On 04/12/2012 06:54 AM, dmccunney wrote:
> ...
> the question becomes "Why do you *need* to do this?"
> The answer is that generally, you *don't*.  Current hardware is
> increasingly faster and more powerful.  In the old days you talked
> directly to the hardware to squeeze the maximum performance out of
> slow and limited hardware.  There's no *reason* to address the
> hardware directly now simply to get performance: you can talk to it
> through drivers using OS calls.  The hardware is more than fast
> enough.
> "Lean and unbloated" is relative.  One man's bloat is another's
> necessary functionality.  And the faster and more powerful your
> hardware becomes, the less you *care* about "bloat".
> The only people who still have that sort of concerns are working in
> the embedded space where they still *have* slow and limited hardware,
> and are dealing with things like 8-bit microcontrollers, or dealing
> with things like set top boxes or wireless routers, where the CPU is
> not Intel and the limits are imposed by what you can do in the
> available flash RAM.  They *aren't* using DOS, because DOS doesn't run
> on ARM or MIPS architectures.
I'm sure that the majority of DOS users are simply running applications 
that don't require real time data acquisition. The problem with modern 
operating systems generally is that the overhead of running multitasking 
and heavily protected file systems produces significant periods of 
non-response. This usually happens while the processor is talking to 
storage media, and while this doesn't disrupt things like typing 
noticeably, it does so for precise event timing. Because DOS doesn't 
write to disk unless you tell it to, it is easy to pick off events like 
mouse clicks and keypresses to the millisecond. I'm hoping that someone 
comes up with an embedded Linux OS that will allow this kind of single 
minded attention to what's happening while suspending all that nice talk 
that keeps the file system happy.


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