5.3 The Real Deal
Therefore, I have hooked up my Commodore 64 and booted the real GEOS for you :). Find below a link to a 17 minute guide to the Commodore 64 and GEOS, including geoWrite and geoPaint.
I hope that's helped get across the actual responsiveness of the OS on the real hardware, and the visual differences caused by using a TV.
I could continue to detail every function of every app in the OS but I don't think that will add anything more useful. GEOS is an impressive technical feat, and at least a 'good-enough' OS considering the hardware and the price. GEOS couldn't compare to the original Mac OS because of such vast differences in power. (The original mac was 32-bit and with 128KB of RAM)
5.4 Other Apps
A Word Processor and Paint app an OS do not make. GEOS is very fully featured, it would take far too long to go into great detail over GEOS's other apps. But what I will do is list them with a basic overview and you can either try them on an emulator, or imagine for yourselves!
geoCalc was the Excel (or rather VisiCalc) of GEOS. The view can be split into two so you can edit two parts of the spreadsheet at the same time as well as supporting a host of functions for calculating data. Due to RAM limitations graphing was handled by a separate program that you could paste your spreadsheet data into.
geoChart can show that data in impressive charts that can really make that data speak. With text-mode fully out of the window, the data labels always lined up neatly and there were many ways you could present your sales figures.
A Very 'MS Access' like database application with the ability to design input forms and also mail merge to geoWrite.
geoPublish is the largest GEOS application I've seen. A serious desktop publishing program supporting master pages, text orientation, patterns, shapes, guides and rulers and all the basics. A busy page is very heavy on the little computer so two disk drives and a RAM upgrade is a bear minimum to do any serious work. geoPublish is still being used by the most die-hard GEOS users.
6. Modernising GEOS
If there's one thing a Commodore 64 can't do, it's nothing.
Thanks to the rather hardcore followers of the C64, various tasks have been performed on a C64 thought impossible, including real time 3D graphics, viewing JPGs, hosting websites and of course - viewing them.
At the same time, supporters of GEOS have improved upon GEOS creating new derivative operating systems. 'Wheels' is one such example of this. Wheels is an add-on for GEOS 2.0 that adds multi tasking, support for more hardware (including hard disks and RAM expansions up to 16 MB) and new UI with multiple movable, resizable windows whilst keeping backwards compatibility with GEOS apps.
Wheels requires at least 128 KB RAM expansion and ideally a 20 MHz upgrade with as much disk space as you can throw at it. Even browsing the Internet is not outside the limits of Wheels, 'The Wave' is a browser with hefty requirements but nether-less shows that it can be done.