I’m very pleased to see QNX finally come out in a freebee version. I played
with it back in 1985, and it was the only OS around that could squeeze real
multi-user performance out of an IBM PC-XT clone. There was never a chance
to use it at work, as we were using physically large, proprietary real time
systems, and the custom hardware would not have fit in a PC chasis. Also,
there were reliability questions over using PCs for our critical
applications back then. But I thought it was great that there was an OS
which could get a lot of processor power out to the user in a multi-tasking
environment on an early x-86 box. Also, the idea of having a kernel which
was involved only with process scheduling and message passing, and didn’t
involve itself in I/O, protocols, and filesystems seemed an elegant
invention. This is not to mention the transparent resource sharing within a
QNX network, which no OS existing even today has managed to fully duplicate.
For many years, QNX has seemed to be one of the best kept secrets in the OS
business. I doubt it will stay that way for too much longer.
Before closing, I do have a few questions:
Can the RTP be run without the GUI, giving a plain full screen shell?
How does the efficiency of the present, Neutrino based RTP compare with
the old (circa 1985) QNX? That old release seemed incredibly efficient.
Could you release a freebee RTP version that will allow some QNX style
networking? I think that having the transparent resource sharing features
available for free might give some of the Linux generation folks some ideas
for new distributed applications.
Best of luck to everyone at QSSL on the RTP endeavor.