Running different OSes on classic hardware (Re: Re installing

Tony Duell ard at
Thu Mar 10 18:11:48 CST 2005

> On Sun, 6 Mar 2005 13:51:32 -0500, Ethan Dicks <ethan.dicks at> wrote:
> > This case aside, though, I basically agree with Tony's assertion that
> > one should run a classic OS on classic hardware - why put NetBSD on an
> > Amiga when one can run AmigaDOS?  It takes something out of the
> > 'classicalness', IMHO.
> It depends upon why you are collecting, I suppose, and what you are
> doing with the machines you collect.  I tend to collect machines for
> the fun of figuring out what makes them tick, and you can learn a lot
> by porting an OS to a new machine.  You can also learn a lot by
> upgrading a machine to the max.  You learn boatloads by designing new
> hardware for an old machine.

I would agree 100%. I have no problems at all with making reversable 
modifications to classic computers. Reversable includes things like 
sticking in homebrew boards, I don't like doing major modifications to 
existing boards. 

The thing I rwas really commenting on was running an OS that's already 
been ported to the machine in qurstion, so you have to do no work, and 
don't learn anything in the process.

Let's stick with Radio Shack machines. I have a Model 4, which as I am 
sure you're aware, runs either TRS-DOS 6 or CP/M (OK, and all the Model 3 
OSes, but you don't generally get all the Model 4 features then).

I don't like running CP/M on my M4. There's nothing to learn by so doing 
(it's an already-ported version, the CBIOS is already written, etc). I 
have what I consider to be better CP/M boxes. No, the M4 runs TRS-DOS 
almost exclusively. 

I would, however, have no problem with somebody who wants to write their 
own OS for the M4. That's something that is worth doing, that they'll 
learn a lot from doing.


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