The MOS 6502 CPU was introduced in September of 1975, and while the documentation described the three shift/rotate instructions ASL, LSR and ROL, the ROR instruction was missing – the documentation said that ROR would be available in chips starting in June 1976. In fact, the reason for this omission was that the instruction, while being present, didn’t behave correctly. Only few 6502s with the defect are in existence, and nobody seemed to have checked what was actually going on in these chips.
If you want to enable protected mode or paging on the i386/x86_64 architecture, you use CR0, which is short for control register 0. Makes sense. These are important system settings. But if you want to switch the pagetable format, you have to change a bit in CR4 (CR1 does not exist and CR2 and CR3 don’t hold control bits), if you want to switch to 64 bit mode, you have to change a bit in an MSR, oh, and if you want to turn on single stepping, that’s actually in your FLAGS. Also, have I mentioned that CR5 through CR15 don’t exist – except for CR8, of course?
- In 1837, Charles Babbage designed a general purpose computer, the Analytical Engine, but never built it.
- Between 1934 and 1937, Church, Turing et al. defined the general purpose computer, but didn’t design one.
- In 1941, Konrad Zuse built the first general purpose computer, the Z3, but didn’t know it was general purpose and didn’t use it that way.
- From 1943 to 1946, Mauchly and Eckert finally built a computer, ENIAC, that was designed to be general-purpose.
(German) Die QualitĂ¤t dieses Scans ist furchtbar, aber wenigstens ist die PDF durchsuchbar.
Commodore computers up to BASIC 2.0 (like the Commodore 64, the VIC-20 and the PET 2001) only had a very basic understanding of mass storage: There were physical device numbers that were mapped to the different busses, and the “KERNAL” library had “open”, “read”, “write” and “close” functions that worked on these devices. There were also higher-level “load” and “save” functions that could load and save arbitrary regions of memory: The first two bytes of the file would be the (little endian) start address of the memory block.
If you look at a hexdump of any version of the Logitech mouse driver for MS-DOS, you will see the following:
The Copland project was Apple’s ill-fated attempt in the mid 1990s to replace the aging classic Mac OS with a more modern operating system that had a microkernel, virtual memory and preemptive multitasking. Information on Copland is scarce, therefore I have compiled 20 hard to find Copland reference documents, as well as the 359 page book “Mac OS 8 Revealed”.
The Apple Lisa from 1983 was the first consumer-class computer with a graphical user interface and significantly more advanced than the 1984 Macintosh, which had a similar UI, but a comparatively primitive underlying OS. Here, I present a searchable PDF of the rare “Operating System Reference Manual for the Lisa” (1983), as well as a quick overview of the OS and how it compares to UNIX.
The core of the Amiga Operating systems consists of the three major components Exec (scheduling, memory management, IPC), Intuition (GUI library) and AmigaDOS (process and file management). AmigaDOS is based on the Tripos operating system which Commodore bought because development of their own DOS subsystem failed to meet deadlines. In this article, I am presenting searchable PDFs of the very rare Tripos manuals (638 pages) as well as the AmigaDOS manual (304 pages). Comparing the two documents will share some insight in the relationship between Tripos and Amiga OS.
In the first Terminator movie, the audience sees the world from the T-800’s view several times. It is well-known that in two instances, there is 6502 assembly code on the T-800’s HUD, and many sites have analyzed the contents: It’s Apple-II code taken from Nibble Magazine. Here are HD versions of the shots, thanks to Dominik Wagner:
Operating system vendors face this problem once or twice a decade: They need to migrate their user base from their old operating system to their very different new one, or they need to switch from one CPU architecture to another one, and they want to enable users to run old applications unmodified, and help developers port their applications to the new OS. Let us look at how this has been done in the last 3 decades, looking at DOS/Windows, Macintosh, Amiga and Palm.
The heritage of different operating systems has been discussed many times. Mac OS X includes code from Mach and BSD, AmigaOS is based on TRIPOS, MS-DOS is a CP/M-86 clone and Windows NT is modeled after VMS. But what machines and operating systems were used for cross-compilation and bringup of these systems? In order to find this out about Mac OS X, I talked to a few people working at NEXT and Apple, and people that worked on Mach and BSD.
Every touristy place has them: Souvenirs with given names on them. If you have an uncommon name, or a friend with an uncommon name, you might look through the whole collection – and notice that they have generic ones like “#1 FRIEND” (i case you really don’t find your friend’s name), and, sometimes, generic ones in Spanish.
My last blog post showed the Zuse Z3 (1939-1941), the world’s first working digital Turing-complete computer. Let’s go back two more steps: The Zuse Z1 (1936-1938) shared its design with the Z3: It read its program from punched film and used floating point as its internal representation of numbers. But since it was all mechanical, it never worked reliably.