GenRad Future Data

From: Arlen Michaels <>
Date: Tue Apr 1 14:15:00 2003

on 30/3/03 7:34 AM, Wolfgang Kainz-Huber at wrote:

> do you know what I have here ?>
> I need technical infos like CPU, RAM, ROM and so on. I have one disk for this
> machine, but I can't read it. Therefore I need a short reference about the
> RDOS OS. A rare machine I think, because I can't find any information about
> the FutureData in the www.


I believe this is the FutureData microprocessor development system sold
around 1980-83 by GenRad, before Kontron bought the product line from them.
It competed with similar high-end engineering tools from Tektronix and HP
(their 64000 system).

This was a very cool, high-powered development tool in its day, for the
popular 8-bit processors like 6802, 8085, Z80. You would edit and assemble
your code on the FData. By plugging a 40-pin probe into the target
hardware's cpu socket, you'd execute the code in the actual target hardware
under control of the FData and its debugging software ("in-circuit
emulation"). When you were satisfied with your code you could burn it to
eprom and plug it and the processor chip back into the target hardware.

These systems were populated with somewhat specific hardware and software to
match the target microprocessor system you were designing. For example, the
box would use a 6800 cpu card, 6800 in-circuit emulator pod, and native
6800-coded OS for Motorola work; an 8085 cpu, pod, and an 8085-coded OS for
Intel development. The proprietary operating system was called RDOS and
worked more or less the same for each platform but, as I indicated, the OS
and the applications were coded natively for each processor they supported.
They also sold a structured Basic compiler called SBasic for the 8085/Z80.

Arlen Michaels
Received on Tue Apr 01 2003 - 14:15:00 BST

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