Home > OS News > Introduction to Wings OS Introduction to Wings OS Submitted by Mihai 2003-10-16 OS News 13 Comments Learn about Wings OS. It’s a 16bit multitasking unix-like (QNX-like) OS written for the C64 and Scpu. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 13 Comments 2003-10-16 5:39 pm I understood that the C64 had an 8-bit 6502 processor. If correct…. then something is amiss with the article title. 2003-10-16 5:41 pm ..OK, just read the article…. needs a CuperCPU module to run. d’oh 2003-10-16 5:52 pm I wonder how useful an OS like this on the C64 would be? i bet it has a tiny foot print. 2003-10-16 6:24 pm Ok, just to set the record straight: Wings is not for the C64, it is for the SuperCPU. The SuperCPU is a 20 MHz 16-bit 65816-based computer that is plugged into the back of the C64 or C128 and that uses the C64 for I/O (screen, keyboard, sound, mouse, etc.). The SuperCPU has 1 MB of RAM but can be expanded to as much 16 MB. So it is pretty far from the 1 MHz 8-bit 6510-based C64 with 64 kB RAM, and Wings does not run on a C64. Still, Wings is really cool in that it has a bunch of fancy applications such as a JPEG viewer, a MOD player, an IRC client and an e-mail client. This weekend, a even a movie player was released. It is able to play two movies at full frame-rate at the same time as the e-mail client is used to check the mail. And this on a 20 MHz 16-bit computer, which only is about 1% of the speed that most PCs have today. Here are some pictures of Greg Nacu, the author of Wings, as he shows his movie player at the SWRAP expo this weekend: http://laredo.globalpc.net/c64/gallery/Expo2003/DSC01323 2003-10-16 6:38 pm “20 MHz 16-bit computer, which only is about 1% of the speed that most PCs have today” It’s even WAY less than 1%, as you cannot compare Mhz from different architecture. Today’s Pentium IV and G5s pump tons more instruction processing per ticks, which greatly affect the meaning of one Mhz. Thanks for the info on the SuperCPU tho, I didn’t know such gadget existed 🙂 2003-10-16 6:50 pm Even if you counted the power of a modern CPU clock for clock (which I agree are nto comparable) it still isn’t really 1% – unless you are reading this on a 200 Mhz processor. I am typing this on a 2000 Mhz processor. 2003-10-16 7:40 pm man, look at that stack of old 5.25 disk drives. brings back memories of zork and the bard’s tale… 2003-10-16 8:49 pm My Name is Greg Nacu, And I DID NOT write the WiNGs OS. Full Credit MUST go to Jolse Maginnis a 22 year old austrailian. I have tried to make it very clear, and I explain this at the beginning of all my demos, that Jolse Maginnis is the Creator of this OS. I mearly latched on and have written a few applications. The Vast Vast majority of programs, Plus the entire OS are written by him and not me. I demoed the Movie Player, which I wrote, and The email client which I wrote. I also host the website. I do not want to take any credit for something that is far beyond my capabilities to program. Thanks everyone. Greg. Long Live WiNGs. 2003-10-16 8:58 pm Hi I’m a beta tester for WingsOS (16 bit opensource, Qnx inspired OS). Let me tell you some of my adventures with it. Btw, I am from Romania, the only C= user still left here. Anyway, I used to connect to my unix shell in Australia, download an mp3 from the net, make it a wav with mpg123 and then streaming it with netcat directly into the ram of my scpu connected to my c128 and then to my other friends which ran Wings from all over the world. The wav’s were over 5Mb ! My C=128 was connected to the net via a 56K dialup modem plugged into a Turbo 232 adapter into my C=128. While doing this I was on Irc with my Wings graphical Irc client, and had 2 telnet session oppened, ircing from there too with BitchX. The current work is for the GUI which supports XML now. Many Wings apps already use XML. Wings can: play wavs ,.mod, .xm, .s3m (8 bit quality with Digimax adapter), sids. It can display jpgs, now it can even play movies in a special format(video+sound), it can zip and unzip files, it has ftp, a telnet deamon and client, a cool webserver, an awsome email client, and many more things. Ssh is still in the making. And if you are a real power user, you can even connect an IDE hdd with the IDE64 interface to the C=64 and use it in Wings, then the limit is just 8 GB!!:) And all this only with a 20 year old machine helped by the Scpu(a 20Mhz cpu+max. 16Mb FPM ram) !!! Commodore has surely stepped into the 21-st century. A lot of things are still in the making for Wings. Jolse, the developer is a real wizzard, he practically did it by himself. Ah, and I almost forgot, you can program for it in asm or in C, Jolse modified Lcc for the 65816. If you feel challanged, get a SCPU, attach it to your C= and help us with this cool OS. Check Greg’s site at http://wings.webhop.org for all the tech specs and screenshots. Spread the word dudes 2003-10-16 10:59 pm I absolutely love projects like this. It is true that people are most creative and inventive with scarce resources and primitive technology. (Is this related to survival instinct?) I hate big software systems like UNIX and Windows. The attitude prevalent in software corporations (large teams of not-so-good programmers, requiring big APIs to integrate the seperate components) keeps the false computer economy churning for need of faster hardware. I particularly remember how horrified I was when reading about Microsoft’s development process for Windows: Throw all the code in a big pot at the end of the day and pray that it builds. Yuck! Not to be too pessimistic, we can do more than we could before, but it is done very inefficiently (with layers and layers of unnecessary interfaces and abstractions). It could be better. Open source isn’t the solution; it is just as bad, due to the emphasis on portability, which I think is a completely pointless goal that serves to lower the quality of software for only little benefit. I wish you much luck. Tis my dream to make my own OS, and I am working towards this as I learn more. It would probably be an exokernel, or even no-kernel, written in Forth and Assembly, I guess 😉 Why not give applications raw I/O!? 2003-10-16 11:19 pm First off 20 MHz doesn’t seem alot to a PC but consider that applications running on a SCPU is also 100-1000x smaller in size. Thus executes much quicker. Also the underlying OS – WiNGS – is also MUCH smaller and is taking less of the CPU time. Then again ask yourself – how many IBM XTs are upgraded 20x times via a simple CPU upgrade. They are not. =WiNGS= is a major achievement for a 20+ year old computer. Well a computer old enough to drink alcohol. 😉 WiNGS is NOT a Windows replacement OS as that is NOT what it is made for. It is a step in bringing the Commodore into modern days of computing with IDE. Actually 8 GBs is 90s but nevertheless it will not be long before larger than 8GB IDE HDs be supported. This is all being done by young and talented coders. Jolse – Keep up the great work !!!! 2003-10-16 11:22 pm In the same kind, Lunix: http://hld.c64.org/poldi/lunix/lunix.html http://lng.sourceforge.net/ and Contiki: http://www.dunkels.com/adam/contiki/ 2003-10-17 5:33 am I have a C64 here, and I intend getting the Ethernet adapter for it (which is only relatively new). I have had a C64 since 1987, and I still use it (as well as PCs these days) Problem with all these new gadgets for retro PCs is that they cost $. There are low profit margins in developing this gear for only the few people who want it, and want to further extend the life of their old machines. Wings rocks though. Can’t wait till the GUI is finished. At the moment it feels a lot like CLI Linux.