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Operating Systems Software Apple

Rare Docs Show How Apple Created Apple II DOS 130

Posted by timothy
from the won't-be-big-and-fancy-like-gnu dept.
An anonymous reader writes with a link to this "CNET story about arguably the most important technical documents in Apple's early history: the source code, contract letters, schematics and notes for the creation of the Apple II Disk Operating System (DOS). From 1977 and 1978, these documents chronicle Apple's first OS and what made the Apple II into a serious computer for the masses, able to support killer apps like Visicalc and build the PC industry."
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Rare Docs Show How Apple Created Apple II DOS

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  • by TWX (665546) on Thursday April 04, 2013 @10:18AM (#43357111)
    ...I could never figure out what to do with an Apple-II at a prompt. It always came down to inserting the software disk and rebooting the machine.

    It probably didn't help that the Packard Bell XT that dad bought had both "Teach Yourself DOS" and an MS-DOS 3.3 full command manual, and obviously the MS-DOS commands didn't work on the Apple...

    Sometimes I shudder to think that Packard Bell instigated the turning point that led to my professional career...
    • ...I could never figure out what to do with an Apple-II at a prompt.

      LOL.. memories.

      10 PRINT "I AM BOOTING"
      20 GOTO 10
      RUN

      "Ah, fuck it." - insert disk and reboot.

      Unfortunately, I never got to see a tape-driven unit!

      • by TWX (665546)
        I did something similar, though a little bit ruder, on the built-in BASIC interpreter on an IBM PS/2 Model 25 that was the library card catalog machine when I was in school... It looked like a DOS prompt, but every input responded with one of half a dozen randomly-chosen rude responses...
        • by hoggoth (414195) on Thursday April 04, 2013 @11:04AM (#43357611) Journal

          HAHA Good 'ol days. I wrote a little 6502 code that intercepted the keyboard input and every time it saw an "S" it spit out a "TH" to the system. I called it "LITHP".
          It drove the teachers nuts.

          • I wrote a little 6502 code that intercepted the keyboard input and every time it saw an "S" it spit out a "TH" to the system. I called it "LITHP".

            It's too bad you weren't a little bit older, or you could have written an interpreter for a language with parenthesized syntax. You could have called it "Thcheme".

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by Tablizer (95088)

            I wrote a little 6502 code that intercepted the keyboard input and every time it saw an "S" it spit out a "TH"

            Tho you're the thupid idiot who got me thuthpended from thchool! Bathtard! I'm thtuck uthing my old thythtem becauthe of that.

        • by mark-t (151149)
          Speaking of rude... typed from memory... hopefully no typos.

          10 A$ = "DON'T TOUCH ME! "
          20 M$ = A$ + A$ + A$ + A$
          30 POS = 1
          40 PRINT MID$(M$,POS,39);
          50 POS = POS + 4: IF POS > LEN(A$) THEN POS = POS - LEN(A$)
          60 IF PEEK(-16384) < 128 THEN GOTO 40
          70 HOME
          80 FOR I = 1 TO 1000:NEXT
          90 HTAB 10:VTAB 12
          100 PRINT "I SAID ";
          110 FOR I = 1 TO 1000:NEXT
          120 PRINT "DON'T ";
          130 FOR I = 1 TO 2000:NEXT
          140 PRINT "TOUCH ";
          150 FOR I = 1 TO 2000:NEXT
          160 PRINT "ME!"
          170 FOR I = 1 TO 3000:NEXT
          180 HOME
          190 POK

          • by cormandy (513901)
            Pretty good for off the top of your head. Only issue is that POS is a reserved word in Applesoft. Here is your code changing POS to PS:

            10 A$ = "DON'T TOUCH ME! "
            20 M$ = A$ + A$ + A$ + A$
            30 PS = 1
            40 PRINT MID$(M$,PS,39);
            50 PS = PS + 4: IF PS > LEN(A$) THEN PS = PS - LEN(A$)
            60 IF PEEK(-16384) < 128 THEN GOTO 40
            70 HOME
            80 FOR I = 1 TO 1000:NEXT
            90 HTAB 10:VTAB 12
            100 PRINT "I SAID ";
            110 FOR I = 1 TO 1000:NEXT
            120 PRINT "DON'T ";
            130 FOR I = 1 TO 2000:NEXT
            140 PRINT "TOUCH ";
            150 FOR I = 1 TO

            • by mark-t (151149)

              I think I was misremembering lines 40 and 50, actually... I remember that things were set up so that it looked like it was scrolling horizontally, and I was just thinking that it always just continued to print from where it left off, which is where I got the value of '4' in line 50.

