If you have never heared of CP/M you will probably surprise at this point. What is that for a new operating system for the Amiga? If you already know CP/M, maybe you are right now asking yourself why you should use CP/M on the Amiga? But we start with a really short look in the past. I'll come back to the question of the "but why" at the end.
Gary Arlen Kildall is considered the developer of CP/M (Control Program for Microcomputer). These are a series of platform-independent operating systems, which were developed between 1974 and the late 1980s for smaller machines (mostly for 8 bit processors) as an alternative to Unix on the mainframes. If you have experienced CP/M once in action or even used it yourself, you have probably noticed it is reminiscent of MS-DOS in many places. MS-DOS also solved CP/M later, so to speak. In 1982 followed with CP/M-68K a version for Motorolas 16 bit processors, which, however, didn't enjoy too much popularity. It was used mainly on Motorolas EXORmacs Development System, SORD M68 and M68MX systems.
On Github there is now a repository that brings exactly this version of CP/M as porting for the Amiga. This version of CP/M-68K was successfully tested on Motorola 68000 and 68010 CPUs, compatibility with other 68k CPUs is so far unknown. With SturmBIOS, an implementation of the CP/M-68K BIOS for Amiga computer is provided, which allows to use CP/M as an operating system on an Amiga. However, there are also some restrictions. You can use a maximum of two floppy disk drives and there is no support for hard drives. There is also no support for the serial and the parallel port. Of course - which is also mentioned on the site - the software selection is quite limited. However, this shouldn't prevent anyone from creating own software, because an assambler and a C compiler are included.
The boot image, documentation and other detailed information is available in the GitHub repository of the project: https://github.com/juollila/cpm68k-amiga
And finally the question again: Why should you use CP/M-68K on his Amiga?
The story around CP/M is of course far more extensive than this really very short summary - and quite very interesting. In 1974, when the first version of CP/M came on the market, the time in relation to computers was of course a completely different time than today. Consider that 1975 the Altair 8800 was released. This machine had no operating system, came as a electronic kit on the market and the user interface consisted of tilting switches and lamps. You had to beat binary code with these tilting switches into the device. Today almost absurd, at that time the device was considered a microcomputer. Convenient alternatives were practically priceless. You can therefore call Gary Arlen Kildall as a pioneer of the PCs (personal computer), who prepared the way for sizes such as Bill Gates/Microsoft. Purely historically, it's worth to have a look back in past and in this particular case back in some more exotic times. This is something for you if you have fun with discovering historical software and you are interested in computer history, then you will certainly have pleasure of discovering. For productive use you should probably continue using AmigaOS.
News Source: GitHub
News Source URL: https://github.com/juollila/cpm68k-amiga
The Amiga Future 161 was released on the March 5th.
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Alternatives operating system: CP/M-68K for the Amiga
Published 23.02.2022 - 09:36 by osz
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