[rescue] tired of current GUIs / a rant about the daily garbage we put up with

Liam Proven lproven at gmail.com
Wed Oct 23 09:08:18 CDT 2019

On Wed, 23 Oct 2019 at 15:53, Patrick Giagnocavo <patrick at zill.net> wrote:
> Just delete this if you don't like my opinion, but ...
> we now have multi-Ghz multi-core, multi-GB RAM systems with GUIs that
companies have literally spent $100 million+ on, and yet the state of GUIs has
not advanced, and the UIs struggle to keep up with the glacially-slow humans
that type on it (input latency on Apple IIe and early Macs was lower than
today's in many cases).
> Things people actually accomplished real work on:
> NextStation running NS3.3 - hardware we now would not even view as a
competitor to a Raspberry Pi: 33Mhz 68040, 32MB RAM, 1120x832 resolution.
> SPARCstation 10 - 50Mhz CPU with up to 1MB cache
> I don't think it is "all Microsoft's fault" in that OSX and Linux haven't
really shown their ability to be that much more compact. You would really have
to struggle to cut down a Linux GUI system to 512MB RAM, for instance.
> Did people just become lazy?  Did everyone being able to afford a computer,
result in a dumbing-down or lowest common denominator approach? Why does so
much of computing these days just seem like a total crapfest?

I strongly agree. Actually, I've been thinking and writing about this
for quite a while. I am not alone in this, either.

Some notable commentators...
* Stanislav Dastovsky, http://www.loper-os.org/
* FranC'ois-RenC) Rideau, http://fare.tunes.org/

I've been looking at alternate computer platforms. Lots of people are
nostalgic about the "good old days" and there are continuations,
forks, FOSS recreations of many old OSes.

* Amiga OS has AmigaOS 4 on PowerPC, a clone MorphOS on PowerPC, and
FOSS recreation AROS on x86
* Acorn RISC OS now has Risc OS Open https://www.riscosopen.org/content/
* There's a FOSS recreation of the whole Atari ST OS complete with an
emulator to run it: https://aranym.github.io/
* There are 2 FOSS forks of the Sinclair QL OS, Minerva and SMSQ/E

There are umpteen modern FOSS efforts to do better OSes.
* Plan 9 & Inferno, of course
* Minix 3
* HelenOS
* Genode
* Redox OS

Frankly, I find them all wanting.

The 1980s stuff from the Amiga, ST, Archimedes, QL etc. is all badly
compromised. Either it's in hand-coded assembly, or it's a lash-up
because a more ambitious project got cancelled (Acorn ARX b RISC OS,
Commodore CAOS b AmigaDOS), or it's something dead basic extended way
beyond reason (TOS/GEM b MINT).

The 2 things that seem most ignored by history are Lisp Machines and

I am watching ChrysaLisp. It's by the original creator of Taos and
Intent/Elate, the most remarkable OS platform I have ever personally

However perhaps the single most interesting OS line I've discovered
that is still alive, still being worked on, and is FOSS and is out
there with a (tiny) community, is Oberon and its successor AOS/A2, AKA


> I have been seriously thinking about using the Coherent unix-a-like, or
various Z80/CPM boards running on actually low end hardware.

You're not alone.

This is what let to FUZIX, if you've not met that.


If you want commodity kit, though, and x86, Minix 3 looks very promising.

And NetBSD is alive and well, of course.

Liam Proven - Profile: https://about.me/liamproven
Email: lproven at cix.co.uk - Google Mail/Hangouts/Plus: lproven at gmail.com
Twitter/Facebook/Flickr: lproven - Skype/LinkedIn: liamproven
UK: +44 7939-087884 - DR (+ WhatsApp/Telegram/Signal): +420 702 829 053

More information about the rescue mailing list