The Computer History Museum Makes Historic Apple II DOS Source Code Available to the Public as a part of its Historical Source Code Series
November 12, 2013 — Mountain View, Ca
The Computer History Museum (CHM) announced today that it has, with the collaboration of the Digibarn Computer Museum and with permission from Apple Inc., posted the historic original 1978 source code for the Apple II DOS "Disk Operating System".
The Apple II, Apple's first mass-market computer, was hampered when first shipped in 1977 by having only a cassette tape drive for program and data storage. Steve Wozniak soon created a brilliant hardware design for a floppy disk controller, but it needed software to organize the disk.
In an incredible tour-de-force, Paul Laughton, a contractor for Shepardson Microsystems, wrote the Disk Operating System for the Apple II in only seven weeks, and Apple delivered it to eager customers in June of 1978. The source code being released by the museum today are scans of two listings and additional material that Paul had kept in his home office for 35 years.
"There was an amazing 'can-do' attitude among the engineers working on the early PCs in the 1970s and 1980s," said Len Shustek, Museum Chairman. "Projects which would have taken years inside large companies were done in weeks or months. It is inspiring to see what they were able to do, with primitive tools, on computers that were tiny relative to today's."
"We are grateful that engineers like Paul are pack-rats, and preserve history that might otherwise be lost", said John Hollar, Museum’s President and CEO. "And we thank Bruce Damer of the Digibarn Computer Museum for collaborating with us to rescue these important artifacts. The preservation and release of this code is part of our ongoing commitment to software history, and we’re delighted to bring it to the world."
For a blog posting surrounding the release of this source code, please visit: http://www.computerhistory.org/atchm/apple-ii-dos-source-code
For other releases in the historic source code series, see:
IBM APL, http://www.computerhistory.org/atchm/the-apl-programming-language-source-code/
Apple Macpaint and QuickDraw, http://www.computerhistory.org/atchm/macpaint-and-quickdraw-source-code/
Adobe Photoshop, http://www.computerhistory.org/atchm/adobe-photoshop-source-code/
To search the Museum’s online catalog of more than 80,000 artifacts, please visit: http://www.computerhistory.org/collections/search/.
About the Computer History Museum
The Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California is a nonprofit organization with a four-decade history as the world’s leading institution exploring the history of computing and its ongoing impact on society. The Museum is dedicated to the preservation and celebration of computer history, and is home to the largest international collection of computing artifacts in the world, encompassing computer hardware, software, documentation, ephemera, photographs and moving images.
The Museum brings computer history to life through large-scale exhibits, an acclaimed speaker series, a dynamic website, docent-led tours and an award-winning education program. The Museum’s signature exhibition is “Revolution: The First 2000 Years of Computing,” described by USA Today as “the Valley’s answer to the Smithsonian.” Other current exhibits include “Charles Babbage's Difference Engine No. 2,” and “Going Places: The History of Google Maps with Street View.”