Feeds

Apple releases previously SECRET OPERATING SYSTEM SOURCE CODE

OK, fanbiois, start your assemblers

Top three mobile application threats

The Computer History Museum has scored something of a coup, publishing – with Cupertino's permission – the source code for the Apple II's DOS, version 3.1.

The archeological code, posted here, is the whole 4,000-plus – that's thousands of lines of code, not millions in a misprint – complete with comments like “if it ain't 3 don't reloc”.

As Computer History Museum notes on its release page, the DOS – which included a file manager, a BASIC interface, and various utilities – was written for US$13,000 (a little over three dollars a line) by Paul Laughton, a contractor for Shepardson Microsystems.

The code was written between April and June 1978 – a fair achievement for a brand new DOS – and by October, according to meeting minutes posted by the Museum, Apple and Shepardson were already working through the bug fixes and discussing the documentation. This kind of discussion still rings true to anyone looking at software development.

For example, there's this exchange involving Laughton and Randy Wigginton (employee number six, and creator of MacWrite):

“Paul has received questions directly regarding our DOS. Evidently he has been in computer stores, etc. when someone was asking questions about the Apple DOS. He also was surprised that we were shipping documentation on the Read/Write a track and sector routine. He felt that documentation on interfacing to the file manager portion of the DOS was more useful. Randy pointed out that documentation does not exist on the file manager.”

Another amusing insight covers “bug #1”:

“There was some controversy as to whether bug #1 was or was not actually specified in the original spec. Paul felt that bug #1 involved some major rework, and was a result of not having a written spec on the DOS.”

As the Museum notes, the Apple II couldn't compile anything, so Laughton had to write the DOS on punch cards for compilation on a National Semiconductor IMP-16, which would spit the assembled code out onto a paper tape. Steve Wozniak, who was responsible for creating the disk controller for the machine, also made a plug-in card to read the paper tapes so that Laughton could debug the code.

Laughton describes more of the history here. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Next Windows obsolescence panic is 450 days from … NOW!
The clock is ticking louder for Windows Server 2003 R2 users
Ubuntu 14.04 LTS: Great changes, but sssh don't mention the...
Why HELLO Amazon! You weren't here last time
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Ditch the sync, paddle in the Streem: Upstart offers syncless sharing
Upload, delete and carry on sharing afterwards?
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Red Hat to ship RHEL 7 release candidate with a taste of container tech
Grab 'near-final' version of next Enterprise Linux next week
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.