Kuro5hin.org: technology and culture, from the trenches
create account | help/FAQ | contact | links | search | IRC | site news
[ Everything | Diaries | Technology | Science | Culture | Politics | Media | News | Internet | Op-Ed | Fiction | Meta | MLP ]
We need your support: buy an ad | premium membership

QNX 6.4 > 6.3

By Trollaxor in Op-Ed
Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 12:54:19 AM EST
Tags: operating systems, QNX, Unix (all tags)

I had been running QNX 6.3 on my trusty old 1.4 GHz Pentium III system with two gigs of memory for the last couple years and it was alright. Never quite fast enough despite decent hardware (P3 chips were 2x as fast as P4s clock per clock, don't whine otherwise) and limited hardware support, I was looking forward to the upgrade because, finally, after four years I might get a better-optimized system.

After booting from the 6.4 disc, it asked if I wanted to either [I]nstall or [U]grade, but when I selected [U]pgrade, it immediately asked what to do with disk partitions, identical to what it does for an install. After hitting escape and rechoosing [U] a few times, I just told it to install in place. That's where it finally saw that I had an installation already and asked if it should fresh install or upgrade. What was the point of having the two options to begin with? Frustrating.

A few short hours later the upgrade was complete using all 127 GB of my hard drive's 500 GB of space. Yes, the QNX installer sees the whole disk but can only actually use just under 128 GB of it. What is this, 2001? QNX 6.0-6.3 I could kind of, kind of, see not having large HDD support, but the fact that 6.4 doesn't is ridiculous. It's 2008, folks, let's get with the program.

Despite this, all of my data was where I had left it and the file system hasn't changed much. I had backed up anyway, remembering the massive loss and corruption of data the upgrade from 6.2 to 6.3 burned me with.

Anyway, after logging in, I notice the GUI has been refined. It actually looks quite nice. We're talking the Windows XP Fisher-Price interface or Mac OS X v10.2 here, but it's still a step up from the doldrums of Amiga-like interfaces QNX has been using. Not that 6.3 was bad; it was better than its predecessors, but I finally feel like I'm using an operating system made in the Noughts, not the Eighties.

The default web browser is Firefox 3, a huge improvement over the god-awful Voyager. Too bad Adobe won't deign to make Flash for QNX or Apple QuickTime for that matter. Face it, using QNX is putting yourself back in time by about ten years on the multimedia front. And this was going to be the AmigaOS at one point? What a dead platform.

Now a little about performance. QNX 6.4 performance is, overall, dogged compared to QNX 6.3. How does QSS expect people to develop for their operating system when it takes forever to load the IDE or change the desktop background? I was checking out the new wallpaper included in 6.4 and they took forever to load. Window dragging isn't any better and it glitches like there's no tomorrow. I tried a couple newer video cards and they made no difference; apparently QNX doesn't support 2D GPU acceleration or any other kind of GPU acceleration at all!

After all this I decided to play a game. The trusty old windowed DOOM game was there, just as it has been since 2000, and since it's a demo you can't go beyond the first level or use cheats. I checked Amazon and Newegg for QNX versions of WoW to no avail, and apparently the Open Source community hasn't ported it either. I wonder if WoW could even run on QNX without the hardware support modern operating systems have.

Overall I was happy with the upgrade. I've been doing commercial web site development on it since 2000 and this is the best version so far. It's just not very good overall. Firefox 3 helps immensely with my web business but the lack of iTunes or real games kills me. I guess I can't complain because it's free, but I'd watch for QNX 6.5 if you need QNX but want better features.


Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure


Related Links
o Also by Trollaxor

Display: Sort:
QNX 6.4 > 6.3 | 36 comments (25 topical, 11 editorial, 0 hidden)
This is such an excellent troll (3.00 / 9) (#2)
by Vampire Zombie Abu Musab al Zarqawi on Thu Nov 20, 2008 at 01:38:49 PM EST

The QNX community is going to be mightily pissed off. rusty better prepare to get rich!

