[pups] The Software Tools Virtual Operating System

Bill Gunshannon bill at cs.scranton.edu
Fri Nov 2 06:25:57 AEST 2001

On Wed, 31 Oct 2001 SHOPPA at trailing-edge.com wrote:

> Can you educate us about what is missing?  If you can clue me in as
> to a specific file name or a specific text string that might be in a
> missing file, I'll gladly search through the few tens of gigabytes of
> images I've got here.

Nothing specific, more general.  By the time of the Hall,  Scherrer, Sventek
ACM paper (September 1980) the VOS was known to have been ported to over 40
differnt machines and over 50 differnt OSes.  I was interested in looking at
reviving and expanding the original idea.  A quick search of the INTERNET
shows at least a half dozen independant projects attempting to implement
Virtual Operating Systems and at least one commercial product (other than
the Java VM which is really just a VOS).  Like many computing projects,
the original work was done by visionaries and went to it's death not because
it was a bad idea, but because time (and technology) wasn't ready for it
yet.  And now we have all these people re-inventing the wheel in a dozen
different and likely incompatable ways.

And, as far as the PDP-11 (my first love!) goes, I see this as being a
possiblity for development of a truly free (as in un-encumbered) OS.
Something that does not exist at this point.  All that would be needed
would be a small kernel to run below the VOS primitives.

I guess I will have to look at what has been pointed out to me so far
and see if there is enough there to make something functional on any
system to serve as the first in a new line of ports.

I appreciate all the help and hope if anyone stumbles on anything
related they will keep me in mind.

All the best.


Bill Gunshannon          |  de-moc-ra-cy (di mok' ra see) n.  Three wolves
bill at cs.scranton.edu     |  and a sheep voting on what's for dinner.
University of Scranton   |
Scranton, Pennsylvania   |         #include <std.disclaimer.h>

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