[Coco] Why DECB is important to OS-9 folk.

John R. Hogerhuis jhoger at pobox.com
Sun Sep 11 22:23:44 EDT 2005

On Sun, 2005-09-11 at 14:28 -1000, Alex Evans wrote:
> Maybe it is because I think in a different way from others, but I  
> never have found basic use of OS-9 to be difficult in any way.  Sure  
> there are complexities in taking full advantage of your particular  
> configuration, or to customize your system.  Assuming that OS-9 is  
> more complex to use than DECB (something that I am not convinced  
> of). 

A BASIC system comes up ready to use, and with a easy to read,
illustrated manual that starts from the absolute basics.

1 page into the Color BASIC manual and you've already typed in and run a

And it certainly doesn't hurt that the prompt is an auspicious


How soothing is that?

> We need to figure out how and why before we start to try to  
> simplify it.  As for translating error codes, there is a poor  
> correspondence between the two sets because OS-9 is an operating  
> system, and DECB is primarily a programming language.


I think the most straightforward thing would be to have the system boot
up to a file-oriented shell. MV is okay, but I think it's kind of a dog.
Something more like the screen on a Model 100 when it comes on. Easy
access to your files, BASIC-09, a text editor and whatever programs
you've installed.

For a mixed shell as has been described, I'd say start it up in BASIC.
But if you type DOS it switches to a shell, and if you exit, you end up
back in BASIC. The main difference being, that you boot to OS-9, and the
context switch happens instantly. Ideally all file access would actually
thunk to OS-9 file system. Raw sector DSKI$, DSKO$ would either be
unsupported or a compatibility mode would have to be requested

I think it would just be too confusing to try to meld the two together.
But it would be darned convenient to be able to switch between them and
have RS-DOS read/write directly to OS-9 filesystem.

-- John.

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