ANOTHER old-school operating system has been made available as open source.
PC-MOS/386 was first announced by The Software Link in 1986 and was released in early 1987. It was capable of working on any x86 computer (though the Intel 80386 was its target market). However, some later chips became incompatible because they didn't have the necessary memory management unit.
It had a dedicated following but also contained a couple of design flaws that made it slow and/or expensive to run. Add to that the fact it had a Y2K bug that manifested on 31 July 2012, after which any files created wouldn't work, and it's not surprising that it didn't become the gold standard. The last copyright date listed is 1992, although some users have claimed to be using it far longer.
"More Than Just Windows, We've Opened Doors" claimed the adverts boasting of up to 25 users, but unfortunately, the claims of multitasking were marred by the fact that the OS had to stop one thing in order to start another. It's a bit like DJing with one record deck.
There are plenty of recollections here, along with the announcement that the original source tapes (!!) had been safely preserved and after much discussion with the rights holders, it was agreed in principle to publish it. However, the project leader, Roeland Jansen had been holding off awaiting something in writing.
Now that's happened, the results are ready for all to see here. Don't expect it to change your life, it's just a piece of history and a piece of fun. It's also very slow, even on modern machines. We're wondering if someone could reassemble it for ARM so it could be tested on a Raspberry Pi.
Though another part of us suspects it would be a lot of hassle for relatively little reward. Still, it's a nice thing to have a play with, eh? µ
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