              What those two lines may have been, however, was this:

              40 PRINT CHR$(13) + MID$(M$,PS,39);
              50 PS = PS + 1: IF PS > LEN(A$) THEN PS = PS - LEN(A$)
              If I remember correctly, that will produce an illusion of the text scrolli

        • I did that to a lot of school graphing calculators, in TI-Basic: While 1 Input "",Str1 Disp rand*10^(randInt(-5,5)) End
      • Just for LULZ I used to add something like this in a qbasic file and add it to the end of autoexec.bat

        10 input "C:\>"; haha$
        20 goto 10

        Especially the confusion on a Salesperson's face when rebooting wouldn't solve the "problem" !!!

        Used to drive people nuts!

        • by TWX (665546)
          Heh. Try adding "echo Y|format C: /q" to the autoexec.bat on early versions of DOS that didn't clear the buffer before executing format commands...
          • Heh. Try adding "echo Y|format C: /q" to the autoexec.bat on early versions of DOS that didn't clear the buffer before executing format commands...

            So it was YOU! YOU are the one that got them to start clearing the buffer! YOU are the one that formatted my 5MB MFM drive! :>

            • by TWX (665546)
              By virtue of requiring a reboot I was never banned from any retail shopping centers...
              • By virtue of requiring a reboot I was never banned from any retail shopping centers...

                Speaking of retail shopping centers... Did you ever have the experience of seeing the word "penis" scratched in MS paint on demo machines (sometimes all) every single time you went to one? And I wondered where the initial desire for a locked screen saver or boot-time "demo program" came from. lol

                • by TWX (665546)
                  Never saw that, the clerks were fairly astute at cleaning up obvious tampering. Hence my autoexec fun...
        • I used to call my BASIC programs IT so that I could type RUN IT and it would run.

      • I started off with a cassette based apple-ii. You had to play the tape until you heard the synch tone. Stop it. Plug in the player into the computer. Play it. Hope for the best. If it loaded you had to RUN it or BRUN the correct memory address to play it. Memories of the very crude Flight Simulator.

        • Guess who bought sublogic for the flight sim?

          You can still fly it. You can't go behind the mountains anymore.

    • by djdanlib (732853)

      Ugh, I wouldn't want to think that either. Here, have some relief: Learning how to use MS-DOS was really what got you started. The underlying hardware was only a little bit relevant, mostly when you had to wrangle CONFIG.SYS just right to make it work, or wanted to know what video modes you could use in BASIC or which floppies to buy at the store.

      • by TWX (665546)
        Well, I installed an internal modem in that computer and added a 3.5" floppy drive (not realizing that it wouldn't address a 1.44MB disk so I had to tape over the high-density holes and reformat 720K) when the machine had only two drive bays, so we had to take the computer apart to drill holes in it to mount the 30MB hard disk drive on its side in an empty spot. So I guess it'd be analogous to learning about cars by upgrading a Chevette...

        Upgrading to MS-DOS 5.0 was useful with online help, though I won
    • by Imagix (695350)
      Ah the days of "PR#6", "CATALOG", "RUN", "BRUN", "INIT HELLO" ...... (and... Slashdot's filter not liking so many caps...)
    • by drerwk (695572) on Thursday April 04, 2013 @10:53AM (#43357475) Homepage
      CALL -151 the only command worth using
    • It's a shame you didn't manage to get your hands on any of the good reference books or Apple ][ magazines. I had a clone too (Laser 128) but also had some good books and the library had A+ on subscription.

    • by TWiTfan (2887093)

      Packard Bell

      How DARE you speak those blasphemous words in this house!!

    • Insert a disk containing the program you want to run. Type PR#6 and push enter.

      IIRC.

