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April 15, 1912: Titanic Sinks, 2005:Damn Small Linux Released

Damn Small Linux

April 15, 2005: Damn Small Linux was Released

1912 – The RMS Titanic strikes an iceberg at 11:40 pm (7:40 pm EST). Of course from that, over 1,500 lost their lives to the cold, dark water, when the ship took the immortal dive. The ship had a passenger manifest of 2,223. The wreck was finally discovered on September 1st, 1985.

2005 – It was the release of the Damn Small Linux program, a Linux distribution that was designed to take up as little drive space as possible. John Andrews – DSL’s developer – Never allowed the ISO to go past 50 MB in size. You would be able to put DSL onto a CD or USB drive if needed. You can get the DSL ISO to install here

Full Day in Tech History podcast show notes for April 15

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  • Pentium II processors introduced
  • The paper disc format is announced
  • The first McDonalds Hamburger is sold
  • Search Engine “Cuil” launches in alpha.
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April 2, 1987: IBM PS/2 (80386) Released

April 2, 1987: IBM PS/2 released

1987 – IBM releases a flurry of new items on this day. The most notable was the IBM PS/2 – Their first 80386 system using a 3.5 floppy (720kb or 1.44 MB discs), MFM hard drive, PC-DOS and OS/2. Multiple models were released, including the Model 60 (10 MHz 286 processor) and Model 80 ( 20 MHz 386 processor). Hard drives went up to 115 MB and would cost you $6,995 for the basic model, to $10,995.

IBM also introduced the VGA in Model 50, the Multicolor Graphics Array (MCGA), high resolution graphics card for up to 1024×768 in 256 colors – Called the 8514/A and it’s Micro Channel Archetecture (MCA). IBM released PC-DOS 3.3 and their Operating System of OS/2.

Wikazine – Full show notes for April 2

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  • Microsoft releases Windows 2.0
  • Intel introduces the Pentium II processor
  • Gary Kopp becomes the first iwin.com Million Dollar winner
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March 19, 2009: Internet Explorer (IE 8) Released

Internet Explorer

March 19, 2009 :Internet Explorer 8 is released

2009 – The face of browsers was changing. Mozilla had made a major push for the browser market and Google had entered into the market with the Chrome browser. In the meantime, Microsoft was getting pressure from the European Union for it’s bundling of the browser on the operating system. Still, Internet Explorer continues on and releases IE8

Wikazine – Full show notes for March 19

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  • IBM PC jr is discontinued
  • Apple releases the Mac IIfx
  • Palm introduces the M500 and M505 handhelds
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February 17, 2000: Microsoft Windows 2000 Released

Microsoft Windows 2000

February 17, 2000: Microsoft  released Windows 2000

2000Microsoft released the next version of the Windows Operating system in Windows 2000. Also known at Windows NT 5.0, it was the beginning of merging the NT and 9x versions. Of course, the companion was Windows ME, which didn’t do too well. The end result streamlined the two OS into Windows XP.

Wikazine – Full show notes for February 17

  • Apple QuickTake 100 Camera is released
  • XBox cord recall
  • DTV in the US was suppose to happen today, but was delayed
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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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October 20, 1997: Microsoft Found in Contempt

Microsoft Logo

Microsoft

1997Microsoft violated a July 1994 consent decree, so 3 years later, the US Justice department decides to hold Microsoft in contempt. This was the ongoing issues with Internet Explorer bundled in Windows 95. The Justice department wants Microsoft to pay $1 Million a day until Microsoft stops bundling. Microsoft says they have the right to bundle software with the operating system. This was an ongoing battle for Antitrust issues.

This Day in Tech History podcast show notes for October 20

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  • David Packard of HP opens the Monterey Bay Aquarium
  • Atari 400/800 patent
  • The first Ubuntu Linux distribution is launched

The United States Justice Department asks a Federal judge to hold Microsoft in contempt of court for allegedly violating a July 1994 consent decree by continuing to force computer manufacturers to distribute Internet Explorer with Windows ‘95. The Justice department asks the court to hold Microsoft in contempt and to impose a one million dollar a day fine on the company until it stops bundling the browser into the operating system. Microsoft responds by stating they have the right to integrate products and the browser has become an integral part of the system.

 

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October 12, 1988: Steve Jobs Debuts NeXT Computer

NeXT Computer - Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs Debuts NeXT Computer

1988- Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco, California. Steve Jobs shows off the NeXT Computer featuring the Motorola 68030 microprocessor at 25 MHz. The computer introduces several new features including optical storage disk, voice recognition, and object-oriented languages. The system came with the NeXT STep operating system and cost $6,500.

NeXT computer sold around 50,000 units. The NeXTSTEP Operating System was highly influential. It was the basis of Mac OS X. Apple acquired NeXT on Decemeber 20th, 1996 for $429 million in cash. Steve Jobs became intrim CEO of Apple and the rest was history.

Steve Jobs almost didn’t come back after he was fired from Apple. He ended up not only founding NeXT, but also helped with Pixar. It does beg the question: Would we have an iPhone, iPad if Jobs wouldn’t have come back? Same question if he wasn’t brought back as CEO of Apple? Would it have been the NeXTPhone and NeXTPad?

NeXT Logo

NeXT Logo

This Day in Tech History podcast show notes for October 12

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  • AMD signs agreement with Intel
  • 5th Gen iPod released
  • Clockwise or Counterclockwise Silhouette.
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August 30: Microsoft Office 95 Released

Office 95

Office 95

1995 – Just a few days after the launch of Windows95, Microsoft puts out the newest version of the Office software. Technically, it’s called “Office 7.0″, but Microsoft wanted to brand it as a companion to the newest operating system. Therefore, it became “Office 95″.The newest version included Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Mail software. This new version ran in 32 bit, so Windows 95 could utilize it to the best of it’s ability.

This Day in Tech History podcast show notes for August 30

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  • Apple unveils the PowerMac G4
  • Facebook “Live Feed”
  • Sony shuts down “Connect”
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