OS choices

append delete Meshuggah333

I wonder what the OS choices will be on the machine, as there's a crazy amount of little OSs on the C64/128 that would be pretty useful on the Mega65.
The default OS is of concern as currently it seems to be one of the beta C65 ROM that goes straight to basic.
A simple bash like CLI with an underlying DOS would make a great OS replacement as I don't see how we would manage to get rights to the C65 ROM to make that default with a commercial version of the machine.
Digging around I've found LUnix ( that would be very nice to start with (and as been worked on by our very own Mister Gardners in the past hehe). It got everything needed for a retro modern CLI OS feel including a TCP/IP stack (that means the possibility of creating direct downloads of programs without using a PC, it would still need a service of some kind to be written)
It would need to be updated to give access to the M65 specific devices, memory model, and hardware. But it seems to be a very good base.
I'm talking out of my *** here, but my concern is valid I think.

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append delete #1. gpz

lng is actually kinda limited, and the code is a horrible unmaintainable mess that requires obscure custom tools to even build it - which is why noone touched it in the past years :=P

append delete #2. Ratteler

Yeah. Good luck with that.
I've been punished enough for daring to suggest a version of python for the project.
IMHO, "the scene" wants a semi-functional cosmetic replica of the prototypes that commodore abandoned, solely and only for the purpose of running the C=65 ROM.

append delete #3. gardners

We think that we can get the licensing sorted out for the C65 ROM, and that is what it will initially ship with.

I'd also like to resurrect LUnix on the MEGA65 sometime, as much for the fun as anything. Although it does have some cool ideas for relocatable code etc. I did have it working on my real C65, so this shouldn't be too hard to do.

However, of course, we would like other options for people who want it.

While GEOS doesn't yet work, we would of course love to make a MEGA65 version of GEOS, possibly based on the C128 version, so that 640 pixels wide is a possibility.

One OS is being made with MEGA65 support directly in mind:

Then there are projects like:


Also, the MEGA65 Hypervisor already has a very minimal VFAT32 implementation in 6502, and it will offer trap calls to access this. So one could build a very simple shell onto that as well, for a poor-man's operating system.


append delete #4. Meshuggah333

Thx for the insight.
Those little OSs seems interesting, I quite like the ideas behind ACE.
If I had to spec an OS for the M65 I'd go with something like an Oberon style UI on top of LUnix. That would be retro enough for me :D
Will the C65 ROM be modified in any way? (Would it says C65 dev system blabla or have something more in line with the M65 project?)

append delete #5. TRW

I would prefer "theace" as an (optional) OS for the MEGA65.
As far as I can see, this is exactly an "OS" with GUI, that I wished for an 8-bitter-Computer :)
If it actually contains an IDE for Assembler and Basic, then this OS should be the quasti standard.

append delete #6. exocytosis

Then again, there is always AROS ("Amiga Research Operating System", later renamed to "AROS Research Operating System") - a source code-level compatible clone of AmigaOS 3.1 that really, thanks to the super-efficient resource management of AmigaOS - flies on modern hardware.

For anyone not in the know, here's the official homepage:

append delete #7. pmprog
append delete #8. everslick

FUZIX is a fusion of various elements from the assorted UZI forks and branches beaten together into some kind of semi-coherent platform and then extended from V7 to somewhere in the SYS3 to SYS5.x world with bits of POSIX thrown in for good measure. Various learnings and tricks from ELKS and from OMU also got blended in...

append delete #9. gardners

Contiki wasn't really that nice, last time I looked. Powerful in theory, but not nice.

I have been tracking FUZIX as well, which looks a bit interesting.

We'll see what people port, once the MEGA65 is stable.

append delete #10. Freddy Champagne

As for me (as a pure user) I think The ACE should become the default OS for The MEGA65 part.
Other OSs could always be launched, isn't it? DOS/65 also looks comfortable/interesting, but as far as I can see, The ACE seems more 'modern'.

:: @Freddy Champagne added on 22 May ’18 · 19:44

-should +could

append delete #11. PGSmobile

The native "os" will most likely be the freeze menu. That is, no os, but a hypervisor and guest manager. Freeze cartridges really are like a simple single-task hypervisor from one perspective.

append delete #12. Freddy Champagne

"Freezers" are only needed by cheaters :-D

:: @Freddy Champagne added on 20 May ’18 · 21:06

On the other hand I must admit that homecomputers usualy only had basic as 'os' in the roms.
Although Amiga and AtariST (and even Acorn Archimedes) added a 'real' OS to :-D

append delete #13. LGB

As far as I can see, Mega65 wants to be (fairly enhanced, that's true ...) a 8 bit system as its heart, so it's not a common stuff among 8 bit computers to have a GUI-based OS "by default", Amiga is already another category being 16 bit (or 32, it's a point of view, what you name as the important factor, the internal register sizes, the data bus, etc). Also AtariST. Acorn Archimedes and similar stuffs is an ARM based (actually ARM was "invented" by Acorn for their machines, nowadays almost all mobile devices uses some descendant ...) machine, clearly 32 bit ones, and moreover RISC architecture. So it's even more different category already.

Surely, even a C64 has GUI based "modern feel" OSes (even if not multitasking), like GEOS. But they were barely "by default" ... Somehow, I feel that it's right this way, a 8-bit like system should "boot" into BASIC, not a GUI-something or any multitask modern OS (even without GUI) which were not common on that era.

*BUT* as far as I know, there is possible with Mega65 to select a default OS for yourself or whatever, I am quite sure it can be done somehow, so everybody can have their favourites, why it would be sane to push one as the "default".

