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QNX Now Free For Non-Commercial use

timothy posted more than 13 years ago | from the groaning-bandwagon dept.

Unix 187

Glytch writes: "QNX is now offering the QNX Realtime Platform operating system for free for non-commercial use for x86 machines. Available installation methods include a Windows 9x executable, an ISO image, and a QNX4 installation archive. Pretty much like Be, Inc. did with BeOS 5." And like Sun has with Solaris, to boot. Would it be that surprising to find Windows soon available "for non-commericial use"?

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Free Microsoft? (1)

mholve (1101) | more than 13 years ago | (#408903)

It's getting to the point where they almost have to give it away for free to continue "competing" with these other OSes...

But judging by their past practices, they'll probably snub that idea along the lines of "we own the market anyway and have computer resellers by the balls anyway."

Bastards.

Re:Yes.. it would be surprising (1)

AviN (9933) | more than 13 years ago | (#408905)

But if Microsoft needed to give Windows away free, if that's what it would take to get people to use it, they would.

They did it with Internet Explorer.

Money (1)

UnkyHerb (12862) | more than 13 years ago | (#408908)

What this is about are operating systems that just don't sell well enough. Since they can't compete comercially with windows and microsoft, they think if they make it free for "personal use" than they can save themselves and make people happy. Welp, it really doesn't make any sense for either parties, they aren't going to make any money, and not many non-commercial users aren't going to use it for their desktop OS. Just give everyone a break and start releasing things under GPL!

Wow..... (1)

Teancom (13486) | more than 13 years ago | (#408909)

Um, would this be the same RTP that QNX offered free for commercial use.....last year? Oh, yeah. It is. Even the front page of get.qnx.com says "Posted January 18, 2001". I.e., they've been offering their RTP for free for quite a while now, and have even updated it once! A month ago. I don't usually rag on /. for redundant or late posts, but they covered this when it was actually news, and it's been literally *months*. That's bad. Real bad.

Re:Wow..... (1)

Teancom (13486) | more than 13 years ago | (#408910)

You don't understand. QNX released their RTP for free download *OCTOBER 2ND, 2000*. That's almost *four* months ago, with their first update over a month ago now. That would be like slashdot running a story on the linux 2.4 kernel being released three months from now. Accurate? Yes. Timely? Not on your life. Also, though /.'s searching sucks, I *know* they covered this when it *was* timely. Thus, on tope of being really and truly late, it's redundant :-) As for people who missed it the first time.... Well, not to put a damper on your enthusiasm about it, but if this release was actually significant (i.e., actual apps, real driver support, anyone using it outside of truly hardcore geeks or embedded people), you would have heard about it through the grapevine before now :-) Unfortunely, it is lacking in all of those areas, and the wonderful design of the OS itself doesn't make up for the fact that it's useless on 3 our of my 4 computers, and only adquate on the fourth. Whew, didn't mean to turn this into a rant :-)

Re:Yes.. it would be surprising (1)

Zico (14255) | more than 13 years ago | (#408911)

Except that people won't use it if it's no good. That's why nobody used the free IE 2, and why people who can run IE 5.x shun Netscape/Mozilla.


Cheers,

Re:Free Microsoft? (1)

Zico (14255) | more than 13 years ago | (#408912)

It's getting to the point where they almost have to give it away for free to continue "competing" with these other OSes...

Yeah, I heard that the market share for Windows dropped from 93% to 92.5% over the past year. What a crisis!


Cheers,

Re:About BeOS 5... (1)

Jeremi (14640) | more than 13 years ago | (#408913)

The "Free" version they give out lives inside of a file on the hard drive, which is the only "drive" seen as native BeOS FS. As far as I know, there is no way to up this file size, and it's only 500 megs.

If you had gone to the trouble of asking how to do this (on any of the numerous BeOS forums), instead of just whining to SlashDot about it, you would have found that it's quite easy to do, without buying anything. To wit:

  1. Find (or create) an partition on your hard drive that you don't mind replacing with a BFS partition.
  2. Boot into BeOS R5/Personal, and run "DriveSetup" from the preferences menu.
  3. Find the partition mentioned in step 1, and initialize it as a BFS partition.
  4. Right click on the Desktop to mount the new BFS partition
  5. Run Installer from the Applications menu, and tell it to install from your R5/Personal pseudo-partition to the new BFS partition
  6. If desired, run bootman from a Terminal window to create a boot menu that will let you boot the new partition
  7. Reboot, and enjoy your new, larger BeOS partition

Re:Windows free for non-commercial use? Well... (1)

GreyLurk (35139) | more than 13 years ago | (#408916)

I Still wouldn't use it?

BeOS and QNX (1)

bokane (36382) | more than 13 years ago | (#408919)

Of course, both BeOS and QNX are being aimed not at the desktop market, but at the embedded/internet appliance market, so this sort of thing makes sense, especially if they're trying to court developers.

Personally, I'd love to see both OS'es get GPL'd, but I guess that's not likely to happen while hell is hot...

Re:And immediatly.. (1)

Malcontent (40834) | more than 13 years ago | (#408923)

They would have no real reason to do that. The only time MS gives away stuff is to put a competitor out of business by "cutting off their air supply". Sinse there is no competition for windows in the home market (they own over 90%) then there is no need to give away anything. Even under a best case scenario of Linux taking 20 or 30 percent of the home market it still wouldn't make sense to give it away because it could not cut off the air supply. Servers on the hand that's a different story. I bet they give away server licenses before they give away desktop licenses.

In the unlikely scenario that MS gives away windows in any segment it would be Good Thing. With a major cash cow out of the picture at least to some degree it undermines their ability to subsidize other programs like IE.

Not that I think it's ever going to happen but it's fun to think about. Can you imagine all the quotes that are out there from Allchin, Ballmer and Gates about how it's communist to give away programs and how free programs are actually more expensive? All those quotes will be dredged up shoved down their throats it would be fun to watch.

