"Remember the old style of Christmas lights where you had a big long string and if one bulb burned out the whole thing burned out and you had to go through each one and find out which single bulb failed? That's Microsoft."
Cute analogy, but I'm afraid it doesn't really fit. Yes, you can use it as a coarse comparison between microkernels and the rest
, but it isn't spot-on. If you look a recent operating systems, the lines begin to blur - NT (and linux, for that matter) are pretty monolithic kernels, but you can still have individually failing parts that are able to restart... especialy with Vista, which runs graphics as a "relatively individual part".
Makes one think pretty hard about whether to go for pure
computer science ideals, or for stuff that works
. Pure microkernels are lovely conceptually, but have too much overhead (imho). Striking a balance between concept and implementation is the thing to do.
system rocked - we had multitasking way before Win3.1 and Desqview arrived (well, that's how I
remember things, being in europe and pre-teen without a spending budget). Amiga had really cool hardware layout with specialized chips, which meant the relatively underpowered 68k hardwared (along with the special chips) did better than the x86 machines at the time. On the other hand, there was no proper memory isolation etc. in the lower-end 68k chips, so when something went wrong, you got a total guru meditation. Amiga was the system that taught me to <hotkey-save> after entering a sentence.
We need to shun sentimental memories (but still remember the past - good as well as bad), be as objective as we can about current affairs (drop the fanboyism and admit flaws of our favorite OS... there's a lot of them for all of them, and we won't agree on everything
), et cetera. I feel my ideas are relatively agreeable in general, but I know that not everyone will agree - there are pretty strong opinions in this field. It's probably even worse than politics.
Anyway, I wish that people would start writing portable
software (and not that autoconfig
junk), and that we'd see things like ZFS and XFS ported to Windows... NTFS is cool but pretty ancient, and I'd love to see some realistic head-to-head benchmarks.