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March 17, 1999: AOL Finishes Acquisition of Netscape

AOL

March 17, 1999: AOL Acquires Netscape

1999- America Online(AOL) completes the acquisition of Netscape Communications Corporation. The acquisition started in Nov. 24, 1998. The acquisition was a $10 million arrangement in stock and cash.Marc Andreessen and Jim Clark were the founders of Netscape. The Netscape browser would be discontinued in December 2007, and ultimately end support on March 1, 2008.

Wikazine – Full show notes for March 17

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  • Apple files suit to Microsoft and HP
  • Office 97 Small Business Edition is released
  • Tim Paterson contacts Microsoft on intent to sell MS-DOS
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February 10, 1992: “Linux is Obsolete” Thread Ends

Linux Penguin

February 10, 1992: Linux is Obsolete

1992 - Comp.os.minix was the location for famous thread “Linux is Dead”. 73 Posts went back and forthe before Bill Mitchell closes it.  Andy Tanenbaum (MINIX) started the thread and Linus Torvolds shot back. This is how the thread started out:Wikazine – Full show notes for February 10

I was in the U.S. for a couple of weeks, so I haven’t commented much on LINUX (not that I would have said much had I been around), but for what it is worth, I have a couple of comments now.

As most of you know, for me MINIX is a hobby, something that I do in the evening when I get bored writing books and there are no major wars, revolutions, or senate hearings being televised live on CNN. My real job is a professor and researcher in the area of operating systems.

As a result of my occupation, I think I know a bit about where operating are going in the next decade or so. Two aspects stand out:

1. MICROKERNEL VS MONOLITHIC SYSTEM
Most older operating systems are monolithic, that is, the whole operating system is a single a.out file that runs in ‘kernel mode.’ This binary contains the process management, memory management, file system and the rest. Examples of such systems are UNIX, MS-DOS, VMS, MVS, OS/360, MULTICS, and many more.

The alternative is a microkernel-based system, in which most of the OS runs as separate processes, mostly outside the kernel. They communicate by message passing. The kernel’s job is to handle the message passing, interrupt handling, low-level process management, and possibly the I/O. Examples of this design are the RC4000, Amoeba, Chorus, Mach, and the not-yet-released Windows/NT.

While I could go into a long story here about the relative merits of the two designs, suffice it to say that among the people who actually design operating systems, the debate is essentially over. Microkernels have won. The only real argument for monolithic systems was performance, and there is now enough evidence showing that microkernel systems can be just as fast as monolithic systems (e.g., Rick Rashid has published papers comparing
Mach 3.0 to monolithic systems) that it is now all over but the shoutin`.

MINIX is a microkernel-based system. The file system and memory management are separate processes, running outside the kernel. The I/O drivers are also separate processes (in the kernel, but only because the brain-dead nature of the Intel CPUs makes that difficult to do otherwise). LINUX is a monolithic style system. This is a giant step back into the 1970s. That is like taking an existing, working C program and rewriting it in BASIC. To me, writing a monolithic system in 1991 is a truly poor idea.

2. PORTABILITY
Once upon a time there was the 4004 CPU. When it grew up it became an 8008. Then it underwent plastic surgery and became the 8080. It begat the 8086, which begat the 8088, which begat the 80286, which begat the 80386, which begat the 80486, and so on unto the N-th generation. In the meantime, RISC chips happened, and some of them are running at over 100 MIPS. Speeds of 200 MIPS and more are likely in the coming years. These things are not going to suddenly vanish. What is going to happen is that they will gradually take over from the 80×86 line. They will run old MS-DOS programs by interpreting the 80386 in software. (I even
wrote my own IBM PC simulator in C, which you can get by FTP from ftp.cs.vu.nl = 192.31.231.42 in dir minix/simulator.) I think it is a gross error to design an OS for any specific architecture, since that is not going to be around all that long.

MINIX was designed to be reasonably portable, and has been ported from the Intel line to the 680×0 (Atari, Amiga, Macintosh), SPARC, and NS32016. LINUX is tied fairly closely to the 80×86. Not the way to go.

Don`t get me wrong, I am not unhappy with LINUX. It will get all the people who want to turn MINIX in BSD UNIX off my back. But in all honesty, I would suggest that people who want a **MODERN** “free” OS look around for a microkernel-based, portable OS, like maybe GNU or something like that.

Andy Tanenbaum (ast@cs.vu.nl)

P.S. Just as a random aside, Amoeba has a UNIX emulator (running in user space), but it is far from complete. If there are any people who would like to work on that, please let me know. To run Amoeba you need a few 386s, one of which needs 16M, and all of which need the WD Ethernet card.

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November 20, 1963: Term Hacking Defined

Hacker Troll

1963- 0|| 7|-|1$ d4′/, 7|-|3 //0rD “|-|4><0r1||9″ //4$ U$3D 1|| 4|| 1$$U3 0Ph “7|-|3 73(|-|”, //|-|1(|-| 1$ 4 //4$$4(|-|U$377$ 1||$717U73 0Ph 73(|-|||0L09′/ ||3//$P4P3r.What, you can’t read that? Oh. O.K.

