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Throwing Out Software That Works

Grenamier Imagine how much human energy could be made useful (622 comments)

... if we could all just agree to disagree and buy what we want to use.

There's no Heaven out there hosted by Bill, Steve, or Linus waiting for us when we die. All this religion is a waste of passion.

more than 4 years ago
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Multicore Requires OS Rework, Windows Expert Says

Grenamier Reminds me of the Cache Kernel. (631 comments)

The part of the article where Probert discusses the operating system becoming something like a hypervisor reminds me of the Cache Kernel from a Stanford University paper back in 1994. http://www-dsg.stanford.edu/papers/cachekernel/main.html

The way I understand it, the cache kernel in kernel mode doesn't really have built-in policy for traditional OS tasks like scheduing or resource management. It just serves as a cache for loading and unloading for things like addresses spaces and threads and making them active. The policy for working with these things comes from separate application kernels in user mode and kernel objects that are loaded by the cache kernel.

There's also a 1997 MIT paper on exokernels (http://pdos.csail.mit.edu/papers/exo-sosp97/exo-sosp97.html). The idea is separating the responsibility of management from the responsibility of protection. The exokernel knows how to protect resources and the application knows how to make them sing. In the paper, they build a webserver on this architecture and it performs very well.

Both of these papers have research operating systems that demonstate specialized "native" applications running alongside unmodified UNIX applications running on UNIX emulators. That would suggest rebuilding an operating system in one of these styles wouldn't entail throwing out all the existing software or immediately forcing a new programming model on developers who aren't ready.

Microsoft used to talk about "personalities" in NT. It had subsystems for OS/2 1.x, WIn16, and Win32 that would allow apps from OS/2 (character mode), Windows 3.1 and Windows NT running as peers on top of the NT kernel. Perhaps someday the subsystems come back, some as OS personalities running traditional apps, and some as whole applications with resource management policy in their own right. Notepad might just run on the Win32 subsystem, but Photoshop might be interested in managing its own memory as well as disk space.

The mid-90s were fun for OS research, weren't they? :)

more than 4 years ago
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The Jet Fighter Laser Cannon

Grenamier Re:Mirrors (464 comments)

How can you guys deflect protons when you're being so negative?

about 5 years ago
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Opera to Put User's Face in Times Square

Grenamier Easier way to get on a billboard in Times Square (216 comments)

I asked my daughter if she wanted her picture in Times Square. She said she's been there and done that. 21 months, thanks for asking.

Seriously, Time Magazine is posting submitted pictures on a billboard until they announce the Person of the Year. If they use your picture, they send you an email with a link to the photo of the billboard with your picture on it. It took a day for her picture to make it up.

more than 8 years ago

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