Computers and Operating Systems
Some people study comparative literature; I study comparative Operating
Current Desktop Systems
I use or have fairly recently used all of the following systems on machines
either at work or at home:
- Microsoft Windows
I don't like Windows, but at work and at home, I use it
more than any other system, because most of the software I need
to use runs on Windows.
A free high-performance unix clone with all source code freely
- MacIntosh System 7.5
The older Macs are still good machines for many users.
Here are hints for a tune-up.
- OS/2 Warp
While most people argue about MacIntosh or MS Windows, IBM proved
(a) there is a better way, and
(b) with poor marketing, even the best product
can be run into the ground.
- IBM S/390
The S/390 is the latest incarnation of what was
originally called System/360.
- IBM AS/400
The AS/400 is the successor to the S/3, S/32, S/34, S/36, S/38
series of mi-range business computers.
Real-Time Operating Systems
RTOS (Real-Time Operating Systems) are designed for controlling embedded
applications, i.e. computer programs hidden inside some device whose owner
does not think of it as a computer, even if it may in fact contain a computer.
RTOS are generally very small, and are designed to use a minimal amount
of resources. There are many RTOS in common use;
this page has a list of over 100 RTOS that are commercially available
The rapid spread of computers - often faster than organizational
systems and cultures can adapt to them - forces the leaders of our
society to make rules and laws about things they don't understand.
That can lead to undesirable results.
Peter G Neumann from
SRI has devoted the last couple of decades to these risks.
Another issue is Cryptography. (See my encryption page).
The invention of computers and their subsequent evolution has transformed our
society in the last half of the twentieth century. It is fascinating to
speculate where it will take us next.
For decades, we have been able to make projections based on what has been
known as "Moore's Law": The amount of circuits that can be put on a
single silicon chip doubles every 18 months. The practical effect of this
has been that we have seen a new generation of computers every two years
which would be twice as powerful as the last generation: Twice as fast,
twice as much memory, twice as much disk storage space etc ... all for less
money that the generation before.
- The well-known science fiction writer Vernor Vinge in his essay
The Singularity predicts that something spectacular will happen
when we can build a computer powerful enough to rival the human brain.
- Compaq publishes a weekly journal named
The Rapidly Changing Face of Computing Technology, which focuses on
trends in new technology.
$Log: index.htm,v $
Revision 1.25 2002/11/02 23:50:35 lars
Fix spelling error.
Revision 1.24 2001/01/05 07:07:29 lars
Added links to AS/400
Revision 1.23 2001/01/05 05:20:01 lars
Add more visible link to IBM model numbers.
Revision 1.22 2000/12/15 14:00:23 lars
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Revision 1.21 2000/08/15 01:28:23 lars
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Revision 1.19 2000/05/25 06:14:44 lars
Moved "current cpus" out to separate page and added more
Revision 1.18 2000/05/11 15:12:47 lars
New page for "programming"
Better orginization of Funny Stuff
Revision 1.17 2000/02/16 01:07:31 lars
Moved dualhoming link to Internet section.
Revision 1.16 2000/02/01 23:10:07 lars
Fixed broken links.
Revision 1.15 2000/01/27 06:30:38 lars
Revision 1.14 2000/01/17 23:58:25 lars
Fix spelling error in IA64 URL.
Remove link to book that is no longer available online.
Revision 1.13 1999/12/16 07:22:08 lars
Revision 1.12 1999/11/08 16:46:34 lars
More computer history links.
Revision 1.11 1999/10/02 20:00:15 lars
Migrated more bookmarks to links in the website.
Revision 1.10 1999/09/23 06:56:03 lars
Move links from bookmark file intop relevant pages.
Revision 1.9 1999/09/07 04:20:41 lars
Added encryption page.
Added more detail in historical sections.
Improved index page organization.
Revision 1.8 1999/08/20 05:04:07 lars
Added links to Dennis Ritchie's history articles.
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Revision 1.6 1999/07/26 14:52:10 lars
Brought "Connecting to the internet" up to date.
Revision 1.5 1999/07/21 17:19:10 lars
Add page for Linux, BeOS. Update Windows page.
Revision 1.4 1999/07/04 07:57:10 lars
Many small corrections.
Revision 1.3 1999/06/26 22:17:44 lars