Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 7th Mar 2017 21:14 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes

No fancy introduction or longwinded story about childhood memories, just a quick and relatively easy how-to regarding installing and running SymbOS on an emulated MSX2+. Since it's quite likely you're not aware of what SymbOS and the MSX are, I'll give you a short description of both.

First, the MSX is a standardised home computing platform conceived by Microsoft Japan in the early 80s. It was quite succesful in Japan, and saw decent success in (weirdly) The Netherlands and Spain, but saw little to no adoption in the United States. I didn't have an MSX myself growing up, but a friend of mine had one, and I remember playing games on it with him when I was round 7-8 years old.

SymbOS is - other than a marvellous showcase of programming expertise - a microkernel operating system with preemptive multitasking with a mouse-driven, windows-based graphical user interface. It's available for a number of Z80-based machines of the 80s - the MSX2, MSX2+, MSX TurboR, the complete Amstrad CPC 464/664/6128 range (old and new generation), and all Amstrad PCW models of the 8xxx, 9xxx, and 10 series.

Installing SymbOS on an emulated MSX2+ is actually quite easy.

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IBM ruins everything
by tidux on Tue 7th Mar 2017 22:33 UTC
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> It was quite succesful in Japan, and saw decent success in (weirdly) The Netherlands and Spain, but saw little to no adoption in the United States.

This is because it wasn't IBM PC compatible. The PC snuffed the life out of the 8-bit micro market in the US in fairly short order, and the Amiga and Mac grabbed the more "creative" markets.

Reply Score: 3

RE: IBM ruins everything
by dylansmrjones on Wed 8th Mar 2017 19:32 UTC in reply to "IBM ruins everything"
dylansmrjones Member since:

Also, it was never really marketed in USA, because of the price war brought on by Commodore.

Reply Score: 2

platform diversity
by DrJohnnyFever on Wed 8th Mar 2017 07:44 UTC
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Edited 2017-03-08 07:45 UTC

Reply Score: 1

by uridium on Wed 8th Mar 2017 11:57 UTC
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Didn't see much MSX here in .au ..still, this project has gone a long way and I like what they've accomplished.

Pretty interesting. Might be fun on my system.

Reply Score: 2

by yerverluvinunclebert on Wed 8th Mar 2017 12:26 UTC
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Quite incredible - unbelievable. ie. I still can't quite see why they have done it.

Reply Score: 1

RE: amazing
by Kochise on Wed 8th Mar 2017 13:45 UTC in reply to "amazing"
Kochise Member since:

Because... yes, they can ? Look for the Geos operating system, worth consideration, same trend. OMEn on Atari computers was the same also.

Reply Score: 2

MSX in Brazil
by DeadFishMan on Wed 8th Mar 2017 13:15 UTC
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Don't know about the rest of South America but the MSX was a popular 8-bit platform here in Brazil as well until the early 90's.

It was manufactured here by a Brazilian company called Gradiente - that has since then left the market completely and the current one is an attempt to capitalize on the brand name, if I understand it correctly - although it was a somewhat limited/less capable alternative to its Japanese counterpart.

Coming from a humble household, we couldn't afford one when I was a kid but had a chance to play once or twice with it from friends and only bumped into it again years later when I worked for a company that had lots of it, unsold, software bundles (in cassette tapes!), magazines and everything, collecting dust on a warehouse once the PC-XT and the 286 took off in the Brazilian scene.

It was a nifty and fun little computer indeed...

Reply Score: 2

RE: MSX in Brazil
by tidux on Wed 8th Mar 2017 16:22 UTC in reply to "MSX in Brazil"
tidux Member since:

The Gradiente MSX clone looked completely bad-ass though.

Reply Score: 2

8bit GUIs
by zzarko on Wed 8th Mar 2017 17:48 UTC
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First, a correction: SymbOS needs at least 128K RAM, so CPC 464 and 664 can run it only if equipped with memory expansion. Same with MSX - on MSX 1 machines only with memory expansion, but fine on MSX 2 (those usually have 128K initially). It also runs on Enterprise 128.

As for the newer GUIs for other 8-bit machines, one of more impressive ones is Atari 8-bit Graphical OS:

Reply Score: 1

Popularity of MSX in NL becuase of Philips
by ml2mst on Thu 9th Mar 2017 03:47 UTC
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It was quite succesful in Japan, and saw decent success in (weirdly) The Netherlands

It wasn't that weird. Philips produced a lot of MSX hardware and even a Office suite (Home Office).

MSX was also promoted by the popular Tech TV show "Wonderen Wereld"



Reply Score: 2

Comment by csynt
by csynt on Fri 10th Mar 2017 10:40 UTC
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SymbOS is epic, I am running it on a c-one under the TurboCPC core (33Mhz)

Reply Score: 1

Nice to see some ongoing work
by madcrow on Fri 10th Mar 2017 15:26 UTC
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SymbOS was always a favorite project of mine. The only other 8 bit OS that comes close to its technical sophistication is Microware OS-9, which was written for a much more multitasking-friendly CPU (the 6809) and as far as I know, never had the cross-platform graphics/GUI layer. The basic single-tasking GUIs like GEOS don't even come close.

Reply Score: 2