TempleOS is a computer operating system written by programmer Terry A. Davis. As his inspiration, Davis has cited the simplicity of Commodore 64 and the wish grant access to all of computer’s resources to the user and programs they write, as well as messages from the God.
Astoundingly, TempleOS is a true one man effort. It includes only software written by its creator himself, starting from original programming language called HolyC and interpreter for it. Technically, it is functional in its specified scope, referred by the creator as recreational programming, which evidently means that the user is expected to create his own games for the system.
A characteristic feature is a built-in way of requesting random words or biblical passages. While technically these are selected by a random number generator, Davis claims these are a way to communicate with the God.
TempleOs’ hardware support shortcomings, most notably completely lacking networking and having only a single graphics mode of 640×480 screen pixels and 16 colors, are variously explained by Davis as either unneeded for his recreational programming concept; left out due to lack of developer resources for this one man project; or as religious limitations dictated directly by God.
The simplest way to run TempleOS is to run it on a virtual machine where the required hardware can be emulated. The copy in the Museum of Paranormal Technology runs on physical hardware salvaged from discard pile of Koelse member’s workplace. Hardware is suitable enough to boot the system from cd-rom. However, this far attempts to install it on hard disk or to get sound working have this far been unsuccessful.
While TempleOS user interface differs significantly from current mainstream operating systems, it is actually quite intuitive, including a built-in help system, windowing and multiple keyboard shortcuts. The best way to use it is to boot up the computer and freely interact with the system. As the systems is started from a cd rom, there is no possibility corrupting the install in any way. Main points of interest are the God communication features not included in any other operating system and the example games. For a lengthier session, it is well worth trying to create a simple game or modify some existing one.