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This page contains a list of some of the more widespread OS-9 computer
- Tandy/Radio TRS-80 Shack Color Computer ("CoCo")
- The CoCo was a home computer produced by Tandy Corporation initially
in 1980. Initially the machine was actually manufactured in Texas.
It was based on a Motorola reference board which used a color
graphics chip (the VDG) and the 6809 microprocessor. Details are
unknown about how Microware and Tandy came to work together, but
it is thought that Motorola was probably the entity that introduced
them. Years later, when the Color Computer 3 was introduced in
1986, Microware would be contracted to overhaul the Disk Extended
Color Basic (by Microsoft) with new commands to take advantage
of the next generation CoCo. Several Microware products were licensed,
repackaged and sold through Radio Shack stores including: OS-9
Level 1, OS-9 Level 2, C Compiler, PASCAL Compiler, and others.
Home Page, bit.listserv.coco
- Phillips Compact Disc Interactive ("CD-i")
- CD-i was meant to be a new extension to the growing Compact
Disc format. A CD-i player was capable of not only playing standard
audio CDs, but interactive titles as well. The devices would hook
to a television set (or monitor) and let the user play interactive
games or even browse multimedia reference titles and run education
games. As recently as 1995 you could still find CD-i titles at
stores such as Best Buy. Kodak was also involved somewhat since
CD-i players could natively display images from high quality PhotoCDs.
During the last few years of existance, CD-i was enhanced with
add on hardware to allow it to play the new Video CD ("VCD")
format. A CD could hold about 70 minutes worth of MPEG-1 video.
VCDs were the predecessor to DVD.
- Interactive Media System MM/1
- This machine was far from mainstream, but it holds a special
place in history as being the last big push to move OS-9 into
the desktop computer world. The machine was based on the same
chipset used in the CD-i players, and the software was a very
enhanced version of the graphical system created for OS-9 on the
CoCo 3. It provided 8-bit stereo sound and a daughter board was
available to give even more serial ports and SCSI for hard drives.
Sadly, many problems plauged this project from FCC certification
issues to production delays. Ultimately, it is estimated that
only a few hundred MM/1s were ever sold. David Graham of Blackhawk
Enterprises tried to resurrect the machine in the mid-1990s by
buying out the rights and remaining inventory. It is believed
he still has plenty of them if anyone is interested. (NOTE: There
were several "next generation" systems such as the MM/1
including the Tomcat TC-70 from Frank Hogg Labs, the Delmar System
IV, and the PC-ish AT306.)
- Uniden Axis E-Mail Telephone
- Uniden had big plans for this device which, sadly, never quite
got off the ground. It was a home telephone attached to a small
computer like device complete with QWERTY keyboard and flip up
backlit monochrome liquid crystal display. Both a corded and cordless
model were offered, and certain internet providers offered discounted
services for the device which would only send and receive e-mail.
It was a great idea, but the cost was likely too high. An Axis
phone actually cost more than a WebTV, which, although it required
a television for output, could not only do e-mail but web access
- Motorola PageWriter 2000(x)
- Around 1997, Motorola introduced an amazing new pager that resembled
a handheld laptop computer. It had a QWERTY keyboard and small
black and white liquid crystal display and was capable of sending
and receiving electronic mail. It also acted as a normal pager
for text and alphanumeric pages. In the years that followed, the
device would be upgraded with more memory (giving it the ability
to run SUN's new Java2 Micro Edition). Several different models
of the PageWriter are known to be in existance, including some
under the name of TimePort. Motorola labeled the device as running
FlexOS, though this version of FlexOS was actually OS-9
for the 68000. It is interesting to note that the Dragonball processor
used in the PageWriter is the same chip used in the Palm PDAs
as well as in the Uniden Axis e-mail telephone.