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ReactOS "Open-Source Windows" Making Progress On SMP/Multi-Core Support

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  • #11
    Originally posted by Ironmask View Post
    I consider ReactOS an investment in software preservation. At this rate, it's never going to be useful. It's too easy to migrate to Linux now, and it's only going to get easier. By the time ReactOS is "done", the platform it's aiming to replicate will be just as outdated as MS-DOS, so ReactOS will essentially just be like FreeDOS.
    For running Windows software, there is a lot of overlap with WINE (and Valve's Proton for games). I doubt ReactOS will ever overtake those in usefulness, as they are also improving over time. Where ReactOS could be useful is running obscure hardware with its original Windows drivers, assuming ReactOS reaches its goals in that department.
    Originally posted by Ironmask View Post
    I'm going to naively imagine an uninspired future where, in a couple decades from now, people will be installing ReactOS on retro hardware while the rest of the production world is using ARM desktops running a new version of Windows that's been entirely rewritten from the ground up with complete incompatibility with x86, and probably with no x86 emulation (I know all of that probably sounds unrealistic but it's just an example of where ReactOS can be useful).
    Your scenario is most likely to work out for retro hardware, but it is also possible that Linux will fill that niche. Linux support for old hardware tends to be pretty long lived. There is still the occasional patch for the floppy driver...

    Microsoft dumping x86 seems unlikely to me, they tried this with the Surface tablet to little success. IMHO Apple is the only one who can get away with such radical changes. They have very loyal users who will tolerate the inconvenience in the transition phase, as demonstrated before.

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    • #12
      I hope with all us companies sanctions on russia push russia into developing alternatives like reactos to windows.

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      • #13
        ReactOS is actually surprisingly functional. though I tried to get qemu svga working but the driver installer kept crashing, but the same thing happened in vmware too, and the issue was already reported. a little bit of a shame, wanted to see if I could get gpu acceleration working in qemu

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        • #14
          Originally posted by sophisticles View Post

          The Pentium D 820, dual core, came out in 2005, I bought one as soon as it was released, and we still had XP 64.

          Also, Windows has supported SMP since Windows NT, Win 2k supported SMP (and HT), 2k Server supported 4-way SMP, Advanced Server supported 8-way SMP and Win 2k Datacenter supported 32-way SMP

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_2000

          The Linux kernel at the time only scaled up to 16 cpu's and most distros didn't ship with the SMP kernel by default, you had to custom compile the kernel yourself:

          https://www.linuxjournal.com/article/3515

          https://tldp.org/HOWTO/Parallel-Processing-HOWTO-2.html

          People love to rag on Windows and MS, but Windows has always been at the cutting edge.
          A vendor offered me a 16 way SMP custom kernel for NT Server for their box designed for Unix System V. It was never advertised nor was a SKU offered.

          They had a box that accepted (2) 8 socket complex boards for running Unix and wanted to make sure that I knew that the number of CPU's was not going to be a limitation for running Windows Server.

          In the mid-1990's there were a few hardware vendors who wanted to have a part of the Windows Server market. Parallan, Sequent, NCR, Compaq all marketed product in this space.

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          • #15
            Originally posted by mirmirmir View Post
            I hope with all us companies sanctions on russia push russia into developing alternatives like reactos to windows.
            Funny thing about that. Don't quote me on it, but from what I remember, a large portion of ReactOS' funding was from Russia to begin with. And now that the Ruble is worthless, the Russian government is banned from all payment processors, and most Russian businesses are non-functional and at risk of collapsing entirely, I'm curious what the future of ReactOS is going to be.

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            • #16
              ReactOS is a labor of love, that's all it needs to be. I have followed the project for years and commend the developers dedication and know they will achieve the goal set fourth so many years ago.

              Linux was exactly the same thing.

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              • #17
                Originally posted by Vermilion View Post
                Serious question: Is there any environment where ReactOS is known to be used for real work / production as opposed to experimenting in a VM?

                Edit: A harsher reformulation would be: For a project that's been 24 years in active development, does it have a use?
                Yeah. Old PCs that ran XP or below. They mostly can't upgrade because of a closed source driver. Typically happens with factories.

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                • #18
                  Originally posted by Rabiator View Post
                  For running Windows software, there is a lot of overlap with WINE (and Valve's Proton for games). I doubt ReactOS will ever overtake those in usefulness, as they are also improving over time. Where ReactOS could be useful is running obscure hardware with its original Windows drivers, assuming ReactOS reaches its goals in that department.

                  Your scenario is most likely to work out for retro hardware, but it is also possible that Linux will fill that niche. Linux support for old hardware tends to be pretty long lived. There is still the occasional patch for the floppy driver...

                  Microsoft dumping x86 seems unlikely to me, they tried this with the Surface tablet to little success. IMHO Apple is the only one who can get away with such radical changes. They have very loyal users who will tolerate the inconvenience in the transition phase, as demonstrated before.
                  True but (I don't want to protect Apple) the most common used Software rather adopts quickly too. So mostly the binaries are way more homogenious. Maybe because of the strict pressure. E.g. OS to OS X there was some emulator for legacy software not that bad but was more like a VM. PPC to x86 (universal binary working on both or x86 only) since all the newer models had been x86 devs where forced to adopt or their software will vanish.

                  In the windows ecosystem there is almost no pressure to adopt in comparison - Sometimes im surprised that even 2022 there are still x86 builds of windows software around. Maybe a comfortable backwards compatibility is not too good after all?
                  Last edited by CochainComplex; 14 March 2022, 04:15 AM.

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                  • #19
                    Originally posted by sophisticles View Post
                    People love to rag on Windows and MS, but Windows has always been at the cutting edge.
                    Here I would tend to disagree. I remember when I was at school (late 90's) that Microsoft was proudly announcing support for up to 16 processors for NT while benchmarks showed that beyond the second CPU, there was no performance improvements any more. At the same time, Linux' support for multi processors was experimental but was aiming at scaling properly up to 64 CPUs (at doing well at 8 cpus). And we got a new supercomputer running Linux with 64 processors around 2002 that got later upgraded to 128 processors (it was an SGI Altix if I remember well, but here the launch dates given on Wikipedia don't match: it says it was launched in 2003 but I left that place in 2002 and I remember the whole installation of this new system... Maybe as we were a military research center we got the system earlier than advertised?)

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                    • #20
                      sophisticles

                      Windows always sucked at the edge and it stayed there. Linux scales to 4096 CPUs.

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