Retro OSes for retro computers

Getting old software/games running on older hardware.

Re: Retro OSes for retro computers

Postby Caluser2000 » 2019-5-21 @ 06:35

appiah4 wrote:
Half-Saint wrote:Years ago I used to run Puppy Linux off a CF card on a passively cooled 800 MHz Pentium 3 machine with 1.5 GB of RAM. I used most of the memory as a RAMdisk.

I wasn't impressed with the speed tho..


No wonder. Puppy Linux is not meant to be installed.
You can install it as a debian install on your hdd if you wanted.
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Re: Retro OSes for retro computers

Postby appiah4 » 2019-5-21 @ 08:16

Caluser2000 wrote:
appiah4 wrote:
Half-Saint wrote:Years ago I used to run Puppy Linux off a CF card on a passively cooled 800 MHz Pentium 3 machine with 1.5 GB of RAM. I used most of the memory as a RAMdisk.

I wasn't impressed with the speed tho..


No wonder. Puppy Linux is not meant to be installed.
You can install it as a debian install on your hdd if you wanted.


Yes but performance is not exemplary, it was not meant to be used this way.
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Re: Retro OSes for retro computers

Postby Caluser2000 » 2019-5-22 @ 21:18

gwe2.png
Ran Geoworks Ensemble Pro 1.2 in along with DRDos 6.0 on my first 286/16. GeoWorks v2 was totally reworked and didn't share any code with v1.*. New Deal Office introduced a Win9x style interface but you could revert to the Motif UI if you wanted. Bread Box Ensemble was the last incarnation of PC Geos.

Linux.gif
Installed Mandrake 6.1 on my Compaq Presario 524CDS. Used Window Maker as the window manager.

os2v3.jpg
OS/2 v3 running the v4 server network client, gives me DHCP capability., my Dec 486/dx2/66 system with 16megs of ram.
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Re: Retro OSes for retro computers

Postby Caluser2000 » 2019-5-27 @ 00:22

GEM.gif
Thought I'd throw GEM in here. https://www.owenrudge.net/GEM/
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Re: Retro OSes for retro computers

Postby bifo78 » 2019-6-01 @ 12:27

appiah4 wrote:I have no idea how I never noticed ArOS.. I wonder what would be a good hardware configuration to test it on..

AROS is old enough that it runs well on older hardware, which is why I've had it on an old p4 laptop. Throw 2gb of cheap ram and an IDE hard drive at it and it'll be extremely happy. The big lure is the built-in seamless AmigaOS compatibility, based off of UAE, so virtually all amiga apps work on it and over the years the user community has ported a lot of unix-based programs among other things. The problem is that it's very much a clean-room open source OS project, so it suffers from a lot of fragmentation over the years and things that worked in one version won't work in later versions and have long been abandoned, and despite virtually all of the available software contributions being open source, there's not really anyone who wants to pick up someone else's project to keep it up to date. Back in the day there were also a lot of missing drivers due to various issues, many of which due to that weird period in the 00's when tech companies were wary of sharing hardware information with open source projects (for what reason I still do not know) and AROS has always adapted it's drivers from the various linux/bsd projects. I don't think that's a problem anymore, but putting AROS on modern hardware is a bit of a waste since it not only doesn't need it but mostly can't take advantage of it. Single core only, doesn't need much ram, integrated graphics. 2gb ram is massive overkill.

It's a very interesting operating system and if you've got some spare hardware sitting around, absolutely worth poking and playing with, but unless you're like me and consider figuring out how to make arcane operating systems work the way you want to be an interesting puzzle, it's probably just an afternoon's worth of fun. It plays happily with a VM, so no reason not to give it a shot that way if it sounds interesting.
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Re: Retro OSes for retro computers

Postby lolo799 » 2019-6-02 @ 21:24

Nice screenshots Caluser2000!
How much ram does your 524CDS have?

bifo78, i wholeheartedly agree with you on your impression of AROS, also that issue with tech companies sharing hardware information didn't only affect opensource projects, but commercial OSes too like BeOS, which suffered in the hardware support area.

