Jun 26, 2002

QNX Performance Problems

After my third and final attempt with QNX, I felt I had to write in hopes of finding others who have had similar experiences. Hopefully someone can tell me what's wrong here. QNX has left me with a very sour taste in my mouth.

The first system I tried to install QNX on was an old 100MHz Pentium with 32 megs of RAM. This was back in the Fall of 2000. Now, since QNX was supposed to be "tiny" and run on things like watches and hospital equipment, I was expecting it to breathe new life into my old Pentium. WRONG. The hard drive practically ate itself to death every time I launched a new app, and the RAM was almost always at full use. I mean what the Hell. But I gave it another try when Patch A came out. And Patch B, which killed networking entirely. I had given up and didn't want to touch Patch C when 6.1 came out.

QNX 6.1 was a lot nicer than 6.0, but it was still a resource hog. RAM allocation was no better and processor usage was actually up. I decided I might as well upgrade the system with a new motherboard and a 500MHz Pentium II, but to my chagrin the five-fold increase in speed (not to mention MMX!) did little to boost the sagging performance. Willing to do anything to clear up this performance black hole, I installed Patch A to 6.1 the minute it was available. I noticed a slight increase in screen redraws but nothing more.

To this day, even with the new 6.2 on a 2GHz Pentium 4, the QNX performance mystery boggles my mind. Either QNX doesn't really meet the defintion of a "real-time" OS, or we need to consider changing what "real-time" means. I wouldn't want my insulin drip running QNX in the middle of a surgery. I might die while it's paging in from /swap, and that's just unacceptable.

InkWell's Dark History

Recently, Microsoft announced Digital Ink, a handwriting-recognition technology that many compare to Apple's InkWell, both respectively set to debut in the next major revisions of Windows and Mac OS X. As whenever similar technologies pop up at Microsoft, Apple Mac zealots ask a few questions: Was it developed in-house at Microsoft? Was it bought from a third-party? Grabbed from a sub-licensor?

Jun 24, 2002

REASON With Trent Reznor

It had been less than 24 hours since Propellerheads had announced the long-awaited-for, ground-breaking REASON 2. The studio in a box had finally been released for Mac OS X and Trent Reznor was in a state of delirium over it. He'd been looking for it all over the Internet when he'd come across a comment on MacSlash that was of particular interest to him:

REASON 2, Isn't It Great? (Score:-1, Troll) by Trollaxor on Monday June 24, @16:40 (#5) (User Info)

Damn, the guys on #macfilez are pricks but I finally managed to download REASON 2 from one of their bots.

Why don't you all stop in there and tell them Trollaxor sent ya. Make sure to tell all your friends about the channel too.

His eyes glazing over, Trent fired up his IRC client and furiously logged onto newnet, deadly intent upon downloading the new REASON. He was sick and tired of running Mac OS 9.2 with its constant crashes, hangs, and Type 11 errors. REASON 2 would allow him to run Mac OS X on his gaggle of Power Mac G4s. He drooled a little at the prospect. Finally, having logged successfully into the server, he joined #macfilez and began looking for a bot to download from.

As he tirelessly searched bot after bot, Trent noticed a flamewar erupting in the channel. It looked like the channel ops were ganging up on a recent joiner — it appeared to be the same Trollaxor from the MacSlash that had led him here in the first place. Without further ado, he queried Trollaxor in hopes of being able to DCC REASON 2 from him instead of hunting bots all night. He had a new album and numerous production projects to work on.

Trent Reznor: hey trollaxor, can i dcc a copy of REASON 2 from you? this is trent, i really want to get started with the new version but i can't find it in #macfilez.

Trollaxor: how do i know this is really trent reznor?

Trent Reznor: i wanna fuck you like an animal, trollaxor.

Trollaxor: damn, it is you. i'd be glad to send you a copy. hopefully i can send it before i get klined from the server. the ops in here are really dickheads.

Trent Reznor: great! i'll owe you one for this.

Trollaxor: just stick my name in the credits of your next album and we'll call it even.

Trent Reznor: deal! thanks, man.

Trollaxor: np.

A few seconds later, Trent was downloading a copy of REASON 2 and watching the angry, bitter #macfilez ops kickban Trollaxor from #macfilez. Trent smiled. He'd definitely include Trollaxor in the credits of his next album.

Opening his CD binder, Trent grabbed a burnt copy of the latest Mac OS 10.2 beta and got ready to install it on of his other Macs in the studio. In no time flat he'd be working on his new album in a modern OS with the latest musical packages. Life could get no better and he smiled in contentment. He just hoped he'd be able to get depressed enough to actually make the album now.

Jun 20, 2002

The AppleScript Experience

Apple's AppleScript and AppleScript Studio are powerful programming tools; they give me the power to write programs, utilities, and scripts that would otherwise take considerable skill, time, energy, experience, and effort. Apple has done it once again with this editor and language that allow me to eschew the traditional route to writing programs.

Jun 7, 2002

Empty Lies, Broken Promises, and Free Software.

I bet she pays for everything of his and all he gives her in return are empty lies, broken promises, and Free software.