Who invented DOS?

Eric Smith eric at brouhaha.com
Fri Mar 4 20:49:15 CST 2005

Fred wrote:
> I suspect that it might be very well be a corruption of the story
> about Randy Cook's easter egg in TRS-DOS, that showed up in NewDOS
> prior to NEWDOS80. That one really DID exist.  RS, in TRS-DOS 2.3,
> changed "Randy Cook" in the easter egg to "Tandy Corp".  It was
> invoked by running a boot file as if it were a program, with one
> of the master paswords, and pressing 'J'? and 'N'? while it was loading.

That's much more believable.  I worked at Apparat, but by the time I
started there they were already shipping NEWDOS/80.

The original NEWDOS (up through NEWDOS 2.1?) was a patched version
of TRSDOS.  I don't know whether they originally were secretive about
that, but for at least the latter part of the time they sold it, they
told customers that they must have a copy of TRSDOS in order to buy
NEWDOS.  Since Radio Shack would sell you a TRSDOS floppy (only, no
manual) for under $15, it wasn't a big issue.

NEWDOS/80 V1 was a complete rewrite from the ground up, and added many
new capabilities.  It was available in separate editions for the
Model I and Model III.  V2 added even more nice features.

The author of NEWDOS/80 (and the earlier patches to TRSDOS) was a
long-time IBM mainframe programmer.  Based on research I did a few
years ago, I believe he was also one of the programmers of the
software for the Apollo Guidance Computer.  He was adamant that we
not give out his name as he wanted to protect his privacy.


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