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Opening a dialogue for SpartaDOS Source Code

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For those who may have the SpartaDOS source code:

 

Can we open a formal discussion for releasing the SpartaDOS and SpartaDOS X source code to the public in a GitHub repository, in the interests of long term preservation, study, and extension?

 

-Thom

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I have the original source code for SDX 4.22 here. I can't recall where I got it from, but I have already shared it with DLT.

 

The issue I see with 'extension' here is that this old version has a lot of bugs and the current closed-source versions of SDX (which were based on disassembly) have moved on so much that it would take years for any other branch to catch up in terms of capability and reliability. Another problem is getting the original build tools to work.

 

Edited by flashjazzcat
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4 hours ago, flashjazzcat said:

I have the original source code for SDX 4.22 here. I can't recall where I got it from, but I have already shared it with DLT.

 

The issue I see with 'extension' here is that this old version has a lot of bugs and the current closed-source versions of SDX (which were based on disassembly) have moved on so much that it would take years for any other branch to catch up in terms of capability and reliability. Another problem is getting the original build tools to work.

 

Then perhaps not for extension or any modification at all. Still the original source is invaluable for preservation, historical value and study.

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So what's the current ownership status of the code?  I lost track way back in the original FTE days...

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I would say that FTE still owns it, or in other words Mike Hohman. As far as I know he never released SDX into the public domain, and unless someone can show otherwise, it should still be considered as his.

 

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13 minutes ago, mytek said:

I would say that FTE still owns it, or in other words Mike Hohman. As far as I know he never released SDX into the public domain, and unless someone can show otherwise, it should still be considered as his.

 

Is he still active anywhere?  Has he expressed any opinion one way or the other regarding opening up the source?

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9 minutes ago, jamm said:

Is he still active anywhere?  Has he expressed any opinion one way or the other regarding opening up the source?

I talked with him about a year ago about this, and at the time he seemed impressed by the efforts that had been made to make SDX better. But he never mentioned anything to the effect that he had released his interest in it.

 

I would think that it's maybe similar to how Paramount deals with the Star Trek spin-offs you see being made and released by the fans, where they have agreed to look the other way so long as none of these independents try to make money off of it. So by the same token based on only my opinion, I think so long as nobody tries to sell SDX (e.g, in a cart or as a download) that Mike would likely be ok with it. However no one should presume that he has released or abandoned his rightful property. After all he paid money in good faith to purchase those property rights.

 

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I don't believe anyone is trying to take anyone's rights away.  There's no market to sell SpartaDOS to anyone. If there were, someone would be doing it today.

It's just a question of sharing history and information with fellow hobbyists and possibly making it a bit easier to extend the lives of these old computers a few years longer.

 

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10 hours ago, jamm said:

There's no market to sell SpartaDOS to anyone. If there were, someone would be doing it today.

 

SIDE2 and ULTIMATE 1MB both contain SpartaDOS. If the copyright holder is impressed by current efforts he propably knows about it.

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24 minutes ago, Dinadan67 said:

SIDE2 and ULTIMATE 1MB both contain SpartaDOS

The fact it's pre-installed on both devices does not necessary mean that the people currently maintaining SpartaDOS X are selling the software to the vendor.

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I'm fully aware of this and did not mean to offend anyone. I just wanted to point out that you can get if you want on modern hardware.

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Just now, Dinadan67 said:

I'm fully aware of this and did not mean to offend anyone. I just wanted to point out that you can get if you want on modern hardware.

Ah - understood. Thanks for clarifying. :)

 

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SpartaDOS X 4.4x builds are available free of charge to everyone via the SpartaDOS X Upgrade Project website. The only money being made there are users' donations, which are just enough to pay for the domains every year.

 

When the Microsoft will be wanting to buy SpartaDOS X for billions of coins to acquire a stable fundament for a next version of Windows, noone will of course keep it in secret from the copyright holder.

 

(it is good, by the way, to hear that Mike Hohman is alive, I would like to say hello to him).

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We're really focusing on the commercial aspect of this, but I don't think that there are many people who disagree that a.) no one wants to take anyone's rights away, and b.) there isn't a viable commercial market for this product anymore.

 

The real question and point of this thread is whether or not we can get open access to the source code to SpartaDOS, as that would be a benefit the Atari community in a variety of ways.

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49 minutes ago, drac030 said:

(it is good, by the way, to hear that Mike Hohman is alive, I would like to say hello to him).

It's been long overdue since I last contacted him, so I'll send off an email today and pass your greetings on to him.

 

1 hour ago, Dinadan67 said:

SIDE2 and ULTIMATE 1MB both contain SpartaDOS. If the copyright holder is impressed by current efforts he propably knows about it.

