72

The short version is that Windows became the de facto operating system thanks to Microsoft’s business acumen (or shenanigans, depending on your point of view), marketing, skilled developers, a strong focus on backwards-compatibility, and the success of MS-DOS. The success of Windows in general can be traced back to the success of Windows 3.0, which has ...


55

The I/O model on "Cutler systems" -- RSX-11M, VAX/VMS, Windows NT -- is an asynchronous packet-driven I/O model, rather than the fundamentally synchronous I/O model of Unix. At its core, you fire off an I/O request, and get a notification of when it's complete. Meanwhile, execution continues. Of course, it's trivial for the system to provide synchronous I/...


51

DOS/360 (As distinct from TOS/360, the tape OS) Announced at the end of 1964 per Wikipedia.


32

The other answers include a lot of sound historical information about how Windows evolved into its dominant role on PC's in both the home and business environment. But I think the most fundamental, simplest, "Occam's razor" answer is that consumers never had to make a choice. It was PC manufacturers that chose Windows as the default OS, not users and ...


29

Since the computer was a gift from your aunt, working for IBM, the screen split in four reminds me immediately of the IBM PS/1’s “4-quadrant” interface: (The screenshot above is from IBMulator, an IBM PS/1 emulator.) The programs launched don’t match your description, but perhaps the defaults can be changed — at the very least, the lower-left quadrant ...


22

While I am sure that the merits of Cutler's stated "low opinion" could be debated, I'm interested to better understand exactly what he was referring to here. There's no citation, and I haven't found a good explanation critiquing his criticism. Honestly, at face value, it's a naive criticism. Cutler was not naive, so, it's likely just a sound bite poke ...


19

At the operating system level – as seen by applications – files in VMS are very record oriented. Guide to OpenVMS File Applications (336 page, 2MB PDF) probably goes into far more detail than anyone should be expected to know, but you can get a feel from the Introduction (emphasis mine): 1.1 File Concepts A computer file is an organized collection of ...


15

How exactly did Windows become the OS of the home PC? Is it true that the Windows OS, at it's core was originally designed to simply be the OS of the terminals of the windows server architecture. No. Windows started out as a GUI component of DOS - eventually hiding DOS beneath. Anything like a windows server architecture was only devloped way later. In ...


12

From what I can see, it probably never got beyond a very basic system running only on the 68000. Jerry Pournelle's last comment on it in April 1985 BYTE (p.361) covers his experience with it before the November 1984 COMDEX show: Frankly, [S1] sounded like a scam, and my views weren't changed when I found an MSI booth at a show last year and was told ...


11

Note: this is mostly guesswork I don't know this assembler but the f suffix seems to denote a label. Example bec 1f jmp cerror 1: Those instructions write the parameters in the parameter zone of the system call. mov 6(r5),0f mov 8(r5),0f+2 note that there's a 0 label just after the sys instruction. It holds the parameters (copies of those which ...


10

The PDP-8 is a 12-bit computer.  As such it has a word and pointer size of 12-bits — meaning it can access 4k words using a single word pointer. Later models added bank switching (KM8E) and 3 extra address lines so that up to 32k words (8x4k) words could be populated, now having 15 address lines.  (Core memory boards, 4k words each, you ...


9

RSTS-11 (not RSTS/E) ran on the 11/20. It offered multiuser timesharing in BASIC. I think that in addition to the base 11/20 hardware, you needed a clock. You needed to max out the memory (28 Kwords). V4 was the last RSTS-11 release before it became RSTS/E. System manager's manual for RSTS-11. I have not checked to see if there are software kits available....


7

At that time, computing model was very rich API, complex CPUs, complex tools, etc. Filesystem were almost structured files oriented, etc. UNIX came with its "uniform" vision of I/O, everything is a file, a file is just a stream of bytes. That wasn't so easy for people trained on former OSes to understand why UNIX is a good model. While I loosely remember the ...


7

The BC-7 had a SQL like query language called ESCORT. You could indeed write a simple query in this manner: SELECT * FROM FILENAME OUTPUT TO PRINTER [] and this would dump the contents of a file.


7

Manchester MUSS ran on a PDP11/10, but I can't offer a working PDP11 image for it at the moment as it is lost in passage of time.... It would have been able to do its own memory management and swap, multitasking etc.


6

While I think it's well-established here S1 was pure vaporware, I located some additional information about the product and the company. Between 1984 and 1985, Multi Solutions announced partnerships with several companies for S1 licenses, including Philips Medical Systems, Computer Engineering & Consulting (Japan), and (under the headline "The S1 ...