  • Copied? (Score:5, Funny)

    by ozmanjusri (601766) <aussie_bob@nOsPAm.hotmail.com> on Thursday April 04, 2013 @10:19AM (#43357119) Journal

    Were the documents Xeroxed as well?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I wonder what it was like working for Shepardson Microsystems back in the day. Not only did they do Apple's DOS, they also did Atari DOS, Atari Basic, and some of their stuff even found its way into OSS products.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Bill Wilkinson. A truly wonderful person. Bill worked for Shepardson Microsystems and was able to purchase
      the rights to software he developed and helped developed while there. That was how he started Optimized System Software.
      He had 2 or 3 really smart people working for/with him, but could only take his vision so far (he had the genius to be M$,
      but not the criminal soulless temperament that was required). I think his focus was mainly Atari and Apple, but OSS
      didn't really focus on the PC initially (they

  • by stenvar (2789879) on Thursday April 04, 2013 @10:36AM (#43357285)

    The Apple II was really only one of three massively successful PC lines: the Commodore, the TRS-80 line, and the Apple line, all introduced in 1977. The Apple II and TRS-80 both received floppy drives in 1978. The Apple II did keep production costs down, but both the machines and its disk drives were pretty expensive, so Apple really didn't do anything to help the masses with its cost savings. In terms of market share, Apple II was always a smaller player relative to the others. So, like today, Apple was had a product with a smaller market share, a lot of proprietary technology, and a large profit margin. And like today, they probably received more credit for innovation than they deserve.

    • I'd say the Atari computer line was more successful than the TRS-80 line. Maybe I'm a bit biased though as the Atari 400 was my first computer.
      • Atari 400

        HAHA, mebrane keyboard peasant. Full keyboard master race checking in.


        actually, in this case, I think I'm pretty safe in assuming that the Joint Chiefs of Staff would concur...

        • Yes, that membrane keyboard was a pain (quite literally), but not nearly as bad as the pain from waiting 20 min for your game to load from a tape on the 410 only to have it error out at the last minute.
          • I can understand your confusion because of the GP's poor spelling, but - he meant he had the "me brain" interface. It was a prototype direct neural interface.

            Only the coolest kids were allowed to own it.

      • by stenvar (2789879)

        I didn't say that there weren't other massively successful PC lines, I merely gave the three earliest (those introduced in 1977).

      • by Nyder (754090)

        I'd say the Atari computer line was more successful than the TRS-80 line. Maybe I'm a bit biased though as the Atari 400 was my first computer.

        Where i grew up, the schools all had TRS-80's and no Apples. So I cut my teeth on Radio Shack & a C64 before I got my hands on an Apple II.

        Today? I have all 3 of them. TRS-80 4p, Apple IIe & IIgs, C64 + C128. All working.

        My conclusion? The Apple computers rocked. It was made to be used and abused. Built in Assembler Monitor, tons of ports, easy access to the insides. A computer that said, "Learn all of me!!!!"

      • by PRMan (959735)

        Actually, not. But Atari 8-bit blew Apple II out of the water:

        http://www.trs-80.org/was-the-trs-80-once-the-top-selling-computer/

    • by the_B0fh (208483)

      Seriously? Around 1983-1985, the market was 50% IBM PC/compatibles and 50% Apple II. How is that a smaller market share? And WTF is proprietary technology? Every system had its own OS, but Apple documented their stuff out the wazoo.

      ProntoDOS, a drop in replacement for DOS was written because Apple IIs came with a annotated copy of the source code to DOS. And that is "proprietary"?!

      Jesus Fucking Christ, you Apple Haters are really impressive.

      • by jedidiah (1196)

        50% Apple2 in 1985? I think you need to lay off those drugs.

        It is you Apple fanboys that are really impressive.

        8bit hardware that cost as much as the 32-bit hardware from anyone else and you seriously think it had 50% market share? Half of the market simply did not have the money for that kind of nonsense.

        • by the_B0fh (208483)

          Mis-remembered. 1985 was when the Apple //gs came out, so Apple's marketshare was already on the downward spiral. But IBM PCs were still pieces of shit compared to the Apple IIs.

          I just recently had a chance to play Wasteland on a PC and boy, did it suck, compared to the graphics that was available on the Apple ][s.

          As I responded to N0decam, the one time Apple IIs and IBM PCs/compatibles had equivalent market shares was in 1982, but that wasn't 50/50.

          • >>I just recently had a chance to play Wasteland on a PC and boy, did it suck, compared to the graphics that was available on the Apple ][s.

            OK, I'm going to have to call bullcrap on that one. I grew up with the Apple II version and loved it (I think it was the only game I played for over a year), but there's no way the graphics were better than the PC version (unless you're talking about the CGA version). Check out Mobygames if you doubt me: http://www.mobygames.com/game/wasteland/screenshots [mobygames.com]

            T
            • by mrbester (200927)

              CGA was the standard for PCs until you managed to get a Hercules card (required for Autoroute with its special "hi-res" mode) to up the resolution.

