19 thoughts on “What Operating System Is This?”

  1. Judging by the references to VBL and PEF, that’s got to be some sort of (Classic) Mac OS derivative… A/UX perhaps?

  2. I don’t think that is A/UX, at least in my memory it does not look like it.

    But must be some sort of Mac OS

  3. Since the screenshots show something that looks like class/object names (FileManager:kVolumeMount:Disk) i’d vote for Taligent or Copland, however, I’ve never seen/used them in real life so I’m only guessing…

  4. I looked around some more and I’m now pretty confident it’s Copland. Clues are the OpenTransport reference (which I also noticed after postinig the last time), and the length of the blacked-out text (7 letters = “No Copland Mount”). It’s probably the beta from 1995.

  5. And to motivate…

    I’ve seen the copland DR long ago, and while i can’t remember if it looked exactly like this when booting up, I certainly remember it printed out a good bit of text- unlike “classic” macos.
    I’m also pretty confident it had a “Base OS” folder for the bluebox.

    However this memory isn’t strong enough to motivate my point.

    But there is a good bit of clues in the screenshot- for a starters it’s obvious the system uses PEF/Code Fragment Manager, which was developed for Copland.
    It also uses TrueType – another Copland Invention.
    Open Transport – yet again Copland.

    So well it can’t be anything else.

  6. @Frek: TrueType is much older. It appeared in System 7. And according to Wikipedia, OpenTransport was introduced in System 7.5.2.

  7. Looks like some spawn of Mac OS Classic. Maybe some form of a network server, but the general look/fell of it reminds me heavily of Mac OS.


  8. Copland. In D7E1’s “ScarecrowVolume”, you’ll see all sorts of fun files like:

    CFrags (*)
    OptionalCFrags (*)
    Startup Tests (*)
    System Folder
    SystemProcess (*)

    Or in the CFrags directory:
    ./CFrags/ BootServerMgr.pef

    (Note the space before boot, and how it appears that way in the screenshot too.)

  9. And I reckon the blacked out text in “No ******* Mount” would be “No Scarecrow Mount”.

  10. Judging from the comments on the screen, the Blue Meanies have been here. This is Copland.

    Note the PEF file format used for the modules – and they are loaded from a CFrags folder. PEF predates anything in any way related to NeXT, including MacOS X. X uses Mach-O format. PEF and the Code Fragment Manager date back to the migration to PowerPC architecture, which was shortly after System 7. Copland was to be the first MacOS that was completely PPC native.

    Contrary to some of the comments above, OpenTransport appeared in MacOS 7.5.2. That’s what added support for Unix-style TCP and serial streams in MacOS because MacTCP was such a pain. So, this is at least the same age as 7.5.2 – around 1995. And Copland was demonstrated in 1995 at WWDC.

    Also note the presence of a process server. This definitely points at Copland’s architecture. Copland wasn’t truly multi-threaded and used the same re-entrant style code of previous MacOS. It wasn’t until Gershwin that true multi-threading was present.

    “TrueType is listening” points to what became part of QuickDraw GX later – System 8, I believe.

    Copland DR0 was released to a select few in 1996…

  11. Well, Gershwin wasn’t a myth, exactly — they really did intend to develop it after Copland (I was there, and worked on DR0, incidentally). However, obviously it never got started since Copland never even got close to finished, so a better term, I think, would be vaporware, or “planned software that got killed before it got started”.


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