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http://os9al.com Ed# 02-03-15 18:46
/dd/systems OS-9 Systems
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This page contains a list of some of the more widespread OS-9 computer systems.

  • Tandy/Radio TRS-80 Shack Color Computer ("CoCo")
    • The CoCo was a home computer produced by Tandy Corporation initially in 1980. Initially the machine was actually manufactured in Texas. It was based on a Motorola reference board which used a color graphics chip (the VDG) and the 6809 microprocessor. Details are unknown about how Microware and Tandy came to work together, but it is thought that Motorola was probably the entity that introduced them. Years later, when the Color Computer 3 was introduced in 1986, Microware would be contracted to overhaul the Disk Extended Color Basic (by Microsoft) with new commands to take advantage of the next generation CoCo. Several Microware products were licensed, repackaged and sold through Radio Shack stores including: OS-9 Level 1, OS-9 Level 2, C Compiler, PASCAL Compiler, and others.
      References: Color Computer Home Page, bit.listserv.coco

  • Phillips Compact Disc Interactive ("CD-i")
    • CD-i was meant to be a new extension to the growing Compact Disc format. A CD-i player was capable of not only playing standard audio CDs, but interactive titles as well. The devices would hook to a television set (or monitor) and let the user play interactive games or even browse multimedia reference titles and run education games. As recently as 1995 you could still find CD-i titles at stores such as Best Buy. Kodak was also involved somewhat since CD-i players could natively display images from high quality PhotoCDs. During the last few years of existance, CD-i was enhanced with add on hardware to allow it to play the new Video CD ("VCD") format. A CD could hold about 70 minutes worth of MPEG-1 video. VCDs were the predecessor to DVD.

  • Interactive Media System MM/1
    • This machine was far from mainstream, but it holds a special place in history as being the last big push to move OS-9 into the desktop computer world. The machine was based on the same chipset used in the CD-i players, and the software was a very enhanced version of the graphical system created for OS-9 on the CoCo 3. It provided 8-bit stereo sound and a daughter board was available to give even more serial ports and SCSI for hard drives. Sadly, many problems plauged this project from FCC certification issues to production delays. Ultimately, it is estimated that only a few hundred MM/1s were ever sold. David Graham of Blackhawk Enterprises tried to resurrect the machine in the mid-1990s by buying out the rights and remaining inventory. It is believed he still has plenty of them if anyone is interested. (NOTE: There were several "next generation" systems such as the MM/1 including the Tomcat TC-70 from Frank Hogg Labs, the Delmar System IV, and the PC-ish AT306.)

  • Uniden Axis E-Mail Telephone
    • Uniden had big plans for this device which, sadly, never quite got off the ground. It was a home telephone attached to a small computer like device complete with QWERTY keyboard and flip up backlit monochrome liquid crystal display. Both a corded and cordless model were offered, and certain internet providers offered discounted services for the device which would only send and receive e-mail. It was a great idea, but the cost was likely too high. An Axis phone actually cost more than a WebTV, which, although it required a television for output, could not only do e-mail but web access as well.

  • Motorola PageWriter 2000(x)
    • Around 1997, Motorola introduced an amazing new pager that resembled a handheld laptop computer. It had a QWERTY keyboard and small black and white liquid crystal display and was capable of sending and receiving electronic mail. It also acted as a normal pager for text and alphanumeric pages. In the years that followed, the device would be upgraded with more memory (giving it the ability to run SUN's new Java2 Micro Edition). Several different models of the PageWriter are known to be in existance, including some under the name of TimePort. Motorola labeled the device as running FlexOS, though this version of FlexOS was actually OS-9 for the 68000. It is interesting to note that the Dragonball processor used in the PageWriter is the same chip used in the Palm PDAs as well as in the Uniden Axis e-mail telephone.

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Site contents © 2001-2002 by Allen Huffman. OS-9 and all related trademarks belong to Microware Systems Corporation (or, I guess, RadiSys since they now own Microware). This site has no affiliation with Microware (or RadiSys). While I would like to think that every bit of information on this site is accurate, most likely there are many errors. If you need official information about anything discussed here, go to the manufacturer. I'm just an end user who enjoys the product. Peace.