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Windows, Linux 25 Year Old "Clunkers"? 461

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the tell-us-what-you-really-think dept.
Phil817 writes to tell us that Bob Metcalfe recently gave a TV interview in which he stated that current operating systems (Windows and Linux) are outdated clunkers that wont be able to adequately handle the coming of "video internet" and suggests that new operating systems need to be developed to take hold in a few years. Also, when asked if current deals in the works like eBay's purchase of Skype were an indication of more investment hype he replied with "I'm looking forward to the next Internet bubble. I don't know what everyone's so negative about. The last bubble was lots of fun.". Let us at least hope we learned a few things from the last bubble.
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Windows, Linux 25 Year Old "Clunkers"?

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  • by Werrismys (764601) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @06:36AM (#14390940)
    To say that the post was lacking substance would be an understatement.
  • fun? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by LiquidMind (150126) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @06:40AM (#14390955)
    "The last bubble was lots of fun"

    tell that to the people that have lost their jobs.

  • An OS is an OS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @06:41AM (#14390960)
    Apart from the "no link" stuff, I don't see what the fuss is all about. An OS is an OS, its role is to provide user applications with an access to the underlying hardware.

    In that sense, I don't see anywhere that Linux/Windows/*BSD/whatever will not be up to the task.
  • Wrong end of stick (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ishmaelflood (643277) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @06:42AM (#14390963)
    Video internet, whatever that is, is bandwidth limited. The OS of the systems on each end of the cable makes virtually no difference to the deliverable bandwidth.
  • OS - Video - WTF? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anne Thwacks (531696) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @06:42AM (#14390969)
    If Linux and WIndows are "old clunkers" then presumably the *BSDs are not just dead, but rotting in hell with all those demons!

    What does this guy know? If you want an OS to stream video, then what does it better than a *BSD? If you want to watch streaming video then surely that is an application issue?

    I'd rather serve or recieve anything using an OS with 20 years debugging than an untried untested product of an Internet bubble.

    However, if anyone wants to buy shares in my new dot-com, then email me at "mailto:investments@pop.rip-off.scam"

  • Re:fun? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ceribia (865793) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @06:44AM (#14390980)
    "tell that to the people that have lost their jobs." Jobs that wouldn't have exsisted with out the bubble. Welcome to the boom bust market.
  • by KingSkippus (799657) * on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @06:47AM (#14390989) Homepage Journal

    Weird, Windows and Linux seem to handle pretty much any task I need handled. Not bad for a couple of clunkers.

    Who knows? Maybe he's right. Personally, I think the concept of television networks is a clunker of an idea waaay past its time. I suggest that in this age of the Internet, we should all be watching on-demand content provided directly by the content makers that's financed by micropayments paid by the consumers, and we receive our "signal" via high-speed Internet connections to the content providers.

    Boy, it sure is easy for me to sit back and say that. But where the rubber meets the road—actually making these brave new ideas come to pass... Well, that's the challenge, isn't it? Until someone can cough up the resources to invest into creating, distributing, and marketing BobOS and my IP television studios, I guess we'll just have to keep talking about how nice it would be, and make the best of the clunkers that I suppose are working well enough for now.

    But seriously, if you want to invest in my IP television studio, let me know...

  • by jandersen (462034) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @06:48AM (#14390993)
    There really should be a threshold to what kind of articles one could see, like there is for replies.

    So here we have yet another article about somebody's narrowminded concept of what the future is going to be like. Who bloody cares about 'video internet'? Yes, the big Hollywood factories that produce entertainment on assembly lines are keen to have all that on the internet so they can roll out their anal-retentive DRM and pay=per-view schemes, and that's all. We on the consumer side will get no real benefits from this 'video internet', on the contrary.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @06:49AM (#14390997)

    "I'm looking forward to the next Internet bubble. I don't know what everyone's so negative about. The last bubble was lots of fun."


    What an idiot. Look at the carnage afterwards. Nevermind the few people that lost their jobs, tragic as that is, the real damage is the money from pension and investment funds that was squandered. That is people having their entire retirement thrown away.
  • I don't get it (Score:3, Insightful)

    by demon_2k (586844) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @06:50AM (#14390998) Journal
    What's wrong with the internet as it is now?
    Video, for what reqason? Do they mean more like flash?
    With interactive animations, or something different?

