|ProDOS "Golden Master" Code
Listing, signed and dated by
The offering includes:
• ProDOS "Golden Master" Code Listing - signed and dated by the author James Richard [Dick] Huston (Apple Employee #25)
• ProDOS "External Reference Specification", by Dick Huston - September 1981 - original internal Apple Engineering Documentation
• ProDOS "External Reference Specification", by Dick Huston - January 1982 - original internal Apple Engineering Documentation
• Book Draft: "ProDOS Technical Reference Manual" by Ernie Beernink - original Apple Documentation
Note: This offering is of Historical Artifacts. This is copyrighted material that, like any copyrighted book, does NOT convey any right for duplication or distribution. Not even the author has the right to reproduce them, only Apple (and that's not likely).
Size: 15" x 11" x 1" (listing); 8.5" x 11" x 0.75" (documents)
Shipping: UPS (Insured, Signature Required)
Apple II ProDOS, introduced in 1982, almost didn't ship. The project was cancelled just as it was finishing up and preparing for introduction. There was a great concern within Apple as to whether or not the introduction of ProDOS would cause confusion in the market place. After all, it offered the same file system capabilities as Apple III SOS - including direct support for hard drives, and enabled the porting of some of the most popular Apple III productivity software onto the Apple II. At the time, the Apple III was Apple's direct answer to IBM, and Apple II was targeted for education, home, and personal use. Wouldn't ProDOS muddle the differentiation? And with Lisa already shipping, and Macintosh on the way, shouldn't the Apple II be expected to reach its retirement age in a year or two? All very good concerns to consider!
Well, Lisa wasn't selling very well, the Apple III was barely turning a profit, and Macintosh was still more than a year away... and the Apple II was still rising in sales rates! A meeting of the Apple Board of Directors decided the matter. ProDOS would be offered, giving Apple II users a choice of operating systems and access to more professional software and hardware. The message was clear: product "turf" would be decided by the marketplace, not divided and protected for the various Apple divisions. This allowed Macintosh to undermine Lisa's market, the Apple II line to extend to the Apple IIGS (which competed with low end Macintoshes), and later on the iBook to be offered when the PowerBook dominated. The long term benefit has been a healthy Apple Incorporated!
By the way - if you are curious about what the author of ProDOS looked like, see "Beneath Apple ProDOS" by Don Worth and Pieter Lechner. Dick's Portrait, with the title "Founding Father, can be seen on page 2-6 (thanks Don, Pieter, and George!).
Offered here is an original "Golden Master" code listing - a part of the documentation release for ProDOS version 1.0. The listing is signed and dated by the author on the first (title) page of the listing. ProDOS was written entirely in assembly language by a single author... maybe the only commercially offered personal computer file system so created. It was almost certainly the last.
Click Photos for 1600x1200 images
This text is taken from the Huston brothers' eBay