The Death of GEOS? – OSnews

This is a unpleasant essay to write. I’ve been a longtime fan and user of what is affectionately famous as PC/GEOS over a years. However, I’m fearing we’re impending a finish of GEOS.

I have an strange “Working” chronicle of a GeoWorks hearing from Comdex many years ago, we purchased GeoWorks 1.0, 1.2 (the one with Borland Quattro Pro since a PC/GEOS local spreadsheet wasn’t utterly ready), GeoWorks Ensemble 2.0 and 2.1 (with a local spreadsheet), several versions of PC/GEOS from NewDeal and a latest chronicle of PC/GEOS famous as Breadbox Ensemble Add to this donations from PC/GEOS fans, trips to over-abundance module stores and garage sales and I’d try to gamble we have one of a many finish PC/GEOS collections available.

If a mechanism press done a disproportion afterwards we’d all be regulating PC/GEOS currently since in a early days of DOS and a initial few versions of Windows a accord was PC/GEOS (known commercially as GeoWorks) charity a “better DOS than DOS and a improved Windows than Windows”.

As an aside, note that a strange GEOS (Graphical Environment Operating System) was creatively combined for a Apple II and Commodore 64/128 computers by Berkeley SoftWorks founded by Brian Doughtery that after became GeoWorks Corporation. These versions were met with both regard and critique from a press, regard for a extraordinary functionality accessible within a intensely singular memory and processor speeds of a day and critique since of a need to barter disks, a usually unsentimental approach to offer a strong apartment of WYSIWG collection on such singular platforms. The Apple chronicle of GEOS (a.k.a. Apple GEOS) is accessible from Breadbox Computer Company as a free, unsupported download, and a Commodore chronicle of GEOS is accessible from a Commodore copyright hilt Click Here Software.

But behind to PC/GEOS. It has served as a underlying handling system/GUI (a singular eminence as PC/GEOS requires an underlying handling complement to hoop record input/output (some movement of DOS) for a series of hardware form factors including IBM computers dictated for consumers (PS/1), Hewlett-Packard (OmniGo) and Casio hand-held computers, Brother GeoBook products, Nokia smart-phones and low-cost, educational and home formed computers.

Despite this prolonged legacy, we fear that PC/GEOS is tighten to genocide and I’m not a usually one who thinks so. One of Yahoo’s many ignored resources is their “Groups” functionality, cruise a some-more accessible chronicle of IRC (internet send chat) or Google Groups (Usenet). The many active organisation I’ve found following PC/GEOS is GEOS-Talk on Yahoo! Groups founded by Byron Collins, another long-time PC/GEOS fanatic.

Up until a final year, a final dual years posts on GEOS-Talk were filled with comments, ideas, users pity tips about removing PC/GEOS to run regulating DOSBox, DOSEmu on Linux systems, focus hints, and many important, ideas for growing, expanding and suggestions for a stream owners of PC/GEOS, Breadbox Computer Company for how they can expand, grow and distinction from this admittedly old/archaic record while bringing it into a complicated mechanism age.

Unfortunately a posts have all though dusty adult and some-more important, support has incited to criticism, bitterness, despondency and (mostly half-hearted, unrealistic) offers to squeeze a module from a existent copyright owners (Breadbox Computer Corporation).

Another aside. PC/GEOS, or some-more importantly “Ensemble” that are a capability applications bundled with PC/GEOS are still considerable capability applications that yield a lot of punch for a intensely singular complement mandate indispensable for PC/GEOS. While they miss harmony with a latest record formats, Ensemble applications can still contest with a likes of KOffice, Microsoft Works, Gnome Office and other bureau suites.

The stream copyright holders (Breadbox Computer Corporation) trust a destiny is to position PC/GEOS as an educationally focused OS for low powered unstable computers quite for rising mechanism markets in second and third universe countries, not distinct a OLCP educational computers. To this finish Breadbox Computer Company has supposing giveaway utilities to support in a origination of educational content.

Unfortunately, there appears to be a undo between GEOS-Talk participants (and by prolongation PC/GEOS fanatics and users) and Breadbox Computer Corporation. Breadbox has perceived tiny educational calm notwithstanding charity giveaway module to a “community” to support in a origination of educational content, while PC/GEOS users seem to be removing some-more dissapoint during a miss of any swell per PC/GEOS over a final 10 years.

To Breadbox Computer’s credit, they expelled approximately a year ago a rider to a module that allows it to run reliably on faster machines, though on a other palm removing it to run natively underneath Windows XP is a plea and flattering many unfit (without third jubilee solutions such as DOSBox for example) underneath Vista or Windows 7 (more as a outcome of these handling systems expelling support for bequest DOS/Windows functionality than any reduction of PC/GEOS).

Remember, a biggest reduction of PC/GEOS is that it requires an underlying handling complement to yield record input/output operations. Could PC/GEOS have supposing these functions natively and so not need a 3rd jubilee handling system? Could PC/GEOS have embraced Unix or Linux to yield these services “behind a scenes”? Could PC/GEOS have been bundled with other technologies such as DOSBox?

