[Coco] origins of OS-9
gene.heskett at verizon.net
Thu Mar 4 21:43:35 EST 2010
On Thursday 04 March 2010, Aaron Wolfe wrote:
>I'm writing an article about OS-9 for a "retro computing" magazine.
>I'm interested in exactly how and why OS-9 came to exist and any
>What I have found so far (and let me be quick to confess I am not sure
>this is accurate) is that in the late 70s Microware sold software for
>the 6800, a version of Lisp and a monitor/debugger of sorts called
>RT/68MX. One SWTPC user describes it as a replacement for Motorola's
>MikBug. In an A-VIDD catalog from 1977
>(http://www.swtpc.com/mholley/avidd/Avidd.htm), it is listed as "RT/68
>MX - Multi user ROAA for the SWTPCO M6800". What is an ROAA? Did
>this multi user monitor for 6800 eventually become OS-9?
>It seems the general consensus that Motorola contracted Microware to
>create Basic09 because they wanted to showcase their new 6809 with a
>language that took advantage of it's power. Does anyone know how this
>relationship came to be? It is suggested in more than one place that
>Motorola introduced Microware to Tandy which eventually lead to OS-9
>being used on the CoCo.
>OS-9 is described as being created "because once they finished
>Basic09, they decided they needed an operating system to go with it".
>Considering that OS-9 is much larger and more complex than B09 is, I'm
>not sure this makes sense. Does anyone know more detail or can anyone
>confirm this is indeed why OS-9 came to exist? I wonder if they were
>already porting RT/68MX to 6809, and this is what became OS-9. Just a
>If anyone knows more detail and doesn't mind sharing, I'd would love
>to get a better understanding of these events.
I am not the historian for os9, but I would make the comment that since
basic09's success as a language is pretty well intertwined with the systems
subfunctions, I'd have to say that os9 would have to predate basic09 somewhat
unless they were working from a framework chart of what os9 was to become by
the time they shot the last programmer.
That last comment is because I've heard for decades now that the only time a
program is truly finished is when somebody shoots the programmer writing it.
There have been several times when I had to 'shoot myself' because what I was
working on was working well for the job I wrote it for, and stability was
needed for the everyday production use. And I'd say that if its still
working well a decade plus later, that it was worth the effort.
"There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty:
soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order."
-Ed Howdershelt (Author)
Too much of everything is just enough.
-- Bob Wier
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