Elektor and OSI's OS-65D (was OHIO-DOS)

From: Edzard H.E.H.M. Kolks <Edzard_at_kolks.nl>
Date: Tue Mar 2 17:11:18 2004

Hello Robert and Bob,

OHIO-DOS was first used with the Junior in 1983. The Junior is a
KIM like SBC, witch became very popular in Holland/Belgium/Germany
Later on in 1985/1986 Elektor (Elektuur is the dutch name for the
publisher who resides in Holland) published the Octopus. It was a
very clever (PC)system based also on the same OHIO-DOS. They used version
3.2 or 3.3 (OS-65D V3.3/V3.2) and patched it a bit (that's why I want the
original sources to compare) for the Octopus. You could buy a 5 or 10 disk

Disk 1: "System LOYS"
Track 0-1 OS-65D V3.3
Track 2-5 Basic V3.3
Track 7-9 Micro-Ware-assembler & editor & DOS-link
Track 10-11 OD 65D V3.2

Disk 2: "OSI tutorial disk II
Disk 3: "OSI tutorial disk III
Disk 4: "OSI tutorial disk IV
Disk 5: "OSI tutorial disk V
Disk 2 and 5 are patched for the Octopus 65 system
On disk 5 there's also the MOS-Technology assembler

Disk 6: Source for Video/debugger/Stenobasic/NewDos/disassembler/Disk loader
Disk 7: Source SamSam
Disk 8: Source for wordprocessor EDARI / EDSUB
Disk 9: Source Wordprocessor part 2 / EDSUB
Disk 10: Fig-Forth

I have also a lot of other disks with software: TP Pascal/WP/DBASE etc. etc.

The articles where published in the so called Computer Special. Eventually
this became five magazines (each over 100 pages). They where published in
the language Dutch, German and English (which I don't have). In Germany
there where published even six magazines. The german magazines contain also
more information. For example a FDC based on the WD 2797 was also published
with sources for OHIO-DOS.

After first magazine the name of the Octopus system was changed in EC65 and
later when an 65816 card was edit to the system it became EC65-K.
In Germany the system was first called SAMSON. Because of property threats
of the firm SAMSON AG the name was (I think) changed to EC65.

I have PDF's of the sources for the Junior (1983) and the EC65 (1985).
if you want to I can mail them to you (about 2.5 MB each).

I have also a copy of the OHIO Scientific Assembler editor and extended
monitor reference manual. I you want to I can make a scan of it and send it
also to you (It's a copy of a copy....)
Also a copy of the OSI gazette with an article about the Disk Routines is

Right now we have two working systems and we are redrawing the schematics in
Eagle. Our first objective is to rescue the software and transfer them to a
saver environment (=CDROM). Then we want to develop a better 65816 card and
port the OHIO-DOS to that platform. If we succeed we want to add fancy stuff
to the system like IDE support, maybe Ethernet etc.

What I'm looking for is as much as possible background info on the OHIO-DOS
system, so that I can write an article about it. When the firm began, who
were in charge, why was this developed and in such a "cruel" way (track 12
and BEXEC*.....!!) If you could provide me with this kind of info or point
to me some sources it would be great!!

In Holland there where a least three spin offs of this OS! (just to make
things easy for use...) To where made in the so called 6502 Kenners. A
famous group (worldwide 500 members at its high) of 6502 fanatics with there
roots in the KIM environment. I have also a lot of there magazines (early
years only dutch, later a lot of articles are in English)

Before I forget: The system had also a Z80 card so that you could use CP/M
software. I have also a lot of software (sources included) for this "side
step". You could start form out the OHIO-DOS system CP/M. Incredible isn't
it! Plans for a 6809 (also an project in the Computer Special series) flex
system where never realised although remarks are made in several articles.
(I have this flex system, with sources etc.)

Best Regards,


-----Oorspronkelijk bericht-----
Van: Robert Maxwell [mailto:RMaxwell_at_atlantissi.com]
Verzonden: maandag 1 maart 2004 16:34
Aan: 'cctech_at_classiccmp.org'
CC: 'wh.sudbrink_at_verizon.net'; 'Edzard_at_kolks.nl'
Onderwerp: Elektor and OSI's OS-65D (was OHIO-DOS)

  As the owner of a modified and still-working OSI Superboard 2 running
under OS-65D 3.3, I may have a few insights about the Elektor link to

 - I had owned my machine for around 5 years (that would make it 1985) when
a friend showed me the two-part Elektor article of a floppy-disk interface
for the ongoing "Junior Computer" series. Using the schematics, I
hand-wired (anyone else remember Vector's "Pencil Wiring" with
solder-through insulation?) a disk interface for my Superboard.

 - The Elektor article "adopted" OS-65D because OSI sold the DOS as a
stand-alone product, complete with utilities for customizing disks,
developing code in BASIC and Assembler, and capable of running serial or
memory-mapped user I/O with the change of a byte in DOS. It sounds like the
Elektor authors went forward and used OD-65D for later projects.

 - By 1985, MA/COM had renamed OSI to ISOTRON during the slow- and shut-down
of manufacturing - they stopped buying masked ROMs, and made Superboards and
C1Ps patched to use 2716 EPROMs instead - but were still selling the Disk
OS. When I telephone-ordered a copy and asked for "OS-65D V. 3.3 for a
C1P", a fellow worker figured I was some sort of spy speaking code!
Fortunately, the folks at the factory knew what I was talking about. The
documentation binder bears the name ISOTRON on its cover.

 - Like the Elektor authors, I patched my OS-65D, for an 80x24 video card in
my system. I had written extensions into a copy of the OSI Monitor ROM: I
was a little peeved when OS-65D loaded, ignored the redirected video, and
brought in its own drivers for the original 24x24 screen... I was sooo glad
I maintained back-compatibility.

  I still have the original OSI disks and docs: there are 5 disks with all
sorts of utilities (mostly in BASIC), the binder for the OS and separate
manuals for the "Assembler/Editor and Extended Monitor" and disk BASIC. The
handiest thing (and most well-worn!) is the little fold-out card listing DOS
commands, memory locations and error code descriptions. I'm a little
puzzled at the reference to OS-65D V3.2... Version 3.3 was the "full"
version, and the single-floppy reduced version was 3.1: perhaps someone
patched a version 3.1 disk for their own project, and just incremented the

Bob Maxwell

--- Original Message ---
> > I'm looking for information on the OHIO-DOS system.
> > Has anyone some sources, programs or historic info
> > on this OS for the 6502?
> >
> > Right now I'm rebuilding an 65816 system (EC65K) which
> > was published in 1986 by Elektuur/Elektor and was running
> > OHIO DOS 65D V3.2.
> Ohio Scientific Instruments (OSI) had a 6502 OS in the late
> 1970's and early 1980's called OS-65D. They were bought by
> MA/COM (sometimes mistyped as MA-COM) who carried on for a
> couple of years. I don't know whether they licensed it to
> any other vendors, but you might Google for OS-65D. Also,
> OS-65U was their multi user OS. I'm a "fan" of OSI, if it
> turns out that this is the OSI OS, I would be interested to
> know the story of Elektuur/Elektor and how the old (and to
> be honest, rather crude) OS was being used in 1986.
> Bill Sudbrink
Received on Tue Mar 02 2004 - 17:11:18 GMT

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