On this day, the word “hacking” was used in an issue of “the tech”, which is a massachusetts institute of technology newspaper.

Here is a snippet of the article:

Many telephone services have been curtailed because of so-called hackers, according to Prof. Carlton Tucker, administrator of the Institute phone system…

Basically, hackers were tying up phone lines between Harvard and MIT.

This Day in Tech History podcast show notes for November 20

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  • AT&T launches the Teletype
  • Intel launches the Pentium 4
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October 25, 1984: Osbourne Vixen, Encore Debuted, 2001: Windows XP Released

Osbourne Vixen Computer

Osbourne Vixen Computer

1984- The Osbourne Vixen debuted. Inside was a ZILOG Z80a processor, with 64k RAM and the CP/M OS. Other programs included Wordstar, Supercalc and M-Basic. All this for $1,498.The Encore was also introduced. It was developed by Vadem Inc for $2,195. The computer was an MS-DOS computer with modem and four icon keys. phone, clock, disk and calculator.

2001 – Microsoft released Windows XP Home, Pro for retail. XP used the NT Kernel and merged the consumer desktop OS with the business desktop OS. XP was code-named “Whistler”.

This Day in Tech History podcast show notes for October 25

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  • ICANN elects its first Board of directors
  • The first electronic wristwatch
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September 14, 1973: Telex Antitrust Suit Against IBM

IBM

IBM

1973 - IBM had a suit filed in January of 1972 by Telex. They accused IBM of monopolizing the “plug compatible” equipment market. This included tape and disk drives, along with other add-on memories.

Judge Sherman Christensen hands down his 222 page verdict. He found that both Telex and IBM were guilty for the allegations waged against each other. Telex is awarded $350 million and IBM will be restrained in its ability to market its computer and software bundles. IBM, in turn, is awarded $22 million.

This suit began a witch hunt and other suits against IBM came up. CalComp, Memorex and Marshall Industries filed suits and won over 3 billion from Big blue.

This Day in Tech History podcast show notes for September 14

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  • Data Travellers and Fry Guy
  • Microsoft became America’s Most valuable company
  • MS-DOS retired, Windows ME released
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June 26: Julian to Gregorian Calendar

calendar

calendar

Could you imagine saying today’s date as 2456450.35446? Looks like a stardate, but it’s the Julian calendar calculation of today’s date. The Julian calendar was moved to the Gregorian calendar. The Julian calendar is 365.25 and was used by some countries until as late as last century. Julian date simply counted up from Universal Time on January 1, 4713 BCE.

Full Day in Tech History podcast show notes for June 26

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  • Microsoft retires support for MS-DOS
  • The First Barcode was scanned
  • IBM Blue Gene/P
  • Apple Mac G4 Computers were released
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May 27: 10 Years of WordPress, Windows 2.1 Released

Wordpress

WordPress

2003 – Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little created a Fork of B2/cafelog. From there, WordPress was born. Since its release, WordPress has taken over Content Management Systems (CMS) with its ease of use and plethora of programmers that have made plugins, themes and other tweaks to the system since. The current version is 3.5.1 which has been downloaded over 18 million times.

Windows2

Microsoft Released Windows 286 and Windows 386 on May 27, 1988

1988 – In competition to IBM OS/2, Microsoft releases 2 versions of Windows 2.1x – One version for x286 computers (aka Windows 286) and one for x386 computers (aka Windows 386). Windows 2/x386 introduced the protected code Kernal – applications would run as a virtual 8086 mode, and MS-DOS programs could run in parallel. Windows 2/x386 also provided EMS emulation, which would give Windows memory management features. System RAM beyond 640k could be used, and felt like banked memory. Finally, it has a Presentation Manager mode, to compete with OS/2

Windows updated this software to 2.11. It was finally retired when Windows 3.0 was released in 1990.

Full Day in Tech History podcast show notes for May 27

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Windows 386 Promo Video (Full video)

Windows-386

Windows 386 full video. Linda needs to save the client, so she loads Windows 386 with Presentation Manager

This was the promo video for Windows 386. It starred Victoria Carver (as Linda) as an executive who had to save a client. She was given a task to make a presentation by 5 pm. She decided to load and use Windows 386 to build this presentation. Using the “Mission Impossible” theme throughout, Linda is confronted by a fellow employee – Mike the mainframe guy. He wants to help Linda out, but Linda knows that the mainframe subroutines simply take too long to write. He then spots Windows 386.

“You are not suppose to be running OS/2 – we haven’t finished evaluating it” Said Mike, the mainframe guy.

“It’s not OS/2. It’s Microsoft Windows 386. It has the same interface as the OS/2 Presentation Manager. So, when OS/2 is recommended, I’ll be ahead of the learning curve.”

“As usual. What else does it do, besides look like OS/2?”

At this point, Linda shows Mike the interface. Of course, Linda then creates the presentation and keeps the client. The video is written like a cheesy 80′s soap opera, and goes on for twelve minutes.

Other Events in the Day in Technology History

  • Wang introduces: Wang Personal computer
  • Batman Debuts in Detective comics #27
  • Google gives away 4,000 Android phones at Google I/O
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