Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Handhelds Operating Systems Software BSD Hardware

New Sidekick Will Run NetBSD, Not Windows CE 262

Posted by kdawson
from the daemon-in-the-details dept.
jschauma writes "Many sites are reporting that the next Sidekick LX 2009/Blade, from Danger (acquired by Microsoft early in 2008), is going to run NetBSD as their operating system, causing Microsoft's recruiters to look for NetBSD developers."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

New Sidekick Will Run NetBSD, Not Windows CE

Comments Filter:
  • Just asking.

    • by MichaelSmith (789609) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @02:48AM (#26705791) Homepage Journal
      I feel so torn. On one had here is a chance to be paid to work on netbsd. On the other hand the job is with Microsoft.
      • by X0563511 (793323)

        I hear Microsoft is good to work for.

        Why not, if you are going to be doing NetBSD work? It's not like you would be going in to code the next Microsoft Useless Widget 2.0.

        • by SL Baur (19540)

          I hear Microsoft is good to work for.

          Why not, if you are going to be doing NetBSD work?

          Perhaps, but do they force you to use a Microsoft Windows box to do your work? That would be a show stopper for me.

          Maybe 6.0/6.1 is better, but I did try out Microsoft Windows XP for awhile for educational purposes on a work machine and the only moments I truly enjoyed the experience were when I was turning the machine off and later installing RHEL over XP at the end of the time.

          Mac OS X is not too bad, not great, but nothing beats KDE 3.5 for ease of use and development.

    • by kestasjk (933987) * on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @03:10AM (#26705917) Homepage
      I love that this story comes out just after the latest NetBSD came out and everyone was leaving cynical "why do they still bother" comments. :-)
  • Embrace. (Score:4, Informative)

    by palegray.net (1195047) <{philip.paradis} {at} {palegray.net}> on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @02:33AM (#26705687) Homepage Journal
    This isn't exactly the first time Microsoft has leveraged BSD code in a product... cough, TCP stack, cough...
    • Re:Embrace. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Svartalf (2997) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @02:52AM (#26705815) Homepage

      It might be "embrace", but you can't do any more than "extend" there. As long as the *BSD crowd's interested it'll be around. Much like Linux will be.

      No, this is notable because it's an open admission that WinCE can't cut it .

      • It might be "embrace", but you can't do any more than "extend" there.

        This is actually one of the things I admire about developers in a position to release their code under BSD licenses. The end user is free to do anything they please with the code, including rolling it into a proprietary product, as long as they follow the attribution requirements. As for myself, most of my public code is licensed under the GPL, for various reasons (some being financially related). No one can reasonably argue that BSD-licensed code isn't truly free.

        • BSD code license is truly free, but GPL makes other code free as well. They are saying "if you don't want to give your users the freedom we think they deserve, you shouldn't use other people work to gain profit".

          • Re:Embrace. (Score:4, Insightful)

            by TheRaven64 (641858) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @10:51AM (#26709271) Journal

            BSD code license is truly free, but GPL makes other code free as well

            That's good. So, I can download the GoogleFS code that is linked into Linux? Oh, they don't distribute it? I guess I can't then.

            More often recently the GPL has made other code not exist rather than be free. Take a look at the huge (BSDL) contributions Apple has made to LLVM, for example, because GCC GPL'd and so they can't use it for syntax highlighting in XCode.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by MichaelSmith (789609)

        No, this is notable because it's an open admission that WinCE can't cut it .

        At least in the short term. MSFT appear to have bought this product from elsewhere. To keep it alive they need to get a release out the door. Maybe in parallel they are porting the software to run on WinCE.

      • Re:Embrace. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by despisethesun (880261) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @03:13AM (#26705941)

        No, this is notable because it's an open admission that WinCE can't cut it .

        Not really. Someone can feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but from what I understand, development was well underway when Danger got bought by MS. That means it was likely cheaper to just continue doing what they were doing rather than scrap the work and start again using Microsoft's stuff. Not to say that something like that would have been unheard of, but it would have delayed a product that they wanted to get out the door. The real test will be whether the next iteration of this hardware runs this same OS or whether it comes with WinMo/WinCE.