    What i can see happening is animated or even worse, video adds.
    And I'll tell all of you, i'm not looking foreward to that.
    I think that's a reason enough to be negative.
    Wasting bandwidth for damn stupids adds.

    I guess it wouldn't bother me so much if we still had unlimited cable. This "unlimited" cable shits me, all because internet service providers want to promote their own content delivery.
  • Re:fun? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kfg (145172) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @06:55AM (#14391012)
    No, not the people who lost their jobs, but the people who lost their investments. The people who payed for all the fun the jobs were and got nothing back out of it.

    KFG
  • Re:fun? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by WebCrapper (667046) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @06:59AM (#14391024)
    I was 6 months away from buying a Hummer H1 and putting a very large downpayment on a house I was going to build. By the time I could cash in, used toilet paper was worth more than my options. ($150'ish vs $1.50'ish)

    Anyway, while I'm a little upset at the company I used to work for, I can't get too upset because I wouldn't have met my wife, I wouldn't be living in Germany on a 3 year honeymoon, etc...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @06:59AM (#14391025)
    "There'll be new operating systems required; the clunkers we have, you know Windows and Linux, are 25 years old -- they're going to need updating to adequately carry video," Metcalfe says. "What they're doing now is lame."


    If video is the future, then I'm afraid that it's Ethernet that's going to be the clunker - not our operating systems. We need the mass deployment of protocols that give us QoS guarantees (e.g. ATM).

  • And the Chips? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) <obsessivemathsfreakNO@SPAMeircom.net> on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @07:00AM (#14391029) Homepage Journal
    If Windows and Linux are outdated, then what about x86 microchip architectures?
  • Re:An OS is an OS (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @07:12AM (#14391063)
    The article is as clear as mud. However, I suspect that Bob is thinking of a media-centric system, which would need to push huge amounts of data across network, disk and memory buses very, very quickly. You'd need things like

    • Pervasive multi-threading
    • Hard real time fair scheduling
    • Very, very fast asynchronous I/O
    • Efficient, very large memory models
    He's probably thinking of something like a real time micro-kernel (QNX) or even an exo-kernel, with a real-time media pipeline on top of it.

    Out of the list above, Linux & Windows don't do many of those things amazingly well (Although both of them offer async I/O)
  • by tacocat (527354) <tallison1 AT twmi DOT rr DOT com> on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @07:25AM (#14391098)

    Yes, this is a picture of what you are doing with streaming data and a possible approach to handling the stream, by reprioritizing everything on the system to deal with it. But I don't necessarily agree that this is the best approach or the realistic approach.

    If we have to address the video streaming capabilities of a high bandwidth internet then that's fine. I'm really not worried about the current OSes. As a benchmark I have routinely watched full screen (21-inch) video over NFS mounted hard drives across my fast ethernet home network. This has proved to be good enough bandwidth that the movies are clean and the network can still do other functions (macromedia flash gaming is one high bandwidth example). Granted this is pretty much one user, but it's a benchmark.

    Now it is arguable that NFS is not the best solution to video streaming, but it's one that I have readily available.

    I would have assumed the best approach would be a two part application; the first part caching the stream and buffering the data so that latency interruptions can be handled more gracefully, and the second part to read off the buffer (memory or disk) and present the video.

    I don't know of any one who believes that even a terabit network can do realtime streaming of hi definition video with zero risk of latency interruptions so I just can imagine anything with that model in mind as being anything less than marketing hype.

  • Video Internet? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by The NPS (899303) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @07:41AM (#14391142)
    I thought we already had video internet, and it was called TV. Honestly, video content is worthless. Sure, it'd be kind of fun to watch the numa numa kid in high definition with no buffering, but does it really matter? No. Is there any substance to that? Hell no. If TV is even a tiny implication of what more video content would mean, then the last thing I want is more video content in the net.
  • by Savage650 (654684) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @07:48AM (#14391171)
    ... commiserating with The people who payed for all the fun the jobs were and got nothing back out of it.

    No Sympathy here. Whoever buys into a scheme that is supposed to double/tripe/quadruple their money overnight deserves the "Experience" they get. Playing the stock market is like every other form of gambling: The house always wins. You lose.

    And by the way: this wonderful "Video Internet" Mr. Metcalfe is fantasizing about ... Who needs it? the consumers? Or could it be ... Who else would be interested in a broad roll-out of DRM-locked viewers?

