SymbOS for MSX - preview

by snout on 28-05-2006, 01:48
Topic: Software
Tags: Utilities

Source: MSX Forum

Regular visitors of our active MSX forum could have followed it all from the start. On October 30th, 2005, in this forum thread, the first steps were taken that would lead to porting SymbOS to MSX. SymbOS (SYmbiosis Multitasking Based Operating System) is a fast and stable multitasking operating system for the Amstrad CPC, complete with a neat window-based GUI and several games and applications. As the MSX and Amstrad - like many home computers from the 1980s - both have a Zilog Z80 CPU, porting the OS would mainly rely on using the MSX VDP properly.

On May 8th, this forum topic initiated the rapid development of the MSX port of the OS, in which SymbOS developer Prodatron quickly discovered the advantages of the VDP. Within no-time, a preview of the OS was released, which you can download over here, so if you want to see SymbOS in action - you can!

With SymStudio, it gets very easy to create games and applications on your own. As long as no hardware is being addressed directly, porting software from Amstrad SymbOS to MSX SymbOS should take little to no adjustments at all. If you have any comments or suggestions to the port, please do post them in this forum topic, which is being followed by the SymbOS developers.

Relevant link: SymbOS for MSX - preview
Relevant link: SymbOS for MSX - video (requires DivX 5 or higher)

Comments (15)

By karloch

Prophet (2159)

karloch's picture

28-05-2006, 02:28

Every single thing that I could say about this great OS wouldn't be enough... You best see it by yourself, seriously. Just give a try on your MSX or with blueMSX/openMSX and you will get an idea of how powerful and FAST it is.

I haven't seen anything similar in MSX before. It breaks the schematic of MSX+GUI = Slow. As NYYRIKKI says, it's faster to list directory files with SymCommander than we are used to with standard DIR MSX-DOS command.

Give a try!!

By Ivan

Ascended (9353)

Ivan's picture

28-05-2006, 12:39

Which are the system requirements?

By karloch

Prophet (2159)

karloch's picture

28-05-2006, 12:54

The final version will require just a plain MSX2 with double sided diskdrive and 128KB of RAM. As there is still no support for FDCs, the pre-alpha require a Sunrise IDE interface to work.

By Prodatron

Paragon (1843)

Prodatron's picture

28-05-2006, 13:59

Here you can see a screen shot showing SymbOS in action on the MSX2:

By [D-Tail]

Ascended (8263)

[D-Tail]'s picture

29-05-2006, 00:41

Cheeeeeeeers!! Now this is what we've all been waiting for!

Great job, Prodatron, Trebmint, PingPong, Sonic_aka_T, flyguille, Edwin, Algorythms, ... and all those I forgot! Big smile

By selios2000

Hero (571)

selios2000's picture

29-05-2006, 10:35

continue with this great job. it is impressive.

By Leo

Paragon (1236)

Leo's picture

29-05-2006, 22:18

The video show symbOs in action , it is so fast !!
The video has been taken on a tR or some emulator ???
I cant beleive it is on a plain msx2

By Prodatron

Paragon (1843)

Prodatron's picture

30-05-2006, 01:12

The video has been taken from BlueMSX emulating a MSX2. The speed on a real MSX2 should be very similair. On a TurboR it's even faster Smile

By Nautilus

Expert (76)

Nautilus's picture

30-05-2006, 16:42

Amazing work!

By sinus

Expert (85)

sinus's picture

31-05-2006, 12:34

I've tried it on BlueMSX (with HD support)...
So, one big question just popped in there: Prodatron, what kind of magic are you using to do such things ??? Eek!
And what will this community become if MSX2s are not obsolete machines any longer?! Shocked!
Too many philosophical implications! But you knew it, didn't you? What about the theory of evolution that clearly states the reasons why every single 8 bits computer disappeared some 20 years ago? Just because they were unable to achieve what they are actually able to achieve with your incredible piece of software !!

That is just great! A good lesson! Please keep going!... Tongue

By boblet

Master (187)

boblet's picture

31-05-2006, 14:00

so what will it take to make a rom that'll boot straight into symbos or something that forms a basis for symbos to run effectively with.

I'm talking about replacing the bios/basic msx roms with eproms here.

drivers for floppies and new firmware for various bits of hardware?

what else?

By Prodatron

Paragon (1843)

Prodatron's picture

02-06-2006, 00:46

It should be possible to have SymbOS in ROM on MSX, too, like it's already reality on the Amstrad CPC: I switch on my computer, and after 3 seconds SymbOS has been booted, and I am on my desktop Smile
But currently I am not experienced with making MSX hardware extensions (I am very new on the MSX). Is there hardware available with rewriteable roms? Maybe we should continue this discussion in the SymbOS thread of the forum.
@Sinus: Thank you! Smile Somehow it's sad, that this was not available 20 years ago. But I am just happy to see, that even 8bit machines like the MSX and the Amstrad have so great possibilities!

By bacterion

Paragon (1326)

bacterion's picture

03-06-2006, 12:16

By PingPong

Enlighted (4136)

PingPong's picture

06-06-2006, 20:39

Magic z80!