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32-Bit is dead

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Reply 40 of 134, by Jo22

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Well, it wasn't me who wrote that article at hackaday, even though I share that oppinion.
32-Bit Windows applications will be around for quite a while, I think, however.

Because, there are simply too much out there.
Win32 (Win32/s/c; Win64) as an API/ABI was as important as was Win95 itself.

That's what I wrote in other threads a few times earlier. So don't worry, Win32 always survived.
What's declining are apparently plain x86 PC systems and their 32-Bit OSes.

Thank Intel and UEFI for that. They are going to kill the PC BIOS (+VGA BIOS),
the oldest and most important bit of the IBM PC compatible architecture right after the CPU itself.

The PC/AT architecture is now (seamigly) slowly going the way of the PC-98, err, the Dodo.
And no, I'm not happy about that. x86 was a wonderful long-time experiment of compatibility and progress (or evolution, at least).

How the future looks.. Who knows ?
Will OS/2 come back ? Will x86-64 survive ? Will ARM64 take over the world? Or RISC-V ?

No matter how it turns out, it will be an interesting voyage. 😀

PS: Microcontrollers of any bit-ness are excepted; as mentioned in the article.
The trend is about 64-Bit general-purpose computers that can run user applications.
PCs and tablets, tvs, smartphones etc (Android compatibles)

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 41 of 134, by canthearu

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Jo22 wrote on 2021-06-30, 02:17:

Thank Intel and UEFI for that.

What's wrong with UEFI?

As long as PCs are implemented using open/documented standards, then I'm not exceptionally worried.

It is things like proprietary ARM systems that I would rather not have a bar of.

Also, enforcing secure boot is another thing that worries me greatly. Hopefully, there will be enough blowback on any attempt to do that generally.

Reply 42 of 134, by Jo22

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canthearu wrote on 2021-06-30, 02:40:

What's wrong with UEFI?

Glad you ask. It's wrong by design! 🙁 UEFI is a (not so) miniature-OS that can (and occassionally will) lie to the user's operating system.
It also is a security risk and it adds more complexity to the appartus than good. It undermines the whole concept of the ring schemes, also.

UEFI itself would need regular updates, just like Windows, in order to be secure to some degree:
- Let's think of these secure boot certificates. What if "keys" leak eventually and get used by malicious software ? 🙁

However, these regular updates are not going to happen likely. There's no automatic update service running.
And even if it was, it would be another security risk. Hackers would take over the update servers.
UEFI , in an ideal world, would need a firewall, an anti-virus program etc. and a lot of quality testing that happens on a regular basis.

The problem is: How to find out whether or not UEFI is infected by malware ?
Windows can't find out, since UEFI is running with higher priority in background.

Also, a hacked/infected UEFI could filter network traffic of the network card it supports (on-board devices).

(And some experts of the 90s were worried about System Management Mode aka SMM already.
If they knew of the monster that the PC platform has become, they'd be horrified)

Originally, there was an alternative, called "Open Firmware", which was used by some workstations and Power Macs.
It was a bare-metal firmware with some basic connectivity and a shell.
Unfortunatelly, it didn't made it to the x86 platform. Even Apple used EFI in later models, sadly.

Edit: Due to the whole secure boot concept, UEFI also nolonger allows users to develop and run their own OSes.
On a traditional PC, be it x86 or x64, you can write/run your own boot sector games and write/run your own OSes like MenuetOS.
Where does this lead to ? To a world where a single company can decide which OS is allowed to run, maybe ?
Let's imagine, that only "certified" OSes can be run in the future. What does this mean to people with, well, overly careing govs ?
In the far east, such scenarios are no fiction currently. A future PC without a BIOS/CSM is a platform without freedom, I'm afraid.

canthearu wrote on 2021-06-30, 02:40:

As long as PCs are implemented using open/documented standards, then I'm not exceptionally worried.

Are they ? There was a time when x86 CPUs were general-purpose components, not just meant for PCs.
The Hubble Space Telescope (HST), for example, used an 80386, originally, before it was upgraded. 😀

Also, there were C&T, Cyrix, Nexgen, Transmeta and a few more companies making x86 processors.
Many of other popular companies, like Siemens and Texas Instruments made x86 processors through license-agreements.

But that was way back in the 90s. Now it's just Intel, AMD and, maybe, VIA.

The Z80, 8080, 8085, 8086 up to the first Pentiums were not tied to WinTel platform.
In Japan, for example, there were PC-98 and FM Towns which also using some of these CPUs.

Nowadays, x86 processors are especially made to suite a particular OS.
Like Skylake, which demands a Windows higher than Windows 7.

They also require a specific chipset now, which often is proprietary stuff.
An 8086 to 80486 era processors could be interfaced with generic off-the-shelf parts, by comparison.