    Expect a flurry of new, draconian laws protecting "Content Ownership" to be written and enacted during the boom phase. And we'll be stuck with these laws, even after this particular bubble bursts.

  • Clunkers. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SoupIsGood Food (1179) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @07:50AM (#14391177)
    Well, he's right. Windows is based, more or less, on the old VAX/VMS model. Linux is a modern OS kernel, but it's designed to run a variant of the Unix operating system, which was shiny and new before the Star Trek with Captain Kirk went into syndication.

    The same can be said for MacOS X and the BSD's... hell, for pretty much every OS under the sun. BeOS and Plan 9 were the last attempts at someone trying something new with any technical success, and their lessons were largely lost on the industry.

    Innovation in operating systems is pretty much at a standstill outside the academic environment. Current operating systems cannot leverage parralelism very well for anything but hyper-specialized applications. Current operating systems have user environments that are crummy at managing massive amounts of data crammed into cavernous storage systems. Current operating systems are rotten at deploying your data across networked devices like cell phones and MP3 players and DVRs without a crapload of work.

    There are acres of room for improvement, but the current paradigms aren't keeping up. Part of the problem is the PC architecture... it's not well suited for anything but a workstation or server, and even then, it's not all that well suited. It's shackling the industry to a very limiting hardware model, trading innovation in effciency and effectiveness for better benchmarks at the same old stuff.

    Someone's going to need to design and market a new platform... OS and Hardware, that manages your data better with less effort across more devices, before we can get things moving again.

    Otherwise I foresee more of the same... computers completing benchmarks faster, but not doing anything new and innovative.

    Linux is a very nice unix, perhaps the pinnacle of achievement for the Unix Way, but the Unix Way isn't all that special anymore, and is really showing its age. Windows is an order of magnitude in worse shape. It's just that no-one with an industry presence is willing to try anything new anymore, and companies like SGI and HP are going broke sticking to the old model long after it's stopped working for them.

    SoupIsGood Food
  • -1 Troll (Score:5, Insightful)

    by obender (546976) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @07:51AM (#14391183)
    I think we should be allowed to mod the stories as well as the comments. This way we could get rid of both the dupes and the trolls like the current story.
  • by cnelzie (451984) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @08:08AM (#14391225) Homepage
    Playing the stock market is like every other form of gambling: The house always wins. You lose.


        I do not believe that I have seen such a completely misleading and or misinformed statement in a very long time. If you have no idea what you are doing, yeah, you could get burned. If you are smart, do your research and invest wisely, such as by diversifying, you can come out pretty darn well.

  • Re:An OS is an OS (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jurt1235 (834677) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @08:21AM (#14391260) Homepage
    Out of the list above, Linux & Windows don't do many of those things amazingly well (Although both of them offer async I/O)

    That is why you can choose between using different schedulers, creating an OS like real time linux for telephone applications. I don't know if Microsoft altered schedulers in the media centric releases of Windows.
    All OSs are still developping the mentioned features. At this moment however systems are fast enough to process current video data faster than realtime. The current OSs I think is also capable of handling HDTV, the limitation for that is in the hardware which just gets to costly.
    In the end the names will stay. That the content will be different (Windows HastaLaVista 95, or Linux kernel 3.0) is pretty much logical anyway with progress in OS engineering.
  • by PhilHibbs (4537) <snarks@gmail.com> on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @08:25AM (#14391280) Homepage Journal
    You're calling this guy out because something he designed THIRTY YEARS AGO - a computing technology that is STILL IN USE TODAY - wasn't optimised for streaming video?
  • by cgenman (325138) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @08:29AM (#14391296) Homepage
    If Linux and WIndows are "old clunkers" then presumably the *BSDs are not just dead, but rotting in hell with all those demons!

    Have you tried to get a newbie up to speed on an OS recently? Windows and Linux are old clunkers. Specifically about video, I've sent people video and had to iterate through several different codec downloads and lots of software installs before they hit something that worked. And that's on Windows. How is downloading streaming video from arbitrary sites like CNN going on Linux? With the forced commercials and separation of stream types, etc, it can be a nightmare and it isn't going to get any better. Even skilled people give up.

    And beyond that, the interface in both is terrible. Is the data I'm looking for in /usr/bin/run? C:/documents and settings/Default User/Application Data/? Or one of a million other places? Is my dependency tree resolved properly? Hell, deleting an application in the two major operating systems is 1000x more hassle and failure-prone than throwing out a binder at work. And once a system is up and running don't move anything or everything breaks. Don't rename anything or everything breaks. Ever have the fun of trying to walk a new person through a registry fix over the phone? Or, well, any sort of Linux support over the phone to somebody who wasn't a hardcore linux person?