              Plus Apples had the graphic designer advantage that what you saw on the screen was exactly the same size when printed.

          • by stenvar (2789879)

            1985 was when the Apple //gs came out, so Apple's marketshare was already on the downward spiral. But IBM PCs were still pieces of shit compared to the Apple IIs.

            Wow, the Jobs reality distortion field is apparently still in full effect. In 1985, you could get an Amiga 1000 with hardware accelerated graphics, a 68k processor, and a multitasking OS. The PC had EGA cards, with higher resolution than the Apple II. There were tons of other interesting personal computers in the market. The Apple II was still stuc

            • by butlerm (3112)

              The Apple IIgs was dramatically different from all other Apple II models. It was backward compatible, but came with a 16 bit processor (the 65816), much more RAM (256K or more), greatly improved sound and video, and a GUI shell much like that of the Mac, plus color, which nearly all Macs lacked at the time. It was a little underpowered compared to the 68000 based Mac, Amiga, and Atari ST, but a more than respectable upgrade to the Apple II series nonetheless.

              As educational / entertainment devices even the

          • by voss (52565)

            Atari was outselling both IBM and Apple in 1982, right before the C-64 came out.

            http://arstechnica.com/features/2005/12/total-share/4/ [arstechnica.com]

      • by N0decam (630188)

        Seriously? Around 1983-1985, the market was 50% IBM PC/compatibles and 50% Apple II.

        [Citation needed] Given that the C64 was selling like hotcakes (market share that I found reference to on the net was between 35 and 40% over that time period, but I don't necessarily trust those sources) your 50/50 IBM/Apple split sounds suspiciously like it was pulled out of thin air.

      • by jythie (914043)
        Apple's market share around that time was about 10%, which is not shabby at all, but was no where near 50%.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by stenvar (2789879)

        Seriously? Around 1983-1985, the market was 50% IBM PC/compatibles and 50% Apple II. How is that a smaller market share?

        Your numbers are wrong. Apple never had anywhere near 50% market share in the desktop computer market.

        And WTF is proprietary technology?

        Technology that belongs to Apple and is incompatible with everything else. Many other machines used standard floppy disk controller chips.

        Jesus Fucking Christ, you Apple Haters are really impressive.

        You Apple fanboys and your ability to falsify history are

        • " Apple never had anywhere near 50% market share in the desktop computer market."

          A fact which is rendered meaningless by the fact that the market wasn't even called the desktop computer market at the time. Apple's target market at the time was the Home Computer, whereas IBM was targeting the Small Office / Business market.

          "Technology that belongs to Apple and is incompatible with everything else. Many other machines used standard floppy disk controller chips.

          ... and proprietary filesystems and encoding sch

        • by whit3 (318913)

          And WTF is proprietary technology?

          Technology that belongs to Apple and is incompatible with everything else. Many other machines used standard floppy disk controller chips.

          That's twisted; proprietary technology means OWNED technology. Apple had a patent on some its floppy controllers, and IBM decided on a NEC part, uPD765 if memory serves, that was proprietary to NEC. It wasn't a standard, either, just a documented solution that DOS was made compatible with.

          All the early floppy disks were proprietary. CDs had a data-format standard, th

      • Agree with you. Apparently the OP never read "Beneath Apple DOS".

        Diversi-DOS and ProntoDOS (sold by Beagle Bros) were a much better DOS then DOS due to massive reading speed increases.

        Hell Copy ][+ when it booted up would two full tracks of data faster then DOS could read a few sectors! Tons of people were figuring things out on the Apple and sharing it.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      In terms of market share, Apple II was always a smaller player relative to the others. So, like today, Apple was had a product with a smaller market share, a lot of proprietary technology, and a large profit margin.

      Proprietary technology? There wasn't a single component in an Apple II (including Woz's disk controller) that wasn't off-the-shelf until the Apple IIe was introduced, and if you wanted to see how the software worked, all you had to do was look at the source code that Apple helpfully provided.

      • by repetty (260322)

        I OWNED a Commodore 1541 hard drive and, yes, they were slow but they held a lot of data and -- most importantly -- they doubled as a convenient electrical hibachi.

