ProDOS #23
ProDOS 8 Changes and Minutia

Revised by Matt Deatherage (May 1992)
Written by Matt Deatherage (July 1989)

This Technical Note documents the change history of ProDOS 8 through V2.0.1, and it supersedes the information on this topic in the ProDOS 8 Technical Reference Manual and the ProDOS 8 Update.

Changes since September 1990: Updated to include ProDOS 8 version 2.0.1 and its known bugs. Replaced APDA references with Resource Central.

Changes? You're Kidding.

No. One of the side effects of evolving technology is that eventually little things (like the disk operating system) have to change to support the new technologies. Every time Apple changes ProDOS 8, the manuals can't be reprinted. For one thing, it takes a long time to turn out a manual, by which time there's often a new version done which the new manual doesn't cover. For another thing, programmers and developers don't tend to purchase revised manuals (our informal research shows that more people have up-to-date Apple /// RPS documentation than have up-to-date Apple IIc documentation -- and this was done before the Apple IIc Plus was released...).

So this Note explains what has changed between ProDOS 8 V1.0 and the current release, V2.0.1, which began shipping with Apple IIgs System Software 6.0. Table 1 shows what versions of ProDOS 8 existing documentation covers.

      Document                                           Number
      ProDOS 8 Technical Reference Manual                1.1.1
      ProDOS 8 Update                                    1.4
      AppleShare Programmer's Guide to the Apple IIgs    1.5
                   Table 1 - ProDOS 8 Documentation

ProDOS 1.0

This was the first release of ProDOS, which was so unique it didn't even have to be called ProDOS 8 to distinguish it from ProDOS 16. If you have documentation that predates ProDOS 1.0, you should seek professional help from Resource Central at the address listed in Technical Note #0.

ProDOS 1.0.1

ProDOS 1.0.2

ProDOS 1.1

ProDOS 1.1.1

ProDOS 8 1.2

ProDOS 8 1.3

Warning: This is not a stable version of ProDOS due to an illegal 65C02 instruction which was added. This version can damage disks if used with a 6502 processor.

ProDOS 8 1.4

Warning: The AppleTalk command, which was added in version 1.5, is present as a skeleton in this version. Unfortunately, it's not a useful skeleton. It moves a section of memory from a ProDOS location to another location and transfers control, totally oblivious of the fact that there is no code at this address.
Even more unfortunate, the server software that ships with the Apple IIe Workstation Card is such that when the IIe is booted over the network with that server software, it is version 1.4 (KVERSION = 4).
So if you boot version 1.4 from a local disk, making a $42 call is fatal. See ProDOS 8 Technical Note #21, Identifying ProDOS Devices, for a reliable way to identify AppleTalk volumes under ProDOS 8 version 1.4.

ProDOS 8 1.5

ProDOS 8 1.6

ProDOS 8 1.7

ProDOS 8 1.8

ProDOS 8 1.9

ProDOS 8 V2.0.1

Known ProDOS 8 V2.0.1 Bugs

Caution: ProDOS 8's remapping of SmartPort devices may interfere with intelligent SmartPort peripherals that were already doing their own remapping. ProDOS 8 remaps additional SmartPort devices, even if the SmartPort firmware already did this on its own, and this can cause problems. We never said this would work, but we never said it wouldn't -- ProDOS 8 has no way to determine what remapping has already been done. If you make such a card and your customers have problems, tell them to disable your SmartPort remapping and let ProDOS 8 do it all.

Further Reference

This and all of the other Apple II Technical Notes have been converted to HTML by Aaron Heiss as a public service to the Apple II community, with permission by Apple Computer, Inc. Any and all trademarks, registered and otherwise, are properties of their owners.