    Browser applications are also a miserable failure, because they're tacked onto a system designed to do something completely different. The browser window itself can't update, so you need to run in Flash, ActiveX, or Java, none of which are particularly good at full scale applications. Flash is too animation-centric for persistent data like that, Java never hit its stride (see the WordPerfect in Browser in Java debacle), and ActiveX is ActiveX. Comparing the elegance of remote Xwindows or straight SSH to browser applications shows just how far behind we are.

    Sure, 20 years of debugging goes a long way, and the *nix's are more than competent in serving content, but for the average user OS's are still foriegn, behave strangely, require a high learning curve, and don't adapt well to the way the user wants to work.
  • Re:An OS is an OS (Score:2, Insightful)

    by should_be_linear (779431) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @08:34AM (#14391312)
    Here is what Wikipedia has to say about this guy:

    Neophilia is defined as a love of novelty and new things. A neophile is an individual who is unusually accepting of new things and excited by novelty.
    The word has particular significance in Internet and hacker culture. The New Hacker's Dictionary gave the following definition to neophilia -

    The trait of being excited and pleased by novelty. Common among most hackers, SF fans, and members of several other connected leading-edge subcultures, including the pro-technology 'Whole Earth' wing of the ecology movement, space activists, many members of Mensa, and the Discordian/neo-pagan underground (see geek). All these groups overlap heavily and (where evidence is available) seem to share characteristic hacker tropisms for science fiction, music, and oriental food.
  • Video Internet (Score:2, Insightful)

    by f0rtytw0 (446153) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @08:35AM (#14391323) Journal
    I don't know if the world is ready for video internet or television as some scientists call it.
  • by tverbeek (457094) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @08:45AM (#14391358) Homepage
    What an idiot. Look at the carnage afterwards. Nevermind the few people that lost their jobs, tragic as that is, the real damage is the money from pension and investment funds that was squandered. That is people having their entire retirement thrown away.

    That's just how The Market works. It runs in cycles of boom and bust. It uses the irrational activity of the investment market to tear down old economic structures so that they can be replaced with more efficient ones.

    Which is of course why those who hold The Market up as if were the sacrosanct invisible hand of God ought to be taken out and shot. It demotes human society to barbarism, with no regard for the better aspects of human nature: the capacity for compassion, cooperation, and reason. I'm not advocating communism, because that has its own problems, but deifying The Market to justify whatever it does is definitely not the answer.

  • by Corngood (736783) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @08:49AM (#14391369)
    It's hard to take seriously a sob story involving stock options and Hummers. Anyone who makes a few bucks and decides that the first thing they need is a military vehicle for the commute to work can go fuck themselves.
  • by bhmit1 (2270) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @09:06AM (#14391427) Homepage
    And beyond that, the interface in both is terrible. Is the data I'm looking for in /usr/bin/run? C:/documents and settings/Default User/Application Data/? Or one of a million other places? Is my dependency tree resolved properly?

    First off, you seem upset with user interfaces, lack of video standards, and lack of quality applications, not the OS itself. We could build a new OS and still have all these problems. Fixing the OS we have would seem to be a more efficient solution. Also, just because something is complex doesn't mean it won't stick around. I don't think people consider Tivo complicated because the UI hides everything under the covers.

    And on the flip side, you don't hear a lot of people complaining about what a PITA it was to change the water pump in their car, because they get a mechanic to do that. And yet cars are still around despite the fact that you need to learn how to drive and get a license before you're allowed to use one. There's probably more than one thing the computer industry could learn from the automotive industry, they've been doing it for longer. OS's are still a ways away from needing to make our own gas to electric conversion.
  • Re:Clunkers. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SirCyn (694031) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @09:28AM (#14391499) Journal
    Architecture has less to do with the ease of movement than DRM, and the general stigma that has penetrated the media industry. We'll need an intellectual revolution before any of this technological revolution can take place.
  • by PapaZit (33585) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @09:34AM (#14391511)
    Maybe the interview is available for download in a few years when the new video oriented operating systems he mentions have taken hold.

    Operating systems like... BeOS?

