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View Full Version : SD Systems People, What Can You Tell Me About The COSMOS Operating System?



MicrocomputerSolutions
March 19th, 2016, 12:02 PM
I was poking around on eBay, and found a Seller with an MPC-4 four port serial board, and a copy of the COSMOS Operating System on 8" floppies with the Manual for the COSMOS.

I don't remember ever reading about the SD Systems COSMOS operating system. Is it an enhanced version of CP/M-80, or something completely different? Did it work? How Long did it last (in the marketplace)?

It kinda looks like the clunky file sharing enhanced CP/M-80 from Magnolia Micro that we used/sold at Heathkit back in the early 80s for use in H/Z-89s and 90s with Corvus Hard Drive Systems (the old 8" versions, and later with 5.25" drives).

There isn't any information on the S100 Website about COSMOS or the MPC-4 Serial board.

Chuck(G)
March 19th, 2016, 12:26 PM
http://www.hartetechnologies.com/manuals/SD%20Sales/SDS_COSMOS_User_Manual.pdf

Sort of SD's version of MP/M. It'll run CP/M programs. Multi-user. Kind of clunky--I couldn't see a customer seriously using it.

MicrocomputerSolutions
March 19th, 2016, 12:55 PM
http://www.hartetechnologies.com/manuals/SD%20Sales/SDS_COSMOS_User_Manual.pdf

Sort of SD's version of MP/M. It'll run CP/M programs. Multi-user. Kind of clunky--I couldn't see a customer seriously using it.

Businesses used CP/M-80 computers with file sharing in the late 1970s and the early 1980s. The Magnolia Micro/Corvus package was an example. The 5mb Corvus with software extensions was about $10K alone. Heathkit was using the package (to run the store's POS, and track inventory), and selling it in 1981 when I first joined Heathkit. I always suspected that they became a Dealer for Magnolia Micro just so they could buy Corvus Systems for the 55+ retail stores that were open at that time. Yes, it was unreliable (we kept two or three spare (rebuilt/reconditioned) Corvus units to back up the working unit in the store). Yes, the software was clunky, and got corrupted on a regular basis, file sharing and locking did not work correctly a lot of the time. No, I didn't sell a single unit, nor did I see a single unit sold while I was working there. But it did work after a fashion and was an indication of what was coming in the future. It was not MP/M.

A year later, Compupro was selling CDOS 3.1 with multi-user, multi-tasking, and virtual multi-consoles working on S-100 Systems.

Chuck(G)
March 19th, 2016, 02:51 PM
We rolled our own Multi-user OS, all of us being mainframe system software veterans. While it could run some machine-language utilities; all of our end-user software was in our own dialect of BASIC, which had multi-user facilities built in (including timeslicing, inter-process communication and semaphores--and of course, file locking). Most of the accounting software was licensed from MCBA. All on an 8085. When the move was made to an 80286 base, we re-hosted the BASIC compiler and run-time on Xenix. There were still a few sites as of a couple of months ago still using it. Probably not many 8-bitters out there able to run bisync HDLC/SDLC comms.

But it was all for naught--cheap computers took over and it no longer paid off to run a microcomputer with terminals. Better to give everyone a micro and network them--or at least give everyone a CPU and just coordinate the interaction, such as the stuff from Molecular.