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QNX RTP: What lies beneath?

QNX RTP's environment. Booting into the GUI presents the user with a Release

note, which introduces the RTP, covers the file organization of the OS and the

various packages present in the CD ROM.

By default the Photon microGUI has a task bar located at the bottom and a

favourite programs bar on the right (which takes up a lot of real estate!).

All items are customizable and even on a lowly P200 the GUI performs

operations fast. There are no groundbreaking technologies at work in here, but

full points go to it for an easy and fast user interface.

All the applications present in the core package are well written and rarely

crash. The usual set of applications like terminal, web browser, file manager,

Internet dialer, e-mail software and media player are included. The package

manager is a surprisingly clever RPM (Red Hat's packaging system) like system.

I found that it was much easier to keep track of packages using QNX's system

in comparison to package managers in Windows and Red hat. The package manager

can download up-to date packages from the QNX site or from a CD ROM

repository. The QNX RTP CDROM contains some development packages like GCC/GDB,

APIs, TCP/IP tools, browser upgrades, language extensions and games. The game

in question is Quake 3, most likely to catch the interest of people running

the OS.

I tried installing the Quake3 Arena demo but failed to run it as QNX presently

supports only the 3DFX chipset technology for 3D acceleration. The full Mesa

API, 3dfx Glide API and Renderware 3 API have been thrown in to keep game and

graphics programmers happy. For the net savvy people, RealPlayer 7 provides

streaming content and Flash 4, interactive web media.

If you are a developer, the CD is packed with documentation and tools that you

will find invaluable if you intend to start developing under QNX. QNX RTP

includes PhAB, a Visual Basic type RAD tool. I did have problems compiling a

C++ program using qcc/g++! The documentation covers programming topics related

to the OS, making final images, development techniques and other useful areas.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

If you specifically chose QNX as your target platform for development, you

will not be disappointed. The strong set of tools, the accompanying online

documentation, comprehensive web support and the RTP make QNX an excellent

choice if you are into embedded applications development.