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Comment Re:Because Microsoft has legacy business customers (Score 1) 367


You are partially correct in that you can't run real mode code in 64-bit mode, either directly or in a V8086. But real mode and 16-bit are not, in fact synonyms; the all-16-bit 286 had a protected mode, code for which which later processors were perfectly capable of executing in 32-bit protected mode.

That includes in the 32-bit mode on the x64 architecture. You can simultaneously run 64-bit and 16-bit code just fine, if the 16-bit code is protected mode code and the OS doesn't do anything stupid. And any Windows program that can run on Windows 3.1 is able to run in 16-bit protected mode.

The fact that you can't run a Windows 3.1 program on x64 Windows is a very specifically Microsoft fuckup, having to do with how the Windows-on-Windows software was done for Itanium, and then how the x64 version of Windows was ported from Itanium.

But you don't need a virtual machine if you want to run 16-bit Windows 3.1 programs under a 64-bit OS; Linux with WINE will run them.

Comment Re:For the Young... Some Background. (Score 2) 145

Um, no. The Joint Development Agreement didn't have anything to do with antitrust. (You're confusing that with why IBM didn't lock Microsoft into exclusivity in the DOS contract five years earlier, which in part was motivated because of the antitrust settlements on IBM mainframes that required IBM to make its mainframe OSes available.)

Microsoft's original plan for its successor to the limited DOS was a migration path to Xenix, but, when the 1984 AT&T antitrust resolution came down, AT&T got permission to sell Unix as a product. Microsoft decided it would be folly to try to compete with AT&T selling AT&T's OS, and switched over migration plans to a product called "ADOS" or "DOS 4" or various other names in the press. ADOS would then slip under Windows, also in development, which would be the GUI.

At the same time, IBM had been trying to develop its own improved extensions and GUI to DOS to exploit 286 hardware -- Top View.

After a fairly short period of the press speculating about the coming war between Microsoft and IBM over the future of the PC, and the initial failure of Top View to get as many sales as expected, IBM and Microsoft signed a joint development agreement for what the press would, during development, still call ADOS/DOS 4, and which was internally codenamed CP/DOS. The PC would have a single, obvious software future.

And when this OS was released as OS/2 in 1987, it worked just fine on non-PS/2s, which was only to be expected, because A) IBM was already committed to customers that it would work on ATs, which is why they wouldn't let Microsoft make it a 386-only OS; and B) Microsoft actually finished development of it (and released initial outside developer machines with it) on Compaq 386s.

And it was, in fact, that 286 compatibility that hampered it the most, because the 286 had no v8086 mode to hide DOS programs in. Thus the tendency to call the DOS box the "penalty box" By the time OS/2 1.1 shipped with the GUI in October 1988, Windows/386 had already shipped and, because it used virtual 8086 mode to multitask DOS, had better support for DOS apps than OS/2. Added to the ability to drop out of Windows just to pure native DOS if necessary, the installed base of DOS apps then won the day for 16-bit Windows.

NT didn't even release until July 1993, long after 16-bit Windows dominated desktops. And NT wasn't enough to stop OS/2 Warp from making a play, it was 32-bit-extended-16-bit-Windows 95 that shut OS/2's last charge down.

Comment Want to stop this efficiently? (Score 1) 95

It can be done pretty easily -- let people kill any wolves that come into populated areas, like they used to be allowed to do. The wolves that survive will be those that fear people and stick to the wilds.

And it's not like it would actually endanger the wolves -- the IUCN listing for them is Least Concern. The "Endangered Species Act" listing of them as "endangered" merely indicated they were rare in the lower 48 states; Canada, Alaska, Russia, and China have plenty.

Comment Bzzt, failed analysis on "free speech" (Score 3, Informative) 157


First, it's explicit in the Constitution that "Each House may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two thirds, expel a member." Whatever rules a House likes for its proceedings are the rules, and whatever punishment it designates for violating them is the punishment. The case law on that goes on to state that this means that the courts may not hear a case on such matters; no Federal court has the authority to even hear a case on the rules, much less get to the point that it can rule whether something is free speech or not.

Second, the Speech or Debate Clause only protects members form being held responsible "in any other Place"; their own House is perfectly allowed to hold them responsible for what they say. In accordance with the previous bit.

Third, this isn't a law, it's a proposed rule of the House, in the decidedly non-public forum of the floor of the House. The First Amendment doesn't remotely apply, at all, either literally or in any of its court-extended meanings. Even if the courts were allowed to rule on the rule (see the first problem), current precedent would fall on the side of the rulemakers.

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UNIX was not designed to stop you from doing stupid things, because that would also stop you from doing clever things. -- Doug Gwyn