3/17/2011

30 years of QNX: The first QNX article?

Here's one for all you QNX history buffs, or for anyone who likes a good challenge. I've been trying to track down the first magazine article on QNX, and so far, the earliest one I've found was published by InfoWorld in 1983. (If your mental arithmetic is rusty, that's 28 years ago!)

At the time, the company was called Quantum, not QNX Software Systems, and the president was a fellow named Syd Geraghty — I'm pretty sure Syd was the company's first full-time employee.

The article mentions that the QNX OS was in rev 1.0, ran only on x86, and fit into 96k of memory. But to me, this is the most interesting bit:

    "Geraghty gave InfoWorld a brief demonstration of an experimental QNX user interface designed for the IBM PC. The interface will eventually allow users to grow 'windows' on the screen and run separate tasks in each window."

Takeaway: Even in 1983, QNX saw the value of a UI that provided users with true multitasking — Holy BlackBerry PlayBook, Batman!

I mentioned a challenge, and here it is: Can you find an even earlier article on QNX? If you can, I will bow to your superior search-engine mastery.

To read the InfoWorld article, click here.
 

4 comments:

Winfield said...

http://books.google.com/books?id=CzAEAAAAMBAJ&lpg=PA3&ots=ps34hD7qUJ&dq=%2Bquantum%20%2B1982%20%2Binfoworld&pg=PA3#v=onepage&q&f=false

Qunix?

Paul N. Leroux said...

Hi Winfield! I officially bow to your search savvy: I should have thought of searching for Quantum, the original name of QNX Software Systems -- can't believe I didn't. Doh!

Re your question: The name stood for “Quick Unix,” even though the QNX (um, QUNIX) OS was not a UNIX derivative. The name was coined to suggest that the operating system offered the reliability and programming interfaces of UNIX, but with decidedly better performance. See http://onqpl.blogspot.com/2010/03/30-years-of-qnx-life-before-photoshop.html

- Paul

Winfield said...

Thank you very much for the update sir! And no need to bow, just a bit of luck and some curiosity lead to the result.

I must say I love the QNX OS on the Playbook. I had RIM out to my base and they brought a demo and it was fantastic. I will definitely be ordering one as soon as they are released. Hopefully following with 800+ for my base

Paul N. Leroux said...

I may be biased, but I'm definitely looking forward to getting one myself. :-)