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Obscure Operating Systems

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Was browsing around on hackermedia and saw mention of the AmiWest conference. I didn't realize people were still using Amiga. I also came across MINIX3 which seems to be an active endeavor. It would be nice to see the FreeVMS project mature some more..

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Plan 9 seems to still have a small, yet loyal userbase aswell.

I don't know about FreeVMS, but the deathrow cluster which I think Beave is involved in, runs OpenVMS. I believe you can get a free shell account with them too.

http://deathrow.vistech.net/

Edited by tao_of_pi
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yea minix3 is trying to become fullblown but for right now still a learning system

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Amiga is very much alive. I suspect that someday it will make the transition to be a OS alternative in today's market but they made alot of amazing products for the Amiga (eg: Video Toaster) so I hope that when it does it keeps the trend of being a platform where life changing products are made.

FreeVMS == Dead. I think many people are under the illusion that you have to *buy* a license for OpenVMS. You don't. You can easily get a Hobbyist License for OpenVMS (either VAX, Alpha or Itanium) and run it fully legit. The Deathrow Cluster runs on this license since it's not a commercial enterprise.

Not sure about Be, but I still feel that was a truly "utopian" OS *if* it could have continued to progress. I really enjoy the idea of having an OS that allows me to run software and manipulate data no matter what OS it was created for (Win/Mac/Nix).

If you don't feel like OS-X but want a more eyecatching OS that's not GDE/KDE based, I'd suggest NeXTStep/OpenStep. It's old and has a slightly narrow HCL, but it's what inspired OSX for what it is today. And you can run it on even a 486. :-)

One OS I really miss is AtariOS (Not TOS/ST but 8-bit). And not through emulation. But a more modern version of it. I still feel ATASCII is far superior in clean lines. Much more than CG. The only thing ATASCII lacked was color. But ATASCII movies were loads of fun to do.

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One other thing... and Linux/BSD pundits are gonna be pissed when I mention it...

Linux/BSD was *NEVER* designed to be a OS for the end-user. Sound support sucks, graphics aren't really much better. It completely lacks what it takes to be that sort of OS. Maybe someday Kernel 3.0 will actually be developed that will take care of these major issues that keep Linux from being a serious contender. Sure it multi-tasks but so did AmigaOS. The hardest part for any scene whore is to admit that there are better out there...

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Haiku is being developed to 'replace' and continue BeOS.

There's also ReactOS though I suppose it's nothing new... nor something quite 'obscure' :D

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There's also UbixOS though I'm pretty sure it's been discontinued.

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One other thing... and Linux/BSD pundits are gonna be pissed when I mention it...

Linux/BSD was *NEVER* designed to be a OS for the end-user. Sound support sucks, graphics aren't really much better. It completely lacks what it takes to be that sort of OS. Maybe someday Kernel 3.0 will actually be developed that will take care of these major issues that keep Linux from being a serious contender. Sure it multi-tasks but so did AmigaOS. The hardest part for any scene whore is to admit that there are better out there...

umm sorry but Linux is designed for the end-user now, when it first started out no.

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umm sorry but Linux is designed for the end-user now, when it first started out no.

I think the point was that Linux would be a lot more user-friendly now had it been designed for the end user from the ground up.

EDIT: Please, no operating system wars here, I created this thread for discussion of obscure operating systems and I don't consider Linux obscure.

Edited by duper
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Here's a few for you:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_operating_systems

Linux/BSD was *NEVER* designed to be a OS for the end-user. Sound support sucks, graphics aren't really much better. It completely lacks what it takes to be that sort of OS. Maybe someday Kernel 3.0 will actually be developed that will take care of these major issues that keep Linux from being a serious contender. Sure it multi-tasks but so did AmigaOS. The hardest part for any scene whore is to admit that there are better out there...

It doesn't sound like you don't intend to start an OS war :D I will try to level with you, but I believe your opinions are based on a few misconceptions and if you let me I would like to try and clarify.

