Questions tagged [operating-system]

Operating systems on retrocomputers generally.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
36 votes
3 answers
8k views

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 "...
user avatar
  • 4,350
-4 votes
1 answer
287 views

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 ...
user avatar
8 votes
7 answers
2k views

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 ...
user avatar
  • 15.8k
10 votes
1 answer
230 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 ...
user avatar
14 votes
1 answer
280 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 ...
user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
615 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 ...
user avatar
  • 10.9k
13 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 ...
user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
576 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 ...
user avatar
  • 49.3k
1 vote
2 answers
524 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 ...
user avatar
  • 4,725
4 votes
1 answer
338 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. ...
user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
138 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 ...
user avatar
  • 11
11 votes
2 answers
927 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-...
user avatar
  • 5,694
1 vote
1 answer
201 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-...
user avatar
14 votes
3 answers
2k 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=...
user avatar
  • 49.3k
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 ...
user avatar
  • 49.3k
6 votes
1 answer
203 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 ...
user avatar
  • 15.8k
1 vote
0 answers
256 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 ...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
291 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 ...
user avatar
  • 4,725
1 vote
2 answers
225 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 ...
user avatar
16 votes
1 answer
2k 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 ...
user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
709 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 ...
user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
893 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 ...
user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
642 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 ...
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 ...
user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
893 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 ...
user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
399 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 ...
user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
149 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 ...
user avatar
  • 4,350
5 votes
4 answers
811 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 ...
user avatar
  • 269
9 votes
0 answers
116 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 ...
user avatar
  • 4,350
3 votes
1 answer
237 views

Converting Apple II ProDOS blocks to DOS tracks and sectors

The 8-bit Apple II had two disk operating systems with different disk access semantics. DOS used tracks and sectors. A sector is 256 bytes. ProDOS used blocks. A block is 512 bytes. But mapping ...
user avatar
  • 4,350
0 votes
3 answers
285 views

What exactly has the windows OS relationship been towards MS server offerings?

This question is related to this one. I always was understanding that windows the OS was a companion app of sort in regards to the server offerings and that, yes you could use it for home use, but it'...
user avatar
  • 4,725
31 votes
7 answers
10k views

How exactly did Windows become the OS of the home PC?

As far as I understand it, the whole personal computing revolution that Microsoft Windows did was not entirely by its own design. Is it true that the Windows OS at its core was originally designed to ...
user avatar
  • 4,725
39 votes
6 answers
11k views

How should we interpret Dave Cutler's criticism of Unix?

Dave Cutler is well known for his contributions to operating systems, having led the effort on VAX VMS at DEC and Windows NT at Microsoft. According to his Wikipedia page, he is also known for ...
user avatar
  • 56.8k
10 votes
3 answers
826 views

What happened to the S1 operating system?

(Computerworld, Vol. 17, No. 41, 1983, p. 49) Additions: Robert Knight, formerly of Princeton's computer laboratories, is [...] the creator of S1, which he had running on an IBM Instruments ...
user avatar
  • 1,811
4 votes
1 answer
126 views

Version list for TOPS-10?

So, does anybody have a list of TOPS-10 versions? I haven't been able to find any information aside from versions 7.03, and 7.04. are these lost to time? To clarify, I'm not asking for the software, ...
user avatar
4 votes
7 answers
532 views

Static memory partitioning

Does anyone know of any operating system that used static memory partitioning: contiguous physical memory allocation with one process per partition, one partition per process, partitions generated at ...
user avatar
  • 275
13 votes
4 answers
2k views

Is it a Directory, a List, or a Catalogue?

There are three common CLI commands on microcomputers that all mean the same thing: "Show me the contents of a volume, disk, or sub-directory". I will mention that the noun "Catalogue", and the ...
user avatar
  • 56.8k
27 votes
1 answer
7k views

What was the first operating system called DOS?

MS-DOS a.k.a. PC-DOS nee QDOS, was commonly just referred to as DOS. But 'disk operating system' is a very obvious acronym; there must have been previous operating systems so called. What was the ...
user avatar
  • 49.3k
14 votes
12 answers
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 ...
user avatar
  • 251
7 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
user avatar
33 votes
6 answers
17k 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 ...
user avatar
14 votes
2 answers
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 ...
user avatar
8 votes
6 answers
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, ...
user avatar
  • 275
2 votes
1 answer
284 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 ...
user avatar
  • 56.8k
14 votes
1 answer
2k 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 ...
user avatar
9 votes
0 answers
516 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 ...
user avatar
  • 3,596
10 votes
2 answers
612 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. ...
user avatar
  • 633
12 votes
2 answers
1k 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 ...
user avatar
  • 3,596
1 vote
2 answers
574 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 ...
user avatar
12 votes
4 answers
595 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: The computer is nicknamed "B.C." and the actor says (in part): What I really like about BC is he speaks and ...
user avatar
  • 2,159