Acorn Computers

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Acorn Computers

Postby jolharg » Mon Jan 19, 2009 7:47 pm

Remember them? They had supposedly easy to install programs. You just dragged a folder with a static binary to wherever and ran it. No deps, nothing.... afaik.
I learned how to use it from the ages of 7-9. It was great. Have we got any OSes (preferably OSS) that are similar?
Brilliant. I'd love one of those again. Don't know if anyone has one I could have by any chance? (I'm in Somerset)

Ah, classic.

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RE: Acorn Computers

Postby Rhakios » Mon Jan 19, 2009 9:04 pm

Isn't that how installing software in Syllable is supposed to work?
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RE: Acorn Computers

Postby M-Saunders » Mon Jan 19, 2009 9:22 pm

Yes, that's the plan for Syllable. And Mac OS X works in a similar way: the whole program in a single folder that's presented to the user as a double-clicky icon. It makes program installation extremely easy (as it should be!), but the downside is more static linking = larger downloads = more updates when one small library has a vulnerability.

But I do think (as I often rant about!) that Linux would do better to loosen the vast web of package interdependencies and get closer to the RISC OS / Syllable / OS X approach. With the right kind of metadata files you can still have a 'package manager' update-like system still in place.

I have an A7000 lying around somewhere in Cumbria :-)

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RE: Acorn Computers

Postby Rhakios » Mon Jan 19, 2009 11:08 pm

Hmm, I sometimes wonder about OSX. Admittedly many programs install by drag and drop, but some use custom installers and most, in any event, scatter config data and caches somewhere under the various Library dirs, so uninstalling isn't necessarily so simple as deleting the install folder.
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Re: RE: Acorn Computers

Postby ollie » Tue Jan 20, 2009 9:38 am

Rhakios wrote:Hmm, I sometimes wonder about OSX. Admittedly many programs install by drag and drop, but some use custom installers and most, in any event, scatter config data and caches somewhere under the various Library dirs, so uninstalling isn't necessarily so simple as deleting the install folder.


... and these Library folders contain preference files, both global and user, so they often aren't removed when uninstalling, particularly user's Library files. I frequently encounter this problem when upgrading applications and the student's preferences cause conflicts. It becomes a search and destroy mission ensuring all remnants are removed from student's home folders. :roll:
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RE: Re: RE: Acorn Computers

Postby M-Saunders » Tue Jan 20, 2009 10:23 am

Yep, it's by no means perfect in OS X, and I'm not saying Linux should copy that directly. I just think that software needs to be more self-contained so that it's easier to move around, get from a disc and try.

Personally, I think the whole concept of package managers and scattering files all over the filesystem is very scrappy and antiquated. This would be better:

1. All GUI programs go in /Applications
2. Settings go in /Settings/username/AppName
3. In Applications/AppName you have update.xml which contains URLs to check for latest versions

With point 3, you could run a system-wide updater that checks for update.xml in every subfolder of /Applications and shows you new versions if applicable. Therefore you get the ability to update en masse, package manager style, but without needing a big database of file locations etc.

The system would monitor activity in the /Applications directory; when you remove /Applications/AppName, the OS pops up a dialog asking whether you want to remove /Settings/username/AppName too. So, you can either delete the app entirely or keep the settings in case you want to install it later.

This is just a rough outline, of course, but I think a system like this would improve Linux's usability enormously. It's frustrating to see new Linux users, eg on Eee forums, have to deal with packages and repositories and dependencies and all that other gunk when they just want to install a SNES emulator!

Right, that's my 'package manager rant' for the year :-)

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RE: Re: RE: Acorn Computers

Postby Dutch_Master » Tue Jan 20, 2009 10:29 am

Didn't we discuss this last year? ;) Anyway, I suppose this'll be the standard in MikeOS X ;) :mrgreen:
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Re: RE: Re: RE: Acorn Computers

Postby ollie » Tue Jan 20, 2009 11:11 am

M-Saunders wrote:Right, that's my 'package manager rant' for the year :-)

M


On 20 January - you've got to be joking :lol: :wink:

However, I think this is the next logical step to take. I still prefer apt to any other base package manager but I really don't think distro "movers and shakers" make enough use of the the LSB yet. There isn't enough software installed into "/opt" (which could be renamed /"Applications") and that includes KDE, Gnome and other desktop environments. Just this simple change would clean up Linux distros a great deal and could be the catalyst to self contained applications. This could also reduce the development load on the base system.

