StupidOS Strikes Again

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Jul 24, 2009.

  1. LOL ... yep. I remember the announcement that you no longer needed to have
    8.3 file names ... and I thought ... there was a filename limitation ?
    Prodos had that years (maybe even decade ?) earlier. IIRC, any length up to
    128 characters and only 3 or 4 characters that you couldn't use.
    MS DOS (at least up to about version 3. something) was just CPM.

    I recall a fine sound program for the II+ (I think) that displayed staves on
    screen that you could play in 2 voices. This is in the days of 64 k of
    memory (total; OS running in 10 k :) ) and only being able to turn the
    speaker on/off (ie make a click). Programmers back then were both efficient
    and clever ... very clever. :)

    I don't think I've seen much that's really "new" in years. :) :)
    Bruce Sinclair, Aug 3, 2009
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  2. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    David Empson Guest


    Apple II DOS 3.x (c. 1978) had 30 character filenames, with very few
    restrictions, but was a flat file system. Apple II UCSD Pascal (c. 1979)
    was limited to about 13 characters, was probably constrained in the
    characters which could be used, and was also a flat file system.

    Apple /// SOS (1980) and Apple II ProDOS (1983) allowed 15 character
    filenames which must start with a letter, only containing letters,
    digits and periods, uppercase only. They supported subdirectories.

    AppleWorks (running on ProDOS) used its own mechanism to allow lower
    case letters and spaces in filenames for its own documents (by using
    flag bits in the auxiliary type to signal which letters were lower case
    and which periods were spaces), but this wouldn't work with directory
    names or any other file types. GS/OS (on the Apple IIgs, c. 1988)
    introduced a similar mechanism which worked across all file types, but
    was ignored by ProDOS-8 (hence 8-bit applications only saw uppercase).

    On the Mac, the original flat file system (MFS, 1984) supported 63
    character filenames. The hierarchical file system (HFS, 1986) added
    subdirectories but was limited to 31 character filenames. HFS+ (1998)
    added support for 255 character filenames but there wasn't any support
    for long filenames in the user interface until Mac OS X (2001), and some
    applications are still using the old APIs which have to do name mangling
    to deal with filenames longer than 31 characters.

    The only illegal character in a Mac filename is colon (it is the
    pathname separator), though Apple File Protocol (used by AppleShare and
    Mac OS X servers, and Mac OS and Mac OS X File Sharing) also disallows
    the NUL character in a filename.

    Mac OS X's POSIX APIs use forward slash as a pathname separator and
    allow colon as a character in a filename, but it is translated behind
    the scenes so the colon is written to HFS/HFS+ as a forward slash.
    MS-DOS 1.x was very similar to CP/M (right down to the API calls). It
    was a rip-off of the concepts but wasn't directly compatible with CP/M,
    and it used a different file system (with similar characteristics, such
    as the 8.3 filenames).

    MS-DOS 2.x started to diverge significantly from CP/M, adding new APIs
    and subdirectories.

    Unfortunately Microsoft decided to use backslash as a pathname separator
    because forward slash was already being used to indicate option flags in
    command line arguments. Forward slash was already being used as the
    separator on Unix (and the Apple ///).
    David Empson, Aug 3, 2009
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  3. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    Enkidu Guest

    Enkidu, Aug 3, 2009
  4. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    David Empson Guest

    Commodore (especially Amiga in the mid '80s) and Atari, yes.

    Apple, no.

    There was no special graphics hardware in any 8-bit Apple II. It just
    had a memory mapped video buffer for graphics modes, with an arcane
    vertical arrangement that complicated things for software (but reduced
    the complexity of the hardware design and avoided the need for separate
    DRAM refresh). This was all done with 74LS series logic chips in the
    original Apple II and II+. Nothing fancier than a shift register.

    The Apple IIe used custom ASICs to encapsulate most of the Apple II
    discrete logic, but didn't add much to the equation apart from modes to
    double the horizontal resolution (with even more complexity for
    accessing the video buffer).

    The graphics capabilities of the 8-bit Apple II remained essentially
    unchanged from its introduction in 1977 until the Apple IIe was
    discontinued in 1993.

    The Apple IIgs (1986 to 1992) had many more custom ASICs with a higher
    degree of integration. It added a better colour graphics mode, but the
    graphics hardware only provided a few more features than the 8-bit Apple
    II: linear memory arrangement, more colours and palette lookup tables,
    but it was still just a memory mapped video buffer.

    The significance of graphics on the Apple II was the introduction of
    TV-compatible (ish) high resolution colour graphics in 1977 on a
    reasonably priced computer which had plenty of scope for memory
    expansion and complex programming. It was overtaken in graphics
    capabilities by 1979 (Atari 400/800), but the Apple II continued to be
    popular for its other capabilities, software and established user base.
    David Empson, Aug 3, 2009
  5. Back in the days when IBM published its BIOS listing. Was Apple ever that
    open? Or was it jealously paranoid about its secrets from the beginning?

    Compare Jeremy Allison's experience:

    "I had a Sinclair QL, which was a 32-bit machine, even though it had an
    8-bit bus." The source code of the operating system, QDOS, was included,
    perfectly legally. "The assembler source, the commented source, you
    could buy and look at, and take apart and understand. It was burnt into
    ROM, but you could modify it - there was a company that had disassembled
    it for me, legally - and then along came the IBM PC and Microsoft, and
    crushed all the creativity out of it, just ground over it with a tank
    tread. So the kids growing up these days don't know any of that stuff.
    They don't know the basics of how the thing works. They've got black
    boxes that rattle because they're broken, and they can't look inside.
    You can't learn from that."

    Free Software tries to break open the box that so many companies nowadays
    want to keep well and truly sealed.
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Aug 4, 2009
  6. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    David Empson Guest

    Apple published listings for the monitor and associated firmware in the
    Apple II, II+, IIe and at least two revisions of the IIc. (1977 to

    They didn't publish a listing for Applesoft BASIC (mostly written by and
    copyright Microsoft), the disk operating systems, the diagnostic
    self-test code in the IIe or IIc, nor any part of the firmware of the
    IIgs (1986) or later models/revisions.

    I don't recall seeing a firmware listing for Apple's Integer BASIC, but
    that might be because there wasn't one - it was originally hand
    assembled by Steve Wozniak and the machine code was keyed in manually
    (on the Apple I).

    I don't know what they did for the Apple /// or Lisa.

    The Macintosh firmware/OS source listing was rumoured to have been
    available to some early developers who signed NDAs, but wasn't available
    to the general public.
    David Empson, Aug 4, 2009
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