Re:Wha? (1)

Malcontent (40834) | more than 13 years ago | (#408924)

It is in most countries. Most people in the US pay for it when they buy hardware. We are the suckers who subsidize a billion chinese who get windows for free.

Uhh... Hello... Windows for non-commercial use? (1)

Canar (46407) | more than 13 years ago | (#408926)

Isn't it available for non-commercial use anyways? May not be free, but it's available.

-=Canar=-

Re:Yes.. it would be surprising (1)

Betcour (50623) | more than 13 years ago | (#408927)

Working for an OEM, I can tell you the OEM prices are nowhere like 29$. It's more like 20% off the retail price... now maybe huge OEMs like Dell and Compaq are getting those prices, but certainly not smaller shops.

Free As In Beer.... (1)

Fleet Admiral Ackbar (57723) | more than 13 years ago | (#408928)

isn't free at all. The sad part is that every time a company throws us a bone like this, we get all excited, and for what? To save a couple of bucks?


This kind of stuff undermines the GPL and BSD philosophies. Don't get caught up in it.

Re:Old news ... and differences (1)

Horizon_99 (58767) | more than 13 years ago | (#408929)

just to let you know in case you don't understand french, your tagline is gibberish or really bad grammar...

Q. Isn't this a little late? (1)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | more than 13 years ago | (#408930)

While I absolutely love Be, I think this is a little late for QNX. Windows, unfortunately (or fortunately* depending on how you look at ) has most of the desktop market.

Where does QNX fit in the OS schema of things:

Is it a Desktop OS?
A server OS?
Is anyone actually using QNX ?
What can it do, that Linux and Be can't?

Sorry for my ignorance, but maybe someone can help answer the questions...

--

*fortunately, meaning that since 90% of the desktop run Windows, a windows developer can get pretty good sales, if their app is good enough.

Sucks-Rules-O'Meter conclusive results (1)

panck (69848) | more than 13 years ago | (#408931)

Simple Google brand Sucks-Rules-O-Meter test results:
free speech sucks 36,600
free speech rules/rocks 592,000
free beer sucks 59,000
free beer rules/rocks 290,200

so as you can see, free beer sucks more and rules less than free speech, which I think is counter-intuitive since there are rules about free speech and it's quite nice to suck back a cold beer.

About BeOS 5... (1)

Jace of Fuse! (72042) | more than 13 years ago | (#408932)

I hate to say it, but "Free" for non-commercial use in reference BeOS 5 is a little misleading.

The "Free" version they give out lives inside of a file on the hard drive, which is the only "drive" seen as native BeOS FS.

As far as I know, there is no way to up this file size, and it's only 500 megs. That's akin to having a boot partition of only 500 megabytes, and if you want any more space you'll have to format a different partition in the native BeOS FS.

There are reasons why you would want to have more room on a native BeOS drive, the least of which is that some applications don't like to (or won't) run on a mounted Fat32 drive. It's strange but true.

If you want to install BeOS on a system as the main OS, you really do need to buy the full version and it actually isn't free. That is, it's just as much commercial software as anything that Microsoft does.

(Someone's going to flame me for this, but as far as I know it's all true.)

"Everything you know is wrong. (And stupid.)"

I've said it before, and I'll say it again... (1)

Jace of Fuse! (72042) | more than 13 years ago | (#408933)

I find it really amusing that many Linux users will gloat and brag about how Linux is free and so superior to Windows all the while using a pirated copy of Windows which was effctively free to them.

Then end up being pirates and they're still using Windows.

Want to end the Microsoft market dominance? Remove Windows and never look back. If everyone who hated Microsoft did this, that market domination would colapse pretty damned quick.

Hell, at least Mac users don't pussyfoot around with a "Dual Boot." (Unless you count SoftPC or other such software, but...)

"Everything you know is wrong. (And stupid.)"

Re:Nice OS (1)

lw54 (73409) | more than 13 years ago | (#408934)

For those of you who haven't seen QNX, they have a complete OS + web browser running on a 3.5" floppy.

Don't forget that it's a complete GUI OS and GUI web browser. :-)

sweet (1)

holzp (87423) | more than 13 years ago | (#408937)

rumour has it that att uses this os to power some of their large unix systems.

Re:sweet (1)

holzp (87423) | more than 13 years ago | (#408938)

yeah this os. that is what makes notable. its not just for little things.

Old news (1)

slapout (93640) | more than 13 years ago | (#408939)

Umm... isn't this old news. It's been on Slashdot [slashdot.org] before.

I thought Hemos was the one in charge of reposting old news :-)

Anyway, it's also been on magazine cover discs: PC Plus February 2001 (#173)
and the (i think) march 2001 issue of Maximum PC and maybe some others.

How about Windows free for non-productive uses. (1)

webweave (94683) | more than 13 years ago | (#408940)

No its Windows.net where you don't pay during rebooting.

"There are no such things as Windows experts as they have all signed a NDA and don't talk about such things"

Re:BeOS and QNX (1)

aim4min (100897) | more than 13 years ago | (#408943)

>> Hard RealTime systems are extremely difficult to write, there's probably no way in hell that QNX will be GPL'ed, there's a hell of a lot of investment there. This same point came up in "GPL 3.0 Concerns in Embedded World". Not really. Just use a Round Robin scheduler. Bam! RealTime! ;-)

. . .Yes (1)

setec (110029) | more than 13 years ago | (#408947)

Would it be that surprising to find Windows soon available "for non-commericial use"?

================

BeOS and QNX a MICRO-kernel? (1)

sl3xd (111641) | more than 13 years ago | (#408948)

I mean... Windows NT/2000 use a microkernel architecture... and the microkernel is over a megabyte.

So if a megabyte is a microkernel, couldn't the 60-80k kernels of QNX/BeOS be better described as a nanokernel? A picokernel?

Maybe Microsoft got the 'micro' kernel from the same place they got the 'micro' in Microsoft. There's nothing small about that particular 'Micro' company.

