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Questions tagged [operating-system]

Operating systems on retrocomputers generally.

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First operating system with system calls [closed]

Which first operating system implemented system calls? It should answer to the following characteristic I guess: resident program which exposes low level services (doesn't matter what be it read the ...
Boris's user avatar
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Has any information survived about OS BAMOS for BESM-6, written in DDR?

Recently I learned that there was an operating system for the BESM-6 mainframe developed in DDR: a bibliographical list includes and quite a few more German-language publications (up to item 105), ...
Leo B.'s user avatar
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What is the full name of IBM CP-67/CMS' DUMPD command?

I am reading the User Guide of CP-67. Under the command DUMPD (page 373), it describes its Purpose as: The DUMPD command prints the contents of one direct-access record, specified by a CCHHRR address,...
Yilin Huo's user avatar
17 votes
3 answers
3k views

What methods were used for password encryption before adoption of DES?

It is well-known that, for quite a while, UNIX passwords were hashed using the DES algorithm (see here). However, DES was not published until 1975 and not standardized until 1977. What were the multi-...
Leo B.'s user avatar
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Did VMS ever acquire filesystem cross-links?

Both Unix and Windows, quite early, acquired cross-links in their filesystems, such that the filesystems are not trees, but general directed graphs. I'm curious about whether this was an inevitable ...
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18 votes
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Which OS first implemented hibernation?

According to the relevant Wikipedia article, [h]ibernation was first implemented in 1992 and patented by Compaq Computer Corporation in Houston, Texas. This appears to refer specifically to hardware- ...
Leo B.'s user avatar
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27 votes
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First use of an OS in gaming consoles?

Early gaming consoles were quite simple machines (from today's point of view). So simple in fact that often the games were the initial "entry point" for the CPU on boot and the games had to ...
DarkDust's user avatar
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What was the rationale for the 'INPUT' button on an ICL 1900 console teletype?

ICL 1900 computers were always supplied with 'executive' software tailored to the specific installation. Exec provided simple program load and run facilities. There were no 'lights and switches' on ...
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25 votes
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What's the most recent version of AmigaOS?

Simply as the heading states. What is the most recent version of AmigaOS?
Richard Downer's user avatar
10 votes
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274 views

How was BOS on the Apple III different from SOS?

The original operating system for the Apple III was SOS, a.k.a. "Sophisticated Operating System". Though the Apple III and SOS didn't last very long as the platform was considered a failure, ...
bjb's user avatar
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What is the best way to set up multiple operating systems on a retro PC?

I have an old Pentium II computer, and I would like to set it up as a retro gaming machine, but I would also like to play around with old distributions of Linux, OS/2 and other operating systems. What ...
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How does Holy C differ from regular C? [closed]

The Temple OS operating system has been credited as one of the most impressive coding achievements ever done by a single coder. It was done in Assembly and a variant of the C language called Holy C. I ...
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Looking for any information related to the CDC 1604 Co-Op Monitor

The CDC 1604 Wikipedia page mentions a "Co-Op Monitor (developed by the users' organization)" used as the operating system. Has a contemporary description of its capabilities, e.g. a user ...
Leo B.'s user avatar
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12 votes
1 answer
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What 386-specific features did Linux use?

There is an interesting discussion about the early days of Linux at https://www.abortretry.fail/p/the-path-to-linux that includes some of the exchanges between Torvalds and Tanenbaum. One that caught ...
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6 votes
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Need help restoring the OS of an "AST Premium Exec 386SX/20" laptop

I have an AST Premium Exec 386SX/20 Model 63V laptop minus a floppy drive and hard disk. Otherwise the 1991 vintage machine is fully functional (and in excellent condition, so it's definitely worth ...
Wossname's user avatar
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Which was the first OS having both isolated users and programs? [closed]

Multi-user OSes are nothing special. Normally one user cannot access the files of another user. Installed programs are shared. User's are running in a sandbox and they're isolated from other users. ...
zomega's user avatar
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Why did "protected-mode MS-DOS" never happen?

Software written for MS-DOS used DOS extenders as early as on PC/AT (DOS/16M), and starting from i386-based systems, DOS extenders became really widespread. I'd think it was pretty obvious at the time ...
DmytroL's user avatar
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10 votes
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What is the timeline of vertical cursor usage?