    • by pamar (538061) <marino@noSPam.inrete.it> on Thursday April 04, 2013 @02:07PM (#43359887) Homepage

      You apparently forgot the fact that Apple published schematics and was built with "off-the-shelf" components, and this soon resulted in a massive "clones" market, offering good if not perfect compatibility (the ROMs were easy to copy, too) at vastly reduced prices.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Apple_II_clones [wikipedia.org]

      • Until Apple sued them all out of business.

        • by pamar (538061)

          I am from a European country, and I can assure you that there was a thriving clone market - you could get any at a much more affordable price basically everywhere. These were probably under the radar for Apple - or maybe they prosecuted only American-based makers/resellers because they couldn't afford international cases, but the fact is that, even if this was surely not part of Apple's plan - Apple ][ had a larger share of the market than what you would expect by just comparing "official" Apple numbers to

    • In addition to the disk controller, credited in the article as dramatically (and masterfully) reducing the parts count and expense, the Apple 2 was the first computer to use a switching power supply [wikipedia.org].

      1977: Apple II is designed with a switching mode power supply. "For its time (1977) it was a breakthrough, since until then switching mode power supplies weren’t used. Designed by Rod Holt,". "Rod Holt was brought in as product engineer and there were several flaws in Apple II that were never publicized. O

      • by stenvar (2789879)

        The Apple II showed that Apple could cut corners on engineering and hardware, put it in a pretty box and market the hell out of it, and still charge more than everybody else. That's good for Apple, it's been bad for the industry and consumers, and the sooner people wise up to it, the better.

  • by westlake (615356) on Thursday April 04, 2013 @10:52AM (#43357463)

    From 1977 and 1978, these documents chronicle Apple's first OS and what made the Apple II into a serious computer for the masses.

    The computer for the masses has to be affordable.

    The original retail price of the computer was US $1298 (with 4 kB of RAM) and US $2638 (with the maximum 48 kB of RAM). The original Apple II was discontinued at the start of 1981, having been superseded by the II+.

    An estimated 40,000 machines were sold for its 4-year production run.

    Apple II series [wikipedia.org]

    What cost $1298 in 1977 would cost $4848.66 in 2012. What cost $2638 in 1977 would cost $9854.21 in 2012. The Inflation Calculator [westegg.com]

    Following Visicalc's release, Bricklin and Frankston developed ports for the Atari 800 and Commodore PET, both of which could be done easily due to sharing 6502 CPUs with the Apple II and being able to recycle large portions of code. Other versions followed for the HP 150 and TRS-80 Model I and II. Finally, Visicalc was ported to the IBM PC and became one of the initial pieces of software available for it on its 1981 launch.

    VisiCalc [wikipedia.org]

    • by jythie (914043) on Thursday April 04, 2013 @11:04AM (#43357607)
      'Masses' is a fairly relative concept, as is 'affordable'. Compared to the targeting of the IBM compatible computers it could be argued that the Apple ][ line was more a computer for mass consumers, even if at its price point it was out of the range of many people. It is kinda like today out the Canon 5Dmk3 is a FF camera for the 'masses' in that it is intended (or at least marketed to) 'prosumers' as opposed to professionals and companies. Its price point is still higher then most people can plunk down for a camera, but it is still aimed at the mass market.

      Now, it could be argued there were other 'for the masses' computers also being sold at the time, but that is why it is "A" computer for the masses, not "The" computer for the masses.

      I think people tend to forget how computers were seen and marketed at the time, and how little attention there was on anyone other then hobbyists and professionals. The Apple ][ and other computers like it really were a new push to get usable computers into the homes of a much larger audience.
      • by Darinbob (1142669)

        The price ranges were pretty huge. For the max RAM version that is reaching the price realm of a new car, and even the lower end version could run you more money than a reliable used car. I didn't know much about Apple then since they weren't sold anywhere nearby and I'd only ever seen one. However I did want that TRS-80. It was much more affordable (sans-disk) at around $500 I think, and available in stores instead of mail-order. And being in a store meant you could drive over and poke at it (I rememb

      • by westlake (615356)

        'Masses' is a fairly relative concept, as is 'affordable'.

        I'm unwilling to bend quite so far as this.

        The median household income in 1977 was $13, 570. Money Income in 1977 of Households in the United States [census.gov]

    • Yes, having been around and associated with computer geeks at the time, I can say for certain that the primary computers we were using back them were Commandos. They were everywhere. Apples would pop up here and there but mostly you just saw ads for them, not in actual use. Even in the 80s Apple was all about marketing.