Oh yeah he definitely knows about that, and has a U1MB I swapped for another that was already fully loaded. As I said he didn't seem the least bit upset about what's been happening with SDX, and is completely aware that it's being bundled into these devices. Not sure where he stands on SDX being sold stand-alone in a cart, but then most of that money has mainly been directed at paying for the materials and the assembly of such, and not about making a profit off of the SDX itself.

 

Mike's become a part of urban legend over the years with people claiming that he ripped them off back in the FTE days. However I strongly suspect that much of the stories of such have been greatly inflated. I was one of the very few people that had pre-paid for his infamous Mars8 board, but when that didn't materialize we worked out a trade (my suggestion) of other OSS/ICD products to more than compensate me. In the end I actually made out very well for my investment.

 

When I hear about other ventures not panning out and people never getting what they paid for up front, whatever Mike may or may not have done in the distant past pales in comparison.

 

2 minutes ago, jamm said:

We're really focusing on the commercial aspect of this, but I don't think that there are many people who disagree that a.) no one wants to take anyone's rights away, and b.) there isn't a viable commercial market for this product anymore.

 

The real question and point of this thread is whether or not we can get open access to the source code to SpartaDOS, as that would be a benefit the Atari community in a variety of ways.

Understood :) . I just didn't want people confusing this as being abandoned-ware which they could do whatever they please with. Mike paid a lot to acquire the rights legally from ICD, and certainly deserves recognition of such. I do see that FTE is still credited in the boot-up sequence of SDX, which is great.

 

SDX has obviously evolved due to others efforts, so the original source code will no longer apply. However I can ask Mike if he might still have that source and if he would be willing to release it for historical and comparative reasons.

 

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One thing I am curious about: how many people currently have the latest SDX source code, and are active (or semi-active) contributors?  drac030 obviously, but who else?  I ask because even though SDX is no longer commercially viable, and even if the code cannot be made open to all, it is valuable enough that there should be some line of continuing its development. 

 

Witness valuable projects such as TurboBasic XL and RMT.  They are now orphans becuase the owner/maintainer passed away without handing it on to a new maintainer or opening the source.  I'm definitely not sitting here expecting drac030 to pass away, but I also don't want to see SDX go the same way those other projects did.

Edited by FifthPlayer
grammar

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DLT (the proprietors of current SDX incarnations) are three people presumably not from the same household, so hopefully unexpected death and acts of God are covered.

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13 minutes ago, FifthPlayer said:

Witness valuable projects such as TurboBasic XL and RMT.  They are now orphans becuase the owner/maintainer passed away without handing it on to a new maintainer or opening the source.

 

Actually, there are people who have the RMT sources. So, it's not like they're lost to time (as seems to be the case with TBXL sources). Whether anything will ever be done with them, that's another question.

 

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1 hour ago, MrFish said:

Actually, there are people who have the RMT sources.

Could you back that up with proof?  As far as I know, several people have tried to find the source code. Contacted the family, and so on, but nothing was ever found.

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15 minutes ago, MrFish said:

I doubt very seriously @R0ger has any reason to lie in this post: RMT Source Code - Post #10

Agree. I somehow forgot about this post, even though I posted in the same thread. People implies more than one person. I wonder why they are so hesitant to release what they have? Look at what Jac! did with dis6502. That could happen to RMT, too.
 

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Hello guys

 

The source code to TurboBASIC is not lost.  Check out the AtariWiki.

 

There is at least one other person that has access to the RMT source code.  The name of the person has been mentioned quite a few times in regards to RMT.

 

DLT = Drac030, ??? and Trub?

 

Let's hope these people never meet each other.  One wrong decision of the weather gods could be devastating to the Atari 8 bit scene.  :grin:

 

Sincerely

 

Mathy

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9 hours ago, mytek said:

Mike's become a part of urban legend over the years with people claiming that he ripped them off back in the FTE days. However I strongly suspect that much of the stories of such have been greatly inflated. I was one of the very few people that had pre-paid for his infamous Mars8 board, but when that didn't materialize we worked out a trade (my suggestion) of other OSS/ICD products to more than compensate me. In the end I actually made out very well for my investment.

In  a lot of ways I'm the same, I went in fully for the Mars8 top of the line board, knowing that I was investing in a start-up and sometimes things don't quite work out. 

I was torn at the time between the Mars8 and the GenLock.  When things didn't work out, Mike contacted me at my office and we had a very good conversation.  In the end, I told him not to worry the money.  He did offer a trade that would have been more than fair, that I turned down for reasons of my own. 

While we never did see a Mars8 board, in a way we've seen its heir in the Incognito. 

I did end up with a Sweet16 and a TransKey (tk-1)with DataQue paperwork.

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