BOS/F and BOS/D were operating systems installed on the OKITAC System 9, an office computer developed and announced in 1976. BOS was short for “business oriented system,” and the D version was a hard-disk-based operating system and the F version was the floppy-disk-based version. BOS/D was supplied on higher end models and BOS/F on lower end models.
The operating systems had the following features.
- High level languages — COBOL (ANSI-74 version) and BPL, a simple programming language, could be used with BOS/F and BOS/D.
- Multifunctional — BOS/D came with functions for multi-job and multitasking processing, and it could process online jobs and batch jobs in parallel.
- Utilities — A rich assortment of utility programs were provided, including sorting and merging utilities, file and volume management utilities, and debugging utilities.
- Communication controls — The operating systems came with Basic Telecommunication Access Method (BTAM), Message Telecommunication Access Method (MTAM), and other communication access methods, which simplified creating application programs.
- Generation — The most appropriate system was generated and provided in accordance with the user’s application.
- Packages — Routine core processes — such as data checks, media conversions, report generation, table indexing, file updates, and file storage — were supplied in the basic package so that less coding was needed to write user programs.
BPL came with the flexibility to quickly create many kinds of programs for batch jobs, real-time jobs, online processes, and inline processes while maintaining the simplicity to create programs with just six preformatted description pages for file specifications, data specifications, output specifications, line control specifications, process specifications, and interaction specifications.
Systems could be constructed quickly and cheaply because the operating systems came with business process packages for sales and inventory management, payroll calculations, and accounting.
Oki released the pen-touch series of OKITAC System 9 machines in 1979. For these machines, BOS/F and BOS/D supported panel displays and CRT displays and, along with JIS-format keyboards, supported a pen-touch keyboard, where entries were made simply by touching with a pen the corresponding item written in a book. This functionality allowed for richer peripheral devices and improved operability.
Oki released a kanji-character series of office computers in 1980. In this version, BOS/F and BOS/D contained all 2,965 Level 1 JIS characters and all 3,384 Level 2 JIS characters. They also supported a printer capable of fast 60 character/minute printing speeds as well as a display that rendered sharp-looking 24 x 24 dot Mincho characters. Data with kanji characters could be entered by selecting with a pen the character from a keyboard character book. And because BPL, the standard programming language, included kanji-character processing in its data definitions and instructions, applications could be developed without making any special considerations for kanji characters.