August 22nd, 2001 - I've decided to give these old pages
a new home. The content is old, but perhaps it is still useful.
NOTE: Opinions expressed here are mine and mine
only. So there.
New OS-9 software vendor: www.digitalasphyxia.com.
Digital Ashpyxia (Chet Simpson) will soon be offering Personal OS-9 for
x86 which will see the return of OS-9 for hobbyists and should
include installation programs, and things like the OS-9 port of MAME
and DOOM as well as other suprises.
OS-9 is a multi-user, real-time, pre-emptive multi-tasking 32 bit operating
system for the Motorola 68K family of processors. It is mainly used for industrial
purposes, though desktop ports for Atari ST, Commodore Amiga, and Apple Macintosh
also exist. Microware created it back
in 1980, and it's evolved through the years and now supports x86, PowerPC,
StrongARM, SH, and SPARC and MIPS processors.
This page is NOT and official site for OS-9 but, rather, a starting
point for locating other OS-9 resources on the internet. Watch this space
for information in the future. If you want the real scoop, be sure to visit
- 1977 - Microware founded in Des Moines, Iowa. In a basement.
- 1980 - OS-9 for the 6809 introduced. First ad in Byte magazine's
- 1983 - OS-9 ported to the 68000.
- 1989 - OS-9 rewritten in C (mostly) and ported to the 80386 and
68020 under the name OS-9000. '020 version discontinued sometime after,
since the assembly version of OS-9 was smaller, tool less memory, was faster,
- 1995 - OS-9000 ported to the PowerPC
- 199- - OS-9000 ported to StrongARM, SH, Sparc, MIPS... At some
point, marketting was changed and the name OS-9000 was dropped, being replaced
by "OS-9 for X86" or "OS-9 for PowerPC".
- 1999 - The face of OS-9 changes forever as new integrated PC-hosted
CDs are released offereing everything "ready to go" including the new Hawk
development environment and a Wizard program for configuring boot images.
Also, Enhanced OS-9 for X86 was released in the form of a free
evaluation CD that lets anyone test drive the package for 60 days (including
MAUI graphics, SoftStax networking, Hawk, the Wizard, etc.).
Who's using OS-9/OS-9000?
- Uniden - e-mail telephones (still available?)
- Motorola - PageWriter 2000 e-mail
pager (very cool)
- Walt Disney World - RUMOR has
it that a company who worked with Disney on the Epcot laser show and the
Hall of Presidents at the Magic Kingdom used OS-9 machines for them. (can
- And others...
Where can you see OS-9 in action?
- AeroVironment Inc. uses OS-9 in their SODAR
(Acoustic Radar) systems for measuring wind in the atmosphere with the
Doppler effect. Near real-time data from SODARs in Kansas are collected
by Argonne National Laboratory
as part of the Argonne Boundary Layer Experiments. (Thanks for the info!)
- Quadra Beam 6600
from Moisture Systems is a real-time analyzation device that has OS-9 inside.
- Barco, a Belgium international company, uses OS-9 on Gespace computers
to control sophisticated laser inspection machines to high speed sort defects
from all kinds of processed foods such as shells from walnuts or stems from
- Robotic Aircrafts - Auorora, as I
was informed via e-mail, makes "flight control computers and ground stations
for our robotic aircraft" that run OS-9. Neat!
- Treasure Island Casino (Las Vegas, NV) - The pirate ship is controlled
by an OS-9 based machine made by Gespac
running G-Windows and using a touch screen. OS-9 sinks that ship more times
in a day than most PCs have to be rebooted :)
- CALTRANS (Southern California) - traffic lights/sensors hooked to special
CPU boards end up going into OS-9 machines which collect the data, then
pipe that into a Unix (?) system. I believe that the "traffic status" maps
you find on the internet are based on the data collected by OS-9 machines!
- City of Cleveland, OH - I believe it was the electric company out there
which uses an OS-9 machine running the Sculpture database program (available
on tons of platforms, including OS-9 :) which reportedly has 75 concurrent
users logged in at the same time updating the database.
- CD-i players - Yeah, based on the Phillips 68070 chip (which is a 68000
clone at 16mhz). These gadgets run CD-RTOS, which is OS-9 v2.4, more or
less. Take a look at a PhotoCD sometime and you may find an OS9 directory
which holds CD-i front-end software.
- Olive Garden - Well, not really, but the company that makes the bread
sticks they serve (and other items) uses OS-9 controlled "cranes" to move
them around at the warehouse.
- Playboy! - Well, not really, again, but one of the largest (possibly the
largest?) magazine printer (which prints Reader's Digest, Playboy, and others),
uses OS-9 machines for their presses (or something like this).
- Lottery Validators - A company based out of Atlanta, Georgia is using
OS-9000 machines for validating lottery tickets. The units may be found
in convienience stores (in many states).
- ...and more.
The OS-9 Webring: [Home]