Update time!
Today, we will reach the sky with SkyOS, a one man project from Australia started in the late 90s as free, the system became commercial after a point, but the author decided to release the latest beta version publicly after stopping its development.
Most of the older versions aren't available anymore, except maybe one incomplete floppy disk images from version 3.0 available at https://web.archive.org/web/20010503052 ... nloads.htm

Last beta version publicly released:
https://web.archive.org/web/20171014135 ... skyos.org/
Mirrored at http://osarchive.sda1.eu/skyos

Old website:
https://web.archive.org/web/20010723072 ... om/~skyos/
https://web.archive.org/web/20010929212 ... rks.at:80/

Lots of screenshots covering years of development:
https://web.archive.org/web/20090615142 ... q=node/404

Found version 3.95 on a magazine coverdisc:
skyos395.part1.rar
(4.77 MiB) Downloaded 7 times
skyos395.part2.rar
(3.35 MiB) Downloaded 7 times

skyos395boot.png
skyos395boot.png (7.79 KiB) Viewed 379 times
skyos395.png
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Re: Retro OSes for retro computers

Postby Caluser2000 » 2019-6-02 @ 21:48

lolo799 wrote:Nice screenshots Caluser2000!
How much ram does your 524CDS have?
64megs total. Two 32meg 72 pin simms. Unfortunately the on board 4megs is faulty now so the system wont let me run true 32-bit OSs any more. Just having 512k of vram was limiting. Loading Gimp would make to screen go a bit weird. I have a P70 in the same form factor I picked up for $50 dollars bundle with original setup cds and a lot of software cdroms.

I bought a computer mag back in 2000, Australian Personal Computer July 2000, which had BeOS 5.0 PE, OS/2 Warp v4 and Red Hat 6.2 along with Star Office for all three platforms. IIRC you could actually create a full BeOS stand alone installation from the PE installation. That set me on my path of collecting old OSs/GUIs.

That SkyOS looks awesome.
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Re: Retro OSes for retro computers

Postby xjas » 2019-6-03 @ 19:58

I can guess what "Teapot" and "Cube" look like, but what does the Castle OpenGL demo show? Post a screenshot. :)
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Re: Retro OSes for retro computers

Postby j^aws » 2019-6-03 @ 22:59

I was looking for something around HeliOS, but this OS seems extremely scarce. It was designed around the Transputer from Inmos, which I'm rather fond of due to them being manufactured near where I grew up. Atari had a machine, ATW800, which ran the processor and OS released around the late 80s:
maintransimage.jpg

Below, a fractal demo being colour cycled:
https://youtu.be/uTxJxA5xQUw?t=100
The designers of HeliOS had also designed AmigaDOS back in the day. The future was multi-processors besides multi-tasking, and the OSes concepts were a glimpse into the future. I recall Commodore evaluating the architecture, but let it go.
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Re: Retro OSes for retro computers

Postby Caluser2000 » 2019-6-04 @ 04:18

Amiga programers were also involved in designing OS/2s Workplace shell. Certainly a talented bunch.
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Re: Retro OSes for retro computers

Postby spiroyster » 2019-6-04 @ 08:41

j^aws wrote:I was looking for something around HeliOS, but this OS seems extremely scarce. It was designed around the Transputer from Inmos, which I'm rather fond of due to them being manufactured near where I grew up.

The old Inmos building is a stones throw from one of the offices I work from. It's still got the STMicroelectroinics sign but has been empty since they pulled out of Aztec west.

Sad really, I wonder how many people that work near it realise the history and heritage that came from that building. The Transputer was one of the great 'could have been' technologies.
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Re: Retro OSes for retro computers

Postby lolo799 » 2019-6-09 @ 20:35

Caluser2000 wrote:64megs total. Two 32meg 72 pin simms. Unfortunately the on board 4megs is faulty now so the system wont let me run true 32-bit OSs any more. Just having 512k of vram was limiting. Loading Gimp would make to screen go a bit weird. I have a P70 in the same form factor I picked up for $50 dollars bundle with original setup cds and a lot of software cdroms.

I bought a computer mag back in 2000, Australian Personal Computer July 2000, which had BeOS 5.0 PE, OS/2 Warp v4 and Red Hat 6.2 along with Star Office for all three platforms. IIRC you could actually create a full BeOS stand alone installation from the PE installation. That set me on my path of collecting old OSs/GUIs.

That SkyOS looks awesome.

That's quite a lot of RAM for a 486!

I read about that Australian magazine issue, they really did give away the full OS/2 Warp 4 as a coverdisc, that's awesome.
It is on archive.org actually, I found it earlier.
Yes, there are 2 ways to create a full install from the Personal Edition, using the included installer from within BeOS to install itself to real partition, or burning the image.be file as a cdrom track and using the CD to make an install.
I'm pretty sure Star Office doesn't exist on BeOS...

xjas wrote:I can guess what "Teapot" and "Cube" look like, but what does the Castle OpenGL demo show? Post a screenshot. :)

SkyOS doesn't werk that well under qemu, which is what I used for the screenshots, the cube works, the teapot doesn't, as for the castle, you're somewhat lucky:
skyosopengl.png
skyosopenglcube.png
skyosopenglcastle.png



j^aws wrote:I was looking for something around HeliOS, but this OS seems extremely scarce. It was designed around the Transputer from Inmos, which I'm rather fond of due to them being manufactured near where I grew up. Atari had a machine, ATW800, which ran the processor and OS released around the late 80s.
The designers of HeliOS had also designed AmigaDOS back in the day. The future was multi-processors besides multi-tasking, and the OSes concepts were a glimpse into the future. I recall Commodore evaluating the architecture, but let it go.

