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November 4th, 2000

What I Want in an OS

My wish list. Feel free to add as you see fit.

Stability. I want the thing to be able to run for a rather lengthy period of time, if need be; perhaps in a standby mode, doing housekeeping, while I’m not actively running anything.

Visibility. If I ask for it, the OS should tell me what it’s doing at any given time in plain English. ("Running Internet Explorer, IEXPLORE.EXE, click for details" versus "IEXPLORE.EXE".)

Compatibility. Obviously, things run under Windows. Until that changes – if that ever changes – I want to run Windows apps.

Portability. Not necessarily a new version of the OS – akin to Win 2000 v. Pocket PC – but perhaps a subset that the OS can spawn off to a portable device of my choosing (MP3 player, PDA, whathaveyou).

Voice Recognition. Yes, this tall order gets taller. This is still a few years off at best. I don’t yet want to dictate to the computer, but just being able to say, "Open Word with the document ‘Daily Ping World Domination’ and then run Solitaire" would be nice.

Consistent Keyboard Shortcuts. One of my only gripes with Macromedia Flash 5 versus 4 is that most of the keyboard shortcuts were removed or lobotomized. It’s a lot faster to keep your hands on the keys once they’re there. Moving to the mouse and back is a pain. In addition, these shortcuts should be consistent across all applications.

CLI or GUI, Your Pick. Some people like a CLI, and obviously a good number of my suggestions indicate that I like GUIs. I’m actually in favor of both. Doing disk-level stuff is far easier with a CLI than a GUI. Offer both.

No Stupid Names. This seems to be tough. "Windows Me". "Windows 2000". "Pocket PC". Can you see that most of this point is aimed at Microsoft? "Mac OS X" says it all. It’s for the Mac, it’s an OS, it’s version 10. Boom.

Anything you want to add that I’ve missed? -pm

Posted in Technology

FROM: Terry Murphy
DATE: Saturday November 4, 2000 -- 10:23:12AM
A few more things:

File Versioning - the ability to access any version of a file you ever had. My OS will extend this idea further and will do away with the concept of generations and will merely have infinite UNDO.

Common API and user interface - Systems such as Unix are broken because they have a different set of commands for the user than the API for the programmer. VMS does this better in that most programs are callable, but LispM exetends this idea to where any system routine is a program. This is the way my OS will do it.

Common Status Codes - this is a no brainer, but it is amazing to see how few OS'es do this today. Every callable routine should have a status code, where a few bits mean severity, a few mean library, and a few mean program, so you can decode a status code no matter where you are. Unfortunately, primitive operating systems, such as Winux and Lindows, do not do this and simply resort to 0 == success, 1 == failure (or vice-versa, depending on the programmer's mood). VMS does this correctly. My OS will do this like VMS.

Documentation - I demand high quality documentation for the OS. I have the documentation set for VMS 5, which is a 6 foot high shelf of three ring binders. The documentation for Lindows and Winux can fit in a folder, but, moreoever, is written by poorly trained programmers who don't know how to write, instead of highly professional technical writers. My OS will have a large shelf of documentation also.

A dozens more ...



FROM: Tony
DATE: Saturday November 4, 2000 -- 9:38:09PM
Always a Plan B:
Some type of a simple (as in under 10 clicks) backup of a main drive to a slave/removable drive(s)

Also a way to revert the OS back to a previous point ( I realize Me does this, but not very effectivley.)

Ability to emulate: So If you must run another OS within this one, you need not partition, and pray. You simply reconfigure so that the OS will run the other OS within it.




FROM: Terry Murphy
DATE: Sunday November 5, 2000 -- 1:31:27AM
Some type of a simple (as in under 10 clicks) backup of a main drive to a slave/removable drive(s)

$ BACKUP SYS$DISK ZIP$DRIVE

Also a way to revert the OS back to a previous point ( I realize Me does this, but not very effectivley.)

$ DELETE SYS$DISK:[000000...]*.*;* /SINCE=19-OCT-2000

Ability to emulate: So If you must run another OS within this one, you need not partition, and pray. You simply reconfigure so that the OS will run the other OS within it.

Or better yet, just use the need to run another OS as an excuse to get yet another computer.




FROM: Aaron
DATE: Wednesday November 8, 2000 -- 1:39:03AM
...is my two front teeth.



FROM: Rob
DATE: Wednesday November 8, 2000 -- 9:42:52AM
Agh... no... not VMS... the pain... the pain!



FROM: anthony
DATE: Wednesday May 23, 2001 -- 4:26:03PM
i've been wanting to find out ho to shut down the G4 WITH THE KEYBOARD FOR THE LONGEST BUT I CANT . CAN YOU?



FROM: Carlos Fernandez-Rocha
DATE: Wednesday October 24, 2001 -- 2:13:54PM
To shut down your G4, press Ctrl-Eject Key and it'll ask you if you want to shut down, restar, sleep or cancel....



FROM: Mark
DATE: Thursday October 25, 2001 -- 11:57:16AM
Security. Integrated firewall protection would be super.



FROM:
DATE: Saturday January 1, 2005 -- 2:55:19 pm



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