Re:Yeah right. (1)

Robber Baron (112304) | more than 13 years ago | (#408949)

I dunno, I have several copies for "evaluation and testing purposes". Of course I didn't ask but we all know what a generous individual Bill Gates is. I'm sure he won't mind.

Re:Windows free for non-commercial use? Well... (1)

wunderhorn1 (114559) | more than 13 years ago | (#408950)

Let's assume for a moment that M$ gets a large chunk of its revenues from selling Windows licenses to OEMs, who then sell all their PCs with Windows on them. I have no hard data, but it seems as though it would be true, and it doesn't really matter for the purposes of this argument anyway.

Microsoft could stop charging OEMs for shipping PCs with Windows preloaded, but why? Since the consumer has virtually no choice when buying a PC other than to buy one with Windows (yes Linux, yes Mac, but you know it's true), they don't even think of Windows as costing anything.
And if all the prices of all the PCs in all the stores suddenly dropped by $80, would anyone even notice?

I don't think Microsoft is feeling threatened as far as the desktop is concerned (but we'll fix that!), so there's no reason for them to start giving free access to their cash cow.

-the wunderhorn

To be pedantic... (1)

MonkeyMagic (118319) | more than 13 years ago | (#408951)

Sorry GN but:
The only thing that's not appropriate, buddy, is your response and your grammar.

Should read: "The only things that are not appropriate, buddy, are your response and your grammar.


DILBERT: But what about my poem?

Re:BeOS and QNX (1)

Mr_Icon (124425) | more than 13 years ago | (#408955)

The people using Be, and using the QNX RTP aren't going to benefit from open source at all at this point.

I dunno... BeOS still thinks all PCMCIA network cards are ne2k clones... I mean, that's the reason I'm not running it on my laptop right now. Since Be in't GPL, they can't port all those ready drivers available for linux...

QNX (1)

Digitalia (127982) | more than 13 years ago | (#408956)

I had a hell of a time configuring my NIC for use in QNX. What took me 2 minutes to do in BeOS, my first time, and maybe 4 in Windows, just wouldn't take. I tried everything I could to get the sucker running but it wouldn't work. Needless to say, the charm of the OS was destroyed by the lack of connectivity.

With this news, I might go back and try again. At least until the next revision of BeOS comes out again...

Re:Is the cost really the issue? (1)

Gogo Dodo (129808) | more than 13 years ago | (#408958)

Being "free" hasn't exactly invigorated the BeOS scene. I doubt QNX will fair any better.

Maybe, maybe not. I don't think you can compare BeOS to QNX. QNX is targeted for realtime, embedded work while BeOS was a desktop OS replacement (sure Be is now going to the "appliance" market).

BeOS and QNX are also marketed differently. BeOS was trying to do retail, wasn't working, so they went free and probably didn't lose that much revenue. BeOS already lost, it can't hurt to go free.

QNX isn't retail so they really don't hurt themselves by giving it away since they added the "non-commercial" use thing. QNX doesn't have anything to lose, it can't hurt to go free (with that clause). It may even help if people start hacking away at it. What you use at home influences what you use at work.

Re:Yes. (1)

ghassanm (130547) | more than 13 years ago | (#408959)

>24 images * 10MB/image = 240MB = 2013.27 Mbit who ever said it was being done in one second?

Re:Wha? (1)

Lode (142280) | more than 13 years ago | (#408960)

A friend of mine always says...

"If Windows wasn't free, I'd use Linux."


--

Re: Just how far has this gone? (1)

daemonc (145175) | more than 13 years ago | (#408961)

Output from Eazel's nautilus installer:

[root@the-shell eazel]# eazel-installer.sh --server=triggerfish.eazel.com --port=8888

Eazel Installer 1.0

Choosing default texts
debug: found an old tmpdir: /tmp/eazel-installer.TGAHPL298
Trying to contact Eazel services, ignore any 404 warnings at the next line
warning: HTTP error 404 "Not Found" on uri http://triggerfish.eazel.com:8888/installer-string s-en.xml
Choosing default texts
: Eazel Package System - rpm4
d: SOFTCAT host: triggerfish.eazel.com
d: SOFTCAT port: 8888
Writing logfile to /tmp/eazel-install.log ...

Nautilus-Installer-ERROR **: file eazel-package-system-rpm4.c: line 197 (eazel_package_system_rpm4_query_foreach): should not be reached
aborting...

SEGV (6) -- SOMEBODY SET US UP THE BOMB.

Re:Where the hell did this beer analogy come from? (1)

Twisted Mind (155678) | more than 13 years ago | (#408962)

In the Netherlands you have to pay for the water too.

Already got it (1)

aztektum (170569) | more than 13 years ago | (#408964)

I downloaded it and put it on one of my desktops about 2 weeks ago.



aztek: the ultimate man

Not really new, not really free (1)

pinkpineapple (173261) | more than 13 years ago | (#408966)

OK. so this has been released last Nov from their web site. I got impressed by some dude telling me that while playing mp3s the cpu is idling more than 95% of the time. Dam! It was 90% on BeOS. I must have a look. And it's free too. What am I waiting for? Well, there is a catch 22. I tried getting more than the free CD (you still have to pay $30 for shipping/handling BTW.) I installed on my box, got a couple of hangs because my HW must have tricked the loader. Removed a SIMM, and a USB joystick. Then it booted fine (I had to reinstalled a few times and got hangs from time to time causing the machine to reboot. No network support unless you get a specific 3com card dam it. Don't even try on laptops. I wasted a full evening on a Thinkpad.) Finally, I asked to get more development info. The reason I dedicated one of my HDs was trying to do some real work with it: like developing a driver for a wireless 802.11 card. Yeah right! Bummer. The development system is really slim. So I go to the web site. After dicking around on their support page, I learn that the beta program at the time was open to only registered licensees (they recently changed that but the new drivers I posted by a staff of people working only from Nov to Dec apparently because nothing has changed since last year). So I registered and I bought a book on QNX Neutrino (so much for free documentation too!). Bottom line: maybe I have been spoiled with Linux and *BSD but I ended up giving up writting code on QNX because when you don't have the source code for the kernel , you really have to reverse engineer the proprietary binaries all the time to find out where you get a crash (is it their fault? what is the stupid call supposed to do? etc..) That is the only other way to get the info you need unless you buy a license with support from them. Not worse wasting my time for browsing the Net remotely on QNX, let me tell you. I do it from NetBSD right now and it's really free (I don't have even to buy books to learn about BSD, they're online.) The next thing I wanted was to be able to run QNX on a proto PPC board. Helas, the only "free" version that comes on the CD is for x86 and the rest is not supported unless you shell a few grants to their bank account. Why should I bother with this OS let me ask you? Maybe it's not for me after all. It'll stick with Linux on my iPaq and NetBSD on my dextop. --PPA

