk' might report things like the size and file system of a device, and a function-call like call 'fdisk' diskfree, 'c:' could be used in any script, including

Network as a separate desktop, so one can be logged into several networks at once.

Comment: Re:no (Score 1) 67 67

you do not have to write C++ like this.
I use C++11 a lot. It is a very nice language, as long as you avoid abominations like these.
One problem is that template metaprogramming quickly became "cool", so everybody started to overuse it (*cough* Boost.Spirit *cough*). The result is a barely manageable mess that produces huge binaries.

But if used sparingly, combined with all the niceness C++11 brought us, it is really nice to develop with modern (!) C++, especially if you are working on rather low-level stuff like realtime media decoding&playback or video game engines. It shares this space with C though, and the C vs C++ flamewars are still raging on...

Comment: iOS users feel it (Score 1, Insightful) 310 310

I currently have a web radio transceiver front panel application that works on Linux, Windows, MacOS, Android, Amazon Kindle Fire, under Chrome, Firefox, or Opera. No porting, no software installation. See for details of what I'm writing.

The one unsupported popular platform? iOS, because Safari doesn't have the function used to acquire the microphone in the web audio API (and perhaps doesn't have other parts of that API), and Apple insists on handicapping other browsers by forcing them to use Apple's rendering engine.

I don't have any answer other than "don't buy iOS until they fix it".

Comment: It is their fault (Score 1) 138 138

They should have let ATI keep their brand, ATI did nothing to be ashamed of.

They immediately gave up the ATI brand. Now, ATI finally have top of the line graphics processor but AMD doesn't have top of the line CPU. Gamers and press aren't stupid, they would eventually compare i7 CPU by taking out AMD CPU.

It is AMD brand manager suits who created this awkward situation. It still shows AMD is a mature company who dares to take such decisions like putting Intel in it. Imagine Oracle suggesting IBM servers for running their software.

Comment: Re:Randomness can't come from a computer program (Score 1) 64 64

Most of us do have a need to transmit messages privately. Do you not make any online purchases?

Yes, but those have to use public-key encryption. I am sure of my one-time-pad encryption because it's just exclusive-OR with the data, and I am sure that my diode noise is really random and there is no way for anyone else to predict or duplicate it. I can not extend the same degree of surety to public-key encryption. The software is complex, the math is hard to understand, and it all depends on the assumption that some algorithms are difficult to reverse - which might not be true.

Comment: Re:Bad RNG will make your crypto predictable (Score 2) 64 64

The problem with FM static is that you could start receiving a station, and if you don't happen to realize you are now getting low-entropy data, that's a problem.

There are many well-characterized forms of electronic noise: thermal noise, shot noise, avalanche noise, flicker noise, all of these are easy to produce with parts that cost a few dollars.

Comment: Randomness can't come from a computer program (Score 2, Interesting) 64 64

True randomness comes from quantum mechanical phenomena. Linux /dev/random is chaotic, yes, enough to seed a software "R"NG. But we can do better and devices to do so are cheap these days.

I wouldn't trust anything but diode noise for randomness. If I had a need to transmit messages privately, I'd only trust a one-time pad.

Comment: Re:I'm spending 60% of my monthly income on rent (Score 1) 939 939

Communism has been tried on a large scale - see Mao's Great Leap Forward.

Nope. That was a totalitarian socialist program pushing a collectivism that didn't work. Communism is a post-scarcity society and obviously scarcity was the thing Mao produced best.

Comment: Re:What's the score now? (Score 1) 77 77

I didn't actually work on GPUs very much at Pixar, the image computer I worked on was the grandfather of the SIMD image processing instructions on modern CPUs. What would become a GPU later on was a very expensive box from Silicon Graphics, I had one that cost at least a quarter Million dollars.

Comment: Re:What's the score now? (Score 5, Interesting) 77 77

If they actually told us how to program their microengines, something good might come of it. But they'll probably just BSD-license a list of numbers, as others have.

I liked writing bit-slice microcode at Pixar. I really could get every last bit of power out of the hardware.

Comment: Re:I'm spending 60% of my monthly income on rent (Score 4, Insightful) 939 939

Maybe you should learn what communism is before calling anyone "commiefriend". (Which I have to say, is really repulsive. It's sort of like picking your nose over the internet.) I think you are discussing the difference between lasiez-faire ecomomics and regulated markets. Communism is a very great difference in scale from that. And it's never been tried on a national scale just as "free market" has never been tried because there are always economic biases that make it impossible. What there has been so far is socialism.

Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves. -- Lazarus Long