Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Microware OS-9 lives

This weekend (2018/12/01) was VCF's Festivus, the museum had a "make a donation, get a gift". They had a lot of things I was interesting in but decided not to go nuts. But there was this one poor computer, a Radio Shack CoCo I that someone didn't love. It was battered and abused and decided to adopt it. I've now tested it and it works (yea) so now I have a CoCo 1, 2 and 3 (and a few other 6809 systems). Which also got me thinking about OS-9 (OS-9 ran on the CoCo).

One of my first jobs working as a EET was at Micro-comm. I loved that job, the people and I learned a lot. I was introduced to one of my favorite OSs there; OS-9. They had OS-9 Level II running on a Gimix Ghost with a 20M disk, 2M of RAM, 8 serial ports and 2 parallel ports. Yes, there were 7 people using that system for development. Today this sounds simple, but this was run on a 2MHz 6809 processor (an 8 bit processor which can only access 64K of RAM). Also this was at a time when only mainframes, mini's, Unix systems and a few other real time systems had multiuser/multitasking. This was around the time the IBM PC arrived on the scene (single user, single tasking). I later started using various computers and took a liking to Linux because it was multiuser/multitasking. Advance to the early 20-teens, I'm cleaning up around the house and finding more and more vintage systems. One of those systems is the ST2900 and suddenly I recall booting the system to OS-9. While poking around it looked like OS-9 no longer existed. A short time later I found NitrOS-9. Well today on CoCoTalk and found out that OS-9 is in business and the current NitrOS-9 is okay with Microware (yea!). Microware LTD (their new name) is selling an OS-9 product for new processors and is still real time. To find out more details: CoCoTalk! #085, "The OS-9 Edition" (Youtube).


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