... and I'm not making that promise :P :D
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RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Acorn Computers

Postby -Dave- » Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:53 pm

Ahh man, that's some nice memeories. Acorn's, BBC's, Amstrad's, Amiga's, Dragon's, Atari's, Spectrum's, C64's. Had 'em all over the years. Hmm, funny enough I've been looking through the loft for my Amiga, I can find about 2000 floppies, but no console :S

I've got a Sinclair Spectrum 2 here which no longer works, got it in pieces trying to fix it. I thought maybe a fuse could have blown inside but I can't see any fuses on it.

I've been wanting to collect the old consoles + games, but they're hard to get ahold of in bootsales these days. Most of the time, somebody will be selling a Snes for £30, I'll try to knock 'em down to £15 or whatnot, and they respond with "No, you can go home and sell that on eBay." I think to myself, if you can do that, why the hell don't you?! :S
Damn traders, they ruin booties.

In my collection at the moment I have. Nes, Snes x2, Game Cube, N64, Gameboy x3, Gameboy Advance, Gameboy Colour, Xbox 1, Atari 2600 (The wooden one), Atari 2600 Junior, Commidor 64 and the Amiga somewhere, Sega Master System, Sega Megadrive 1 and 2. Plus the broke Spectrum if you wanna include that. To be honest there should be the spectrum made from metal with the rubber keys in the loft somewhere too.

Still looking out for new consoles + games, so it should be growing :P
With thanks Kenco, my coding nightmares are over!
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RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Acorn Computers

Postby lok1950 » Tue Jan 20, 2009 6:31 pm

Still have my 8 bit machine a real museum piece an Ohio Scientific C1P with all of 32k RAM and the thing that makes it the museum piece the first BASIC in ROM M$BASIC 1977 complete with a bug in the string garbage collection routine yeah a memory leak in a 64 k address space the fix was never official we just popped a new EEPROM in as the fix was only to change one instruction(byte).

Enjoy the Choice :)
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RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Acorn Computers

Postby guy » Tue Jan 20, 2009 7:46 pm

If you liked RISC OS, you might want to check out ROX Desktop - the RISC OS on X desktop project - which brings the best of the RISC OS experience to Linux and other OSses, notably the ZeroInstall hassle-free installation toy.

You can even still buy clunky old RISC OS. In fact it has forked and while versions 5 and 4/6 are available from different sellers, the best news is that the open-sourced RISC OS Open appears to be nearly complete. Hardware is no problem either. If you don't want to buy a dedicated (ARM based) Iyonix PC, get VirtualAcorn or its limited but free cousin Red Squirrel and run it on your - oh dear, Windows or Os X box. Not that I'd want to spend good spondoolicks on it, when Linux does so much more and better. Mind you I still have a couple of killer apps on my dear old RISC PC - maybe when that dies I'll have to take another look.
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RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Acorn Computers

Postby jolharg » Thu Jan 22, 2009 3:36 pm

What I'd like to see is:
All Linux apps in one super repository (static binaries, no libraries, they build themselves when new library versions are available with cron, one executable)
All distros take out of that, everything in there... source if necessary (containing all libraries in the same folder, no deps) , free, non-free, restricted (containing multimedia, illegal some places etc) and you can sign up to whichever you like. Then you can either download from your package manager or download from the Internet, like what Acorn does or PC-BSD with their PBIs.

That would be super, and no one ever needs to add another repo.

Also, since we're moving to the cloud now, I don't know if all this will be relevant in 5 years' time.... all apps will be on the Internet, and you'll have them available without installation whether you want them or not.

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Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Acorn Computers

Postby guy » Fri Jan 23, 2009 3:18 pm

jolharg wrote:What I'd like to see is:
<daydream>

Sounds pretty much like Zero Install to me.
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RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Acorn Computers

Postby jolharg » Fri Jan 23, 2009 6:31 pm

Seen that, not quite....though it is cool
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Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Acorn Computers

Postby pwbrum61 » Sat Jan 24, 2009 8:50 am

jolharg wrote:Also, since we're moving to the cloud now, I don't know if all this will be relevant in 5 years' time.... all apps will be on the Internet, and you'll have them available without installation whether you want them or not.

Cheers
Dan


"The cloud" - Ah! Yet another buzzword to join the likes of "Information Super-highway" (just as vulnerable to traffic jams), "Web 2.0" (whatever happened to web 1.9? ;) ) and now "The Cloud" (You're high, you don't know what's out there, you can't see what you're doing, sooner or later something's going to crash! :lol:).

Never encountered the Acorn - was a C64 then Amiga person myself.
Where's the Kaboom? There's supposed to be an Earth-shattering kaboom! :D

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