6

Some bread crumbs I found: DTACK Grounded #34, August 1984, hints that they may have been better in advertisement than delivery: Then there is John Little of Multi Solutions, Inc. John's polemics against UNIX make our own seem mild, [...] The problem is, John is NOT disinterested. The company which employs him offers for sale an operating system which ...


6

The history of windows goes back a long way. Windows 1.0 was released in 1985 and was simply a graphical interface for MS-DOS. This was neither revolutionary nor uniquely Microsoft, but a trend at that time. For example, GEOS appeared in 1986 and was the same thing for the C64. There was also GEM and a couple others. Since the development times on these ...


6

So bare metal, no OS? On both systems, console terminal I/O is considerably easier than any other terminal interface. On many VAXen, there's a couple of processor registers that are status and data registers for console I/O. Much easier than dealing with DZ-11 or similar. Here's the important part of a VAX 'putchar' routine from a standalone libc I wrote in ...


5

Background: Windows NT was the basis for all Microsoft Windows "Server" Operating Systems that had that name. Previous iterations of MS networking products were mostly add-on device drivers for simple file sharing. There was also the complete line of Windows Desktop OS's from Windows 1 through Windows Me that were marketed for both home and business use. The ...


5

Ignoring MS-Net, Microsoft has marketed server systems since 1987: first LAN Manager, based on OS/2, then in 1993 Windows NT 3.1 Advanced Server, and then the various Server editions of successive Windows NT and Windows 2000 releases, which gave way to Windows Server. MS-DOS 3.1 and later, and all versions of Windows, have been able to integrate with these ...


5

DOS-ordered images were created by DOS programs that started reading from track 0 sector 0, continued to sector 15, moved to track 1 sector 0, and so on until the end of the disk. They are in DOS logical order: the first 256 bytes are T0S0, the next are T0S1, and so on. ProDOS-ordered images are created by ProDOS programs that started reading from block 0, ...


5

Not an answer, as Jean-François Fabre has already deducted all workings, but some hints about the syntax/workings of AS to understand the source. This source is meant to be assembled using the Unix assember AS. AS is an extreme primitive assembler designed only to handle machine specific parts of Unix. It carries only the most essential functions and those ...


4

I used an operating system with a MODCOMP minicomputer c. 1978 that had fixed partitioning. I believe it was the MAX III operating system and a MODCOMP II computer. During system build, you created partitions for foreground and real-time processes. The foreground partitions you could use for program development; the background partitions were for the real-...


4

The RSX-11 {D/M/M-PLUS/S} family of operating systems, running on PDP-11 minicomputers, divided real memory into partitions. Partitions were mostly set up at system generation time; you could define partitions in a running system, but that was less common. The RSX-11 family were a reimplementation, on the 16-bit PDP-11, of RSX-15 on the 18-bit PDP-15, so ...


4

The definition to which you linked is very specific, and you put a further constraint on it that the partitions must all be the same size (the definition to which you linked makes it clear they need not be; the example they give uses four "blocks," which I assume they feel is another word for "partition," of three different sizes). The ...


4

During the heyday of the Intel 80386, there were many operating systems that relied on that CPU's virtual 8086 mode to multitask programs that were written for x86 real-mode. By allowing real-mode programs to transparently use the segmented, 20-bit address space that they expected, these Operating Systems provided a fixed-size memory partition to each real-...


4

The Acorn MOS, as deployed in the BBC Micro, offers built-in support for paged ROMs. Paged ROMs have a fixed 16kb window in the address space, and amongst other things may contain filing systems, languages or other programs. A BBC or Electron fitted with more than one paged ROM will therefore have a fixed 16kb ROM window in which the current application ...


4

Phil Budne’s list of TOPS-10 versions is the most comprehensive list I’m aware of, from TOPS-10 5.01 in 1970 (the first release with the “TOPS-10” name) to 7.0 releases with uncertain version numbers in 1990. Before 5.01 it was called the “Monitor” (PDP-6 Monitor on the PDP-6, then PDP-10 Monitor on the PDP-10), and some of those releases are included in ...


3

Having never written Unix I/O code beyond munging text files, read what follows with a grain of salt. In uni we were a VMS shop. I still recall when the VAX 11/780 in the walled-off computer room was replaced by a single DECStation 3100 on a desk. That machine ran both OSes and we (the OS course's 12-or-so members) began to compare and contrast the ...


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