        • Re:Embrace. (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Svartalf (2997) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @09:11AM (#26708027) Homepage

          Actually, for the longest time, MS was going to move the Sidekick over to WinCE- they were even gearing up for it. Unfortunately, after many months of this (A year ago, in reality...), they have announced that they're doing it with a *BSD core and they're HIRING *BSD devs for it.

          If you're doing what you're claiming, you don't spend 12 months doing it that way and then gear up for the other OS that you don't sell...doesn't look good to investors to spend 225 billion or so on someone to do something like this. ;-)

        • development was well underway when Danger got bought by MS. That means it was likely cheaper to just continue doing what they were doing rather than scrap the work and start again using Microsoft's stuff.

          Hm, if only it worked that way. But out there in Biznis land that kind of rationality rarely prevails in my experience. The "NIH" and "OMG ITZ NOT MS" factors rank higher than "faster, better, cheaper" (i.e. anything not MS).

          Plus, executives are, often, ah, "incented" to choose the Microsoft solution in t

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by timmarhy (659436)
      apple can join that list as well. in fact everyone can. BSD is an awesome software model, and is truly free, unlike the GPL pretenders.

      i also agree this is admitted winCE is crap. we have ruggised hardware at work that uses it and i fucking hate it. activesync is the worse idea evar.

    • Re:Embrace. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by qw0ntum (831414) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @03:06AM (#26705905) Journal
      Is there a problem with Microsoft using BSD code in their proprietary products? The developers clearly understood that was a potential outcome when they placed their code under a BSD license. As a result, they probably don't mind

      That said, would it be nice to have seen MS contribute some code back? Yes, but that was not required by the license so there is no problem. That is the whole point of the BSD-style licenses: you can take my code and do whatever you want with it; you are under no further obligation to me.
      • Re:Embrace. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by palegray.net (1195047) <{philip.paradis} {at} {palegray.net}> on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @03:14AM (#26705949) Homepage Journal
        Dear Lord, thank you. A post on Slashdot that mirrors the easily understandable fact that BSD licensed code is, in fact, free.
      • As you'll note from my previous reply, I take no issue whatsoever with Microsoft using a BSD base for a product. I hope you didn't infer that from my GP post.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by yttrstein (891553)
        There's BSD code in every version of windows going back to NT 4.0. BSD developers know this, and that's part of the point. If I may:

        "I don't use *BSD because I hate Microsoft, I use it because I love unix"

        That's the whole of the point. It doesn't matter who uses the code; there's no sense of "being ripped off" in the BSD world. You develop it because you love it, and because you want to make things (all things) work better. Not because you want to kick Microsoft (or anyone else) in the teeth.
  • by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @02:41AM (#26705753)
    My NetBSD toaster [embeddedarm.com] was lonely. Getting him a friend will be nice.
    • I am in awe of your culinary browning device. My sonic toothbrush years for the day its pulses may be measured in megahertz.
  • by MichaelSmith (789609) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @02:53AM (#26705821) Homepage Journal
    • The Secret Service hires Pakistani dudes to guard the president.
    • Boeing outsources all aircraft construction to Toulouse.
      • Boeing outsources all aircraft construction to Toulouse.

      Yes I know this country. It's next to the country of Amsterdam, yeah? :D

  • Try try again. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by LostCluster (625375) * on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @02:58AM (#26705845)

    This reminds me of the Hotmail Unix to Windows conversion a few years back. They failed the first time. But eventually got it right.

  • Even better... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bofh29a (740402) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @03:15AM (#26705953)
    Microsoft's own Exchange servers have Postfix on their spam filtering boxen front-end. Not exactly eating their own dog food, when they have their own Forefront Security for Exchange.

    This is the Postfix program at host mailxxx-xxx-R.bigfish.com.
    I'm sorry to have to inform you that your message could not be delivered to one or more recipients. It's attached below.

    For further assistance, please send mail to

    If you do so, please include this problem report. You can delete your own text from the attached returned message.

    The Postfix program

    : host xxxxx-xxxx-mail5.customer.frontbridge.com[131.107.115.214] said: 550 5.7.1

    $whois frontbridge.com,

    Domain Name: FRONTBRIDGE.COM Registrar of Record: Corporate Domains, Inc. Administrative Contact: Microsoft Corporation Domain Administrator One Microsoft Way Redmond, WA 98052 US domains@microsoft.com +1.4258828080 Fax: +1.4259367329

    $whois bigfish.com ,
    Domain Name: BIGFISH.COM Registrar of Record: Corporate Domains, Inc. Administrative Contact: Microsoft Corporation Domain Administrator One Microsoft Way Redmond, WA 98052 US domains@microsoft.com +1.4258828080 Fax: +1.4259367329
    • Its like for version control they use perforce, while MSFT fans are stuck using visual source safe.
  • Cool. Somebody tell Borland!

