Co-designed by the University of Waterloo, this machine was a programmer's heaven. It actually includes two CPU's: the CMOS 6502 that is in the other PET machines and also the Motorola 6809 (a precursor to the 68000 processor found in the Macintosh and Amiga).
In the 6809 mode, the SuperPET could run software from the Waterloo University including:
The two board SuperPET was later replaced by an one board model with the same functionality.
A company in the US called Microware developed a highly portable multitasking operating system for the 6809 processor called OS9. It did not only everything what you expected from an UNIX system but it had additional features.
The program modules consist of a Header section with all the information for the program followed by the program itself and/or any data. The beauty of this setup is that if a module had to be changed you could make a new version of that module and store that in the working space. You could enable that new module and disable or delete the old module on the fly. No need to reboot the computer.
To make it possible to run OS9 on the SuperPET, Avy Moise and Gerald Gold of the York University in Toronto developed an add on board. This OS9 board was installed in Toronto on several
one board SuperPET's and
on one two board (older model) SuperPET, which happens to be the one here in the Personal Computer Musuem, installed by John Bos.
Many kits were shipped out and sold all over North America and most of them worked very well on the single board SuperPET.
The SuperPET we have is unique in that it was the first SuperPET converted that worked in the world. It also has an added speaker and a reset button.
In space NASA also used OS9 on the ill-fated Space Shuttle Challenger. Several programs were available for OS9 or you could make and run your own.
When Motorola introduced the 68000 processor, Microware brought out a version of OS9 for it.