If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.

Back in 1995 I bought this rather expensive, and ambitious book simply called: Developing Your Own 32-Bit Operating

And while it is a LONG read, it really is the embodiment of Apple pie from scratch. Rather than rely on open and available tools, the author Richard Burgess instead goes on to write his own assembler, compiler, and then onward to a simple message passing RTOS.

No doubt the price he paid for eschewing popular GNU tools, and having a non BSD/GPL license for the time is that it was quickly relegated to history as the inevitable rise of Linux took place.

Recently while reading a comment about PC-MOS/386 v5.01 final, I came back to MMURTL, which is now in the public domain.

For those wishing to look, not only is the source code and a few patches available on the site ipdatacorp.com, but so is a PDF of the 1st edition of the book.

While MMURTL may not have caught on in the marketplace of ideas, it’s still astounding to look at the volume of work produced, that even though open source tools and starting points were available (The book easily could have been using CMU Mach 3.0) instead it’s all written from scratch by a single person.

TheGrue is doing further work doucmented on the BBS, along with work on github.

4 thoughts on “If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.

  1. Amazing – that book must be on my shelf somewhere, too. I never managed to work through it, coming from a 68k and Unix background the PC architecture (and, probably, the structure of MMURTL) was simply too strange.

    Back then in the 90’s, Comer’s original Xinu book (the PDP11 edition) seemed much more accessible to me and I still love to use parts of it in my OS courses.

    But it’s great to see that the MMURTL book and code are now freely available, maybe it’s time to check it out again…

    • Part of me wants to convert as much as possible to GCC & GAS, although I really should be messing more with the NE2k and Mach along with trying to find and fix more of libc to have a real standalone 4.3BSD on i386……..

    • In case anyone is interested in trying MMURTL, I added a couple bootable floppy .img files in the images directory on the repo.

      mmurtl.img – Boots to PC-MOS/386 then use mmloader.exe to launch
      or use mmlaunch.bat from the root of the drive.
      mmurtlsa.img – Standalone MMURTL bootable floppy. Custom boot
      loader launches MMURTL natively.

      If you run it in VirtualBox, be sure to use IDE disks. If you set it up as a DOS VM, it should be ok.

      If you run it on bare metal, be sure to have your disk(s) configured for legacy IDE compatibility. MMURTL doesn’t currently support SATA, so you will need to emulate IDE or it will complain it can’t find anything after you boot it up.

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