To what degree an OS is designed for the "end-user" greatly depends on how you define an OS. If you mean the kernel, then there probably is no OS ever made with the end-user in mind, as all it does is essentially to allocate hardware resources. A typical end-user never uses a kernel directly. All the interfacing is done through an upper software layer.

If you define an OS to include the user interface, then all of them are created with the end-user in mind, as the user interface is, by definition, created for the end-user. Whether or not a user interface is well designed is for the most part a matter of taste. In any case, regardless of what any future kernel provides, it will make no difference in regards to how the end-user experiences the user interface.

As for the driver issue there's no denying that many hardware manufacturers do not provide good enough support for operating systems besides Windows. There is very little that can be done if the manufacturers are not interested in providing drivers or good documentation for their hardware. Some manufacturers do however provide good support and share the information that is necessary to make the hardware work. Linux includes native support for a large selection of hardware for which the manufacturers have provided support. This hardware works "out of the box" without the requirement of any driver installation by the user. In fact more hardware has native support under Linux than under any Windows kernel. It's just unfortunate that so many manufacturers are uninterested in having their hardware work under other operating systems than Windows, or only provide proprietary drivers that can not be included in the kernel.

I realize that most users don't care why things may not work the way they want or expect, but I think it's important not to point the finger at the wrong people. Most free software developers are working very hard to provide quality software and a good experience with the end-user in mind.

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FreeVMS == Dead. I think many people are under the illusion that you have to *buy* a license for OpenVMS. You don't. You can easily get a Hobbyist License for OpenVMS (either VAX, Alpha or Itanium) and run it fully legit. The Deathrow Cluster runs on this license since it's not a commercial enterprise.

Yep. Deathrow run's with the hobbyest licenses. You can get an account at http://deathrow.vistech.net. Another note, if you're interested in running such a beast, the SIMH project ( http://simh.trailing-edge.com/ ) will allow your x86 based hardware to run OpenVMS - and a _lot_ of "old school" operating systems. It's a really nifty project.

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What about Symbolic's Genera? There was actually a torrent of Open Genera not that long ago, which could run on Alpha hardware (since only a handful of people still have Symbolics machines)

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What about Symbolic's Genera? There was actually a torrent of Open Genera not that long ago, which could run on Alpha hardware (since only a handful of people still have Symbolics machines)

Would be cool if someone sold an architecture that executed LISP as the instruction set in the processor hardware. Don't imagine it would be very marketable but would be a dream for LISP programmers.

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What about Symbolic's Genera? There was actually a torrent of Open Genera not that long ago, which could run on Alpha hardware (since only a handful of people still have Symbolics machines)

Would be cool if someone sold an architecture that executed LISP as the instruction set in the processor hardware. Don't imagine it would be very marketable but would be a dream for LISP programmers.

There have been a few "Lisp in hardware" chips (include a few Scheme ones) but none that were ever marketed, I don't think.

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There have been a few "Lisp in hardware" chips (include a few Scheme ones) but none that were ever marketed, I don't think.

Yeah, I think I read about that in SICP. Reminds me of how in the early days of Java, Sun thought that embedded JVM chips were going to be all the rage.

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It was good to see someone mention BeOS. It's such a neat little OS...

Heh, that sort of rhymed there.

But, yeah, for everyday computing [internet, E-mail, Word processing, Etc] BeOS is still [iMO] as practical as it was back in the '90s when it was in its heyday.

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the lastest Linux Format has iso's for freedos, FreeVMS, Plan 9 and Visopsy. there's also MenuetOS which is tiny

Edited by iceni
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Does Visopsy have a web site? Did a web search for it and didn't come up with much.

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i spelt it wrong :P

http://visopsys.org/

i just noticed there's an alternative OS roundup in Linux Format too, it has Aranym, Aros, Haiku, KolibriOS ReactOS and Syllable reviewed. maybe some of the iso's are on the dvd too??

i just read some of the Linux Format article and it says the dvd has many more OSes on it!

i can't find the other OSes, but it has these -

Aranym FreeDOS Haiku INSERT Linux_Mint ReactOS Syllable Visopsys

Aros FreeVMS KolibriOS Plan_9 SLAX Ubuntu

Edited by iceni
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