[Coco] OS-9 on Raspberry Pi

Allen Huffman alsplace at pobox.com
Wed Jun 5 10:30:22 EDT 2019

> On Jun 5, 2019, at 7:32 AM, Frank Swygert <farna at amc-mag.com> wrote:
> Allen Huffman already mentioned this in a post, but I have some additional
> info. For one, go to www.microware.com and read the "Microware OS-9
> Overview" and the "OS-9 For ARM" tabs. At the bottom of the overview you
> will find "Since February 2013 Microware OS‐9 is owned by a part‐nership
> of three companies, MicroSys, Freestation(Japan)and RTSI(USA). They have
> formed   Microware LP (www.microware.com)to actively continue the
> development on OS‐9."

OS-9 is in “good hands,” as they say. Allan Batteiger of RTSI (os9archive site) is a long-time OS-9 consultant and supporter. Over in Germany, they have an engineer there that I knew back in my 90’s days at Microware — still doing wonderful OS-9 things. I do not know much about Freestation, but I expect it also has folks that were connected to Microware Japan.

> With the $50 personal OS-9 license for the RPI0W (currently developing for
> more platforms) you can build a complete new system for $150 or less

Indeed. I bought a $26 Vilros brand Pi Zero W kit from Amazon. I just needed a MicroSD card and then a way to hook up a USB-to-TTL serial adapter. OS-9 is currently talking out the Pi’s built-in serial UART. (I ended up spending $15 on a Pi Zero W that had the header pin installed; if I could solder myself, it would have been $10).

There is an OS-9 GUI called XiBase9 which I remember seeing during my Microware days. It looked like Windows, or had other modes to look like other GUIs. They have that running on various OS-9 boards today, so if it were brought to the Community Edition it would give us a GUI to use with an HDMI monitor and USB keyboard. I do not know if that is the plan, though.

It would be slick to get a driver written up that emulated the old K-Windows/OS-9 Level 2 screen codes. Then porting alot of stuff over would be doable just by recompiling and tweaking code a bit.

> input from them and others in the community through them. The "CoCo4"
> could very well be a R-Pi with a CoCo emulator (for backward
> compatibility) and native OS-9... maybe with a board enhancement or two...

Chet Simpson ported MAME to OS-9 back int he late 90s, but only for the X86 OS-9000 (I think) due to it having assembly language (?). With MAME existing for ARM these days, it would be interesting to see if it could be ported to modern OS-9 for that purpose.

There was also a 6809 emulator than ran command line stuff on the MM/1.

Lots of options.

It’s an exiting potential, though I don’t know what Microware has in mind.

Pis are cheap and easy to obtain, and many already have them. There are easier machines with better onboard hardware that I know Allan likes better than the Pi. I guess if it’s cheap and on Amazon, it wouldn’t really matter.

		— A

More information about the Coco mailing list