Wondering whether THIS OS is worth honorable mention....

Story: Operating systems that time forgotTotal Replies: 10
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Feb 07, 2011
10:13 PM EDT
.....Versions of the old and native MS-DOS preceding v6.22. See fine sites such as About.com's 'The Unusual History of MS-DOS The Microsoft Operating System' found at http://inventors.about.com/library/weekly/aa033099.htm

Now there is the MS-DOS-based FreeDOS project, http://www.freedos.org/ . However, back in the 1980s and early 1990s -- contemporary with the MS-WIndows 3.1 GUI and IBM's OS/2 -- native 16-bit MS-DOS arguably ruled the standard Intel (or clone) pre-Pentium desktop PC.

The old Novell NetWare 2.x and 3.x NOSs were then starting to become the go-to products to purchase and to install in order to network MS-DOS 5.x PCs together using a dedicated server (more often than not, a high-end PC with as much extra HW-resources thrown in as possible). Remember when IPX/SPX became the prevalent NOS protocol on high-end i286-based thru i486-based server-machines??

Although some will claim that the old native MS-DOS is still used around here-and-there (e.g., for such projects as Grub4DOS, http://sourceforge.net/projects/grub4dos/ ), yet its mainstream use is FAR less prevalent than its near universal usage throughout the 1980s and even going into the 1990s.

Therefore, native MS-DOS versions that preceded the latest v6.22 could possibly be appropriately included together with OS/2 among 'Operating systems that time forgot'.


Feb 08, 2011
6:56 AM EDT
Of course, they completely ignored the wide range of operating systems available for the 8 bit systems which preceded the IBM PC. The best of which was, IMO, OS-9: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OS-9

Feb 08, 2011
7:28 AM EDT
Or 16 bit ones even ... AmigaOS, Atari TOS

Feb 08, 2011
1:19 PM EDT
Ignoring the AmigaOS borders on criminal, when you consider what the Amiga could do, and it's special place in the history of Computer-driven multimedia.

Feb 08, 2011
4:49 PM EDT
> Ignoring the AmigaOS borders on criminal

Agreed. OS-9, while more powerful in many ways was a niche operating system by comparison. The Amiga was mainstream for it's time.

Feb 08, 2011
9:08 PM EDT
I nominate MS Windows for "operating systems that time should have forgotten." It was born junk, it matured to junk, and 20 years later it has evolved to poo.

Feb 08, 2011
9:53 PM EDT
Oh TC, why mince words? Tell us what you really think. :^)

Windows is a passable game platform, but useless for getting real work done.

Feb 08, 2011
10:15 PM EDT
@tc --

If you want to get serious about a Microsoft OS that time forgot, you should mention the REAL OS that was the father of the current Windows: the original Windows NT, which actually WAS a good OS, sired by DEC OS wunderkind Dave Cutler.

It was the real deal for the technology of the time -- including a graphical interface outside the kernel for stability. The Wizards of Redmond fixed that, though, and a genuninely good OS earned it's Microsoft spurs.

Feb 09, 2011
1:54 AM EDT
Regarding the Amiga, Arstechnica has a four part history that I enjoyed. The first part begins here: http://arstechnica.com/articles/culture/a-history-of-the-ami... It doesn't seem to have links moving forward.

Part 4 has the backward links for the first three parts: http://arstechnica.com/hardware/news/2007/10/amiga-history-4...

It's a very good read (and rather long). Amiga history is also covered at: http://www.amigahistory.co.uk

The design team showed off their prototype at the 1984 CES using four large wired breadboards in place of the chips they sought financing to create. There was the Guru Meditation Error the "suits" forced the team to reword to something inferior.

Anyway, AROS and Icaros Desktop strive to keep AmigaOS alive.

I don't know how many people visit the Google Directory these days, but it is still there. I used to read links found here: http://www.google.com/Top/Computers/Software/Operating_Syste...

One I don't see there is SuperDOS by Bluebird Systems. Googling Bluebird SuperDOS brings up enough to check out when you run out of more important things to occupy your time and mind.

The Atari ST TOS evolved from GEM. TOS itself evolved and MultiTOS (true multi-tasking). SpareMINT, FreeMINT and XaAES searches bring up the efforts to keep it all from dying.

IBM had an OS called DOS since 1964. The long name is Disk Operating System/360.

When I brought home my Apple 2e, it came with DOS 3.3. I did get ProDOS (a subset of the Apple III SOS Sophisticated Operating System; it had subfolders. I already had the system pumped up from 1Mhz to 3.6Mhz with 256Kb total memory. I wanted the Applied Engineering power supply with the built in 5Mb hard drive, but that was not to be. Even now, I marvel at what Don Lancaster and others showed could be done with an 8bit system. I still have the 2e packed away nicely. I just can't part with it. I learned a lot and I learned a few of my limitations with the 2e and hours of playing the original Colossal Cave interactive text game (I was given the keys to the court house just to while away some evenings sitting at a terminal; it was a smallish community and I had an "in", a trust I did not violate).

OS-9 had a price tag, but as the above linked article mentions, it was available for the TRS80 Color Computer.

Any one remember the Epson QX-10 computer. It ran TPM (an advanced CP/M) and Valdocs. Of course, CP/M itself had been quite successful in the 8 bit world of the Z80 microprocessor. And there are the accounts of how CP/M-86 didn't become the OS of the IBM PC.

In Japan there are clubs devoted to Plan 9. Plan 9 apparently lives on as Inferno OS from http://www.vitanuova.com.

http://osdata.com has more OS info than I'll be able to digest before my time is up.

BeOS, of course, came to the x86 after the BeBox hardware it was intended for died in its infancy.

Of course, everybody who was anybody sued everybody else at one time or another. DEC sued Microsoft over NT, etc. Alas, when Compaq purchased DEC I expected the Alpha processor development to be killed.

Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if the movers and shakers at IBM had taken the personal computer seriously. Back then, IBM was the evil Microsoft became. But that is only a fleeting pass time. They didn't and, as they say (whoever "they" are), the rest is history.

Thanks again to Scott and all of the LXER regulars who make coming here something like stopping in at Cheers or Northern Exposure (minus a few things I grew quite weary of).


Feb 09, 2011
3:00 AM EDT
> Windows is a passable game platform, but useless for getting real work done.

Sadly, this is the argument "PC" users used to knock the Amiga back in the day. It was good at multimedia, so it was assumed that meant it couldn't be good for anything else.

I'd happily point and say "Look how it's playing six videos at the same time while this ball bounces around the screen!", and I'd get back "Nice, but it's obviously just a toy and no good for serious applications."

Feb 09, 2011
3:41 PM EDT
kenholmz, thanks for the rundown. I'm among those who would like to see more OSes, even new ones that have nothing to do with Unix.

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