    On the OS front, we have a situation where "good" is the enemy of "great". Windows has succeeded because it's good enough and it's a stable, constant platform. For people who care (i.e. many slashdot readers), it's not quite good enough, so they turn to a unix variant. More stable, but less of a consistent platform (Do you write for Linux or Solaris or AIX or NetBSD or...?). Fortunately, the variants are close enough that, so long as you have the source, you can probably port your app (or find somebody else who has already ported the app) to your OS.

    There have been (and still are) some really great alternative operating systems out there (AtheOS, Archy, Plan 9, Inferno, 2K... the list goes on and on), but nobody uses 'em because they don't have all of the essential apps. We use applications, not operating systems. The "right" OS is the one that runs the programs that you want to run. Until a killer app comes out that ONLY runs on a Video-based OS, nobody'll switch.
  • Re:Clunkers. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by joshv (13017) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @09:41AM (#14391555)
    Innovation in operating systems is pretty much at a standstill outside the academic environment. Current operating systems cannot leverage parralelism very well for anything but hyper-specialized applications. Current operating systems have user environments that are crummy at managing massive amounts of data crammed into cavernous storage systems. Current operating systems are rotten at deploying your data across networked devices like cell phones and MP3 players and DVRs without a crapload of work.

    You going into marketing? You seem to have the lingo down. That being said, you freaking don't know what you are talking about. Windows and Linux are both multi-threaded operating systems. My copy of Windows XP 'leverages' paralellism just fine, as my CPU is dual core. The OS gets both CPUs working, all the time. You want to see some real improvements, talk to the application coders and try to get them to 'leverage paralellism' in their applications by making them multi-threaded.


    There are acres of room for improvement, but the current paradigms aren't keeping up. Part of the problem is the PC architecture... it's not well suited for anything but a workstation or server, and even then, it's not all that well suited. It's shackling the industry to a very limiting hardware model, trading innovation in effciency and effectiveness for better benchmarks at the same old stuff.


    What the hell are you talking about? Care to offer some specifics? "it's not well suited for anything but a workstation or server, and even then, it's not all that well suited" - what exactly does that little gem mean? My latest motherboard has an extremely high bandwidth I/O architecture, built in from the ground up. I have memory bandwidth that was unheard of just 3 years ago. The damned thing burns through just about every task I throw at it.

    Someone's going to need to design and market a new platform... OS and Hardware, that manages your data better with less effort across more devices, before we can get things moving again.

    Wait, I thought the problem was with the PC architecture - now it's data management? Moving data between various devices is the job of applications. If the applications aren't written to interoperate and share data intelligently, there's nothing the OS can do to fix that.
  • by 1u3hr (530656) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @09:56AM (#14391635)
    ...the new video oriented operating systems...

    Obviously he's talking about the Google PC [theregister.co.uk], but is under an NDA.

  • Re:Clunkers. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SoupIsGood Food (1179) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @10:11AM (#14391706)
    You want to see some real improvements, talk to the application coders and try to get them to 'leverage paralellism' in their applications by making them multi-threaded.

    Dumping the problem into the lap of the application programmers isn't leveraging anything very effectively.

    My latest motherboard has an extremely high bandwidth I/O architecture, built in from the ground up. I have memory bandwidth that was unheard of just 3 years ago. The damned thing burns through just about every task I throw at it.

    Congratulations! You've just discovered Moore's Law. You should write a paper or something.

    Now, take just enough of your PC so it fits into your pocket and doubles as a cell-phone, letting you still use the part you left on your desk while you ride the bus to work. Oops! You can't!

    This is a very simple paradigm shift, and can almost emulated by VNC on your smartphone, but not satisfactorily, and not easily, as the OS doesn't understand it has to handle the UI for both the cell phone and the 30" flat panel monitor in the same application. This is because that mobo is essentially the same computer, only faster, that the mobo vendors were selling in '01. The OS projects and vendors can't see past the plain ol' whitebox PC.

    Big paradigm shifts that would completely re-orient computing are impossible in the current market.

    Wait, I thought the problem was with the PC architecture

    This is because you are inattentive, and don't like to read.

    - now it's data management?

    Data management is what computers do, sport. Better, faster and more convenient data management is why there's a computer industry at all. Wake up.

    Moving data between various devices is the job of applications. If the applications aren't written to interoperate and share data intelligently, there's nothing the OS can do to fix that.

