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Are DOS and PRODOS real operating systems?


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#1 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 25, 2017 7:49 PM

Are DOS and PRODOS real operating systems? I don't think so.

 

I'm a little hesitant to call anything "DOS 3.3" or "ProDOS" an operating system. More technically these are simply sets of instructions and routines to allow access to the disk hardware and nothing else.

 

They don't handle sound, graphics, keyboard, or text-screen related activities. Doesn't do printing, or memory management either. They don't do the things a modern OS would do, not even remotely in the slightest. All that stuff is in the firmware ROM.

 

DOS and ProDOS are there to talk to the disk drive hardware! Hence the name Disk Operating System.

 

Discuss.



#2 BassGuitari OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 25, 2017 7:59 PM

Well, DOS does do what it says it does. It's a system for operating disks. :)

In practical terms, though, it's more like an extended BASIC than what we typically think of as an operating system.



#3 Gabriel OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:00 PM

Back in the day I definitely didn't view them as anything like how I view Windows, Linux, or Android today.  They were just something I needed if I wanted to format a disk or needed a copy utility.  So, yeah, I viewed them like I would any other utility.



#4 Iamgroot OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 25, 2017 11:27 PM

I think it mostly depends on what you are referring to as an Operating System.

 

Dos and Prodos are Disk Operating Systems.

 

All the things you mentioned, sound, graphics, keyboard, text-screen, printing, memory management on newer systems as well as old, require drivers.  They help make a user interface, but I don't believe they are necessary to make up an Operating System.

 

Part of the reason no master system that handles all of these activities has ever been written for the Apple II, is mostly due to the lack of memory, especially on the II or II+.  And it would be very hard to tie these things to multiple programs and still leave room in memory for the program itself.  Plus there is the argument that each program would not be unique if there was a standard for, input and output.  And not all activities need to be in memory at the same time.

 

Basic.system, under Prodos, handles some of these activities.  It handles keyboard input and output in specific ways, and Prodos handles interrupts that can be programmed to handle some of the other activities mentioned, mouse, sound, printer.

 

For the text screen that is only 40 bytes wide by 24 lines, who needs a driver?  And with applesoft support, printing to the text screen can't get any easier than; HTAB 10: VTAB 10: ? "HELLO WORLD!".

 

Or output to a printer.  PR#1 (or 2) is all that is needed to get a printer going.   For basic printing, who needs a driver?  For graphics printing gets a little more complicated and a driver is only loaded as needed.

 

As for graphics, lo-res and hi-res are somewhat supported in applesoft, but the real power to use graphics in a GUI requires the use of Fonts and fast block shapes and Applesoft only supports using vector shapes.

 

The only real difference between Apple II OSes and modern OSes is, that drivers are only loaded when needed, where as on modern machines they are mostly just all loaded at the same time.  Which all just comes down to memory availability.

 

Of all the things that the Apple II has to offer, and in some ways the greatest advantage it has to offer is its ease of use, to get some activity working without the use of complicated drivers



#5 whiteplanet OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 26, 2017 1:07 AM

Well doesn't this really come from how Apple started?
A gradual progression of two guys in a garage,

first the Apple I, then the Apple ][.

 

So as they were building their machines I guess

they decided, (or the need arised) , we need large

capacity of storage as the tape player was too

slow to load files. Hence the disk ][ was created.

 

You want extra accessories, make a card for it.

So the memory, communication , printing was created.

So through learning through all of this, the first

os was introduced. Apple III SOS.

 

You can't blame theme or compare as they just

wanted to build computers and literally started

from scratch. It makes interesting history and

I find that by looking at how it was done then

(by reverse engineering) it shows just how

smart they were.



#6 Grimakis OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 26, 2017 6:09 AM

Yes. They are operating system, in as much that CP/M was an operating system.



#7 zzip OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 26, 2017 7:09 AM

The 8-bit systems didn't have enough addressable space to run anything like what we would call a true operating system. What they had were glorified BIOS

#8 Bloodnose ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 26, 2017 11:38 AM

Your thesis states they are not operating systems, but your conclusion admits they are operating systems -- for disks.

I think the intention of your question comes in the middle with, "They don't do the things a modern OS would do"

 

People (like me) like analogies.

DOS and ProDOS (and Pascal, God bless it for trying) are to Apple II what MS-DOS is to IBM.  Anything above disk operations, like printers, sound, video, etc. require drivers/software.

 

What does a modern OS have in comparison?

A mouse cursor on a graphical desktop -- like DOS/ProDOS vs. Apple II Desktop or GS/OS;  and MS-DOS vs. Windows.

Devices still require specific drivers and APIs for programming them.

Most contemporary systems are still based on mass storage.

Fewer minimal systems have no non-volatile storage -- running from ROM with working RAM.

I submit AppleSoft Basic and the Apple Monitor (the disassembler/memory hex editor -- an unfortunate ambiguous name) are operating systems without disk operation -- but which can still be accessed primitively through I/O port manipulation.

 



#9 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 26, 2017 12:11 PM

It's amusing to note that many Apple II interface cards came with "drivers" built-in. Most cards had a 2K firmware chip on them that contained routines to allow easy access from Applesoft Basic, they had callable routines. Modems had this to dial out and auto-answer. Printers had this to grab full-screens. Serial cards had them to set parameters for the then popular 6551.