Re:Q. Isn't this a little late? (1)

1337d00d (177978) | more than 13 years ago | (#408967)

A server OS?
It is an OS for embedded systems.

What can it do, that Linux and Be can't?
It can fit a full microkernal, a GUI, and a couple of graphical applications (including a web browser) on a 1.44mb floppy.

old old old news.. (1)

Suppafly (179830) | more than 13 years ago | (#408969)

am i the only one to know that this is very old news?

Re:Why it's free? Simple.. (1)

Cassivs (183894) | more than 13 years ago | (#408970)

Download Solaris 8 (Sparc/x86) "free" from Sun here [sun.com] . They'll even let you download the source [sun.com] for Solaris 8 for free, after letting you jump through some legal hoops. There are restrictions on what you can use either of these for though, but for home use, you should be all set.

Re:BeOS and QNX (1)

Cassivs (183894) | more than 13 years ago | (#408971)

Well, it would be good to see the code. But not all of it is open-source. They use some GNU utilities, which they obviously need to provide source for, but I'm pretty sure that the kernel (at least most of it) and the GUI are closed source. In fact, here [qnx.com] they even mention being non-GPL as an advantage. And see here [qnx.com] for reasons on why you really don't need to see the source.

This is free as in beer.

Re:Not really new, not really free (1)

Cassivs (183894) | more than 13 years ago | (#408973)

Hmm, well, I'm posting this from QNX, on a laptop. Via an ethernet card that's not made by 3com (it's an ne2000 compatible). The install is actually quite easy- everything works for me except sound. Networking was a little tough to set up though, but reading the help pages helps.

It's running quite nicely for me.

Re:Free As In Beer.... (1)

Cassivs (183894) | more than 13 years ago | (#408974)

The licenses that QNX is released under can be seen here. [qnx.com] The OCL (QNX Open Community License) [qnx.com] doesn't seem that bad at all. Modifications can be sold, can be closed-source under different licenses, but, if the source is released, it must also be released under the QCL. Sort of like a combination of BSD and GPL? Although, they don't release _everything_ under this license. Some of it's closed-source.

Re:Nice OS (1)

Cassivs (183894) | more than 13 years ago | (#408975)

The floppy's available here [qnx.com] , I agree, quite impressive. It includes a web server too, as well as drivers and such.

But, I wouldn't just delete said large file. Assuming this is under Windows (I don't think you can run QNX as a file on a Linux/whatever partition yet), you'd want to undo the changes it does to the startup config files- the changes that give you the choice between Win/QNX on boot. So remove it via the "Control Panel," that'll fix it all up nice and tidy.

And I think this has been out "free" for quite some time now- I'm pretty sure I had it running (having freely downloaded it from qnx.com) on a laptop for a little while in the fall. :)

Re:Yes.. it would be surprising (1)

superdk (184900) | more than 13 years ago | (#408976)

Microsoft could most likely make it if they gave windows away to home users. OEMs and businesses would still be paying. Big companies would still be spending out the arse for things like microsoft select and licenses for NT/2000 server.

over all, It's not going to happen since they're making money on home users.

And /. covered it back then! (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 13 years ago | (#408982)

Ehm, it was available for free download a long time ago and /. covered it... a quick search would have told you that [slashdot.org] .

It didn't work because of me using a SCSI-only system. Seems that it is fixed now and I'll be glad to give it another shot.
And a month for getting the "news" on slashdot is not that long, I mean...*who* actually visits the QNX website regularly and cares to report new upgrades?

Oh, and /. *is* my grapevine ;-)

Explanation of RealTime kernels (1)

Cliffton Watermore (199498) | more than 13 years ago | (#408983)

Actually, you are wrong. When people talk about scheduling and realtime kernels, they don't talk about important factors in it - I mean, you mentioned the time limitation and what constitutes "hard realtime". I agree with that. However, what you must also understand is that in order to proliferate functional string stacks within a realtime enviroment, certain requirements must be met. The first of these is to eliminate sectioned kernel domains - in other words, the code of the kernel itself must be deterministic in that it needs to demystify dimensionalized address pointers, and in turn, disintermediate cohomologic float values.

Re:So what are RealTime kernels for anyway? (1)

Cliffton Watermore (199498) | more than 13 years ago | (#408984)

Basically, any application that needs extremely fast response from the system itself will require realtime facilities. Take for example a factory. You can't have the machinery respond with a 2 second or even 1 second lag, or you might find your product mashed or ruined. Basically, mission critical engineering systems such as factories, machine control centers, life support systems, etc.

Re:Windows free for non-commercial use? Well... (1)

aussersterne (212916) | more than 13 years ago | (#408987)

There wouldn't be any consequences. I don't know anybody who's actually bought windows as a retail product. The Windows users I know fall into two categories:

1. The group who got Windows on an OEM CD with their computer and still use it whenever they need to install Windows on another machine.

2. The group who pirate Windows or have "donorware" OEM CDs that they got from friends who bought new computers which, in turn, came with their own new OEM Windows disc.

