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i really wish people who only get to experience and UNIX and windows got to see the massive difference in ideas other OSes took/are still taking

@gewt VMS is quite eye opening, I just wish somebody would make the linux of multics

@gewt altho a long, long time ago linux had DECnet stuff and it was rad, and we should bring DECnet back

@gewt hah yah i think somebodyi brought that up last time i complained about this forever ago

@gewt I think the situation for people wanting to try operating systems outside of the Windows/Unix mold is currently better than it's ever been (at least from a cost standpoint), and future developments only promise to continue this trend. The hardest part, really, nowadays, is where does one even start?
@gewt Even around something as relatively simple as your beloved PDP-10, there are something like 3 or 4 different directions that can be explored, to say nothing of other 36-bit machines or minis/mainframes
@gewt (btw, is three or four the correct number for major PDP-10 OS lineages? I know DEC, BBN, and MIT are all out there in hobbyist versions, but I'm under the impression that the Stanford/SAIL lineage is under lock and key and outside of certain small bits won't ever be released to the general public because expunging all personal data/dependencies would simply be too costly)
@gewt Oh huh! I saw web crawls of the site before but didn't see that they (appear to) have a 1974-era snapshot of the system to play with. More toys for me, I guess! (btw the context I saw them was searching around the ITS repo on GitHub for anything related to Scribe)
@gewt I'm assuming there are disk images or the such floating around if that's the case?
@gewt Ah, figured it'd be something like that. It's cool anyway, and I'm pretty much chill with it (dumping unredacted file trees with personal info from the pre-internet era is Not Cool to say the least)

@allison @gewt I think it was much better in the late 90s/early 2000s when there were plenty of alternate OSes around for commodity PCs. OS/2, BeOS, AtheOS, SkyOS, etc - so many alternative OSes to try, of which none survived. The only similar project I can think of these days is SerenityOS - and that is just bringing back the old ideas rather than innovating.

@js @gewt Note "without cost". Many alternative operating systems (especially earlier ones) failed because of cost barriers and cost concerns, even if the ideas in them are perfectly good and can be harvested for modern systems. More to the point, I, as a NEET with zero dollars to my name, can use all the operating systems you mentioned and more, without altering the rest of my workflow (thanks to virtualization, emulation, and SBCs). Along with a number of systems that simply *weren't* viable for hobbyist use even a decade ago (Multics is the immediate example that springs to mind here, but there are numerous others as well). Hardware is an expensive racket but I don't deal with it since I pretty much just run white-box x86, ARM, and PowerPC stuff.

@allison @gewt You could try all of them (except maybe OS/2) for free on a second partition or as a live system. I definitely tried more OSes back then even without virtualization. Though VMware already did exist. The only OS I wanted to try back then but could not was MorphOS.

@js @gewt As for alternative operating systems being *made* in the modern day, yes, there's a bit of a paucity of them. But it's not as bad as you're making it out to be and the barriers to entry for operating system development for hobbyists are generally getting lower each passing day (things like overly complex hardware and DRM aside)

@allison @gewt I’d say it’s much harder to make a usable OS today. That’s largely thanks to complexity. Can’t have a usable OS these days without a modern browser, 3D acceleration for said browser, the horror that is USB3, etc.

@js @gewt Depends how you define "usable". 9front doesn't have many of the things you mentioned and is a perfectly usable daily OS for me, just not running it alone.
@js @gewt As to hobbyist versions, yes, many existed, but they still would have been out of means/out of reach for someone like me. Especially systems like QNX

@allison @gewt Well QNX had free trials and that awesome browser floppy.

@allison @gewt They even has free for private use at some point.

@js @gewt Yeah they liberalized a little bit in the 2000s before the RIM acquisition put an end to it. But like if I wanted to try QNX 4 (aside from the browser floppy) I'm completely SOL unless I turn to illicit means
@js @gewt Anyway, I should probably make a list of what I've tried at some point to back up the claim that historically it's better than it's ever been re: ability to use alternative OSes

@allison @gewt You could also get QNX6 for free :). Unfortunately I can’t find that offer anymore? I really liked QNX.

@js @gewt Yeah like I said they clamped down *hard* after the RIM acquisition. Not that you'd really want the new versions anyway, since post 6.4 or so they deprecated photon and self hosting momentics in favor of having a pure cross toolchain on Linux and using Qt to interface with a new graphical API (/dev/screen)

@allison @gewt I think 6.5 still had Photon and everything after is not interesting anymore.

@js @gewt 6.5 had Photon (deprecated) but didn't have native Momentics as I recall.

@allison @gewt You could still boot and install 6.5 and do everything native.

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