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Questions tagged [operating-system]

For general questions regarding operating systems on retrocomputers.

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14
votes
11answers
4k views

Late 1970s and 6502 chip facilities for operating systems

I'm quite unfamiliar with how operating systems used to be written but its clear to me that operating systems were clearly written for these systems. I'm particularly interested in how operating ...
7
votes
1answer
419 views

How to read Microware OS-9 RBF Filesystem under Windows / Linux?

I have a virtual disk image file os9000-xibase.img and Windows can't read it nor mount it. With ImDisk Virtual Disk, I'm able to mount it, but not read it, because it is a Random Block File System ...
27
votes
5answers
14k views

Why did Windows 95 crash the whole system but newer Windows only crashed programs?

Example situation. You are using a program in Windows 95 and screen goes blue only for you to restart the whole computer You are using a program in Windows 7 and the program stops responding only to ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

Why has Novell never written its own boot loader?

I've never used NetWare 5.x 6.x but if I remember correctly versions 3 and 4 required you to boot to DOS partition and then load NetWare server files from it. I could never understand the logic behind ...
8
votes
6answers
2k views

Single level file directory

Have there actually been any commercial operating systems with a single-level, limited capacity file directory? I remember vaguely that the early versions of MS-DOS FAT12 may have had a single layer, ...
2
votes
1answer
142 views

How to load into FAST RAM on Apple IIgs?

The Apple IIgs (last, ROM03 version) came with 128K of standard RAM and 1M of FAST RAM. The distinguishing characteristic of the FAST RAM is that code running from there can run at 2.8 MHz instead of ...
12
votes
1answer
953 views

Why the DOS extender and DPMI were unavailable to DOS programs on 286 standard mode of Windows 3.0

An old article on Windows 3.0 from PC Magazine (June 11, 1991, page 348) said that: Using standard mode, the Windows DOS extender and DOS Protected Mode Interface (DPMI) are available to Windows ...
5
votes
0answers
148 views

What are all the patches that SetPatch applies to Kickstart?

SetPatch runs as the first command in the Startup-Sequence when Amiga boots up. It applies patches to the code in ROM to fix bugs and also enable features if necessary. For example, I seem to remember ...
9
votes
2answers
398 views

What is the difference between CTSS and ITS?

I learned from the history of Multics that in the early days of computers, Time Sharing System (TSS) was used at MIT, and then Compatible Time Sharing System (CTSS) was developed in 1961, also at MIT. ...
13
votes
2answers
435 views

Protected/virtual memory support in classic AmigaOS

It is a well-known fact that AmigaOS is a single address space, totally unprotected memory operating system. The original implementation ran on a Motorola 68000, that did not support virtual memory if ...
0
votes
2answers
390 views

Why did Steve Jobs say that Darwin is a kernel? [closed]

In this video, Steve Jobs introduces Mac OS X (in the year 2000), this is a snapshot from the video: He says that Darwin is the kernel for Mac OS X. Now the following is a diagram of the Mac OS X ...
5
votes
2answers
245 views

In what way could the Sperry Univac BC-7 computer “speak and understand” English?

Researching for this question I ran across this 1978 advertisement for Sperry: Sperry Computer Ad 1978: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I74sVdw7gkc The computer is nicknamed "B.C." and the actor ...
-4
votes
4answers
415 views

Operating systems which have non-x86 instruction set architecture [closed]

What are the most famous operating systems for non-x86 computers? I mean, most famous OS which have different instruction set architecture. Background (to better understand my task): I ask this ...
1
vote
8answers
789 views

Are there any old and nowadays active Operating Systems which has only BASIC Programming Language?

Some old Operating Systems I hear have only BASIC Programming Language. Are there any active and old operating systems which includes only BASIC Programming Language?
4
votes
1answer
223 views

Operating systems (on support or recent) to install on a i486 processor computer [duplicate]

What operating systems would you recommend for this type of hardware? Though I keep the question text generic because answers can work for many others, but my specific case is a Laptop Siemens ...
25
votes
2answers
2k views

How many OS/2 viruses were there?

When I was in college, I remember IBM representatives trying to sell OS/2 Warp to students and teachers by saying that there were no (known) viruses for OS/2. (Of course, that didn't stop the makers ...
4
votes
1answer
289 views

What happened to EYRX?

In 2001, Eyring Corporation released a 32-bit reconfigurable RTOS called EYRX. I remember downloading the documentation and programmer guide from their Web site. Strangely, no traces of that OS can be ...
21
votes
1answer
2k views

Process model in early UNIX

I heard recently that the process model in very early variants of UNIX was quite a bit different to the fork/exec model used nowadays. How did it differ from the current state?
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Emulating IRIX on a modern system [closed]

Has there been any attempt to emulate a system that could run the IRIX operating system?
4
votes
2answers
464 views

Starting a multi core CPU as single core [closed]

Is it possible to use a system with a modern, multi-core CPU with older operating systems that only support single core operation? Is this something that needs to be set in the BIOS? Does it depend ...
6
votes
2answers
348 views

What is the highest version of System 7 that can be run on a Mac SE/30?

My recently restored Mac SE/30 has System 7.0 running on it at present, booting from an original SCSI HDD. I’m missing a few key features, like disk image mounting, which I understand were added in ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Which operating systems for 80286 computers allowed a process to use more than 128k data?

Out of all the operating systems for the 80286 processor I found, only two make use of the protected mode's ability to load more than one segment for text and one for data. These are MS-DOS (through ...
5
votes
1answer
749 views

How to install System 7.5.5 on a Macintosh SE/30 using floppies?

