SymbOS - Z80 based, Windows alike OS

This is kinda OT but most of you will love this as much as me, I’m sure.

I was very impressed by this demo of SymbOS running on the Spectrum Next. SymbOS looks like an 8 bit version of Windows 95 and it can also be run on other Z80 platforms like the Amstrad CPC and the MSX.

In this video they open and run several SymbOS apps and games simutaneously including, most aptly for this forum, a Matrix video and the Next shows no signs of struggling to run them all at full speed, side by side multitasking.

Unlike Windows 95, it loads instantly. I’d much prefer to run this over Windows 95. I’m tempted to buy a Next or one of its clones just to run SymbOS.


Is it possible to create a posix compatible os for zx next like TOS on atari st ?

If you have at least a 68030 CPU, 4MB RAM (of which 2MB can be ST-RAM) and a SCSI or IDE disk you can run NetBSD on Atari, which had a new release quite recently.

yes, but unfortunately never had atari, only amiga 1200+68030 and 128kb zx spectrum with tr-dos 5.03, but unix lke os on modern Spectrum sounds very exciting.

If you want to run POSIX (no X, Wayland etc) on minimal hardware there is nuttx although I’ve not tried it myself, it claims to run POSIX on microcontrollers with kilobytes of RAM.

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Thanks, port of Fuzix is also possible in this case.

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I wonder if we can port Fuzix to the Uzebox, Mr Cox?

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it sounds like


I’d not heard of duskos before but I like the sound of it. Thanks for the link!

The video demo of symbos on a CPC trex blew me away years ago. I have a CPC6128 with symbos and various hardware expansions. The 6128 was my first computer and I am still very fond of it!

Since we’re off topic already, if you like to see the extremes of what a 4MHz Z80 can do, the batman forever demo for the amstrad CPC is worth watching, and worth loading up if you have a CPC!

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I was so impressed by SymbOS I’ve ordered a xberry pi Spectrum Next clone so that I can test it properly. I’ve wanted an FPGA for a while.

I’m going to have a go at porting my Uzebox game to the Next. I’ll be using C, not NextBASIC.

Do we have any Spectrum Next (or its clones) owners on this forum?

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Yes, I have an XBerry Pi in fact - it’s a good board. I had a little issue with the micro USB power connector popping off the board, but I might have been too forceful plugging it in. I had to solder wires from the PSU to a couple of pads to remedy… works fine though.

I haven’t tried SymbOS, as I mainly treat it as an FPGA spectrum to play 48/128 games. I also boot into the BBC Micro core for some BBC gaming as well.


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Hopefully I won’t have the same issue as you with the USB connector.

I’m interested in trying the BeebFPGA core to try out its SID support. I realse the turbo sound, triple AY is “more Spectrum” but I wish the Next had gone with a SID for sound, as was the plan originally.

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