I don't know why they'd be pissed. (3.00 / 6) (#12)
by Trollaxor on Fri Nov 21, 2008 at 09:09:40 AM EST

I like QNX 6.4.

[ Parent ]
trollax can do no wrong in my eyes $ (3.00 / 12) (#3)
by loteck on Thu Nov 20, 2008 at 01:44:44 PM EST

"You're in tune to the musical sound of loteck hi-fi, the musical sound that moves right round. Keep on moving ya'll." -Mylakovich

Indeed, thank you, sir. (2.25 / 4) (#13)
by Trollaxor on Fri Nov 21, 2008 at 09:09:54 AM EST

[ Parent ]
A heart-warming story. (3.00 / 6) (#7)
by Empedocles on Thu Nov 20, 2008 at 10:24:00 PM EST

After all, who can resist the timeless love a boy and his faithful dog?

And I think it's gonna be a long long time
'Till touch down brings me 'round again to find
I'm not the man they think I am at home

Heeere, QNX! Here girl! (3.00 / 7) (#16)
by Trollaxor on Fri Nov 21, 2008 at 09:11:03 AM EST

[ Parent ]
Disk speed tests? (3.00 / 8) (#9)
by b1t r0t on Fri Nov 21, 2008 at 04:56:17 AM EST

You didn't even check to see how long it took to copy a 17 meg file?

-- Indymedia: the fanfiction.net of journalism.
I did. (3.00 / 8) (#18)
by Trollaxor on Fri Nov 21, 2008 at 09:24:54 AM EST

But it was causing my DOOM session to glitch, so I cancelled it.

[ Parent ]
No idea what the hell you're talking about (3.00 / 5) (#20)
by BottleRocket on Fri Nov 21, 2008 at 03:26:30 PM EST


$ . . . . . $ . . . . . $ . . . . . $
. ₩ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . *
$ . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $
Yes I do download [child pornography], but I don't keep it any longer than I need to, so it can yield insight as to how to find more. --MDC
$ . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $
. . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . *
. ₩ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
$ . . . . . $ . . . . . $ . . . . . $

Do They Still Have The Floppy Disk Demo? (3.00 / 2) (#21)
by MichaelCrawford on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 04:26:49 AM EST

They used to have this demo version of QNX you could download, that would place a fully-working system on a single floppy disk. I was quite impressed.

I'm curious what wasn't included on the floppy, that took up so many gigabytes.


Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy

No, they upgraded to a flash drive. (3.00 / 3) (#22)
by Trollaxor on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 01:22:54 PM EST

You can order QSS's "Flash QNX" demo, a 256 MB USB flash drive that boots QNX 6.4 on any PC with a 486 or greater and (obviously) a USB port, for free from the QNX website.

I'm still waiting on mine and expect it within a week or two. QNX recommends USB2 and posters in various fora agree.

[ Parent ]

Someday I'll port ZooLib to QNX (none / 1) (#23)
by MichaelCrawford on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 02:27:44 PM EST

Once I've done that, it will be straightforward to port Ogg Frog as well.

Do you know anything about QNX' GUI toolkit? What's it like?

ZooLib needs only very basic GUI operations: mouse, keyboard, windows that one can draw in, and just very basic graphic operations.

It doesn't need any of the higher level GUI widgets except possibly menus. That is, it doesn't need any kind of buttons or scrollbars because it provides those itself.


Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy

[ Parent ]

QNX Photon microGUI (3.00 / 2) (#24)
by Trollaxor on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 02:52:09 PM EST

QNX Photon microGUI

[ Parent ]
I Am Eternally In Your Debt. $ (none / 1) (#25)
by MichaelCrawford on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 02:59:09 PM EST


Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy

[ Parent ]

I had no idea what QNX was (none / 1) (#26)
by totmacher on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 04:43:15 PM EST

until I read this article.

-- I'll sum it up for yo: You = Douche bag ~ Butthurtapotamus
What fortune that I introduced you to QNX! (none / 1) (#27)
by Trollaxor on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 11:44:44 PM EST

[ Parent ]
So why do you use it? (3.00 / 2) (#28)
by TrumanTxapote on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 02:31:10 AM EST

What do you use QNX for?

