Roland Piquepaille's Technology Trends
How new technologies are modifying our way of life


vendredi 27 septembre 2002
 

One 18-year-old guy from Utah, Richard Robbins, started what he called the Menagerie project. The goal was to install -- and to run successfully -- as many OSes as possible on a single computer.

So far, his computer can run 37 operating systems -- or 53 if you include the DOS window managers. Maximum PC, from Brisbane, California, decided to check if it was true -- and it was.

All the OSes are loaded onto six hard drives, and divvied across five separate boot menus with the help of a freely distributed bootloader called XOSL.

These five menus are Main, Unix, Linux, Windows, and Dos Window Managers.

Now, let's listen to some excerpts of the conversation between Richard Robbins and the Maximum PC staff.

Do all the OSes get along?
One of the other main challenges was to get each operating system to cooperate with each other. Itís like putting a pit bull, cat, parakeet, Komodo Dragon, antelope, wolverine, rattlesnake, and duckbilled platypus all in a 10x10 room and saying, "now please get along, children." In that case, you would need separate compartments for each animal. Partition hiding, in that sense, divides the room into separate compartments and keeps the predators away from the prey, keeping each animal content.
Do you have a favorite OS, or are they like "children" -- you love them all "equally but differently"?
Alas, I do share a unique type of love with each one of my beloved systems. But if I had to pick one to be crowned the birthright, I would go with BeOS. Why? Because it minds its own business, is easily pleased, and doesn't complain. If I had to pick a prodigal son, it would have to be FreeBSD, because its picky, complains a lot, and doesn't obey me.

I never had more than 3 OSes on a single machine in my whole computing life. And I think it's largely enough.

Anyway, even if it's *futile* to have all these bootable OSes on a single computer, it's a pretty amazing achievement. For example, finding all the drivers for his video card probably was quite a challenge!

Source: Maximum PC, September 24, 2002


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