The market implications seem to me to be small, since Windows is not a big retail product. On the other hand, I have seen a lot of MS Office upgrades in retail packaging on acquaintances' shelves. Interestingly, MS Office is much more expensive than MS Windows. I think that making Windows free would, if anything, reinforce the total market dominance which Windows and MS Office already enjoy, but would likely have little additional effect.

Questions... (1)

djocyko (214429) | more than 13 years ago | (#408988)

This may be naive, but what kinda gui do they have going for it? Screenshots? I can't find any. Is the gui part of the OS or a completely seperate node? what does this OS do thats so special? Why would I want to use this OS ever? Is it solely for embedded systems?

This is old news. (1)

Dan93 (222999) | more than 13 years ago | (#408990)

I remember downloading this a month ago and trying it out. Seems to be everything that BeOS was supposed to be. It even comes with a decent MP3 player.
====

Windows Free?? (1)

Spackler (223562) | more than 13 years ago | (#408991)

Don't they already give away free samples? It's kind of like Joey, the heroin dealer down on the corner. That first blast is nice, and once your hooked into it, blam, your are stealing necklaces on the subway in order to afford NT Bugcheck version 6.35. (go ahead and name me ONE feature you use in Word 2000 that wasn't in Word 6)

Bring back BOB! The only window manager worthy of attention!

PS: Free windows was a joke, so the BSA can Byte my ass. My OS was free!

Re:Yes.. it would be surprising (1)

kenthorvath (225950) | more than 13 years ago | (#408992)

Yes, but then wouldn't consumers ulimately be paying for it? Or else, maybe they would opt for distributors who do NOT include windows with the pc because they know that they can just get a free handout of Windows 200x LE (Light Edition) from Barnes and Noble right next to the AOL Version 47 CDs...

This is largely irrelevant (1)

eclectro (227083) | more than 13 years ago | (#408993)



since a lot of projects like linuxBIOS [lanl.gov] and real time linux [rtlinux.com] are starting to mature. Why use "somewhat free" when you can have "all free."

Not really funny... (1)

Elendur (228338) | more than 13 years ago | (#408994)

I have to say, I wouldn't have modded this up myself. Not really that funny.

Re:Windows (1)

Elendur (228338) | more than 13 years ago | (#408995)

I meant to say that it would be even more unlikely for them to open source it. I know that QNX isn't under the GPL

All your beer are belong to us... (1)

Trollin fer Jesus (232957) | more than 13 years ago | (#408997)

Nuff said...

Damn hippies!

Yes. (1)

Will The Real Bruce (235478) | more than 13 years ago | (#408999)

You won't see Windows available "for non-commercial use" anytime soon; that's a huge part of their market.

But, more importantly, you won't see QNX on the desktop. In fact, I'd be amazed if you see it *anywhere*, because it really has no place.

QNX isn't a real-time operating system in the HRT sense of the word. And soft real-time operating systems make no sense, because they don't provide any real guarantees! What real-time OS would want to worry about your brand of video card slowing it down?

However, you won't see QNX on the desktop any time soon, either. And if you did, it would involve adding all sorts of ridiculous things that a RTOS should *never* have. Dumber, even, than when MS moved graphics into the kernel and caused 10 times more NT boxes to bluescreen.

So I give up. This announcement is pointless, and Slashdot's coverage of it is, yet again, completely inappropriate. Feel free to download QNX; let me know if you can get it to do anything that's Hard Realtime, though, and I'll be amazed.

In fact, tell me if you do anything besides play with it, and say "gee, that looks really cool; I wish it had some apps", and then go back to your pitiful little slashbot existence. Please, let me know.

Re:Wha? (1)

ConsumedByTV (243497) | more than 13 years ago | (#409003)

Do onto others what has been done to you.


Might is right, or The Satanic bible?


And yes anyone that pays for windows is a sucker. I have seen a computer store toss out oem copys of win98. Why? Because even passing them on for free is a bad thing :)



Fight censors!

So what are RealTime kernels for anyway? (1)

ScottBob (244972) | more than 13 years ago | (#409005)

I hate to sound clueless and naive, but what are real time kernels used for, anyway? I've downloaded a few Windows sound editors that are supposed to allow you to add echo in real time (provided you have a full duplex sound card). They work, but are choppy due to disk writes, mouse movements, etc. Would a real time OS solve this? I downloaded QNX 6 months ago and played around with it for a while. It actually recognizes my Sound Blaster Live card, while Mandrake Linux 7.2 doesn't. Are there any sound editors available for QNX? What other applications need real time kernels? Are there any video editors / recorders?

Re:Is the cost really the issue? (1)

FuegoFuerte (247200) | more than 13 years ago | (#409007)

Does anyone here really choose to use or not use a product due to a moderate price?

Yes. Actually, you'd be amazed how many people choose what to use based on price. Especially college kids. A few days ago, several of the guys in my dorm (myself included) took a bunch of 486s that our IT department was throwing away, put the best of the hardware in a couple boxes, and now a couple people who didn't have 'puters before have them. Would they like a brand new Athlon system? Sure. But price wins out, and an old 486 is free, compared to an Athlon. They're running win95, because the school had some old licenses/disks that went with those computers, so that's also free to the students. And you'd be amazed how many people are using StarOffice, even for windows, because MS Office is so stinkin expensive.

Paying for software (1)

OpCode42 (253084) | more than 13 years ago | (#409008)

In my view all software should be free... for non-commercial, non-profit-making use.

If you're going to make money out of using someone's software, I think the authors should get something back. For instance, I run a little apache web server simply to serve my homepage and a web based email app I'm developing for my own use. I did not pay anything for this, or for the Redhat OS its running on (hardware costs aside here).

When I do consultancy work, I encourage businesses to make a donation to the FSF, apache etc. Not a huge donation, just to put something back into the system to allow free software to continue. Most businesses see the sense in doing this, after all they want to see improved versions of their webserver / OS coming out, and they want to see them supported. Although no charge is made, it costs money to produce those new versions and provide that support.

In the end, every project needs some form of funding to continue. And if you're making money from software someone gave you for free, don't you think its right you should give something back?