As there have been some questions about vertical cursors: What is the timeline of vertical cursor usage? This includes anything that is positioned between characters. It doesn't have to be a vertical ...
dirkt's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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System 7.5 install fails (mac IIsi)

I have been restoring a rather iconic (and temperamental!) Mac IIsi. I have trouble installing System 7.5 on an IBM drive with Apple firmware that OS 7.0 installed just fine on. I am puzzled by the ...
0xF2's user avatar
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How many CP/M-86 copies were sold?

Approximately how many CP/M-86 copies or licenses did Digital Research sell across the product life of the operating system? Are there any data or estimates? I know the success of MS-DOS didn't leave ...
Paolo Amoroso's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
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What is the oldest UNIX available for modern systems?

What is the oldest UNIX(-like) system that can be legally downloaded and run in a VM or emulator on a modern PC running Linux?
Someone's user avatar
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What was the first operating system to be called an "operating system"?

According to Wikipedia, the first operating system was GM-NAA I/O, produced in 1956 by General Motors' Research division for its IBM 704. According to Merriam-Webster and Etymonline, the term "...
hippietrail's user avatar
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-5 votes
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If I build a new CPU architecture, how would an OS like Linux know how to run it? [closed]

I am trying to build a CPU from scratch (from NOR gates) in an emulator first, then on breadboard. (Inspired by nand2tetris and Ben Eater) Just trying to understand how things work. Now, as my CPU ...
Palash Kanti Kundu's user avatar
8 votes
7 answers
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What was the first OS with the type-ahead capability from a dumb terminal?

In a command-line environment of a contemporary Unix-like system, it is possible to "type ahead", that is, for example, to start a process which runs for a while and does not require any ...
Leo B.'s user avatar
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11 votes
1 answer
288 views

Commodore / Apple II GEOS Document Cross-Platform Compatibility

As I have never used Graphic Environment Operating System (GEOS) on an Apple II (only I on a Commodore 64), I have always wondered were the documents created (from programs such as GeoWrite and ...
GrapefruitIsAwesome's user avatar
13 votes
1 answer
398 views

"MOS" - Mini Operating System for PDP-11?

Around 1977 or so, I worked with MOS, a "mini" operating system for the PDP-11. I think it was originally developed at SRI, to support the BBN Packet Radio networking research. It was ...
John R. Strohm's user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
834 views

How did early Minix represent processes

Minix, as most know, is a "Unix-like" OS originally used for teaching. Early Minix (v1 and, apparently, v2) ran on the 8088/6 series of processors. It could run on the IBM XT. There have ...
Will Hartung's user avatar
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14 votes
4 answers
3k views

Which is the first non-assembly (and binary) language to write operating system(s)?

Many programming languages predating C, like FORTRAN, LISP, B, BCPL, were either special purpose or too heavy to write OS. OS were bound to their hardware architecture and died with them. C was used ...
Abdullah Ibn Fulan's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
1k views

What did Richard Stallman have against VMS?

Richard Stallman of course was an advocate of free software, and VMS was proprietary, so he would've disapproved of it on that basis alone. (To be clear, I am not discussing here whether he was right ...
rwallace's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
553 views

Was server operating systems ever created with a terminal operating system in mind? [closed]

I have always thought that in the case of Microsoft's server operating systems that they were created with the idea that the end-user of those servers would use Windows. I also thought the same for ...
Neil Meyer's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
766 views

How does stack size affect functioning of AmigaOS and programs?

A few weeks back I had an issue with a Python script resetting my Amiga on execution. Someone suggested to change stack size in startup-sequence to 4096. I just read that it can be set up to 2500000. ...
Bartek Malysz's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
157 views

Why I can't use printk() to print string to the screen [closed]

I am trying to add some system interface made by myself to Linux-0.11 and using bochs to debug the interface.But I have found two strange things. Here is my code. #include <asm/segment.h> char ...
TherLF's user avatar
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11 votes
2 answers
992 views

How was "GEOS" meant to be pronounced?

GEOS was a hugely popular operating environment for 8-bit Commodore and Apple machines. It was developed and published by Berkeley Softworks, who eventually released a 16-bit version for IBM-...
Psychonaut's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
212 views

Operating system/hardware used for playing a video during a recorded trial that took place in 2013 [closed]

I am watching a 2013 murder trial on YouTube Jodi Arias Trial : Day 23 : 1 Of 3. There is a considerable amount of evidence involving phones and computers. The following picture briefly appears on-...
chasly - supports Monica's user avatar
15 votes
3 answers
3k views

What were the differences between Xenix and Unix?