At the other hand: I don't see that "freezers is only needed for cheaters", well you can do for that purpose :) But it can help develop software on the actual platform, actually it can feel like a "multi task" OS, just with one thing selected to run at a given time. Or whatever we want to name/explain it.

append delete #14. Freddy Champagne

Yep, I know all of that, but hey, we don't live in the 80ies anymore. In the 80ies we had leaded gasoline, asbestos in our brakes and our cars had no catalyst exhaust.
Don't you think we shouldn't redo the errors of our ancestors? The world is developing.
c64 and c65 were children from the 80s of last century, the MEGA65 is a child of the 10 of this century. I don't ask for a full fledged GUI-OS, a simple programm like the MS-DOSSHELL would be good enough to start from.....

append delete #15. gardners


I think you have mis-understood me. The "freeze menu" of the M65 will, if I have my way, be a quite nice piece of software that will let you find and load whatever you want, and also to save whereever you are up to when you need to go. One of the little niceities we alreaddy have implemented is a hardware thumbnail generator, so that when you go to freeze a program, it will have a little 80x50 version of the screen as it was just before you froze it, so that it is easier to find things later.

Apart from that, we expect a number of the support utilities to be written in the M65 version of GEOS, that I think is going to be really nice to use.

So, in short, I think you will find that you will be getting what you have asked for.


append delete #16. Freddy Champagne

That's exactly what I thought after reading the whole stuff said.
As already said before I was happy with GEOS, and I think the M65-GEOS will surely take advantage of the capabilities of the MEGA. Also I don't really expect a full-fledged multi-tasking OS. Some kind of taskswitching is good enough for 99% of the use cases (imho).
I am also aware that the Mega65 will not be that 'breaktrough' what some might expect.
It's a nice System for home and for gaming. It will not atract the 'huge' bunch of retro-fans, because there are lots of other things out there, like the 1541Ultimate, the Reloaded MK2/3, the Chameleon etc.
Those really interested in the Mega65, are not really for the (nice to have included) c64-Mode. Our (and mine of course) interest are the capabilities of dual-sid and VIC III/IV.
For me it's the upgrade i wanted back in the days, but that never came out.
I position the Mega65 to the c64 like the AppleIIgs is to the Apple II (the logical upgrade).
It is nice to have the ability to use the old soft, but it's more interesting to see the new stuff.

Keep the good stuff rollin'


:: @Freddy Champagne added on 21 May ’18 · 14:21

Maybe I should also mention what I 'learned' in my career as a user:
The c128 'failed' because it had a good c64 AND a good cp/m+ mode. Those 2 capabilities are the reason why there's so less developed for the c128's own mode. For professional stuff there was WordStar/Multiplan/dBaseII 0n cp/m and for gaming there was the really goos c64 mode. Same hapened to IBM's OS/2. The build in WinOS/2 was too perfect, so that software was mainly produced for Win3.x. I personaly only know of 1 Programm for OS/2: DeScribe (Wordprocessor), all other stuff was buildin, or Windows-Software.

Even if I like the description of The ACE, I think it will rival M65-GEOS like Linux rivals Windows on the IBM-PC.

append delete #17. gpz

C128 cp/m mode was good? LOL. its terrible. period.

append delete #18. rosettif

The C128 did not fail. Only the company failed in this respect as they also continued on producing the C64 along with the C128. They should have rather stopped it (and made a newer, cost-reduced and bug-fixed revision of the C128 as well) so that the majority of the users would really consider that as an upgrade path instead of a secondary option.

append delete #19. gpz

infact, the C128 sold much more and much longer than it was ment to :)

append delete #20. Freddy Champagne

@gpz: Well for serious work with cp/m you needed the REU. It is like geos: only really usable when used with the REU. And why did they sell more as what was meant for? Simply because there was a gap between c64 and Amiga. That's exactly where the c65 should have been. At CBM's faillure: it's not a fault of the engineers, it's a fault in management. Machines like the c128 (and c65) are masterpieces of engineering skills. Also I can't understand why they never sold the c900 Systems. It would have fit in many small offices. But that's another story and doesn't fit here in a c65 (M65) forum. ;-)

append delete #21. gpz

c65 shouldnt even have been developed, 8bit was dead already and obviously (true) 16 (or even 32) bit machines were the way to go.

and no, reu doesnt make the terribly slow z80 performance a lot better either :)

append delete #22. Freddy Champagne

@gpz: If that is really what you think of the 8-bit-machines, then I wonder why you waste your time in this 8-bit Forum?

:: @Freddy Champagne added on 22 May ’18 · 03:15

It's like talking about cars: we talk about Golf/Lupo, and you pretend all cars who are 'lower' than Maserati/Ferrari aren't worth using.
It always depend on what you really want to do with your gadget.
For my personal use i know the M65 is exactly strong enough. I don't need quadcore 16gigRAM system for writing a letter to my aunt.

append delete #23. rosettif

The actual x86 PC's of that era (the mid/late 80's) were really, really horrible, and very expensive at the same time.

The C128 could compete against them. It was slightly better than an entry-level PC (as a home computer), and also much cheaper.

The Amiga, of course, was even better, yet also too expensive for the masses.

append delete #24. Freddy Champagne

@rosetiff: exact. additionaly the Amiga was not an upgrade, it was a full change of systems.

append delete #25. gpz

still, most other z80 systems of that time, even much older ones, were a *lot* better at CP/M. and of course an XT ran circles around any of them as well (sure, it was expensive, but thats not the point).


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