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TempleOS, by the late Terry A. Davis

Ghost

Active Coder
Apr 19, 2019
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Terry A. Davis was an odd fellow. If not for his struggle with schizophrenia, then perhaps his comments about him being the best programmer to ever live were what made him peculiar. Of course, everyone aware of his work and videos knew that he had a tendency to be racist, and I'm sure that had something to do with him never being famous or hired by a big organization. Then again, he was convinced that Big Brother and the CIA were watching him, so maybe he would have turned down a big career in one of the richest companies. Regardless of his deteriorating mental health and racist remarks, the guy did actually build an operating system.
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As described online,
TempleOS (formerly J Operating System, SparrowOS and LoseThos) is a biblical-themed lightweight operating system designed to be the Third Temple prophesied in the Bible. It was created by American programmer Terry A. Davis, who developed it alone over the course of a decade after a series of episodes that he later described as a revelation from God.

he system was characterized as a modern x86-64 Commodore 64, using an interface similar to a mixture of DOS and Turbo C. Davis proclaimed that the system's features, such as its 640x480 resolution, 16-color display and single audio voice, were explicitly instructed to him by God. It was programmed with an original variation of C (named HolyC) in place of BASIC, and included an original flight simulator, compiler and kernel.

TempleOS was released in 2013 and last updated in 2017. It was received with largely favorable reviews in tech communities and Davis amassed a small online following. He died on August 11, 2018.
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I know it may look odd to some of you, but this is what operating systems were like back in the day. They weren't pretty, but they were some of the first computers available and they did a lot of magnificent things. Considering Terry was able to create a working flight simulator in TempleOS, I think it speaks for itself with its capabilities.

Have any of you ever heard of Terry or TempleOS? What do you think about it? Have any of you ever USED it?
 
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Dan-Kode

Guest
I have heard of TempleOS and Terry A. Davis.

When you first look at it, you think it's some really old Operating-System, buried away from the Modern-World only to be picked up by somebody. But when you look deeper into it, you find out it's just a Man who suffers from Schizophrenia and is following what God says to him. He's only following what God says to him and thus' TempleOS is developed and then released to the world.

It's quite a shame that Terry died last Year. I mean, you need to give respect to the Man as he created a Fully-Functional Operating-System, all by himself. That's quite impressive. In fact, almost as impressive as Linus Torvalds who created the Linux-Kernel and is now running the world's largest Open-Source Project.

One thing that I do like about the OS is how it looks like Windows 1.0 - 3.1. Although I never used those Versions of Windows, I have seen Images of them and thus' TempleOS reminds me of them. Although it may not have anything like Internet-Access on it, it's still quite impressive, especially as to how Terry poured so much work into an OS made by himself.

Now I myself, have never used TempleOS and I don't plan to anytime soon. It does look interesting though. I mean, who knows. Maybe I'll come back to it in like a decade and then boot it up in a VM.

But whatever the case may be, Terry's Legacy lives on in his own Operating-System.
 
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Ghost

Active Coder
Apr 19, 2019
407
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If you've got some spare time and want to learn more about Terry and TempleOS I can recommend this video.
It's about an hour long, but imo really interesting.

Great doc, I watched it a couple months ago when I was learning about him. There's a lot of info out there. He'll probably be mentioned online for a while
 
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Dan-Kode

Guest
Great doc, I watched it a couple months ago when I was learning about him. There's a lot of info out there. He'll probably be mentioned online for a while
I've watched the Documentary too. It was quite interesting learning about Terry and his OS that he made by himself.

But of course, Terry will stopped being mentioned soon. Just like all famous people, their fame dies out and you never hear anything about them again.

But yeah, Terry will continue to be mentioned for the next couple of years. And once he is forgotten, people like me and you may reference him to people who have never heard of him and then they go onto learn about the man too.
 

Mathematical

Coder
Mar 30, 2020
144
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So, earlier this morning, I decided to re-watch the documentary about him by the guy who produces the Down The Rabbit Hole series(Fredrick Knudsen I think it was). Although this time, I actually sat through the whole thing rather than watch the first ten minutes of it, and then skip through to the very end. I watched an entire one-hour and twenty-five minutes long documentary for the first time on YouTube. I listened and watched very closely to what was being said about Terry, what went on before he began TempleOS, and even about his first appearance online on Reddit, advertising the OS.

The more I watched, the more I was both shocked and saddened, by a schizophrenic. Terry definitely had a rough life(Not in the sense of his childhood but rather later on). First thing you know, he's working for TicketMaster with a master's degree in electrical-engineering, then he starts experiencing manic-episodes, and is traveling between states, getting arrested, and even being wound up in mental-asylums. I could never imagine how much he was struggling at this time. Although, thankfully enough, he's living with his parents again. But, I don't think they wanted him back, especially if he's schizophrenic.

Terry either way, was bright in a sort of gifted sense. He built his own operating-system, but not just an operating-system. He built a compiler which compiled his own version of C, he built his own kernel in which the OS would run on, and he even built games for users to play, and sounds so people could hear the music that was embedded in the OS.

The thing is though, his suffering of schizophrenia, made him a target of harassment online. Which is a shame. In the early days of his online presence, people mocked him for being overwhelmingly religious, mocked his work due to it looking outdated, mocked him for constantly advertising, fought back at his rude statements, and even questioned him as to why he didn't use the tools and libraries being built by the GNU Project(Although in my opinion, it would be fair to question on this).

Then his state diminished over time. He constantly swore, used racist language, believed that some random girl online was his wife, and even believed the CIA was after him. Then he lost all of his social-media accounts, thus' resorting to streaming and blogging on the TempleOS website. Soon, the relationship between him and his parents worsened, and completely shattered. He ended up being arrested due to domestic-violence against his father and was due to land-up in court. Of course, he didn't show up, and then police were looking for him - They found him urinating in his car, thus' arresting him again, and setting another court-date. Then sites like GoFundMe and 8Chan got involved, funding a drum-set for him, and 8Chan even paid a bail to get him out. This now brings us to the part, where everything turns around.

Terry is now out on the streets, yet he is somehow still online(I assume he is using some public Wi-Fi network). He still continues to stream and blog, but later on this stops. People go onto the streets to find him and interview him, all going well. Either way, he is still the crazy, rude schizophrenic that we all know, albeit with more hair this time, and now living in his car. Now at the end, as he was going on a travel across several U.S. states, he ends up being knocked down by a train. So, TempleOS doesn't receive updates anymore, neither by anyone else or Terry, as he's no longer with us. And for the Internet, they definitely somehow had a change of heart. First they were really toxic towards the guy, then they feel bad for him as they learn that he's mentally-unstable.

Either way, I'm sure Terry was proud of the work that he done. But as we all know, whatever mark you leave on the world, stays there(Unless it's taken down for whatever reason). Due to everything being online, the TempleOS domain will expire at some point, but copies of it will always float around, archives of the streams will still be up for viewing, and discussions surrounding Terry and his OS, will also stay(Unless the sites discussing him go defunct).
 
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