According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xenix by the beginning of the nineties, SCO was selling 32-bit 386 versions of both Xenix and Unix. According to https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=...
rwallace's user avatar
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19 votes
11 answers
4k views

What was the earliest system to explicitly support threading based on shared memory?

The notion of multiple processes has been around a long time, at least since the IBM 360. Multiple processes running at the same time, in separate memory spaces with protection from each other. (In ...
rwallace's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
312 views

What information was present in line printer printout cover/trailer?

Nowadays, in corporate offices where there are typically several office printers per floor, sending a file to a printer does not result in any additional pages identifying the print job, at least by ...
Leo B.'s user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
262 views

Ancient browser media photo [closed]

Perhaps 15 years ago, I saw a photo which looked professional showing multiple media types all with labels for either Netscape v4 or the integrated Mozilla suite (which became SeaMonkey). At the very ...
Mark Morgan Lloyd's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
454 views

Why does Linux not show you an asterisk when you enter a character for a password? [closed]

I have enjoyed Linux for about two years now, but I laugh at how hard I failed when I first started my Linux journey. I would try and enter a password and then nothing would happen. I first thought ...
Neil Meyer's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
257 views

AST Laptop With No OS

I work in network design/IT for a church, and a someone came in with a AST Advantage Explorer 486SX/33. It looks like it has no OS. After failing to boot, it requests to go to the BIOS to look for an ...
Hyperrew's user avatar
16 votes
1 answer
3k views

Processor and operating systems for automatic lifts/elevators

Most automatic elevators have an algorithm that optimises travel between floors and users. Presumably this can be tailored to a particular building. The first elevators were hand-operated purely by ...
chasly - supports Monica's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
1k views

What tricks or techniques were used to speed up AmigaOS boot

I did an installation of Workbench 3.1 grounds up. The system takes a moment to boot, well over a minute. I've watched a YouTube video where the system booted in seconds. I have another image of ...
Bartek Malysz's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
2k views

The "hidden" flag on partitions and Microsoft

On this website (and others, of course) you could be informed that there is a special partition flag (“hidden”) to avoid detection by Microsoft operating systems. First: Is this a convention by/with ...
Daniel Bandeira's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
2k views

Amiga OS 3.1 vs 3.5 vs 3.9 system difference

I'm trying to find some resources on different versions of Amiga OS (aka Workbench) especially if there were any major changes to the OS architecture, resource use and drivers (with a goal to make ...
Bartek Malysz's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
3k views

What was this OS / Application on a 80286?

I was hoping, that someone could help me find the name of the operating system that was originally (I guess) used on the 80286 (the later ones with 12MHz). Before I eventually installed DOS-5.0 and ...
fancyPants's user avatar
15 votes
2 answers
1k views

Trying to understand some assembly syntax in the Unix v7 write system call

so here is the code: (which comes from here, I've also verified this source is in my unix v7 distribution). For reference, this is running on a PDP-11 simulated with the simh program (so please keep ...
LainIwakura's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
565 views

How to implement a 'write' function in pdp-11 / MACRO-11 / ODT using simh?

So, I'm working on a project where I'm aiming to get the first winner of the IOCCC (obfuscated c code contest) dissected down to the last detail... The program is mullender.c which you can find by ...
LainIwakura's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
179 views

What does a "DK" signature mean at the start of track 0 sector 3 of a Dragon 32/64 floppy disk?

I'm looking at disk image files for the Dragon 32 / Dragon 64 computers. The Dragon computers are very similar to the Tandy TRS-80 Color Computer "CoCo" but are not clones and are not the ...
hippietrail's user avatar
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5 votes
5 answers
1k views

What’s the most advanced os I can run on a non memory management pdp11 (ie 11/20)

Building my own emulator. I only have the basic , no memory management, model going (11/20?). I started with caps11. What’s my best choice for a disk based os. EDIT: and of course if anybody has the ...
pm100's user avatar
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8 votes
0 answers
147 views

On the TRS-80 models I and III when is the directory track number written in the third byte of sector zero, and when in the second byte?

Earlier I had found that many but not all TRS-80 Model I and Model III disks begin with the three bytes 00h FEh 11h. This is the beginning of the boot sector where the CPU interprets it as a NOP ...
hippietrail's user avatar
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