Sunday, March 23, 2008

Vault OS : Update #7

This is why I think aiming for an x86 DOS 32 bit protected mode architecture is the smart thing to do. It's just not as costly as it once was. The world's surplus of older generation x86 boards is being decommissioned and auctioned off in bulk.

All over the world embedded installations are moving up to the "next big thing," which is .NET running under a minimal Windows XP embedded platform, usually with a touchscreen interface. It's easier to develop for, easier to install, easier to maintain assuming your platform has the required specs. It's a better choice in a world where most programmers stink and need the .NET environment with 2 gigs of RAM to wipe their nose and change their diapers. Unfortunately for them, I know this stuff runs like a dog and it generally so top-heavy that it's not a wise idea over the long term. The layers of software introduced effectively put them at the mercy of Microsoft. Industrial embedded markets are getting pressure from all sorts of people to dump their old sub 500mhz x86 stuff either for Windows XP or else Embedded Linux. There are also a couple dozen bankruptcies in the fallout of the U.S. economic collapse who will be dumping their stock of Vault-OS spec boards onto the public like so much castoff garbage. Most of the SBCs I have seen, like the one linked to, are otherwise fully loaded with nearly everything you could want.
All over Australia, boards like the one above on Ebay are being pulled out to replace them with what is touted as "what you have to get to be current."

Their loss is everybody else's gain. These boards are going to become so ubiquitous you will be able to pick them up for $5.00 apiece in another year. I've purchased 3 SBCs with Pentium 200mhz specs in the past two weeks alone - 2 of them with built-in Ethernet and SVGA chips. The thing is, although a board like this crawls with Windows and a couple dozen megs of RAM, it flies along like a bat out of hell running protected mode 32 bits under the Causeway extender in DOS, both in processing speed and graphic frames-per-second.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work! As far as ideas concerned, I like them (and share most of your views posted on this blog)

Also looking forward to first version of vault os.