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It’s about BeOS: a microkernel-based, multimedia OS w/ pervasive multithreading. The demo clip at the end shows what load that architecture could handle without slowdowns.


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    I ran BeOS as my primary os in the late 90’s for about 15 months (on a low end mac clone!), but had to drop it as a daily driver because of the lack of Java tooling (which is what I was doing at the time).

    That and I only had access to the built in C compiler that was limited to the size of executable it would produce left me little opportunity for software development. I do remember porting the plan9 rc shell using it as well as the galaxies X11 screenblanker.

    I played with the x86 release for a bitI checkout Haiku every one in while (along with Aros and ReactOS) but was back to running Linux as my primary by then.

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      That’s neat you got to use it. I heard the compile times were slow possibly due to microkernel-style but maybe speculation. Another person said the filesystem was too clever. Did you have problems with these? And just how awesome (or not) was the responsiveness under load? They claimed it was great with gradual degradation as it got overloaded with it maybe going back to normal afterward. I still don’t have that on this backup laptop for Linux haha. Browsers especially can cause slowdowns at a distance.

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        I didn’t notice slow compiles, but it was only a 140Mhz 603 ;) The file system was cool but I never really took advantage of it.

        The Internet was also much different from today (HTML 3.2 was still a thing) so the browser was not the resource pig it seems to have become (300-400 MB per TAB?!?!).

        And lastly I never manage to tax any of my systems all that much.

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          Appreciate the detailed reply. Esp frequency as I was curious what they ran. When secure hardware gets bootstrapped, it will be on the same nodes as original Pentium or maybe P2. So, I try to track what people could do with the older chips in case it becomes handy for a minimalist, secure workstation later. On top of it just being fun to learn about stuff.

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      Detailed look at the architecture’s insides here:


      The “benaphores” were interesting among other things. I wonder if that’s an independently-established technique with a standard name by now.

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        Isn’t a futex the same thing?

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          I’m not sure as I just did standard libraries, locks, or events for concurrent code. Mostly avoided it to do multiple processes of single-threaded programs. I did find this…


          …that suggests what Linux is doing with futex’s is a lot more complex than just the benaphore.

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        When I was student in 2000-2001, I was writing text editor oriented for web pages for BeOS called ‘Herring’. There is web archive mirror of my site from that time, but screenshots were not backed up. I think I’m missing source code, but I should have some binary executable ready to run in R5 :) Oh, fond memories.

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          If you happen to have the binaries anywhere, you could always recompile everything for Haiku. Might be a fun weekend project.

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            Thanks for hint, maybe on some lazy day I will give it a try.