Once upon a time, there was this nice operating system, called GeOS. It first ran on a C64, but it was later ported to Macs and PCs. Today, the OS lives a new life under the name New Deal Office (additional screenshot). Another OS from the same era, RiscOS, is still developed today by its parent company and it is currently in version 4. The OS also runs quite fast under PC emulation as well as in a native RISC PC. These articles can prove a good and interesting read for the weekend, especially for younger readers who did not experience the computer offerings of the ’80s.
Remembering GeOS and RiscOS
2001-11-03 OS News 11 Comments
Man, back in the 80s, I wish I had known my C128 was good for something besides playing games The fun I could’ve had with that thing!
Back in the 92-93 or whatever when 3.1 was all the rage, but it was far from what everyone used, GEOS was an available alternative. One that worked a lot better. Hell, it was enough of an option to PC users that didn’t like Win 3.1 that there was even an AOL client for it. it was sure swell.
I still own an Acorn A7000+ machine. It runs RISC OS 3.71, and I have a lot of software on it that is still useful today – word processors, desktop publishers, internet suites, graphics programs, games and many more. One of RISC OS’ best features is its versatile drag-and-drop technology – the best drag-and-drop technology available. Budding student programmers will be pleased to know that BASIC is built right into it, making it a perfect early development platform. Also, having the operating system stored in ROM enables the machine to have a fast boot time. There are many more excellent features of RISC OS – too many to name here – but all I can say is that even today, my Acorn A7000+ machine and RISC OS 3.71 enables me to be so much more productive than doing the same tasks in other operating systems.
For more information on RISC OS, visit http://www.acornuser.com/riscos.html
Screenshots are available at http://www.phardy.karoo.net/shots/RISCOS4/index.html
A nice GUI design, based on RISC OS:
NewDeal Inc. appears to have gone out of business. No news since
November 2000 and if you try to buy the OS/Office Suite you will
find that the link to the secured server is dead. You can still
apparently download an evaluation version of Release 3, however.
Does anyone have any more details?
I went back and filled out the short registration form
in order to download the NewDeal evaluation program.
I tried version 2.2 a couple of years ago. It looked like
a good solution for old machines, but I found the DOS-like
graphics hard to take after having been used to the
Windows visual experience.
NewDeal is pretty much dead. They signed a contract to get funding back in about January, unfortunately, it never came, so they laid everyone off in February. Despite the limitations of running in real mode (640k limit), it was a really nice system to program in, and really easy to use. The funding problems came up just as development was picking up for the first time in half a decade. Memory limits were getting fixed, web browser was starting to look nice… Such a nice system… poor GEOS…
Thanks Ed. That is a shame about the sudden stop in
development. One more example of what can happen when
a program is closed-source. One post I found said the
poster had talked to NewDeal about GPLing it, but that
Caldera was reluctant to open source GEOS.
I did some searching and came up with this web page:
to download a shareware version of NewDeal Office
(build on top of DOS 3.0 or higher).
http://www.znode51.de/specials/newdlgeo/ gives you
access to additional files, including the install
package in Zip format.
Geoworks owns GEOS, not Caldera. The hassles in open sourcing it are a few licensed parts, and a patent Geoworks has on the UI. I’m not sure the specifics on the patent, but I remember when I read it a few years ago, my first thought was they could go after a lot of people with it, but they only bothered trying to enforce it for WAP. A few pieces of code are licensed. Most can be easily replaced tho, I think the only biggie is the font engine.
uhm… as far as i know is GEOS still alive , the company still pretty much active (sorry bad mem , so no url). the nokia communicator (9000/9110) , for example runs it.
have a nice sunday.
http://www.geoworks.com/ (surprise, surprise). I checked their web site, but
they seem interested in the embedded systems market, not the desktop. Can’t