Wednesday, June 12, 2013

What will Vault-OS 2.0 Look Like?

I got these running on the DOS-32 bit protected mode server last night.

I have been shifting all interfaces into the HTML UI wherever possible. After some heavy research and experimentation with XForms that began in 2006, I finally found a delivery system that also permits the user to design his own console interfaces ... in the browser.

I am running a SOAP service on an unused port that delivers the raw XForm file to devices that may be too small to support a compliant browser (almost anything back to IE 5.5 will work) so that if necessary, custom distributed UIs can be delivered to tiny screens and displayed by local parsers.

Guess what else I have running in a flat DOS-32 bit protected mode INETD server? TELNET, FTP, NTP, ECHO, UPNP (the new Vault-OS discovery system over the network),  Lua Server Pages, LuaSQLite, Google Protocol Buffers via UDP and other stuff you probably would not believe until you saw it with your own eyes.

There are no real-time embedded devices being monitored in this setup at present. I am trying to work out a cooperative threaded scheme on DOS reading generic serial ports (RS-232, RS-485, I2C, CANBus, Modbus) without requiring DesqView to be installed in order to run daemons. There may be a role in this system eventually for DesqView but at present I am running all of this stuff off one big DOS4GW protected mode stub with shared polling of the sockets involved. The reason that serial ports are so attractive is that it is possible to write hardware interrupts for incoming data (real-time responsiveness) in tandem with my co-processing server system. So I can get this whole mess running together on a DOS(!) server like a bat out of hell, zero config, zero maintenance.

I can only spare an hour a night on this system, I am also working hard to get my game finished. Once my game is released I am going straight onto VOS as hard as I can.

The goal is to create an entire Vault-OS installation on a single floppy that can service up to a hundred generic workstations (cheap thin clients) with the only dedicated machine being the VOS server itself. If it breaks down, install a floppy on another generic x86 device with zero configuration.

If it doesn't blow your mind when you see it, I give up. If you search the blog for some old screenshots of VOS, trust me the new interfaces are light years advanced, but still viewable on any old browser with HTML and JavaScript. Now if I can just find where I stashed those old LCARS stylesheets ... civilian shelters are going to have hotter automation than the most expensive military classified deep rock installations for about $30 worth of hardware


Russell said...

Just reading your description has me all a twitter.

Question, why did you decide to run all this on DOS?

Texas Arcane said...

DOS is the closest thing I can possibly get to no operating system at all, which means nothing to break down.

In all seriousness I do not really even run this on DOS. I have run it on a single COMMAND.COM stub with a few minimal support drivers and the boot sector. So even Linux requires maintenance, computer savvy, in-depth knowledge and sometimes frustrating hacking to get and keep running correctly.

If Vault-OS runs everywhere there is an X-86 architecture with the "operating system" on the same diskette/USB with 89K of code, then it will really run everywhere.

I have used cross-platform code throughout and 99% of it will compile to Win32 or Linux/FreeBSD by throwing a switch. So if you want to run it on top of something you can, but if you want the ultimate in reliability you run it straight from DOS minimalist code. (FreeDOS boot)

What happens if you cannot even find a packet driver for your network card? I provide support for SLIP and PPP, all you need is the matching plug and you can connect over the network anyway. The network is really only a single router box, about $9.95 running off 12 volts. If all the clients are cheap throwaway thin client boxes, the entire system will come in around $30.00 for a system that no Cold War shelter ever had in their wildest dreams.

Russell said...

Ah, that makes sense now. When you said DOS I thought of MS-DOS and all the supporting drivers, executables, etc.

And that makes it even more impressive that you've packed that much functionality onto such a bare bones OS framework!

Chris from Sydney said...

These clowns are getting desperate now, only a heretic would think for himself. Now give your kids the death shot.

Tex, I believe you called the vaccine information line and asked to see 'copies of the triple blind tests' ?
I think I'll be doing that myself.

The Great and Powerful Oz said...

I've been a big fan of QNX for a long time, small, fast and lightweight. You might want to check it out. I would be very interested in hearing what you think. After all, I'm nowhere near as smart as you, my IQ is around 150, so I try to learn from those smarter than me.

Texas Arcane said...

QNX is awesome and very reliable. There will definitely be a cross-platform compile for it since the original Watcom supports it.

The thing about QNX is that it can require special drivers. This is another reason that any machine that can run DOS can dummy up the serial and parallel ports for bit banging all kinds of sensors with no special gear at all. QNX might need a special packet driver for Ethernet or its PCI bus that can be faked on DOS.