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Comment: Re:Taxicab vs Uber (Score 2) 82

by amiga3D (#49763817) Attached to: <em>A Beautiful Mind</em> Mathematician John F. Nash Jr. Dies

In a high speed accident anything can happen of course. The real benefit is in lower speed accidents. In the past at speeds under 50mph many people were dying or being crippled for life without the use of seat belts. Properly belted in those are almost entirely walk away accidents. At really high speeds I'm not sure it makes that much difference. I remember back in the early sixties I was 5 years old and my Dad was driving his 59 Ford (on skinny bias-ply tires) with the needle on the speedometer right between the 00 on the 100MPH mark. The car had no belts at all and I was standing on the front seat gleefully yelling "pass another one daddy" as my father sipped on a jug of moonshine he had sitting on the floorboards between his legs. He's 90 now and when I remind him of it (he loves to criticize MY driving) he almost cries. It's amazing any of us survived. But hell it was fun.

Comment: Re:32MB? (Score 1) 184

by unixisc (#49761009) Attached to: Google Developing 'Brillo' OS For Internet of Things

32MB? Bah. I remember the days when you could fit a whole OS in a hundred K! And 640K was enough for anyone!

On a more serious note: The 'internet of things' hype is supposed to be about putting sensors in just about everything. 32MB is a lot of data for a sensor.

For today's process geometries, it isn't. One can easily have on-board flash that contains the OS, and then have the sensor's baseband work off that

Comment: Re:For me it's Windows NT 3.1 (Score 1) 366

by unixisc (#49760979) Attached to: 25 Years Today - Windows 3.0

Released in the early 90s, but I got to use 4.0 first in the later 90s as a programming student.

But when I used it, it was my first taste of an OS that didn't feel like a toy go kart where the wheels could rattle off any second. (Before I was introduced to Linux.) It's been the heart of window since Win2000.

For that, NT 3.1 is the most significant Windows release ever imo.

I agree. And today, if one looks back at history, what changed Intel's fortunes from running the slowest CPU in the market to the fastest was the fact that Windows NT was SMP, and the de facto kernel of the only Windows version - once Microsoft merged the 2 Windows paths into Windows 2000 and then XP. Until then, Intel's single CPUs were way slower than everything else - from the DEC Alpha and HP PA right down to Sun's SPARCs. But once Intel put 2/4/8 cores on a single chip, thanks to being generations ahead of the competition, they obliterated the difference. Their (SMP) CPUs were now as fast as Alphas, while being both cheaper and less power draining, and to top it all, they could run native Wintel code, instead of having to do things like FX!32 or code morphing or any of those tricks.

Comment: Re:OS/2 better then windows at running windows app (Score 1) 366

by unixisc (#49760953) Attached to: 25 Years Today - Windows 3.0

It wouldn't matter, as SMP was becoming a thing, and don't forget the coming x86_64 along with the ability to run on RISC. OS/2's kernel was largely untouched from early MS OS/2 2.0 betas, and the device drivers were still 16bit assembly. IBM's L4 port of OS/2 cost such an incredible amount of money, and it produced an OS with no networking, and was dreadfully slow as well. IBM wanted BIG money to run OS/2 in SMP, meanwhile NT workstation supports two processors out of the box. You can guess which I was running on my dual proc P100.

With NT you run basically the same OS on the desk and the server, so for many dev's to make a 'server' version was all too easy. And compared to NT, OS/2 was a horrible server. I'd take NT's registry over the insane config.sys any day. Not to mention one goof in config.sys and you can't boot.

OS/2 could have been made to become more NT like, but IBM clearly wasn't up to the task, instead they were basically maintaining the same codebase from MS OS/2 2.0 circa 1991.

At the time in question - which the GP seemed to be discussing - SMP was NOT a major thing. Even amongst the UNIXes, the only x86 UNIX was Sequent's Dynix. SMP didn't become major until Intel's core architecture was out, and that too was due to Windows NT - Intel realized that since Windows 2000 was the only Windows in the market, they could make all their CPUs multicore, and the OS would handle it - since it was no longer based on the Windows 95 platform.

But as I mention above, I agree - IBM was unequal to the task.

Comment: Also, NT was portable (Score 1) 366

by unixisc (#49760923) Attached to: 25 Years Today - Windows 3.0
Not just that, in addition to all of those, NT was designed to be portable across microprocessor architectures. It was originally developed on an Intel i860, then a DECstation 3000 - which was how the MIPS port was the first to be developed. That way, a lot of the x86 dependencies were gone, although some were brought back in the x86 version.

Comment: Re:OS/2 better then windows at running windows app (Score 1) 366

by unixisc (#49760875) Attached to: 25 Years Today - Windows 3.0

That may not have mattered had OS/2 done a good rapid development kit, and also done a good job getting OEMs (there were hundreds at the time, in contrast to single figures today - aside from Dell, HP, IBM (now Lenovo) and Acer, there were Gateway 2000, Micron, Zeos, MidWest Micro, Tagram, and hundreds of other PC vendors.

I think OS/2 could have been a success had it been in the hands of someone other than IBM at that stage - a smaller company whose very success depended on OS/2 - as opposed to IBM, for whom it was just another small piece of a puzzle lost somewhere in the store. Such a company could have capitalized on the anti-Microsoft sentiment amongst ISVs, a number of whom found themselves competing against Microsoft despite making products that helped in the success of Windows. Companies like Borland, WordPerfect, Lotus (before IBM gobbled it), Symantec, and a good number of others. Such an approach could have ended up first in viable tools for OS/2 (from Borland, Symantec, Watcom et al) followed by viable apps, like Lotus SmartSuite, WordPerfect Office Suite and others. Given viable apps at the time, a good number of vendors would have offered the choice of OS/2 to customers, along w/ Windows. In fact, during the long delay in launching Windows 95, OS/2 could well have filled up the vacuum - just like Linux filled up the vacuum while the UNIX wars were going on.

The other great mistake that IBM did was pulling the plug on OS/2 for PPC. By the time it happened, it was obvious that OS/2 for Intel was going nowhere, so a good strategy would have been to port OS/2 to the PPC, and make it available as an alternative to MacOS for Mac clonemakers, when Apple, w/ a newly returned Jobs, pulled the plug on them.

Comment: Re:I agree (Score 1) 366

by unixisc (#49760839) Attached to: 25 Years Today - Windows 3.0

Cheap software tools is what made Windows. While IBM was demanding $2000+ for an OS/2 SDK, MS was willing to give the SDK away to people who bundled it with their tools, and of course we had the $99 era of compilers including Visual Basic, Quick C, Turbo C and others.

OS/2 1.x did not have any cheap/discount compilers.

I recall Turbo C, or at least Borland C++ being available for OS/2. That, and Watcom. Main issue was probably that there were no standardized libraries for OS/2, the way there was MFC in Windows.

Comment: Re:I agree (Score 1) 366

by unixisc (#49760825) Attached to: 25 Years Today - Windows 3.0

It was a big deal. Combine that with visual Basic and desire to never go outside, and you have me. Also knows as God's gift to the world.

You are welcome

Just like few x.0 versions of Windows were big hits, the same was true about this one. It was Windows 3.1/WfW 3.11 that hit it big: the long delay of what eventually became Windows 95 contributed to this in no small way

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (2) Thank you for your generous donation, Mr. Wirth.