View Full Version : TurboDOS anyone?

IBM Portable PC
April 8th, 2012, 03:12 PM
Hi all,

I'm chasing TDOS disks for:

1- Pulsar Electronics STD buss Little Big Board
2- Earth Computers Z80 ISA Co-processor card
3- Radio Shack TRS-80 Model 4

I know that all three existed and have CP/M disks for same (untested as yet)


April 13th, 2012, 08:23 PM
About a year ago there was a long thread about TurboDos customization on the comp.os.cpm newsgroup.

The common problem was that TurboDos seems to have been sold only through OEMs with tight integration to their proprietary systems, and never as a retail customisable platform like the CP/M family.

The upshot of that thread (IIRC) was that the owners of TurboDos copyright agreed to release TurboDos sources into the public domain for hobbyist developers. A search on comp.os.cpm might help you find the people working on making a generic, configurable source package.

I was keen for a while, but realised that most of the features of TurboDos really only show up in multi-user, multi-processor setups.

CP/M was killed commercially by MS-DOS, but TurboDos was killed by the Unix multi-user, multi-tasking scheme and by the move from bus networking to protocol networking.

What can TurboDos offer on a TRS-80? I'm curious.


IBM Portable PC
January 10th, 2015, 12:54 PM
Any further interest in TurboDOS?

Ref the previous post, at some point I want to conduct an experiential investigation (i.e.play with) the Bus and serial networking capabilities in TurboDOS. If ican ever track down the TRS 80 Model 4 version, this would allow me to serially network the 4 to my 4 processor/card Z80 based STD bus Pulsar Little Big board system..... If I ever obtain a TurboDOS boot disk for that system also. The LBB's would be bus networked.

January 10th, 2015, 03:22 PM
There has been at least one thread here by a guy getting some UK systems going. The main change has been the release (by the authors) into public domain of the TurboDos customisation sources, for hobbyist use. I'm sure you can find those references if you want to create your system. The chances of uncovering compatible boot disks are much less. TurboDos was always intended to be tailor-made for each installation, because the target market was industrial/commercial multi-user systems.


March 23rd, 2015, 08:35 AM
About a year ago I was able to contact Mark Eichen, the guy who ported TurboDOS to the Tandy 4, Here is his reply:

"I got as far as getting a USB controller for 5.25" floppy drives, to see if I can read any of the
disks I have from that era (I certainly have floppies from that project,
I just don't know if they're readable or the right ones) but I've yet to
get it all assembled and actually try it. (Too many *modern* projects :-)

Thanks for the reminder, I'll see if I can dig it out some time soon. _Mark_"

Since then I haven't heard anything back, I even offered to help go through the disks, maybe another inquiry to him would spark some more interest?

IBM Portable PC
April 30th, 2015, 01:39 AM
A USB controller for 5.25" floppy drives!?

I wonder if he means a Kyroflux, as that's probably what's required.

TurboDOS would be pretty cool, especially combined with an SD hard drive emulator.

IBM Portable PC
January 14th, 2016, 09:46 PM
From a 2011 email exchange with Mark:

"I have three drawers of boxed 5.25" floppies that have a lot of TRS-80
material on them; I *probably* have a copy of our TurboDOS port in
there (since I'm pretty sure we had it self-hosting, we were doing
commercial TurboDOS work on multi-cpu Z80 cards with 8" floppy drives
for the "real" business at the time, 1983-1985 or so... so we might
have built the Model 4 version *on* the "mainframe", in which case
there would only be 8" floppies that I probably don't have.)

A quick search points to http://ascii.textfiles.com/archives/2503
which leads to http://www.deviceside.com/fc5025.html -- a USB 5.25"
floppy drive controller -- so it's probably worth making an attempt to
read these. (I actually have some Model 4 machines, including the 4p
I owned at the time which motivated the port, but I don't have any
plans to try powering them up any time soon :-)"