Scarce but easy to find: http://www.geekdot.com/helios/helios-the-transputer-os/
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Re: Retro OSes for retro computers

Postby Caluser2000 » 2019-6-11 @ 04:10

Star Office 5a was certainly available for Linux. You can get legacy version 7 still if you want http://www.staroffice.com/get.php. Star Office 7 was packaged wih Xandros 2 Business Edition.

Yip 64megs is a bit of an over kill on a 486 but more the better for Linux :)

Just fired an old Xandros 2 install running on a P1 166. Bit slow but thats to be expected it is my test mobo with only 32meg of ram:

snapshot1.png


snapshot2.png


Xandros 2 has a nice auto sensing usb drive routine and a few features that took a few years for other distros to catch up.
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Re: Retro OSes for retro computers

Postby ArtiomWin » 2019-6-11 @ 09:16

Just installed SCO Open Desktop to emulator. This system runs smoothly on Pentium 66 and 8 megs RAM. But installation is a very long process (more than 40 floppies!).
Here's how it look likes:
20190611_113929.png
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Re: Retro OSes for retro computers

Postby appiah4 » 2019-6-11 @ 10:03

Caluser2000 wrote:Star Office 5a was certainly available for Linux. You can get legacy version 7 still if you want http://www.staroffice.com/get.php. Star Office 7 was packaged wih Xandros 2 Business Edition.

Yip 64megs is a bit of an over kill on a 486 but more the better for Linux :)

Just fired an old Xandros 2 install running on a P1 133. Bit slow but thats to be expected it is my test mobo with only 32meg of ram:

snapshot1.png


snapshot2.png


Xandros 2 has a nice auto sensing usb drive routine and a few features that took a few years for other distros to catch up.


Nice.. Should we maybe have a seperate 'Best Linux Distros for Retro PCs' thread or just discuss that here?
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i586:P133|32M|T64+/MX2|V1|CT3980/32M|SD-35
i686:K6-2/400|64M|V2/SLI|CT4500/32M
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Re: Retro OSes for retro computers

Postby ArtiomWin » 2019-6-11 @ 10:33

appiah4 wrote:Nice.. Should we maybe have a seperate 'Best Linux Distros for Retro PCs' thread or just discuss that here?

Or "Best exotic OS for retro PCs" since many systems mentioned here are not so old actually...
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Re: Retro OSes for retro computers

Postby Cyberdyne » 2019-6-11 @ 10:51

I always hate if someone starts to include old Linux and BSD distros, it is not really the same thing.
I am aroused about any X86 stuff that has full functional ISA stuff. I think i have problem.
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Re: Retro OSes for retro computers

Postby appiah4 » 2019-6-11 @ 11:46

Cyberdyne wrote:I always hate if someone starts to include old Linux and BSD distros, it is not really the same thing.


What? Why?
A500:+512K|ACA500+|C1084S
i386:Am386SX-25|4M|TVGA9000B|ES688
i486:U5S-33|8M|GD5428|YMF719|MUNT-Pi
i586:P133|32M|T64+/MX2|V1|CT3980/32M|SD-35
i686:K6-2/400|64M|V2/SLI|CT4500/32M
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Re: Retro OSes for retro computers

Postby ArtiomWin » 2019-6-11 @ 11:49

Cyberdyne wrote:I always hate if someone starts to include old Linux and BSD distros, it is not really the same thing.

I hope that doesn't apply to commercial UNIX system (like Solaris or UnixWare).
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Re: Retro OSes for retro computers

Postby Cyberdyne » 2019-6-11 @ 12:25

No not commercial UNIX, just Linux distros, because there are so many, and they are basically the same, and you can even make a minimal distro today, it does not really scream a certain period of time. It is allmost the same, if you call FreeDOS a retro operating system. But i dislike pure FreeDOS for different reasons, i like that DOS is clean, on the point and, minimalistic, but Feedos is like Linux, it starts up and tells me too mutch. Long licensing texts and so on. Thank god that it does not ask me to log in. Some time ago i made a FreeDOS distro just for my personal use, that mimics a classic DOS feel. But i abandoned that and still use industry standard MS-DOS 6.22 and 7.10. And tinker with DR-DOS.
I am aroused about any X86 stuff that has full functional ISA stuff. I think i have problem.
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