OASIS operating system

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OASIS operating system
Developer Phase One Systems
Initial release 1977
Available in English
Platforms Z80

The OASIS operating system (renamed THEOS in about 1983) was originally developed and distributed in 1977 by Phase One Systems of Oakland, California (President Howard Sidorsky). OASIS was developed for the Z80 processor and was the first multi-user operating system for 8-bit microprocessor based computers (Z-80 from Zilog). "OASIS" was a backronym for "Online Application System Interactive Software".

OASIS consisted of a multi-user operating system, a powerful Business Basic/Interpreter, C compiler and a powerful text editor. Timothy Williams developed OASIS and was employed at Phase One. The market asked for 16-bit systems but there was no real 16-bit multi-user OS for 16-bit systems. Every month Phase One announced OASIS-16 but it did not come. One day Timothy Williams claimed that he owned OASIS and started a courtcase against Phase One and claimed several million U.S. dollars. Sidorsky had no choice and claimed Chapter 11. The court case took two years and finally the ruling was that Timothy Williams was allowed to develop the 16-bit version of OASIS but he was not allowed to use the OASIS name anymore.

As an alternate to the above paragraph, this is the way the history was presented by David Shirley at the Computer Information Centre, OASIS distributor for the UK in the early 1980s: Timothy Williams developed the OASIS operating system and contracted with Phase One Systems to market and sell the product. Development of the 16-bit product was under way but the product was pre-announced by POS, leading to pressure to release it early when it was not properly debugged or optimised. (OASIS 8-bit was quite well optimised by that point, with many parts hand-coded in Z80 assembler, which meant that most early then-new 16-bit systems performed nowhere near as well as their 8-bit counterparts). This situation led to Williams becoming dissatisfied with the Phase One company at the time, and forming his own company to market and support the product. The company was initially called Oasis Technologies, until Phase One took action to protect the name which they considered to be theirs, so rather than fight a long and expensive court battle, the company and product was renamed "THEOS".

Williams created a new company and product name: "THEOS" meaning "the OS" in the sense of "the one" ("Theos" is Greek for "God"). While Williams and Sidorsky where fighting in the court the manufacturers had no 16-bit multi-user OS. That led to the agreement between Microsoft and Altos to make a commercial usable version of the only academically available os UNIX 7 from Bell Labs, which they called Xenix.[dubious ] It was a joint development and the Altos version would be AMEX (Altos multiuser executive). Microsoft would distribute the product via Santa Cruz Operation. Seiko also lost patience with Williams and decided to make their own OASIS 16-bit version and hired Dr. Jeffrey Bahr. When Xenix and THEOS became available Seiko did decide to leave this market. Jeffrey Bahr started CET which went on with the development of the 16-bit OASIS compatible software. CET software was complete compatible with OASIS/THEOS and allowed these users to go into the Unix and Microsoft world.

Cet acquired the Phase one company. Also, Phase One Systems licenses a porting tool called CET Basic. CET Basic is compatible with THEOS BASIC, MultiUser BASIC, OASIS BASIC, and UX-BASIC. This means you can keep most of your existing source code, and using W/32 BASIC, recompile your THEOS, OASIS, or UX-BASIC programs to work under additional operating systems such as Microsoft Windows, Linux or SCO UNIX.

THEOS operating systems have been distributed by THEOS Software Corporation in Walnut Creek, California, since 1983. As of 2003, Phase One Systems publishes software development tools for THEOS(R) systems.

As well as porting tools, Phase One Systems distributed the Freedom query package and Control database package for THEOS systems, used to bring SQL-like data extraction tools to third-party software packages.

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