Re: Microsoft and Xenix.

From: Rob Landley (
Date: Sun Jun 24 2001 - 09:44:06 EST

On Saturday 23 June 2001 23:07, Mike Castle wrote:
> On Sat, Jun 23, 2001 at 09:41:29PM -0500, wrote:
> > Ah, yes, the RT/PC. That brings back some fond memories. My first
> > exposure to Unix was with AIX on the RT. I still have some of those
> > weird-sized RT AIX manuals around somewhere...
> We always ran AOS on RT's. Actually, the server was the only RT, the rest
> were some other model that was basically a PS/2 (286) that booted DOS, then
> booted the other same chip that the RT used that was on a daughter card.
> AOS was basically IBM's version of BSD. Academic Operating System.

Now if somebody here could just point me to a decent reference on A/UX -
Apple's mid-80's version of Unix (for the early macintosh, I believe...)

A big thing I'm trying to show in my book is that Unix has been, for almost
thirty years, the standard against which everything else was compared. Even
when it wasn't what people were directly using it's what the techies were
thinking about when they designed their other stuff. (That and the Xerox
Parc work...)

Let's see, the real earthquakes in the computing world (off the top of my
head) are:

MIT: project whirlwind (which got computing off of vacuum tubes, spawned DEC,
and Minsky's hacker lab. Gurus too numerous to mention.)

Bell Labs: (the transistor, and 20 years later Unix. Gurus ken thompson,
dennis ritchie, the three transistor guys, ).

DARPA: (Arpanet (BBN), funded project MAC at MIT, and Multics which brought
the MIT stuff to bell labs.)

Xerox Parc (WIMP interface, WYSIWYG word processing/printing/desktop
publishing, object oriented programming,

The integrated circuit/microchip (Texas Instruments' manufacturing
innovation, which led to the Intel 4004, which eventually led to the Altair,
which led to the personal computer. Moore's Law would probably be the theme

The whole free software thing (Berkeley in the 70's to early 80's, Stallman
and the FSF taking over from there. And Andrew Tanenbaum's Minix, which
spawned Linux...)

Huh, I'd have to mention IBM (forget the PC, how about the winchester
drive?), and of course the AT&T breakup (a negative earthquake, but big
anyway, sort of leading to the commercialization of the software side of
things, although Gates was trying that already. AT&T just removed a lot of
the roadblocks by shattering the opposition for a while.)

Alright, I need to sit down and make an outline and a timeline. I admit
this... (Collecting the data is the easy part. ORGANIZING this fermenting
heap of disconnected facts and observations is the hard part...)

> mrc


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