What we have now, for ~15 years or so, is not my understanding of an open, standardized platform anymore. 🙁

canthearu wrote on 2021-06-30, 02:40:

It is things like proprietary ARM systems that I would rather not have a bar of.

Also, enforcing secure boot is another thing that worries me greatly. Hopefully, there will be enough blowback on any attempt to do that generally.

Sounds a bit like xenophobia to me. Just kidding. 😀
TPM and stuff are nice as long as they are optional. Which sadly is about to change. BitLocker used them to scramble a HDD, for example.
This was highly useful for business people that carried secret information on their notebooks.
Even if the notebook was stolen, the data was still safely scrambled.

Edit: Aw, I'm sorry. Way too much text - I got carried away, again. And in my own thread, even. Shame on me! 😅

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 43 of 134, by Caluser2000

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This thread belongs to EVERYONE on vogons to comment on dude.

There's a glitch in the matrix.
A founding member of the 286 appreciation society.
Apparently 32-bit is dead and nobody likes P4s.
Of course, as always, I'm open to correction...😉

Reply 44 of 134, by Jo22

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^Sure sir, personally I don't mind if people are are going a bit off-topic here,
but as the maker/original poster of this thread, I should have been a good example, I guess ?
Going so much off-topic here wasn't exactly a good thing to do, I suppose. Oh, well. Never mind. 😅

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 45 of 134, by canthearu

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Jo22 wrote on 2021-06-30, 04:16:
Edit: Due to the whole secure boot concept, UEFI also nolonger allows users to develop and run their own OSes. On a traditional […]
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Edit: Due to the whole secure boot concept, UEFI also nolonger allows users to develop and run their own OSes.
On a traditional PC, be it x86 or x64, you can write/run your own boot sector games and write/run your own OSes like MenuetOS.
Where does this lead to ? To a world where a single company can decide which OS is allowed to run, maybe ?
Let's imagine, that only "certified" OSes can be run in the future. What does this mean to people with, well, overly careing govs ?
In the far east, such scenarios are no fiction currently. A future PC without a BIOS/CSM is a platform without freedom, I'm afraid.

So it is exactly like BIOS used to be as well. Buggy and exploitable.

And UEFI, if it is not enforcing secure boot, will boot any unsigned operating system.

Hence why I worry about secure boot being enforced without choice. It is then that you will have a 3rd party decide what OS you can start on your computer.

Reply 46 of 134, by Jo22

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canthearu wrote on 2021-06-30, 11:56:

So it is exactly like BIOS used to be as well. Buggy and exploitable.

No, not really, I think. By comparison, the BIOS is as simple as DOS. It merely tests the hardware and provides a few interrupt calls, that's all.
Todays software developers have the misconception that complexity makes things greater and more stable, but that's an illusion.
https://arstechnica.com/information-technolog … ay-change-that/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second-system_effect

canthearu wrote on 2021-06-30, 11:56:

And UEFI, if it is not enforcing secure boot, will boot any unsigned operating system.

There's the catch - in the near future, secure boot will likely be always on.
There were stories of that on the internet, a few years ago, that MS intendes to make that a requirement for OEMs.
Let's wait and see if that holds true. Changes like this will take a few years to happen.
The option for Secure Boot may silently dissappear from the Setup Utility of later UEFI versions.

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 47 of 134, by keenmaster486

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I like 32 bit machines. It's not true that 32 bit software is dead by a long ways. It is true that nobody in the regular consumer world uses 32 bit any more... but it also is not true that you can't use a 32 bit machine in the modern day for regular tasks. Just trick out a dual core P4 or something with a lightweight Linux distro and go to town.

Nothing ever "dies" if somebody's still using it.

Is Latin a "dead" language? I always argue that it isn't because it's still being taught and used among a certain type of educated elites, and the Vatican. Same can be said of any niche technology.

Is Linux "dead" because only 1% of web traffic comes from Linux? Obviously not

World's foremost 486 enjoyer.

Reply 50 of 134, by Jo22

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keenmaster486 wrote on 2021-06-30, 15:53:

Well, and by that logic, 32 bit isn't dead because your switches, routers, other network equipment etc. has a lot of 32 bit processors doing those jobs

Legacy hardware and embedded sector -> see microcontrollers exception 🙂

PS: IPv4, mTCP, 10Base2, WEP128, WfW 3.11 etc are all equally "not dead"/not obsolete by that logic. 😉

Edit: Network devices.. IPv6 uses 128-Bit addresses, the historic IPv4 uses 32-Bit addresses.
64-Bit proccesors are more efficient at handling the former.
Also, ARM and other RISC chips, as installed in routers, switches etc
are slowly but steady transitioning to 64-Bit-only designs, too.
Maybe even going 128-Bit, in the next ten years or so.

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 52 of 134, by weedeewee

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this thread needs a 32bit beer.

edit2 : or any alcoholic beverage with a 32° alcohol content. 😁

Last edited by weedeewee on 2021-06-30, 18:55. Edited 2 times in total.