    Nothing... except create better ways for applications to interoperate with other applications and with local and networked peripherals. Sort of the definition of an operating system, ya know? In the modern day (since 1988 or so), the OS takes responsibility for the entire operating environment, with all the attendant APIs and utilities.

    Dumping the problem into the application developer's lap was how MS-DOS did it, not how modern operating systems do it, and certainly not how next generation OS projects will do it.

    SoupIsGood Food

  • by Bogtha (906264) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @10:25AM (#14391772)

    this would be the creator of Ethernet, for those who didn't know who Bob Metcalfe is

    This would also be one of the people childish enough to popularise the term Open Sores Software [infoworld.com]. Sure, he developed Ethernet, but what has he done in the last thirty years, except devolve into a troll?

  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @11:01AM (#14392019) Journal
    Don't please tell me that slashdot is going to be a video blog. This sounds as wrong as voice communication in games. I DO NOT WANT TO SEE YOU and I am sure the feeling is mutual.

    Sure current OS'es are crap at handling large data files that essentlially just have to be passed through, I got a linux machine that seems to love eating up all the available memory and my windows machine can never seem to grasp the concept of giving the video app priority to the HD.

    So when I recently downloaded my first high def video clip (interlaced) I had a severe problem playing it. The dual P3 Linux had problems as it was an offbeat codec and could not handle it at full speed.

    Windows P4 HT 2.8ghz didn't fare much better. Despite that fact that it had double the memory, less crap in the background and fewer active filters and had a cpu 3-4 times faster it could barely keep up. As soon as I tried to deinterlace it it started to get choppy with random freezing as MS could apperantly not supply the data fast enough.

    No I don't have virusses or trojans and the hardware on both platforms is pretty decent.

    The answer is really simple both OS'es at the core were never designed for this task. For that matter the hardware isn't either. Almost everything in the design is geared towards multitasking.

    It reminds me of the days when side scrolling games were still available and how badly the PC would always struggle with them even when it was clear that in pure crunching power the PC beat the pants of the consoles. Wich was very clear when consoles tried to do 3D (ala doom1) wich was the strong horse of the PC.

    I don't think there is any clear mechanism at the moment where you can easily dictate wich application gets priority access to the resources available. This would be far more then "nice". After all video device that gets super high priority would then falter because "system" wich does the reading from HD does not get enough cpu time.

    Perhaps the move to multicore pc's will solve some of this. My P3 despite being only 800mhz can still keep up aminzgly well considering a p4 2.8 fails as well.

    What I don't see however is how a new OS is going to solve this. Sure it is easy to make a new OS that does just video. They already exist, inside your stand alone dvd player. For that matter inside the iPod and similar devices. The consoles are an other example. Yes they do a lot better performance wise in displaying video then their PC counterparts. So?

    One of the things I noticed is that USB is a bitch for cpu whoring. Joysticks especially can cost you more frames then switching all the options on. Perhaps I just got the wrong sticks but I have noticed this for several years with different makes.

    A PC can do a dozen tasks, that makes it slow but it also is what makes it so fucking usefull. Most users do not want to watch just 1 video. They want their RSS streams and check their email and be safe from virusses and be chatting with their mates etc etc etc.

    Saying the Windows/Linux are old clunkers and that you could make a faster video OS is like saying that Volvo's are clunkers and you could make a faster race car. Well yeah. F1 cars are very very fast. I just wouldn't like to take one on a trip. A recent promo in Amsterdam had a F1 car driving through the city streets. Very exciting but it was very clear the car was barely under control and totally useless as a form of transport.

    The device that does it all will never be able to compete directly with a single purpose device. The PC is as multi purpose as it can be and for the last few decades has defeated all new comers. I don't see this going to change.

    Oh and didn't we have this whole video internet before? The constant dream that people will next year have fat pipes to their doorsteps at cheap prices? I have heard that dream for over a decade and still download at a trickle. Current internet would be hardpushed to saturate a iPod. My half a decade old machine can easily deal with internet streaming. It ain't the OS, it is the net, fix that and the OS will follow.

  • Re:An OS is an OS (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jedidiah (1196) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @12:07PM (#14392551) Homepage
    Sounds suspiciously like any other high volume data intensive
    application that has been run on Unix or mainframes since the
    dawn of time. This is simply yet someone else failing to grok
    the basic essense of "multimedia": it's all just bits.