  • This is why the developer community for the SK imploded. While there's still a core of hard-core SK developers out there, the majority of them moved on to greener pastures after the whole fiasco with Danger and their multiple personality disorder with regards to developers.

    This, and their shit hardware QC, are why the Sidekick stopped being a real, going concern several years ago.

  • by rivaldufus (634820) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @04:31AM (#26706423)
    more than one open source operating system out there? Will Slashdot survive? It cracks me up that a bunch of posts talked about how hotmail once ran on "linux" and qmail. Can't even say the name, "FreeBSD."

    Seriously, this isn't surprising... NetBSD runs on everything. The NetBSD team spends a significant amount of time supporting a large number of platforms - be it a modern X86 server or a sun pizza box.
    You'll notice that commercial entities like the BSD license (see: OS X) And, I don't think that the NetBSD developers will suddenly panic: "Someone's going to steal our code!" Contrary to what some here might feel, there is room for more than one open source operating system and, believe it or not, more than one license.
    Back in the old days, slashdot had the BSD link right on the front page.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by TheRaven64 (641858)

      The NetBSD team spends a significant amount of time supporting a large number of platforms

      Actually, they don't anymore. What they do spend a lot of time doing is ensuring that there are very clean abstraction layers throughout the kernel so that porting to a new platform can be as little as a weekend's work if the compiler already exists. You need to initialize the CPU and provide MMU functions, which is typically a few hundred lines of code, and write a driver for the bus controller. From then on you can use all of the existing drivers unmodified.

  • by NZheretic (23872) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @06:55AM (#26707229) Homepage Journal
    When Microsoft sold Xenix [wikipedia.org] to the Santa Cruz Operation ( Not the current SCO Group ), wasn't there a Non-compete clause in the agreement? I thought that Microsoft was not allowed to sell any Unix based operating system - and that would include any NetBSD derivative.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Svartalf (2997)

      They're not selling the OS. They're selling the phones which use an OS.

      Doesn't breach their non-competes with SCO, sorry.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft have woken up to the fact that the only way to defeat Linux and the GPL is to support the BSD type licensed software.

    What's the problem with that?

    Every system has to have a basic set of rules. That basic set of rules is there to ensure that the system itself will continue to exist.

    So for instance, democracy won't last very long if you allow a simple majority of voters to vote democracy out of existence. The dim witted might say that makes it more democratic to allow it, but the more thoughtful wil

    • by argent (18001) <peterNO@SPAMslashdot.2006.taronga.com> on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @08:33AM (#26707785) Homepage Journal

      Anyone can take that code, ignore the communal effort which went into producing it, close source the code and their own additions and benefit off the backs of the work of others.

      You mean like the way Linus Torvalds did when he used the work that everyone from Thompson and Ritchie to Allman and McKusick had done in designing the system he cloned?

      I'm not criticizing Linus, writing open source code to open systems APIs is a Good Thing. My point is that EVERYTHING we do is done on the back of others.

      And if this is another step in Microsoft's slow and reluctant journey from proprietary APIs back to open ones, that's good too.

  • by martin-boundary (547041) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @07:24AM (#26707363)
    Sidekick [wikipedia.org]? I can totally do this! I still have some old TSR code lying around...
  • by GreatBunzinni (642500) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @09:24AM (#26708135)

    I find it strange that until now there isn't a single comment on the open-ness of that platform. Yes, it may run a BSD flavour. Nonetheless, is the platform locked down? Is it possible for any end-user to reinstall the OS without the need of circumvention tools and hard hacks?

    That, as I see it, is the single most interesting aspect of this article. After all, if the sidekick platform is locked down then it doesn't really matter it is running a BSD flavour. Moreover, it would once again emphasize the need for the legal constructs added to the GPL in the form of GPLv3.

    So, is it locked down? Can it run linux?

"A mind is a terrible thing to have leaking out your ears." -- The League of Sadistic Telepaths

Working...