The NitrOS-9 "Ease of Use" (EOU) project is a project for the NitrOS-9 operating system, for the Tandy Color Computer 3 (or emulators). It is being written by L. Curtis Boyle and Bill Nobel, two of the original authors of NitrOS-9 from back when it was a commercial product in the early 1990's. In order to pursue the "Ease of Use" mantra - we are requiring 512K. The Alpha's and Beta's will require one of: a real Coco 3, the VCC emulator, or MAME with the Coco 3 ROM's installed. Once we get the everything stable, and mostly feature complete, we will start officially adding some further hardware support (though feel free to try adding extra drivers, etc. on your own, if you are comfortable doing so). The goal of EOU is to be two things:
1) "Plug and Play" (although at it's current stage of development, it is still a long way off from that), and
2) Improvements to NitrOS-9 and it's programs itself. These will be rolled back into the official NitrOS-9 Project repository once each module is done (a few smaller bits have already been submitted back).
This will also serve as a "historical" repository of the releases, so that if bugs are found much later, people using NitrOS-9 can help us track bugs down by testing them on earlier versions, so that we can figure out where the bug got introduced.
Below are the releases currently available - you should usually use the latest version only (and for the appropriate CPU!), unless you are bug hunting. The most recent release is listed first:
Beta 2/6309 (released November 30, 2018).
Beta 2/6809 (released November 30, 2018). Beta 2 included some fixing of the organization of source code directories (including adding some BASIC-09 test/demo programs to show the transparency option on hardware text screens, and Get/Put buffers on hardware text screens); updated SHELL, IDENT, DATE and UNLINK (IDENT fixes a bug where it would not work on files with dashes in their filenames); added the FILES command; a major bug fix by Bill Nobel that finally fixes the system loading GRFDRV when GRFDRV is greater than 8K (so the 6809 release now is on par with the 6309 with the full set of matching descriptors). The first major update/rewrite of the GRFDRV for the 6809 is also fully underway, with improved speed for: Get/Put buffer loads, PutBlk (both graphics and text screens, and overlay windows), full width screen scrolling, and some improvement on rendering text on graphics screens in 4 or 16 color modes. There will be more such speedups in Beta 3, including at least one small speedup planned for the 6309 version.
Beta 1/6309 (released September 1, 2018).
Beta 1/6309 (released September 1, 2018). Beta 1 was the first wide public release (the Alpha's were by application/invite only). It included some minor optimizations to BASIC-09 / RUNB, the GUI program (GShell has several changes (added the Dump option to the Files menu, sped up the display of STAT and DUMP options in the File menu, auto-RAM recognition up to 2 MB of RAM, reduced the number of Get/Put buffers GSHELL requires by 3, allow you to launch some RUNB programs directly from the program (rather than an AIF file), and a few other minor tweaks; added documentation and source code for PAC-OS9, added the games Bombs Away!, ChessMV and Tetris, added some more docs in the DOCS directory, and added the new GFX2 (edition 4) library for BASIC-09 programmers, which includes support for high-level menu handling, playing tones, mouse/menu handling support, and supporting the NitrOS-9 added Filled Circle and Filled Ellipse commands; adding a SOUNDS directory with sound files in various formats for you to play with (including a late addition of the entire Coco Talk theme song, which you can play in it's entirety if your Coco 3 or emulator supports 2 MB of RAM.
Alpha 3/6309 (released April 15, 2018).
Alpha 3/6809 (released April 15, 2018). Alpha 3 was more of a bug fix release, with several modules replaced with newer verisons. It also added the Snakebyte game, and the Towel file utility. It also included a revised Rogue game, that allows using the graphical Rogue font on any sized window, rather than just full screen windows.
Alpha 2/6309 (released January 12, 2018).
Alpha 2/6809 (released January 12, 2018). Alpha 2 was the first release to add an official 6809 version. It updated some icons and a font in the GUI, add "english" error messages, added the games Zone Runner and Rogue, the GUIB 3.0 and 3D Maze demo programs, and added more documentation (and more to the HELP program).
Alpha 1/6309 ONLY (released November 11, 2017). The first Alpha is 6309 only, and with the GUI Multi-Vue (GShell) pre-installed with some software ready to go. This was a "proof of concept" release.
--L. Curtis Boyle--