Operating Systems _AND YOU_!

So, as was my custom, I was thinking about operating systems the other day.

It occured to me that after my first two computers (a ZX81 and a ZX spectrum), I had a Commodore Amiga. This was around 1986 or so. Used it right through to the early 90s.

The Amiga had a Unix-derived, fully pre-emptive, microkernel based OS, with a propritary GUI on top of it.

After several years, I moved to a PC running DOS (Why? You find out below.) and then went through a series of Windows, from 3.1 to 95 to 98, and then XP. Until XP

Now I use OSX, which is … a Unix-derived, fully pre-emptive, microkernel based OS, with a propritary GUI on top of it. I bought my first OSX mac in 2008.

What’s weird is that the stuff in between AmigaDOS and OSX was, by and large, utter utter shit. DOS literally could only do one thing at a time, and the multitasking in 3.1 and 95 was hilariously bad and the operating systems were almost comically unstable. 98SE was better, and XP is pretty usable. But they still suck compared to the excellence which is OSX.

So, architecturally speaking, it’s a full circle, from awesome to awesome with bollocks in the middle.

But it was that exact bollocks I simply had to have, because of … Doom and later, Quake.

Those games were archetypal killer apps. I changed from a awesome computer model to a literally terrible one, because I had to do so in order to get a quad damage and gib my friends.

I do wonder what things would have been like if the unix/gui model had actually been the dominant one throughout that whole time period.

I’m guessing pretty damn awesome.

One thought on “Operating Systems _AND YOU_!

  1. So, as was my custom, I was thinking about operating systems the other day.

    It is February, after all.

    I had a Commodore Amiga. This was around 1986 or so. Used it right through to the early 90s.

    I carried on with the Amiga way past that. Not being so concerned with first-person-shooters, I never saw any compelling reason to switch to Windows, and plenty of compelling reasons not to. I switched to Mac in 2000, but only because I knew that OS X would soon be available and because the ridiculous contraption that was my Amiga 1200 in a PC case with a PowerPC 603 wedged into it frequently failed to work at crucial moments.

    The Amiga had a Unix-derived, fully pre-emptive, microkernel based OS, with a propritary GUI on top of it.

    Depends on what you mean by “derived”. It wasn’t based on Unix at all, but it re-implemented many features of Unix that weren’t available elsewhere. And the programming community was largely made up of people who used Unix or school and wanted something similar for home, so it got more Unixy third-party bits added over the years.

    So, architecturally speaking, it’s a full circle, from awesome to awesome with bollocks in the middle.

    CygnusEd to TextMate, with Notepad in the middle. Or whatever it is that Windows people use these days because it’s a step up from Notepad.

    I do wonder what things would have been like if the unix/gui model had actually been the dominant one throughout that whole time period. I’m guessing pretty damn awesome.

    That was the world I lived in. Just saying, is all.

    Like

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