The 1.44M Web Challenge

The 1.44M Web Challenge

Post by Dan Hildebra » Fri, 13 Jun 1997 04:00:00



This was originally posted in comp.os.linux.development.system, but it
occurs to me that this might perhaps have been a more appropriate forum.
Here is is:

In the interests of laying out a friendly little challenge, can a Linux
system be configured to put a web browser, a web server, the OS, TCP/IP and
a windowing system on a single 1.44 Mbyte floppy disk?

Impossible?

QNX Software Systems Ltd. announces the QNX Demo Disk
(downloadable from http://www.qnx.com/iat/).  This single 1.44
Mbyte floppy disk contains:

          1. Voyager Web Browser (Full HTML 3.2, frames, tables, etc.)
          2. Voyager Embedded Web Server
          3. The QNX Realtime Operating System
          4. TCP/IP (with PPP including CHAP/PAP support)
          5. Photon microGUI Windowing System
          6. A "remote control" device to simulate a TV set top box
          7. An Internet Phone Dialer
          8. A Graphical File Browser
          9. A Graphical Text Editor
         10. A Vector Graphics Animation
         11. Over 180 Kbytes of HTML and image content

With this floppy disk and a desktop PC, you can browse the web or
turn that PC into a web server accessible to other computers on
the Internet.

To download a copy, visit the http://www.qnx.com/iat/ website.
To run the demodisk, you'll need a PC with a 386 or better, 6
Mbytes of RAM minimum, a mouse, VGA or better video and,
optionally, a modem.

A floppy drive is required, but the hard drive is not. :-)
--

http://www.qnx.com/~danh                    175 Terence Matthews
phone: +1 (613) 591-0931                    Kanata, Ontario, Canada
fax:   +1 (613) 591-3579                    K2M 1W8

 
 
 

The 1.44M Web Challenge

Post by Dan Hildebra » Fri, 13 Jun 1997 04:00:00




Quote:>The question that comes to my mind is:  Does booting the OS on this
>floppy drive convert my workstation into an appliance that can only do
>specifically the things mentioned below?  Does the TCP/IP include support
>for anything beyond a hard-coded modem interface?

For reasons of space limitations, the 1.44 Mbyte floppy disk simply doesn't
have room for drivers for Ethernet cards, etc.  So the TCP/IP, is of
necessity, limited to driving a modem interface only.  However, notice that
the TCP/IP connection through the modem turns your PC both into a machine
which can browse the web, AND into a web site which can be browsed by other
machines on the web.  Also, I suspect that sysadmin's would be somewhat
leary of their user base downloading a disk image from the internet, and
booting that disk image and going live on their internal corporate LAN.
:-)

Quote:>Is the 'windowing system' anything more than a 'menuing system'?

Lots more.  Download the disk and see. :-) You'll be surprised.

Quote:>Obviously a whole lot of
>hard coded functionality can be crammed into a 1.44M floppy diskette.  
>But if it transforms my General-purpose workstation into the equivalent
>of a handheld personal information manager am I required to be impressed?

I wouldn't be impressed with a PIM on a floppy.  Some differences between
what's on the demodisk, and what a handheld PIM would provide are:

1) The OS (QNX) is a POSIX-certified, memory protected 32 bit OS.  The same
OS that used in nuclear reactor monitoring, medical instrumentation,
financial transaction processing, etc.

2) The GUI is fully capable of competing with X or MS Windows for basic
functionality.  Fully unicode, support for japanese, chinese, korean, etc.
The GUI also lets you do things like drag a live running application (Doom,
for example) from the screen of one machine on the LAN to the screen of
another machine on the LAN.  That other machine can even be a Win95, NT,
UNIX or, gasp, a Linux box. :-)   We also have a Win32 API in beta test for
it.

3) The web browser is a full HTML 3.2 browser built from the Spyglass
modular web browser technology.  The same technology that Microsoft's
Internet Explorer has it's roots in.  This isn't a toy browser, it fully
supports frames, tables, animated gifs, etc, unlike the browser in, for
example, WinCE.

A lot more detail is on the demodisk, and on the website
(http://www.qnx.com/iat) that you can download it from.
--

http://www.qnx.com/~danh                    175 Terence Matthews
phone: +1 (613) 591-0931                    Kanata, Ontario, Canada
fax:   +1 (613) 591-3579                    K2M 1W8

 
 
 

The 1.44M Web Challenge

Post by James Youngma » Sat, 14 Jun 1997 04:00:00



> In the interests of laying out a friendly little challenge, can a Linux
> system be configured to put a web browser, a web server, the OS, TCP/IP and
> a windowing system on a single 1.44 Mbyte floppy disk?

The only windowing system for Linux I am aware of that fits on a 1.4Mb
disk is MGR.  AFAIK there is no web browser for MGR.  Splat.

As you're no doubt well aware, Linux proper was not designed for
smallness, but rather for other things.   I suggest that you ask the
ELKS ("Embedded Linux") people if they have this kind of technology to
hand.

 
 
 

1. Update to the 1.44M Web Challenge

This update to the QNX demo disk resolves a BIOS compatibility
problem with some machines (which in practice was the occasional
AMD K6, Cyrix 6x86, Intel Pentium II, or IBM Thinkpad laptop
computer). It also contains updated "Plug and Play" modem
support.

What is the 1.44M Web Challenge?  It's a web browser, a web
server, a POSIX-certified realtime OS, TCP/IP and a desktop-class
windowing system on a single 1.44 Mbyte floppy disk.  It also
happens to be an interesting way to turn an old PC into a
"Network Computer".

Impossible?

Download it from http://www.qnx.com/iat and try it yourself.  :-)

The single 1.44 Mbyte floppy disk contains:

  1. Voyager Web Browser (Full HTML 3.2, frames, tables, etc.)
  2. Voyager Embedded Web Server
  3. The QNX Realtime Operating System
  4. TCP/IP (with PPP including CHAP/PAP support)
  5. Photon microGUI Windowing System
  6. A "remote control" device to simulate a TV set top box
  7. An Internet Phone Dialer
  8. A Graphical File Browser
  9. A Graphical Text Editor
 10. A Vector Graphics Animation
 11. Over 180 Kbytes of HTML and image content

With this floppy disk and a desktop PC, you can browse the web or
turn that PC into a web server accessible to other computers on the
Internet.

To download a copy, visit the http://www.qnx.com/iat website.  To
run the demodisk you'll need a PC with a 386 or better, 6 Mbytes
of RAM minimum, a mouse, VGA or better video and, optionally, a
modem.

A floppy drive is required, but the hard drive is not. :-)
--

http://www.qnx.com/~danh                    175 Terence Matthews
phone: +1 (613) 591-0931                    Kanata, Ontario, Canada
fax:   +1 (613) 591-3579                    K2M 1W8

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