The members of GEOS-Talk have supposing a series of artistic suggestions though a infancy of these suggestions seem to have depressed on deaf ears. A common refrain from a stream copyright owners has been, we attempted that, didn’t work, not interested.

As a explanation of concept, several fans have combined unstable drives regulating a multiple of DOSBox and Breadbox Ensemble to emanate a cranky height PC/GEOS sourroundings that can run on Windows and a Mac (and with a tiny some-more bid Linux) though a PC/GEOS aren’t meddlesome in a “portable drive” concept.

Others have suggested a tiny “Pogoplug”, “black box” or other form of “appliance” that can be trustworthy to an existent monitor/LCD, keyboard and rodent for $100 or reduction (very realistic).

And others have begged a stream PC/GEOS owners to refurbish a record by possibly formulating an underlying I/O complement that doesn’t need another handling complement such as DOS, or during slightest refurbish a complement to take advantage of advances in Linux hardware and module harmony to offer as a underlying OS if necessary.

A common thread on GEOS-Talk is “build it and they will come”. Maybe this is too oppressive a criticism, or during slightest impractical as it’s not a community’s income that is spend on RD.

The stream copyright holders seem to have a opinion that “we’ll build it when they come”. This is positively an oversimplification on my part, though we too have been undone by a miss of swell associated to PC/GEOS over a final several years.

I’ve secretly combined a cross-platform PC/Mac chronicle of Breadbox Ensemble to run regulating DOSBox from a ride expostulate and I’ve combined about and assisted others in a a routine during GEOS-Talk. I’ve authored an essay here during about removing Breadbox Ensemble regulating underneath eComStation (the inheritor to OS/2) and I’ve suggested several strategies to a folks during Breadbox Computer Company, including formulating a network apparatus plan to insert to existent peripherals such as monitor, keyboard and mouse, as good as suggestions for a reduction costly “cut down” chronicle of PC/GEOS for those DIY forms who wish an easy to use, GUI-based bombard to conduct bequest DOS games (a flourishing market), those who need to recover/archive information from DOS applications, and those who competence still be regulating DOS applications for inventory, accounting, or other uses and haven’t ever ported their applications to Windows.

Unlike some, we don’t trust that all module should be giveaway or open source and I’d like to see a folks during Breadbox make a dime off their investment (something that unfortunately no other association has been means to do). But we also trust that it would be a contrition for record that during one indicate presented a genuine hazard to a Microsoft juggernaut to die a slow, unpleasant genocide for no good reason, quite when other bureau suites, other handling systems, reduction able technology, some-more formidable record and many important, reduction discerning module enjoys a long, moneyed life while PC/GEOS dies.

Ironically, this year is a 25th anniversary of PC/GEOS and a year or so ago there was a lot of speak on GEOS-Talk about a grand jubilee of PC/GEOS this year with hints from Breadbox Computer that there competence be new developments, a lot of artistic ideas about how to Breadbox competence distinction from this glorious technology, finish user enrichment of a means removing PC/GEOS to run underneath Linux, Unix, Breadbox and other handling systems and even new applications and utilities combined for a platform.

Unfortunately today, there is a mood of dejection, beating and disappointment on GEOS-Talk (and within a village as we conform with others privately). No 25th anniversary celebration. No 32 bit chronicle of Breadbox Ensemble (promised roughly 10 years ago). No refurbish of a Breadbox Computer Company website. No new press releases. No new updates to a software. No new Linux horde versions of a software. No new DOSBox formed versions of a software. No discounts on a list cost ($99.00 list, that is extremely some-more than a hardware than it runs on is value today) and many important, a transparent feeling by a stream copyright holders to even cruise open-sourcing a record as a final embankment bid of saving this record from a computing dirt bin.

So this is a call out to a intelligent readers during to offer your possess suggestions, opinions and comments. Is PC/GEOS too distant gone? Is it too late for PC/GEOS? Would open sourcing a record inspire new growth as some have proposed? Should this 25 year aged record survive? Is there some approach for a copyright holders to precedence a record and distinction from it? Is a portable, educational device marketplace a best possibility for this technology? Is there unequivocally too tiny a marketplace of bequest DOS gamers and would they be reluctant to compensate $20 or $30 dollars on what would be an overwhelming “shell” to conduct DOS games? Is DOS unequivocally (really!) passed and there isn’t any marketplace for an overwhelming DOS GUI and capability suite?

The SDK is accessible for giveaway from Breadbox’s website. Would readers/programmers be peaceful to take a look, flog out a discerning app and module for a platform? Would a improved infrastructure for third jubilee applications (if PC/GEOS got it’s height act together) that enclosed an “app store” improved e-commerce, improved website, etc.) urge a situation?

All comments, suggestions, etc. welcome. And happy, or not so happy 25th anniversary PC/GEOS depending on your perspective.



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