Interesting (3.00 / 3) (#29)
by Fon2d2 on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 02:01:58 PM EST

This article is posted only a few months after I finish working on an embedded design using QNX for the first time. The customer wanted really fancy graphics, alpha blending, drop shadows, all that crap. After a lot of back and forth with QNX technical support, we learned that Photon (QNX graphics system) didn't really support this properly, even though PhAB (Photon Application Builder) can accept PNG files in GUI design. Where and when it did work, it was dog slow. I believe we ended up doing some pretty hokey work arounds.

Other issues I remember: I could crash the USB stack by attaching a device with incorrectly formatted descriptors. Of course this took out the keyboard as well. And one of their set pixel routines didn't work. I actually watched it change memory correctly in one location and then go and incorrectly corrupt another location.

QNX is behind the times. I'm not sure how they get selected for projects, or how they can continue to charge tens of thousands for licenses and support contracts (which you cannot develop without). Overall, I'd same my experience was similar to Trollaxor's.

ooh! ooh! review plan 9 or inferno next! (none / 0) (#30)
by zenofchai on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 11:26:46 AM EST

The K5 Interactive Political Compass SVG Graph
I would. (none / 0) (#31)
by Trollaxor on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 03:08:46 PM EST

But I can't get them to boot on my eight-core Mac Pro with 32 GB RAM...

[ Parent ]
why did this article make the front page? (none / 0) (#32)
by pierrebz on Thu Dec 18, 2008 at 12:04:59 PM EST

I haven't checked out K5 for quite a long time because I was finding it increasingly irrelevant.

This boring troll making the front page confirms my diagnosis.

What have you contributed lately? (3.00 / 2) (#33)
by Trollaxor on Sun Dec 21, 2008 at 08:52:04 PM EST

Aside from criticism, that is.

[ Parent ]
So where do you get it? (none / 0) (#34)
by GiTm on Sat Dec 27, 2008 at 11:03:32 AM EST

I remember, many moons ago, you could download a LiveCD of QNX that would run on (and install on) x86 systems. AFAIK that included a GCC toolchain and had no time limitations. It looked like BeOS (as far as the UI went anyway).

After reading your article I went to the QNX site and the best I could find was a 30 day eval of the QNX development environment. Are there other options?

I would like to play with QNX again, and develop some software for it, but I'm not willing to pay the price they want for what would basically be a toy. Is there a personal edition available still?
--- I have nothing funny to say here.

The dev eval (none / 0) (#35)
by Trollaxor on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 05:34:30 PM EST

You can use the OS indefinitely. The dev package is just hindered by a 30-day license.

[ Parent ]
Laem articul. (2.00 / 2) (#36)
by mcrbids on Sun Feb 01, 2009 at 09:34:21 PM EST

This article is fail. Some guy with a yard sale P3 using an O/S that sux who loads in a newer version of suck, complains all about how badly it sucks ass, how it politely throws away 75% of his 500 GB HDD, how it runs slower than a drugged retard at a Mensa meeting, then ends off with "Wowz it's teh coolz!" because it didn't trash his old filesystem during upgrade, like it did last time he upgraded.

Seriously. WTF?

And how does shitte like this make it to K5 front page?
I kept looking around for somebody to solve the problem. Then I realized... I am somebody! -Anonymouse

QNX 6.4 > 6.3 | 36 comments (25 topical, 11 editorial, 0 hidden)
Display: Sort:


All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. The Rest 2000 - Present Kuro5hin.org Inc.
See our legalese page for copyright policies. Please also read our Privacy Policy.
Kuro5hin.org is powered by Free Software, including Apache, Perl, and Linux, The Scoop Engine that runs this site is freely available, under the terms of the GPL.
Need some help? Email help@kuro5hin.org.
My heart's the long stairs.

Powered by Scoop create account | help/FAQ | mission | links | search | IRC | YOU choose the stories!