 

Later cards even had a full microprocessor with RAM and of course the firmware. Buffered parallel cards were popular examples.. As was the Videx Keyboard Enhancer for the II+.



#10 Casey OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 26, 2017 6:38 PM

I'd consider DOS 3.3 and ProDOS to be extensions to the system to allow for disk access rather than equating them to CP/M.  CP/M was an operating system for multiple different computers, much like MS-DOS was.  



#11 JamesD ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:06 PM

I'd consider DOS 3.3 and ProDOS to be extensions to the system to allow for disk access rather than equating them to CP/M.  CP/M was an operating system for multiple different computers, much like MS-DOS was.  

Well, CP/M isn't just the code to interface to a disk.  It's more like disk I/O, terminal I/O, and some other parts of the Apple monitor, 
Depending on the version, there are up to 40(?) different OS calls.
 



#12 magnusfalkirk OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 29, 2017 3:56 PM

DOS 3.3 and PRODOS are CLI operating systems vs GUI operating systems. Now if your contention is that no computer had an operating system until the GUI was invented, then you're correct and that honor goes to Steve Jobs stealing the mouse interface from Xerox-PARC in the late 70's. Xerox-PARC pioneered it, Jobs stole it and improved it, and Microsnot stole it from them and mass produced it.



#13 zzip OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 1, 2017 9:26 AM

DOS 3.3 and PRODOS are CLI operating systems vs GUI operating systems. Now if your contention is that no computer had an operating system until the GUI was invented, then you're correct and that honor goes to Steve Jobs stealing the mouse interface from Xerox-PARC in the late 70's. Xerox-PARC pioneered it, Jobs stole it and improved it, and Microsnot stole it from them and mass produced it.


Even before GUIs, mainframes and mini computers had more extensive operating systems than what you found on Apple and other 8-bit systems. They were minimal and barely operating systems. A lot of coding was accessing hardware directly, there were often no OS calls, no api's. But this was by necessity.

#14 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 1, 2017 11:50 AM

My thinking is this.. When the Apple II first came out. There was no disk drive for it. It wasn't even conceived that one would ever be needed. Cassette tapes would do just fine. But people started talking. So some odd months later the Disk II was born. And software had to be written to control this new peripheral. That's as far as I see DOS. It's a control program for a specific peripheral.

http://apple2history.org/history/ah05/

 

---

 

What I did find useful was putting DOS 3.3 in ROM. I put it on the ROM+ board from Mountain Computer and on power-up the system would transfer the contents to RAM and hand over control, just as if you booted from floppy. Only faster and more convenient.

 

Cost me a slot, but I thought it was cool for the longest time. Eventually I needed to get a clock card, and out went the ROM+. I still don't know if juggling slots like that was a good thing or a bad thing. The fact that we had all these cool peripherals was neat, but once you got a lot, you couldn't use them all at the same time.



#15 whiteplanet OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 3, 2017 12:25 AM

Just watch this.

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=EeEGJg6vXCg



#16 potatohead OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 3, 2017 2:00 AM

They are operating systems. The scope is small, because the machines and use cases are small.

There is a specific way the computer operates, and that system, though modular, is the operating system.

Apples have I/O redirection (PR#), service routines, driver hooks, all the stuff one needs to insure applications can operate correctly, hardware designs can work across multiple applications, etc...

On the Atari machines, which employ interrupts and some more sophisticated hardware, call the core code "the OS." It has I/O redirection, service routines, etc...

Comparing to modern machines can blur these distinctions.

#17 potatohead OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 3, 2017 2:01 AM

They are operating systems. The scope is small, because the machines and use cases are small.

There is a specific way the computer operates, and that system, though modular, is the operating system.

Apples have I/O redirection (PR#), service routines, driver hooks, all the stuff one needs to insure applications can operate correctly, hardware designs can work across multiple applications, etc...

On the Atari machines, which employ interrupts and some more sophisticated hardware, call the core code "the OS." It has I/O redirection, service routines, etc...

Comparing to modern machines can blur these distinctions.

#18 potatohead OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 3, 2017 2:01 AM

They are operating systems. The scope is small, because the machines and use cases are small.

There is a specific way the computer operates, and that system, though modular, is the operating system.

Apples have I/O redirection (PR#), service routines, driver hooks, all the stuff one needs to insure applications can operate correctly, hardware designs can work across multiple applications, etc...

On the Atari machines, which employ interrupts and some more sophisticated hardware, call the core code "the OS." It has I/O redirection, service routines, etc...

Comparing to modern machines can blur these distinctions.

#19 potatohead OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 3, 2017 2:03 AM

They are operating systems. The scope is small, because the machines and use cases are small.

There is a specific way the computer operates, and that system, though modular, is the operating system.

Apples have I/O redirection (PR#), service routines, driver hooks, all the stuff one needs to insure applications can operate correctly, hardware designs can work across multiple applications, etc...

On the Atari machines, which employ interrupts and some more sophisticated hardware, call the core code "the OS." It has I/O redirection, service routines, etc...

Comparing to modern machines can blur these distinctions.



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