I have a Macintosh SE/30 with a formatted Disk. I'd like to install the latest System 7 on it that will run. According to Wikipedia that should be 7.5.5. According to several sources Apple has made it ...
58
votes
13answers
13k views

Were later MS-DOS versions still implemented in x86 assembly?

Recently, Microsoft published the source code of old MS-DOS versions on GitHub. What is odd in my opinion is the use of x86 assembly language for everything. The assembly language would not be my ...
7
votes
2answers
383 views

Can anyone help provide more information regarding an operating system called I/OS by Infosoft in the early 1980's?

The title pretty much says it all. I'm looking for information about an operating system called I/OS by a company called Infosoft in the early 1980's. I think it might have been a CP/M variant and ...
45
votes
10answers
8k views

Why was preemptive multitasking so slow in coming to consumer OS's?

Preemptive (rather than cooperative) multitasking was a highly-touted feature for PC's in 1996, with its inclusion in Windows 95 for the first time. It was also highly-touted for 2001 Macs when ...
16
votes
1answer
2k views

Where does the hierarchical directory structure originate from?

Windows, Macintosh, Unix/Linux: today, they all support a hierarchical directory structure. The differences are in the details (mount points vs drive letters), but all use a hierarchical directory ...
22
votes
2answers
3k views

The origins of fork()

Is fork() older than C? What are its origins? I might think that fork() was created along with C (1970s) but I recently read a reference to a 1963 paper where fork() was mentioned.
6
votes
2answers
528 views

What system pioneered displaying masking characters for password entry and why?

On the mainframe OSes I was familiar with, and on UNIX to that day, when there is a prompt for a password in "text mode" (a command line session), the echo is suppressed, and there is no visual ...
3
votes
2answers
254 views

68k macintosh lowmem system globals

While digging through a classic Mac 68k disassembly I got to the point where I need to know more about the "Boot Globals" residing in lowmem's system global variables. BootGlobPtr lives at $DDC, that'...
4
votes
2answers
761 views

How hard would it be to port Amiga OS4 to x86 or ARM?

This question was raised on Facebook a few hours ago. Some say it's possible, others say impossible. What do you experts say?
5
votes
1answer
581 views

The history of context switch

I wonder which was the first operating system that had context switch and what are famous examples of OS that didn't have context switch?
15
votes
3answers
1k views

How did the original Apple Macintosh and Atari ST use protected mode?

The Macintosh, ST, and Amiga were all 68000 CPU systems released in 1984-85, along with their respective new Operating Systems. While this was 5 years before protected mode became commonplace on Intel ...
15
votes
5answers
4k views

What is the best choice for DOS for a 1990 80386 PC?

I plan to install Windows 3.0 and PC/GEOS on top of DOS. Plus I will install numerous games from the 1984-1992 timeframe. Some of the later games will require >640K RAM and make use of an EMM driver. ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Was it Microsoft that started the war between Application and OS vendors?

I think there is a long history of application vendors going to great lengths to complain or litigate against Operating System vendors to compete fairly. Specifically, I am talking about "fairness" ...
8
votes
2answers
427 views

What operating systems allowed arbitrarily-sized disk blocks?

According to my limited experience with IBM clone mainframes, and as far as I can remember, at least in one OS the permanent storage disk space was allocated to users (and the scratch space — to ...
92
votes
16answers
21k views

Does “Disk Operating System” imply that there was a “non-disk” Operating System?

In the 1980's at primary school we saw MS DOS and DR DOS competing before Windows 3.1 and subsequent releases took over that space. At home we had Apple II's which booted up to a BASIC prompt. On ...
79
votes
9answers
9k views

What key factor led to the sudden commercial success of MS Windows with v3.0?

Microsoft Windows was originally introduced in 1985, ostensibly to compete with the Apple Macintosh, and other computers shipping with graphical shells by that time. However, early versions of Windows ...
20
votes
2answers
5k views

Which original retrocomputer OS's are still maintained and updated today, for original hardware?

I would like to know which original Operating Systems that run on retrocomputers are still being actively maintained and updated. This only applies to retrocomputer OS's that may still be used on ...
4
votes
0answers
248 views

Using a modern microcontroller to explore early home computing concepts [closed]

I'm working on a project to write a small OS based loosely on the functionality of CP/M. I want to better understand a few things about the early home computing market, as well as to understand ...
12
votes
2answers
513 views

What are all the fixed addresses of AmigaOS?

I was reading Richard Downer's excellent response about how Amiga libraries work and one sentence in particular got my attention: Yes, a pointer to exec.library is always at $4, and this is (in ...
12
votes
1answer
467 views

How are File Timestamps recorded in classic Mac OS?

When I save a file it has a 'Created At' and 'Updated At' Value saved as well. I would like to know HOW these values are saved? Are they saved as an integer representing a number of seconds since 1904?...
10
votes
2answers
384 views

Creating an System Extension (INIT) for classic mac os

I have some old macs that I would like to remove their clock batteries so that I don't have to worry about them leaking and destroying logic boards. That being said I do want to operate them from time ...
26
votes
3answers
3k views

What was the first operating system to feature a separate kernel?

Kernels are programs that abstract the hardware of a computer to some extent, allowing other programs to use standardised system calls (e.g. malloc) to perform hardware tasks (e.g. writing to memory, ...
10
votes
1answer
501 views

How POSIX-compliant is Xenix?

Xenix was the most popular Unix flavour of the 80's. However, it was designed before the POSIX standards came to be, and its final version was released shortly after the first POSIX specification was ...
79
votes
18answers
16k views

Why was BASIC built into so many operating systems?

There are a lot of retro-computers with BASIC as an integral part of the operating system. The IBM 5100 was one of the first computers with a separate memory space for BASIC, followed by the Commodore ...