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Re: [News] [Rival] After Months with Vista, Linux is Missed

In comp.os.linux.advocacy, Roy Schestowitz
on Sat, 01 Sep 2007 01:35:43 +0100
> ____/ [H]omer on Saturday 01 September 2007 00:54 : \____
>> Verily I say unto thee, that Roy Schestowitz spake thusly:
>>> 90 Days of Vista - Day 62
>> Why?
>> Is he a masochist?
> Didn't [H]ardOCP do it for 60 days? You no longer have that
> in your sig. The conclusions from Jem Matzan were
> [note|quote]worthy as well.
> Vista -- it's not an O/S, it's a tool (for Government,
> for Hollywood...).

Whatever an "OS" is anyway.  Time was when I was working
-- in high scool, admittedly -- on a machine that might
have had 16K ferrule core RAM (it was 8k 16-bit words).
The OS was a paper tape, and most of that tape was for
the parsing and running of BASIC programs.  In a way,
it was multiuser-- multiple teletypes could connect to
the minicomputer (HP 2114B, called "Num Num" in a fit of
originality by the teacher managing the computer lab).
For graphics, we had a Tek 4010 storage tube unit as one
of the units.  My senior year saw them getting a hard
drive unit -- probably a few hundred K at the very most --
but I graduated before seeing it fully operational.

In college I was on a variant of System 7 (just after I
started my freshman or sophomore year, they upgraded from
a heavily modified System 6), on a PDP 11/70 with maybe
128k RAM.  I don't know how big /unix was -- assuming
that /unix was the kernel proper on disk; I don't know.
BSD 4.2 came a little later on a VAX in another college
(UCSB had three colleges IIRC: Creative Studies, Arts,
and Engineering).  I don't remember the machine names,
though one system called WYLBUR wasn't UNIX at all.
(It had something to do with document retrieval.  I still
have the manual somewhere.)

As you can see, these weren't all that big compared to
today's behemoths; even the Amiga 1000's initial default
config -- 128k (pre-production) or 256k RAM (production)
-- had more memory than my school's UNIX system.  (After
awhile, so did the IBM PC; the 5150 started out with 64k.)

The desktop of today is also a lot cheaper.

As the amount of space available grew, so did the problem:
1970s-era UNIX did little more than keep track of memory
and put files somewhere, and no graphics (beyond perhaps
some rather rudimentary Tek4010-compatible utilities)
were available.  I would be surprised if Vista didn't
have at least one help video distributed on its DVD (one
nice, if slightly silly, possibility for either Vista or
Linux: a Help button on the login screen goes through some
instructions -- with a linguistic selector, if possible,
somewhat similar to the CD-32's [*] -- on how to properly
log in and start using the desktop).

So now the OS contains such things as a web browser?
My brain hurts.

And of course, there's the little question of whether the
government can tax some of one's processor, RAM, or drive
for its own purposes (or for the purpose of those who
would want to protect their copyrights -- not necessarily
the original author of the copyrighted work, either).
Many would be incensed at requiring to use, say, 30% of
their processor for such things as copyright verification.
At least encryption can be viewed as a necessary evil --
but there's also a lot more processor there than in the
1970's and 80's.

Welcome to the New World Order.

[*] an ill-fated machine using Amiga technology which could
    play CD movie disks and some games.  It had an
    interesting approach to selecting languages: one saw
    a rather large "drum" with language text on it; one
    cycled through the selections on the "drum" using the
    controller.  The languages would use self-identifiers,
    e.g. English, Francais, Deutsch, Espanol, Italiano,
    Norsk, ...)

#191, ewill3@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
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