-----

Windows for free?....Yes it COULD happen (1)

Zuchinis (301682) | more than 13 years ago | (#409012)

Microsoft, as we all know is in the business of making money, not of making software. Today, yes, the Windows OS for the home user is one of their biggest markets but who knows what the future will bring? Some time ago, one of those Microsoft people said that "Free isn't much good to anybody except to the recipient." This, like most statements MS makes to the public was a blatant lie. They give us IE and Outlook Express for free becuase that makes it easy for us to use them....and not use any of the many different and superior browsers and email clients available. Perhaps the day will come when windows itself will be given away for free just so Microsoft can still claim and maintain the userbase, the name recognition, the media domination, and the monopoly that they have cheated so hard for so many years to achieve.

Re:News? (1)

Aunt Mable (301965) | more than 13 years ago | (#409013)

dot org.

-- Eat your greens or I'll hit you!

Re:BeOS and QNX (1)

XBL (305578) | more than 13 years ago | (#409015)

Why is it that everyone wants everything to be GLPed? I mean, the GPL is not the only license out there, and has its drawbacks like any other license.

It is good to see the code, no matter what the license happens to be.

Old news ... and differences (1)

AgtAlpha (314665) | more than 13 years ago | (#409018)

Yes, this news is old. QNX RTP has been available since mid-November IIRC. I've been using it without problem on two different desktops, and had no problems whatsoever. I was even able to swap harddrives between the machines, without any configuration problems -- and yes, both systems were very different. The RTP is similar to many other *nix, but also different.

Also, this is not QNX's flagship product. The RTP uses the Neutrino microkernel, as opposed to the BSD-based (I believe, but I'm probably wrong) QNX 4, which is the one someone mentioned earlier as AT&T using on their systems. QNX has been used for quite a while in the embedded and medical industries. The floppy disk demo people keep referring to is QNX proper, not the RTP that is is.

--Rob


--Rob

Re:Q. Isn't this a little late? (1)

AgtAlpha (314665) | more than 13 years ago | (#409019)

Except the floppy disk demo that QNX offers is not for their RTP ... (completely) different operating system.

--Rob

--Rob

Re:Questions... (1)

AgtAlpha (314665) | more than 13 years ago | (#409020)

They use their own windowing system, the Photon microGUI. They have an X server as well (and it runs XFreee86, IIRC). Some screenshots are here. [qnx.com]

--Rob

--Rob

Re:About BeOS 5... (1)

Esperanto_Guy (319114) | more than 13 years ago | (#409026)

Vi estas mala. FreeBe povi esti surmeti en gis propra parto. Kvazau gi benzoni gastiganto oni surmeti.
--

It already is free for non commercial use! (2)

leonbrooks (8043) | more than 13 years ago | (#409031)

Windows for non-commercial use?

It already is free for non-commercial use, and for some commecrial use as well. It's just that the relationship is not as formal as Bill would like it to be... (-:

Re:Free Beer Vs. Free Speech (2)

StarFace (13336) | more than 13 years ago | (#409033)

Ironically, they neglected to notice that such a demonstration (I won't use the term 'scientific test' here) was in fact a strong case for free speech. The very fact that they were allowed to pit an alcoholic beverage against a government document of monumental importance says that much.

Their case would not have been near so effective if they had been arrested for contesting the State, disappearing into some deserted corner of the country in a labor camp.

Re:Free As In Beer.... (2)

znu (31198) | more than 13 years ago | (#409036)

How does this undermine anything? Ultimately, most people see computers as tools. They'll pick the best product for the job without regard to license (at least in markets with open competition). If you want to win the "war" with proprietary software, just build the best stuff and this kind of thing won't be any threat to you.

--

Re:Free As In Beer.... (2)

crucini (98210) | more than 13 years ago | (#409055)

That was my first thought too. On the other hand, the free software world really needs some good taillights to chase. M$ is unreliable crap - when we clone it, we get reliable crap. Maybe there are cool things in QNX that should be imitated. Giving lots of people the chance to play with QNX at home can only be good.

Re:Wha? (2)

Steeltoe (98226) | more than 13 years ago | (#409056)

"We are the suckers who subsidize a billion chinese who get windows for free."

If a billion chinese use your product for free illegally, have you lost anything?
Do you really believe if they all paid, that the price would drop?

- Steeltoe

Is the cost really the issue? (2)

Ars-Fartsica (166957) | more than 13 years ago | (#409057)

Does anyone here really choose to use or not use a product due to a moderate price?

Being "free" hasn't exactly invigorated the BeOS scene. I doubt QNX will fair any better.

Competition in the OS market is dying rapidly, and interestingly enough, due to the natural process of standards adoption. Almost everything of interest in an OS these days is the result of implementing support for a well-known standard, from POSIX right through to HTTP and XML.

Re:Yes.. it would be surprising (2)

MrBogus (173033) | more than 13 years ago | (#409058)

During the "Windows Refund" thing, it came out that Microsoft was charging OEMs as little as $29/copy for Windows. The difference between that and the retail price is primarly the cost of support (which the OEM has to bear to get that discount).

As cheap as PCs have become, that thirty bucks is not a significant factor in the cost from the OEM's standpoint, especially in terms of the support costs. If it was, you'd see them shipping Linux or Solaris or some other alternative.

Now if Linux was actually cheaper to support in a home user situation, you might see the tables turn.... But that will never happen, so forget I mentioned it.

Re:BeOS and QNX (2)

danheskett (178529) | more than 13 years ago | (#409059)

What piece of source would help you port this to the Be OS? I mean, lots of software gets ported to Windows, and Windows isnt open source. So what info do you need the source for to port the drivers you want?

Re:BeOS and QNX (2)

danheskett (178529) | more than 13 years ago | (#409060)

Get it straight though - it would be good for Linux/BSD users to see the source, but not for either QNX's or BeOS's users or userbase. Both are very modular, and microarchitecture orientated OS's. The main reason why most pepople want to get their hands on the source is to take the intellectual property that both companies have developed at great cost, port what they want to a platform of choice, and not ever have to deal with either Be or QNX.

