Branching the thread away from Compaq deskpro boards: "What We Have Lost"

Liam Proven lproven at
Tue Jul 27 05:27:38 CDT 2021

This was a talk at a recent Chaos Computer Club congress:

We have ended up in a world where UNIX and Windows have taken over,
and most people have never experienced anything else. Over the years,
though, many other system designs have come and gone, and some of
those systems have had neat ideas that were nevertheless not enough to
achieve commercial success. We will take you on a tour of a variety of
those systems, talking about what makes them special.

In particular, we'll discuss IBM i, with emphasis on the Single Level
Store, TIMI, and block terminals Interlisp, the Lisp Machine with the
interface of Smalltalk OpenGenera, with a unique approach to UI design
TRON, Japan's ambitious OS standard More may be added as time permits.

It talks about Lisp Machine OSes, which interest me, but I especially
liked that there's a demo of Interlisp as well as the better-known
Symbolics OpenGenera. Unlike Genera, Interlisp is now FOSS and there
is an effort afoot to port it to modern OSes and hardware and revive
it as a Lisp IDE.

There's also a not-very-inspiring but all too rare demo of IBM i. It's
not pretty but this descendant of OS/400 is the last living
single-level store in active maintenance and production.

But the big thing that made me link to this after the discussion of
DOS/V, Chinese Windows 3.2 and Japanese DR-DOS and DR GEM, was the
demo of the final version of Japan's TRON OS.

Most people have never heard of TRON but it was extraordinarily
widely-used, embedded in billions of consumer electronics products.
Well, there was also a desktop-PC version, with its own very rich
object-oriented GUI, and this talk contains the only demo of it I've
ever seen.

Liam Proven – Profile:
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