Countdown to CoCoFEST: T-4 Days

As a relative “noob” in the CoCo community, I was initially surprised when CoCo discussions started comparing the the TRS80 Color Computer to an Apple Macintosh. Community support notwithstanding, it’s patently unfair to compare an early 1980’s 8-bit platform with a early 2000’s 32 bit one. That aside, both sides had their proponents. The discussions touted the graphical UI and multi-tasking capabilities in the latter, though I assumed everyone already knew the Mac sported those in spades.

After a bit, though, I realized the discussion was not about the short lived Macintosh operating system OS 9, but the Microware real time operating system OS-9 for the CoCo, and sometimes specifically about the open source variant called NitrOS9. Researching, I determined OS-9 wasn’t just a multi-tasking OS, it was a true real time operating system (RTOS), the same type of OS designers choose when stability and guaranteed operation is a must! Now, everything from toasters to watches have a real time multitasking OS, so OS-9 may not seem as impressive, but it’s important to remember OS-9 on the CoCo was a thing before Windows 1.0 even arrived and just as the Macintosh first came on the scene.

Glenside welcomes all OS-9 (and NitrOS9) enthusiasts, and we typically have at least 1 presentation each year on some aspect of the OS. This year, L. Curtis Boyle and Ken Waters will present on the platform at 10:45 on Saturday, May 4. Below is their 2022 BASIC09 presentation: