Linked by Michael Hill on Sun 25th Jul 2010 10:36 UTC
OS/2 and eComStation "As a long-time fan of GeoWorks Ensemble (now Breadbox Ensemble), a DOS based graphical user interface and office suite popular in the 80s, I've run it under a variety of operating systems and emulators over the years. You see, Ensemble requires an underlying operating system to provide a DOS compatible file system, not unlike early versions of Windows that required DOS. [...] With the release of eComStation 2.0 I thought I'd revisit the challenge of getting Breadbox Ensemble running under OS/2 again [...] but to add a further twist, since I didn't want to do this on a dedicated machine, I chose to see if I could get things running under VirtualBox."
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GEOS
by vivainio on Sun 25th Jul 2010 18:24 UTC
vivainio
Member since:
2008-12-26

Tech archeologists might find it interesting that first versions of Nokia Communicator were running GEOS on 486 CPUS; back when a phone with QWERTY was still a status symbol (1996).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nokia_9000_Communicator

Reply Score: 2

RE: GEOS
by Kroc on Sun 25th Jul 2010 18:58 in reply to "GEOS"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

The PlayStation was released in late 1995, the Nokia Communicator in late 1996, both at 33 MHz. That’s quite astounding. This thing was ridiculously ahead of its time. Arguably the very first “smart phone”—that is, a phone that equaled the power and capabilities of an older generation desktop computer.

Oh, wanted to add. I love that everything that’s becoming popular just now had already been done to death in the 90’s with 1/10th the technology. Internet on your TV and smartphones with full OSes.

Interface people, interface. It makes _all_ the difference.

Edited 2010-07-25 19:05 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: GEOS
by sachindaluja on Sun 25th Jul 2010 22:26 in reply to "RE: GEOS"
sachindaluja Member since:
2007-02-15

Interface people, interface. It makes _all_ the difference.


On the contrary, those devices - with only a fraction of computing power compared to today's technology - were simply too underpowered to produce acceptably usable interfaces. Today's devices seem to piggy-back on technologically superior hardware to be able to finally deliver such interfaces.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: GEOS
by mjhi11 on Mon 26th Jul 2010 02:18 in reply to "GEOS"
mjhi11 Member since:
2009-08-15

Excellent point, you are right GEOS drove a variety of Nokia "smartphones" (before that term entered the computing lexicon), the 9210, 9290, the 9300 and 9500, an early "home/international" computer called the GlobalPC, and a few "netbooks" (again before the term "netbook" entered the computing lexicon) created by Brother called the GeoBook. In addition GEOS powered a few Hewlett-Packard "palmtops" (an early predecessor to "netbooks and PDAs" perhaps?) called the OmniGo, the Casio Zoomer, and actually a "PC" version of GEOS released by IBM called the PS/1 as well as a suite for schools called SchoolView from IBM. In addition, GEOS powered the early AOL DOS based disks for many years before a Windows based version of AOL was released and finally Berkley SoftWorks (the predecessor to GeoWorks Corporation) got their start with a version of GEOS for the Apple II, were in negotiations with Apple about being the core operating system for a new line of computers from Apple (guess) and breathed new life into the Commodore 64 computer extending the life of that platform for several years.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: GEOS
by RavinRay on Mon 26th Jul 2010 13:52 in reply to "RE: GEOS"
RavinRay Member since:
2005-11-26

Excellent point, you are right GEOS drove a variety of Nokia "smartphones" (before that term entered the computing lexicon), the 9210, 9290, the 9300 and 9500,

Mike, those four models already switched to Symbian, and there's a snippet at Nokia's Conversations blog about the decision to switch.
In addition GEOS powered a few Hewlett-Packard "palmtops" (an early predecessor to "netbooks and PDAs" perhaps?) called the OmniGo, the Casio Zoomer, and actually a "PC" version of GEOS released by IBM called the PS/1 as well as a suite for schools called SchoolView from IBM.

Now what would be neat is if Breadbox Ensemble under eComStation was able to use the Presentation Manager UI and WorkPlace Shell.

Oh, and GEOS also ran on dedicated word processors from Brother and Canon, as well as a very early pen tablet from Sharp (the PT-9000, which had only a handful or so units actually released, a collector's item if you can find one).

Here's an aside. IBM ported the Presentation Manager GUI to DOS as well. It was outsourced to Paper Software (I found one of the programmers on Facebook) and was previewed for inclusion with PC DOS 7 in BYTE magazine and elsewhere, only to be left out of the shipping product. IBM also had the Micro PM embedded OS/UI which was the basis for the GUI of the Japan-only PC110 palmtop PC and DOS-based WebBoy DOS graphical browser.

Edited 2010-07-26 14:04 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1