I don't know what to think of this.

by Steve Mallett

Related link: http://osdir.com/Downloads-req-viewdownloaddetails-lid-357-ttitle-The_Contiki_De…

The Contiki Desktop OS:

"Contiki is an Internet-enabled operating system and desktop environment for the Commodore 64..... includes a multitasking kernel, a windowing system with themeable GUI toolkit, a screen saver, a TCP/IP stack, a simple Web server, a telnet client, and a Web browser....runs comfortably in 64 kilobytes of RAM"

Notice, that reads 64 kilobytes of RAM.

Other systems under development include "8-bit Nintendo Entertainment system, PCEngine, Gameboy, Atari 8-bit, Atari Jaguar, Atari Lynx, Apple ][, VIC-20, CBM PET, Plus/4, Tandy CoCo, Sharp Wizard, Casio PocketViewer, Sega DreamCast and the Sony Playstation."

I don't know whether to chuckle to myself or head over to the local antique computer store. I have to say that in the end I think this is pretty cool.

Update: Contiki is also mentioned this morning on /. Looks like I'd better get over to the store before all the C64s are gone.

Are you: 1) laughing 2) loving it 3) all the above?


2003-03-10 06:13:36
You have to wonder
"All of the above programs are contained in a single, fully self-contained, 42 kilobytes large binary."

What's the smallest word file you can save??!?

2003-03-10 09:31:26
What about the TI-99/4A?
...with its 30-pound expansion box and giant freaking cards?
2003-03-10 14:52:59
I have an old Commodore 64 emulator that I run on my son's Windows laptop called c64s, which came from someplace called Seattle Labs. I don't know if it still exists, but there used to be a site in Europe where you could download disk images of games and programs. I'm such a geek, I bought a serial interface cable for an old 1541 disk drive and transferred all my old disks (25 5 1/4" floppies to 4 at 3.5"). It took about 3 days, but I've had them all now for almost a decade.

My first programs were written on an old C64. It was literally BASIC, but it wasn't bad. I even worked for Commodore when I was 15, selling computers at the local Base Exchange. That platform experienced a renaissance of software development around then, and it was in Europe, too. I had a few German games. I (and Fatboy Slim) still say the Amiga was better at multimedia than anything that came out at that time (Apple fans must defend the IIGS).

My son loves the emulator. His current favorites are Cliffhanger and the Castles of Dr. Creep. Those games got pretty sophisticated... I thought Paradroid was the bomb. My all time favorite: Jammin'.

2003-03-10 15:00:39
BBC-B and prior art
The BBC-B, the computer the British Broadcasting Cooperation, sponsored was another great computer with loads of great software. It had all these great things for me, 3.5'' disks a 20 Mb harddrive on a system with 64 kb of memory.. all types of software, spreadsheet wordprocessor database games communications, yes I am old :)

One of the things all these great machines and their software are still good for is proving that there is a lot of prior art. When another hoodlum thinks he invented the wheel it proofs that in another world (not his) it already existed.

2003-03-11 03:57:16
Old cows ...
I'm pretty impressed by the contiki project, but it is nothing new ... have a look at Lunix for the c64 (and c128): http://lng.sourceforge.net/

Some o/t key features:
- Preemptive multitasking (up to 32 tasks, 7 priorities)
- Dynamic memory management (in chunks of 256 or 32 bytes)
- Runtime code relocation
- IPC (inter process communication) through pipes
- IPC through signals
- Support for standard RS232 userport interface
- Virtual consoles
- (simple) command shell (with history function)
- Support for CBM (IEC bus) devices (e.g. 1541)
- Open source, comes with all needed (cross-) development tools
- LNG can be terminal and terminal server (RS232)
- Support for SLIP packet encapsulation over serial links
- Support for PPP (packet encapsulation) over serial links
- Loop back packet driver for off-line client-server trials
- TCP/IP stack (and clients for telnet, ftp and pop3
- A simple web server (experimental)
- Support for the DFC77 receiver (radio-transmitted time signal in europe/germany)

Euh ... no X-Server, yet ;-)