VAULT DWELLERS SERVED

Friday, January 21, 2011

Vault OS : x86 Kernel Soon To Be Released!

Yes, I know I have been talking about Vault-OS for ten years. Yes, I know it's a lot like my computer game. Forever under development and never quite ready to release yet. Yes, I know I have many retarded, Asperger's Neanderthalish flaws in my character that have to do with never quite finishing anything and never quite being satisfied until it is tested/refined/debugged/polished further before I will allow others to see it. Yes, I know I am somewhat comically preoccupied with details that it is likely no one will ever care about in almost everything I do. Yes, I know. As many psychologists have pointed out, Asperger's is fundamentally different at the psychological level because unlike all other expressions of what is labeled autistic spectrum, Asperger's people know they are retarded.

In my defense, I could point out that it is likely for these very reasons that only the Asperger's personality is ever capable of producing things that are truly excellent, well designed and extremely useful.

Case in point is the upcoming release of the Vault-OS Kernel, within the next month. A tiny x86 16-bit program written in Turbo C++ 3.0 that is possibly the most powerful, configurable and intelligent networked SCADA controller ever made. It can be run under Desqview-X concurrently or on it's own. I've seen it sharing the packet driver with Desqview-X without any conflicts. It has been deployed on a device with 384K of free RAM and only two serial ports and has run like a top for months.

Essentially, it's the smallest possible component core you can deploy for Vault-OS. Everything else is built on top of this little piece of software.

It uses a packet driver for TCP-IP to send JSON messages formatted after the BACNET standard and I2C to monitor the sensor/control 1-wire network. If you have a parallel port, it can also manage a switching bank of 8 relays.

All of this configured with text scripts, no interface or UI front end outside of console messages, trimmed back to the smallest possible unit of execution on the Vault-OS network.

This software could be used as a generic shelter automation manager, a fuel and water monitoring terminal, a weather and environmental station manager or just about anything you want it to do in the shelter. The scripting language is a very simple variation on QuickBasic that almost anyone can adapt for their own purposes.

After a bit of feedback and testing for this unit, I will be ready to release one of the next bricks in the pyramid, building on this basic kernel. At the top of that pyramid is the voice operated intelligent expert system called Thinkboy.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Perfectionism is the enemy of creation"

Anonymous said...

Your OS sounds interesting to me Tex. I used to be a techie, but am too busy now, but would need the system to be have some basic features 'self ready', say:

- Self installing on any 'box station' or early laptop; self-installing from a CD, the in the same manner that Ubuntu Linux will install itself from a CD, and then actually work.

- Accept various inputs that you have described, say, temperature sampling, door and gate entry logs, maybe even digital pictures from 'game cameras' or similar.

- The ability to send signals 'out'. To send short alert data packs or 'texts' when events are detected. The idea here is a remote location sitting still and monitoring itself to some degree, unattended. The owners are mobile and away. Perhaps cell links during good times, alternative methods in less than good times.

- Perhaps the ability to make it's own appropriate decision to present an appearance of occupation if intrusions are detected: lights, sounds, motions etc.

- Off grid minimal power source (solar, wind, or battery) perhaps a combo of each that your system manages.

- Tolerant of temperatures from low to hot, high humidity, other less than shirt-sleeve conditions (I'd imagine that this is more of a hardware situation).

- Your previously described inventory recording systems, perhaps with a non-catastrophe utility, or able to transfer to ordinary record-keeping packages (Quicken, Quickbooks).

- Perhaps immediate support of basic hard-wire input cards, relay cards, or optical cards that would plug into steel-box computers; that your OS would just recognize instantly, and could be quickly assigned some sort of attribute: relay one simply takes two wires from gate one for example. It would have to work without a hitch at least on this basic level, and be up and running by an attentive but perhaps non-technical person, doing the installation at remote locations, in the field, with limited-time, and only a basic tool kit, only a tackle-box-sized tool kit.

Meaning, drive all the way out, do a basic set up, start connecting elements, and each element checks out as up and operative on the first go, with no error messages, no failed recognition, no tedious adjustments.

Not that I'm all that averse to a challenge, but in a practical situation, one may be actually limited to say only 3 hours on site, and then have to depart, and a practical up-and-running confirmation and dependable stability would be necessary for success. The next visit to the site might not be for another 6 months.

Texas Arcane said...

You're very close there to exactly what Vault-OS is designed to be.

There's a compromise in the actual hardware, with both of them replaceable with cheap components.

The serial RS-232 I2C monitor can be built from .50 worth of parts.

The parallel port switching controller can be built from automobile relays and a few diodes and resistors.

Any x86 machine can power the kernel, which communicates at present via TCP-IP. The only thing I am still researching is whether or not MS DOS Lan Manager should be an integrated part of the installation or just a utility.

LegacyTech said...

Curiously, I have been reading your posts for awhile now. You seem to dabble in other technologies and other things every once in awhile. So I have two questions.

-Where is it, that I can download my own Vault-OS system to tryout?

-Do you create or design any other vault technologies, such as enviromental readers or vault systems themselves for habit living? Im not talking about Firehold Bravo, which by the way bravo to the greatest man, but have you consider of full community ones, like -ironically- the Vaults in Fallout?

I am a techician in florida, trying to redesign old "legacy" tech back to their orime conditions and I am deeply invested in the idea of pre-war technology.

Texas Arcane said...

The idea is that Vault-OS will be able to manage a family shelter with four people or a gigantic facility with 4000 people, all through the same core interface.

I am trying to get V1.0 ready for release as soon as I can. I have a lot on my plate and can work on it about an hour or two a day tops.

LegacyTech said...

Is there anything I can do to help you? One man, I assume, trying to develop an os system is rather big...

Texas Arcane said...

You're welcome to pitch in as soon as I put the first open source code for the VOS kernel up on my SourceForge site.

Any improvements you want to make are welcome at that time.

LegacyTech said...

Do you have a forum or any other ways I can contact you? I really want to pick your brain about your OS and other tech you, made such as Firehold Bravo... Wasn't sure you made a information page about that either..

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