The ST-2900 OS-9 Conversion Package allows the user to create an OS-9 system disk, fully configured for the ST-2900, from the Radio Shack Color Computer (CoCo) version of OS-9 Level I.
OS-9 Conversion Package features:
The first version of the ST-2900 OS-9 Conversion Package (December 1984) was actually developed under the FLEX operating system, using the TSC 6809 assembler and some custom utilities I wrote. It was even supplied on a FLEX format disk, and used ST-MON's "D F" (boot FLEX) command to start. This was because ST-MON 1.01 lacked the ability to directly boot OS-9. As a result, both the OS-9 Conversion Package disk and the Color Computer OS-9 system disk had to be used every time you wanted to start OS-9, which was inconvenient.
The second (current) version of the OS-9 Conversion Package (August 1985), together with the improved ST-MON 2.04, allows creating customized, configured OS-9 boot disks that can be booted directly with ST-MON's "D OC" and "D OS" commands.
Why did I supply an OS-9 Conversion Package rather than a licensed copy of OS-9 customized for the ST-2900? The retail price of standard OS-9 Level I was U$250 at the time, with only a small discount for a low volume reseller like Sardis Technologies. Then Radio Shack started selling a Color Computer version of OS-9 Level I for only U$69.95 -- and that price even included an editor, assembler, and debugger! -- and I discovered that it was possible to modify it to run on the ST-2900. Supplying a conversion package for the CoCo version allowed my customers to obtain OS-9 at a lower price, even after also buying the conversion package from me. It also eliminated the need for me to buy multiple copies of OS-9 (in order to get a reseller discount), with the risk that some would remain unsold. And I avoided having to ship stacks of heavy manuals all over the world.
Later I also developed the KWIKGEN program that made creating a modified OS9Boot file so much easier.
Microware and Radio Shack no longer support OS-9/6809. However, a "new" operating system, NitrOS-9, derived from OS-9, is now available for the ST-2900.
When were Microware's OS-9 and BASIC-09 for the 6809 first released?
Here are some clues:
- The May 1980 issue of '68' Micro Journal has an ad from Microware saying that OS-9 and BASIC-09 are COMING SOON!!
- The June 1980 issue of '68' Micro Journal has an ad from Microware announcing the availability of OS-9 Level 1 (in tape and disk versions), text editor, assembler, Microsoft Basic, debugger, and that OS-9 Level 2 and BASIC-09 are coming soon. That same issue also has a report on the March 1980 West Coast Computer Faire where OS-9 and BASIC-09 were demonstrated.
- The September 1980 issue of '68' Micro Journal has a review by Tom Harmon of HHH Enterprises of preliminary versions of Microware's OS-9 and BASIC-09.
- The December 1980 issue of '68' Micro Journal has a letter from Ken Kaplan of Microware describing some of the features of OS-9.
- So it appears that 1980 was the year OS-9 and BASIC-09 became available, although OS-9 went through significant changes in the subsequent one or two years. For example, originally OS-9 Level 1 was only single-user and didn't have pipes, which were only Level 2 features at that time.
ST-2900 OS-9 Conversion Package User's Manual.
(4.7MB .pdf scanned image)
Other notes for the ST-2900 OS-9 Conversion Package.
Includes addendum/errata to the manual, etc.
(not available yet)
Bootable DSK image (35T/SS/DD CoCo OS-9 format) of ST-2900 OS-9
Conversion Package, as distributed.
DSK image (35T/SS/DD CoCo OS-9 format) of source code of ST-2900
OS-9 Conversion Package.
Bootable DSK image (35T/SS/SD FLEX format) of source code and
binaries of the original ST-2900 OS-9 Conversion Package.
No user manual is available for this version.
(not available yet)
"FLEX" was a trademark of Technical System Consultants (TSC).
"OS-9" is a registered trademark of Microware LP.
"Radio Shack" and "Color Computer" are trademarks of Tandy Corp.
"MS-DOS" is a trademark of Microsoft Corp.
Use the Reload/Refresh button in your web browser (or Ctrl+F5 or Shift+Reload) to ensure you get the latest version of this page.
Last revised 2022-May-29 15:47 PDT.
Copyright 2018-2022 David C. Wiens.