            These are old boring problems solved likely before you
    were even born.
  • by sweetnjguy29 (880256) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @12:47PM (#14392846) Journal
    IMHO, we do need a new OS paradigm. Linux, BSD, Windows....they all suck. They are useful, sure, but god-damn, they all do have problems. I'm not going to even list examples....I am sure you can all think of at least 10 problems with each OS. We need to fundementally change the way in which we interact with computers. Like Scotty said, "a keyboard...how quaint". I mean, good grief, I haven't even seen a consumer level touch screen for a computer.
  • by prichardson (603676) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @12:57PM (#14392927) Journal
    Last time I checked, porn didn't require a special OS, or even a computer. Have you forgotten DVDs? Magazines?

    Even so, any OS worth anything can play video. It's not hard. There's nothing special about OSes that do.
  • by amightywind (691887) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @01:01PM (#14392956) Journal

    More stable, but less of a consistent platform (Do you write for Linux or Solaris or AIX or NetBSD or...?).

    GNU/Autoconf/Automake have provided a great *nix portability solution since the early 1990's. Almost all GNU/Linux packages use it to great effect even on Cywin/Win32 systems. Writing for Windows only nowadays is truly inexplicable.

  • by starfishsystems (834319) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @02:04PM (#14393557) Homepage
    Let's think about portability and functionality for a second.

    The Unix variants make an attractive development target in part because they deliberately embody many common concepts and interfaces. The effect is not perfect, but it's far and away the best thing going.

    Why is this important? Because it takes extra effort to write portable code, you want to target an environment that will minimize that effort and maximize the various benefits, all of which happen to be indirect. You will have to design and implement more abstractly, you will have to test more extensively, and yet the result will be functionally no different than nonportable code.

    One superficial benefit to portability is to reach a broader market, but the real benefit that it encourages thoughtful design. That should lead to software which is easier to maintain and extend, and which uses system capabilities very deliberately, not just because some developer wanted to play with them. So I'm arguing that the net effect of writing for Unix is to make your applications at least partially future-proof. If new operating system cababilities were to emerge, your software would be in a good position to exploit them.

    That said, all this talk about "video-based OS" seems a bit strange to me. Do people imagine there's some kind of magic required to process video, something that requires a complete architectural rethink? It's just data. Its realtime processing requirements are qualitatively no different than audio, or banking transactions for that matter. It basically depends on having sufficiently fast hardware, and an operating system that can efficiently support realtime events.

    This is hardly new ground. Unix lends itself to be extended in this way. The Solaris kernel had realtime scheduling ten years ago. Today you can go out and add realtime video to your Linux system for a hundred bucks. Your current hardware isn't fast enough to do a lot of realtime image processing such as edge detection, but that's not because anything is fundamentally missing from the operating system.

  • Re:Sorry? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by plantman-the-womb-st (776722) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @02:16PM (#14393677)
    As far as I can tell, he's talking about turning the internet into TV. These new systems would be able to view many "sites" (stations) at once, while the "user" (viewer) would be able to interact with the "sites content" (show) by clicking on keywords, image intense borders or even on the products in the video itself. It would be a "push" (broadcast) technology instead of a pull, so that instead of content being viewed whenever the user wants, as many times as they want, the content provider could set a schedule of when what content was available to maximize ad revenue. Since this new wonder OS would make rendering content streams a priority, the content provider would always be sure they have an open and readable stream to get content to the user.

    This will, of course, be part of the premium [slashdot.org] internet service.
  • by dubl-u (51156) * <2523987012@pota . t o> on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @03:08PM (#14394254)
    Playing the stock market is like every other form of gambling: The house always wins. You lose.
    I do not believe that I have seen such a completely misleading and or misinformed statement in a very long time. If you have no idea what you are doing, yeah, you could get burned. If you are smart, do your research and invest wisely, such as by diversifying, you can come out pretty darn well.

    Investing is entirely different than "playing the stock market". You guys are both right. You can use your brokerage account to invest or to gamble. During the internet boom, most of the tech investors and day traders were gambling, not investing.
  • by cnelzie (451984) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @04:52PM (#14395204) Homepage
    Are we going to see a lot of defaulting mortgages in 3-5 years when these silly interest-only periods expire and principal has to be repaid?


    I most certainly hope not. Can you imagine what would happen to the economy if a large percentage of the home owning populace defaults on their mortgages?


    It could very likely create a rush on the banks the likes of which haven't been seen since just prior to The Great Depression.

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