The people using Be, and using the QNX RTP aren't going to benefit from open source at all at this point.

Now if BeOS seriously does die, opening the source would be good to prolong the OS, and give something back to the users. But niether BeOS or QNX RTP look like they are directly heading toward financial failure.

This isnt to say that I think BeOS or QNX wouldnt be a better platform if they GPL'd it all, but at this point it would effectively kill any chance at the prolonged commerical success of either OS and attached company. I would be willing to bet that if either really started to bring income in that the company would make the source available under some public license.

Re:BeOS and QNX (2)

BoySetsFire (178757) | more than 13 years ago | (#409061)

Be OS is not aimed at the embedded or internet appliace market at all. get your facts straight. BeIA is a completely different product from th edesktop Be OS. Be OS 5 is a near perfect desktop OS, and with the recent releases by the videolan project, the only thing (playback of CSS based DVDs) keepig me from using it damn near full time has been removed.

Re:Wow..... (2)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 13 years ago | (#409062)

Um, would this be the same RTP that QNX offered free for commercial use.....last year? Oh, yeah. It is. Even the front page of get.qnx.com says "Posted January 18, 2001". I.e., they've been offering their RTP for free for quite a while now, and have even updated it once! A month ago. I don't usually rag on /. for redundant or late posts, but they covered this when it was actually news, and it's been literally *months*. That's bad. Real bad.

Well I do not get out that often, and this part of the programming world is new to me. Since I am abviously not an all knowing expert in all things geek, this is news to me.

Granted it was a month ago, but better late than never. I prefer this, as opposed to those who say "well it came out this morning, so it is already too old for us."

This reminds me of the elitist attitude I have seen in buying hardware, ie, "If it can be purchased commercially, it is obsolete". This would translate to "If I've heard of it, it's old"

A more legit criticism would be if it was obviously just flogging something for some hapless companies marketing department. That is what commercial magaziones are for.

For the regular high voltage geek, if you want to build stuff from scratch, fine. but most folks will not have a use for it.

It is interesting, however, even if a specialized field.

Yeah right. (2)

Mike the Mac Geek (182790) | more than 13 years ago | (#409063)

Windows for non-commercial use?

Excuse me while I change my pants. I pissed myself laughing so hard.

Re:Free As In Beer.... (2)

grammar nazi (197303) | more than 13 years ago | (#409064)

Unfortunately it's not that simple. It comes down to marketing and leveraging products. That's why large companies can force inferior products and service upon the industry (perhaps .net?).

If it ever came down to the best products, we would all be using the Amiga OS on PowerPCs.

Uh... hello people (2)

wmoyes (215662) | more than 13 years ago | (#409067)

Is this yet another slashdot repeat [slashdot.org] .

At least this time it was not done twice in the same day.

Yes.. it would be surprising (3)

sith (15384) | more than 13 years ago | (#409069)

"Would it be that surprising to find Windows soon available "for non-commericial use"? "

Yes. Unlike Be, Sun and QNX, Microsoft makes quite a bit of money selling software like Windows to home users for "non-commercial" use. Mom and Dad aren't going to run solaris, but they'll probably run win98. Don't forget, money=god

Re:Q. Isn't this a little late? (3)

befletch (42204) | more than 13 years ago | (#409070)

Yes, people use it, in an embedded environment. It can do hard realtime processing.

A point worth noting is that QNX's ability to do hard realtime processing makes it handy in other applications as well. I worked with it for years, almost always in a 'soft' realtime capacity. It was beautifully efficient and robust.

When my company was marketing-department-strong-armed into supporting Windows NT, the sorry developers who moved to that platform spent half their time trying to work around the fact that pressing and holding the mouse button causes the CPU meter to jump to 100%. I kid you not.

The other half the time seemed to be spent trying to get device drivers to work, which was particularly laughable because 'better 3rd party device support' was one of the major reasons we made the switch.

So with both halves of their time used trying to do things QNX gave them for free, when did they get to advance the actual applications? Well, that was in the time known as 'overtime'.

It stressed me out too much to watch. I quit instead.

Re:Q. Isn't this a little late? (3)

sconeu (64226) | more than 13 years ago | (#409071)

Where does QNX fit in the OS schema of things:

Is it a Desktop OS?
A server OS?
Is anyone actually using QNX ?
What can it do, that Linux and Be can't?

No, it's not a Desktop OS.
No, it's not a server OS.
Yes, people use it, in an embedded environment.
It can do hard realtime processing.

Re:BeOS and QNX (3)

sconeu (64226) | more than 13 years ago | (#409072)

Not quite. You need deterministic latency. You have to ensure that hard deadlines are met. If a process MUST complete before 50ms, and you don't meet that deadline, then you have a problem. That's what a hard Real-Time system is. Just changing the schedule won't cut it.

Wha? (3)

Temporal (96070) | more than 13 years ago | (#409073)

Isn't Windows already free for non-commercial use? I mean... effectively, not legally.

------

Re:Yes. (3)

grammar nazi (197303) | more than 13 years ago | (#409077)

The only thing that's not appropriate, buddy, is your response and your grammar.

QNX is a light and mean OS with many applications. Have you ever tried to run 24 10MB images per second through an image capture card and straight onto a network? You better believe that QNX is one of the only OS's that will handle that. It's quasi-realtime nature makes it ideal. The kind folks at QNX will basically roll your own custom distro for a specific job.

My second point was that your grammar sucks. Please try to proofread your comments before you submit them in the future. It will make /. a nicer place.

Windows (3)

Elendur (228338) | more than 13 years ago | (#409078)

"Would it be that surprising to find Windows soon available 'for non-commericial use'? "

Yes. Not only surprising, but profoundly shocking. Deeply disturbing. It would destroy my already tenuous grasp on reality.

Especially unlikely considering what they've said recently about the GPL.