    • by WillAdams (45638)

      Visicalc --- one of my most vivid memories from childhood was being in a computer store in Richmond, VA when an accountant came in and declared,

      ``I want a Visicalc.''

      The salesperson patiently explained that Visicalc was only a software program and that to use it, he would need a computer.

      ``Whatever, give me everything I need for a Visicalc.''

      The salesperson then proceeded to lay out almost one of everything in the store (high-end items were possible, the 132 column printer, 80 col. card, dual-disk drives,

      • by putaro (235078)

        Heh - I was selling computers at the UCSD bookstore around that time and I had a customer come in one time and tell me that another store had sold her a "DBase" machine and she wanted to figure out what it was. Turned out to be an Apple II+ with a CP/M card.

      • accountant ... his Trans Am

        Holy crap, the late 70's where a whole different country...

    • I've heard different stories on why VisiCalc was developed on Apple first. In one interview, a key project person (I don't remember which) said it was simply because the Apple happened to be available at the time as the Pets and TRS's were booked up. Another was that Steve Jobs gave them discounts on Apples for porting one of the company's popular games to Apple sooner.

    • by butlerm (3112)

      The Apple II wouldn't be more than a footnote in history if those prices didn't go way down, which they did. By the mid 1980s virtually every school in the country had a classroom full of them.

  • by MrYingster (594507) on Thursday April 04, 2013 @11:34AM (#43357983) Journal
    running Apple DOS 3.3.
    http://porkrind.org/a2/ [porkrind.org]
    For those interested in reliving the memories of Apple DOS.... This emulator is all written in javascript. There seem to be quite a few ROMs present as well to try.
  • by ciurana (2603) on Thursday April 04, 2013 @11:39AM (#43358051) Homepage Journal

    If you bleed in 6 colors and are a true Apple hacker, I have two words for you:

    INIT HELLO

    Cheers!

  • by Fool106 (977984) on Thursday April 04, 2013 @12:03PM (#43358311)
    Pretty crazy to think he wrote an OS in 35 days. How long did it take Linus to write linux?
    • The length of time it took to write it needs to be put in perspective.

      • by Darinbob (1142669)

        Apple DOS was not finished in 35 days either, they had several versions. Even the final version is incredibly tiny compared to Linux, it's even small compared to MS-DOS or CP/M. It's a stretch to call this an operating system given that state of the art at the time was Unix, VMS, VM/CMS, and so forth. The micro-computer world was essentialy a decade or two behind the rest of the computer world. That there were even professionals at the time able to code this up for Apple was due to the use of these CPUs

    • How long did it take Linus to write linux?

      It took about a year. That is, from the beginning of the project to the release of the first public version.

    • by wed128 (722152)

      Given a small featureset and relatively simple hardware, 35 days sounds about right for something like Apple II DOS. No multitasking, a simple command language, limited hardware to support.... It was cutting edge then, but it's a student project now.

    • People can and still do write OSes in 35 days. Just look at the 8-bit CPU & microcontroller hobbyist groups. Lots of new or rehashed implementations come up relatively quickly, vs trying to do the same on full-on workstations. The scope of these machines allow complete understanding and control to be quite tractable in a 1-person effort.

    • by butlerm (3112)

      He didn't write an OS, he wrote a disk operating system, i.e. a system that operated disks. They called it DOS for a reason.

      • by Arker (91948)
        Yes, they called it a DOS for a reason. It was a more advanced form of Operating System than was typical for personal machines, you see, it had these great things called 'disks' and it needed an Operating System that knew how to use them...
        • by butlerm (3112)

          If you asked the creators, they would probably be embarrassed to call it an operating system at all. Apple DOS didn't handle keyboard support, video support, sound support, or printer support. That was all handled using either the monitor (a BIOS in ROM that was not part of DOS), peripheral card ROMs in some cases, or by direct access to the hardware.

          MS-DOS was similar. It handled file I/O and that is it. A disk operating system, not a computer operating system. The BIOS was separate, not controlled by

  • the source code, contract letters, schematics and notes for the creation of the Apple II Disk Operating System (DOS)

    I did a good deal of assembly back in 'th day, and I ran Merlin Pro. I had decompiled FaskDiskOne (an optimized version of Dos 3.3) It featured optimized sector reading and interleaving. Nibbles were decoded on the fly, instead of after the sector was read, greatly improving read speed. After getting that fully loaded into merlin I could tweak it any way I liked. Though all I really ever e

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