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Reply 53 of 134, by Caluser2000

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Jo22 wrote on 2021-06-30, 18:13:
Legacy hardware and embedded sector -> see microcontrollers exception 🙂 […]
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keenmaster486 wrote on 2021-06-30, 15:53:

Well, and by that logic, 32 bit isn't dead because your switches, routers, other network equipment etc. has a lot of 32 bit processors doing those jobs

Legacy hardware and embedded sector -> see microcontrollers exception 🙂

PS: IPv4, mTCP, 10Base2, WEP128, WfW 3.11 etc are all equally "not dead"/not obsolete by that logic. 😉

Edit: Network devices.. IPv6 uses 128-Bit addresses, the historic IPv4 uses 32-Bit addresses.
64-Bit proccesors are more efficient at handling the former.
Also, ARM and other RISC chips, as installed in routers, switches etc
are slowly but steady transitioning to 64-Bit-only designs, too.
Maybe even going 128-Bit, in the next ten years or so.

Why do you have to keep editing your post?

We all know your stance on old kit and software-VM everything.

32-bit is dead. Long live 32-bit! (and P4s)

There's a glitch in the matrix.
A founding member of the 286 appreciation society.
Apparently 32-bit is dead and nobody likes P4s.
Of course, as always, I'm open to correction...😉

Reply 54 of 134, by BitWrangler

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Though if we're going 128bit, I bet it's internal, like 386SX or 8088 mode... because already 64 bit got too much to deal with tidily, hence PCIe 16x is just really 16 bits turned on and off very fast 😜

Unicorn herding operations are proceeding, but all the totes of hens teeth and barrels of rocking horse poop give them plenty of hiding spots.

Reply 55 of 134, by Jasin Natael

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Hoping wrote on 2021-06-06, 17:51:

Installed win 10 32 bit today on an old i3 first gen laptop without ssd, 32 bit windows versions are lighter and still useable in daily tasks. Only because the user doesn't want linux.

Lighter yes...but still not light.

I would hate to have to daily drive Windows 10 on a dual core CPU with only 4GB of RAM, 32bit or not.

Lord forbid you try to run any (remotely) modern Office applications or browsers. You will be instantly swapping back to the old slow hard drive.

Not to mention background processes like SysMain or BITS, telemetry etc.

Windows 10 just isn't designed for it.

Can it run it...yes. But not well.

Reply 56 of 134, by Jasin Natael

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canthearu wrote on 2021-06-09, 07:35:

While I don't agree with Vinyl Records still living, I guess it satisfies a need some people have for a more touchy, feely side of music.

Which is cool. I can't argue since I resurrect and maintain extremely old hardware for that same touchy, feely reason.

In the United States at least vinyl actually outsold compact disc media for the first time ever in 2019/2020.

Now granted this is large part due to limited edition releases like Metallica's Walmart exclusive colored vinyl releases.

But still....it's something like 62% of all physical media sold for 2020 was vinyl. Which is multi millions of dollars. Not really dead......

Reply 57 of 134, by Caluser2000

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canthearu wrote on 2021-06-09, 07:35:

While I don't agree with Vinyl Records still living, I guess it satisfies a need some people have for a more touchy, feely side of music.

Which is cool. I can't argue since I resurrect and maintain extremely old hardware for that same touchy, feely reason.

Nothing wrong with that at all. Eventually I'll resurrect my IBM PC 300GL MickySoft Windows 98rtm box. I still have the hard drive with all the old software ready to go.Might even upgraded form the original Celery 400 to a Pentium III 500 I acquired some time in a past life. Good things, like cheese, take time..;

There's a glitch in the matrix.
A founding member of the 286 appreciation society.
Apparently 32-bit is dead and nobody likes P4s.
Of course, as always, I'm open to correction...😉

Reply 59 of 134, by zyzzle

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All I want is to be able to run DOS on bare metal. And a UEFI-imposed system will not enable me to do that. No VGA BIOS??!! Out the door with 30 years' worth of good programs!

These modern trends -- eliminating CSM Legacy module BIOS, enforcing secureboot / TSM 2.0, and all the rest are just an insult to me. We should be free to use our systems however we see fit, run any old handmade OS on them, for WE actually are the ones who paid for them, not some large company like MS or Intel, who are successfully dictating which operating systems we're "allowed" to run. Hint, it's only *their* companyie's code, surprise, surprise.

If I want to boot a floppy disk with my own bootloader, damn it, I should be able to do that! Even on a 2021 "64-bit only" CPU! The ring 0 access should still be allowed!

Fortunately there is SeaBIOS and others who are trying to hack a CSM module into a UEFI-only system. So, there's hope that they will succeed in blasting away the artificial layers of obfuscation and needless denial to real bare metal code.