Nice OS (4)

Frijoles (16015) | more than 13 years ago | (#409079)

QNX is a great OS. We've been working with it in our computer labs trying to come up with a good web browser that doesn't have to use a HD (we are using it from the CDROM). For those of you who haven't seen QNX, they have a complete OS + web browser running on a 3.5" floppy. Pretty impressive, IMHO.

It is a nice OS, also, because it doesn't create extra partitions. There is a large file that it stores under a directory (the image file) which is loaded on bootup. So if you ever decide to 'uninstall', I believe you can just delete the file.

Great OS. I hope to see more for it and its good to see that it is free now.

Why it's free? Simple.. (4)

at-b (31918) | more than 13 years ago | (#409080)

Would it be that surprising to find Windows soon available "for non-commericial use"?

Yes. It'd be an incredible event. MS has used its OS as its main tool for leverage over OEMs, hardware manufacturers, etc. The second it becomes free for 'home' use (or whatever), OEMs don't have to ship it anymore, which means they save a bundle of cash, and aren't tied into restrictive trade agreements with MS anymore, since everybody can just pick up a free copy of Windows for non-commercial use. Heck, I bet you could probably get free copies of Windows for just shipping costs from everywhere. Giving up its main means of leverage would be ludicrous.

And as an aside: The REAL reason why BeOS, QNX and others are free for 'personal' use is simple. They are the hunters, going after the market leader. Not necessarily everywhere, but certainly in certain niches. Not everybody wants to use BeOS, but for people who deal with media a lot (MacOS, IRIX?), it could be an alternative. And look, those people can run BeOS for free, at home. Wonder if they'll want to use it at work as well?

Solaris is another thing entirely. Yeah, it's semi-free (I think Sun still charge $50 or so for 'media costs'), but the reason why Solaris was made free for personal use is because Linux is destroying any kind of 'personal/home' UNIX base there ever was. If you want UNIX at home or just to try for a small, non-commercial server.. hell, xyzBSD or Linux are ideal choices. If Solaris is free, though, some people might reconsider. And if you need the much-hyped 'enterprise OS features' that both Sun and MS claim Linux/xyzBSD don't have, Solaris has a 'big-league' image.

In the end, it's pretty simple: why would they want to give it away? BECAUSE THEY HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE. VERY few people were actually BUYING BeOS or QNX for personal (ie non-commercial) use. Solaris was a different thing in academia etc. but the big money is with servicing contracts and hardware anyway. QNX is a purely professional embedded platform so far. So NOBODY has anything to lose from making it free for non-commercial use - rather the opposite: they entice people to try it, and ideally to use it in professional situations, where Sun/QNX/Be *will* get money.

Now, look at it again: Why would MS ever dream of making one of its cash cows free? They only have to lose. They've been able to *raise* the price of their software - over the last 10 years, the only part of a computer that's become more expensive is the OS, namely WindowsXYZ!

Windows for free. Good lord. What next, RMS agrees to work for the MS PR division?

Alex T-B
St Andrews

Free Beer Vs. Free Speech (4)

E1ven (50485) | more than 13 years ago | (#409081)

I remember BeDope posted the following back when BeOS went free. I thought you might like to read it...

Folks were arguing about whether "free like beer" was any good compared to "free like speech". Be Dope researches composed a scientific test to answer this question once and for all.

Be Dope CTO, Dr. Doxie, took her staff to a local computer show armed with several kegs of beer and hundreds of copies of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, which guarantees the right to free speech.

The results were surprising and conclusive.

"Fully 99 out of every hundred people chose Free Beer over Free Speech," reported Doxie. "In some cases, the subject would begin stressing the importance of free speech, but all the while they'd be eyeing the free beer. In most cases, the free beer won in the end."

"We spent many hours in the lab testing both beer and speech," said Sakoman. "Those who consumed free beer reported feeling satisfied and sometimes 'buzzed'," said Be, Inc. COO Steve Sakoman. "Those speaking free afterwards rarely reported any benefits, and in fact would sometimes complain of a dry mouth or scratchy throat."


--

This message brought to you by Colin Davis

Re:Yes.. it would be surprising (5)

znu (31198) | more than 13 years ago | (#409083)

Microsoft could probably still make lots of money giving Windows away to consumers but still making OEMs pay for it. It's not like OEMs have the option of not including an OS in today's PC market.

--

Re:BeOS and QNX (5)

sconeu (64226) | more than 13 years ago | (#409084)

QNX is a real-time OS, based on a microkernel. It's useful in situations with hard RT requirements... where something like Linux or BSD currently would be inappropriate (Unix is not RealTime).

Hard RealTime systems are extremely difficult to write, there's probably no way in hell that QNX will be GPL'ed, there's a hell of a lot of investment there. This same point came up in "GPL 3.0 Concerns in Embedded World" [slashdot.org] .

And immediatly.. (5)

Glowing Fish (155236) | more than 13 years ago | (#409085)

If Windows ever goes free for home, or any other type of, use, I am sure their will be a great outcry on Slashdot and maybe in the justice department about how Micro$oft is destroying competition by giving its product away for free.

Windows free for non-commercial use? Well... (5)

tamnir (230394) | more than 13 years ago | (#409086)

Would it be that surprising to find Windows soon available "for non-commericial use"?

When I first read this, I thought, as probably most of you did: "Yeah, right! Forget it!". But then, I gave it a second thought: after all, Microsoft already does provide some free software, IE being an oustanding example.

The question is: why is IE free? I guess the answer has something to do with crushing a certain competitor, combined with the fact that Microsoft can afford to provide IE free of charges.

Now, what if the competition on the OS front starts to threaten Microsoft? We have seen that recently, they have changed their stance towards Linux, considering it a serious threat...

So, given the above, and considering that Microsoft would still make money on commercial licences, and of course on their other products, does the "free for non-commercial use" Windows idea still sound stupid?

Another question I'd like to raise: if Windows does become free (let's say for any use, to broaden the topic), what would the consequences be?

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