RE: Best OS

Joe Barrera (
Wed, 22 Jan 1997 21:25:32 -0800

CP/M was DOS without the frills :-)

"Triumph of the Nerds" documents IBM's decision to use a CP/M clone from
Microsoft (a language company) instead of the "real thing".

CP/M's passing should not be mourned.

There is one family of operating systems (or operating environments) that
no one has mentioned yet - the character-mode multitasker. OS/2 started out
its design as one of these (that's why it was going to be faster, smaller,
and more efficient than Windows). Framework was a combination multitasker
and office suite. You could do a hell of a lot on a vanilla IBM PC running
Framework - 8088, 5 MHz, 512 KB. My father still fumes about Borland buying
(and then killing) Framework.

Finally, just for completeness' sake, there's Spice for the Perq. The Perq
was a Xerox Alto clone - writable control store (microprogrammable),
bitmapped display, etc. Finally, a realization of the 3M machine - 1
million pixels, 1 MB memory, 1 MIPS! Spice cloned the Xerox UI - windows,
mouse, icons... Spice in turn was layered on Accent, arguably the first
microkernel. Much of Mach is lifted from Accent, in particular, the Virtual
Memory and IPC calls. In fact, the RPC stub generator for Mach was just a
semi-mechanical (read: grad student + emacs) translation of the Perq stub
generator from Perq Pascal to C, and always retained the
XeroxIdentifierStyle that stood in contrast to the
standard_c_unix_identifier_style used by the rest of Mach. This was all
around 1980.

So what happened to Perq? Well, there was this company out West that
decided to commercialize the Stanford University Network computer... and
they used commodity hardware (68000) and software (BSD Unix)... and they
slapped a minimal graphical UI on top...

- Joe

Joseph S. Barrera III (
Phone, Redmond: (206) 936-3837; San Francisco: (415) 778-8227
Pager (100 char max): or (800) 864-8444

-----Original Message-----
From: CobraBoy []
Sent: Wednesday, January 22, 1997 7:22 PM
To: Jim Whitehead;
Subject: Re: Best OS

At 01:34 PM 1/22/97 -0800, Jim Whitehead wrote:

[snip, whole bunch of cool Amiga features]

>*sigh* Instead, here it is 1997, and I get to watch Be do the slow Amiga
>death spiral.
>What about CP/M, ProDOS, and AppleDOS?

Well, don't take offense at this, but I guess your just a bit older than
me. I have never seen an Amiga, nor CP/M, AppleDOS, and I don't know what
ProDOS is.

Certaintly I left off things like BSD, AIX, Irix etc. I guess the point
taking in the OS's of the vast unwashed masses.



** History 101** Hiroshima 45 - Chernobyl 86 - Windows 95 ============================================= "The only problem with Microsoft is they just have no taste, they have absolutely no taste, and what that means is, I don't mean that in a small way I mean that in a big way. I have a problem with the fact that they just make really third rate products." Steve Jobs, Triumph of the Nerds, PBS Documentary ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- --------