The Origins of DOS

Jules Richardson julesrichardsonuk at
Mon Oct 30 09:18:51 CST 2006

Stan Barr wrote:
> Hi,
> Jules Richardson said:
>> Stan Barr wrote:
>>> Both Apple and RS were big enough in the uk circa 1978/9 on to support a 
>>> number of dedicated hardware and software suppliers. Both were used
>>> quite a bit by small businesses* that couldn't afford cp/m kit, as
>>> well as hobbyists like me.  (I got a TRS-80 Model 1 around the beginning
>>> of '78 - still got it...)
>>> The Apple II was also rebadged and marketed by ITT, in a silver case IIRC. 
>> That's interesting, because I don't know where they've all gone! We see far 
>> more surviving CP/M machines and things like Nascoms and equivalents than we 
>> do Apple and RS systems in the UK. That would suggest that people tossed out 
>> the Apple and RS stuff, but held on to other machines for some reason.
> They still crop up, TRS-80s anyway.  There are a couple on eBay atm, 
> including a 4P, the (trans)portable one that I might put in a bid for.

Sure, I know they're still about in the UK - just in far fewer numbers than 
similar machines from the same timeframe. Maybe people were just 
subconsciously more likely to hang on to their CP/M system (because it was 
expensive) or their 8 bitter which didn't really have an OS (because they'd 
invested so much time in getting it to do what they wanted).

>> Later on of course UK people seem to have largely made do with the same 8 bit 
>> machines that the games / education market used - I get the impression that 
>> the acceptance of IBM PCs and compatibles happened *much* sooner in the US 
>> than it did elsewhere.
> IBM PCs were a bit expensive* for the home or samll business  user until 
> clones appeared, but they were bought in some numbers by larger firms.

In the business world, the UK people seemed to 'make do' with what they 
already had to a far greater extent though; or rather that's the impression 
I've got. The home market was somewhat similar on both sides of the pond 
though, I believe...

> * In 1982 IBM PCs were advertised at "from 2,800 pounds" (at about 2 dollars
> to the pound, I think) for a dual floppy machine with monitor.  That would
> buy you two Apples with dual floppies and monitors and still leave change.

Hmm, I have two, an original PC and an XT. *one* of those cost around 4000 
pounds circa 1984, but unfortunately I don't know which. (I got them around 
1992 from an old school; it took a while to organise as they were still down 
on the books as being worth the same money for which they'd been bought 8 
years earlier :-)



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