So over on Modular Circuits, Andras had posted a promising ‘UNICOS Update‘ which had detailed that 2 CD-ROM’s of Unicos had surfaced on archive.org cray-cd1 & cray-cd2. Along with posting the updated source to github, so I had no choice to replicate the experiment!
First the install is INSANELY slow. It requires you to setup a Linux (or unix) machine with rsh. Surprisingly there is a rsh-server package for Ubuntu 22.04. Basically it boils down to following the instructions. Although with WSLv2 I ended up making the bridge manually with:
brctl addbr craybr ip tuntap add mode tap tap1 ifconfig tap1 up brctl addif craybr tap1 ifconfig craybr 172.16.0.1 netmask 255.255.255.0
It’s coded in the example configs to use tap1, but there you go. It’s a pretty straightfoward install but the decompression on the cray side takes the installation hours. As an experiment I changed the commands from rcp to remsh to gzip -dc the files locally on my PC, which had the benefit of of being much faster, and not taking up space.
I went ahead and uploaded both of my installs for anyone wanting to play OS tourist enough to check out UNICOS but not wanting to sit through the install.
The C compiler is.. ancient. and very touchy. You’ll need to add /usr/gen/bin to the path, and explicitly add the path for the linker like this:
/usr/gen/bin/cc zap.c -L/usr/gen/lib
Although the breakage is.. pretty epic. I had pretty much no luck bringing over any of my favorites. There should be a much better / modernish C compiler and Fortran compiler, although I’m not sure if it’s on these CD-ROM’s or I’m just massively ignorant of UNICOS, because I never got a chance to be anywhere near a legit supercomputer.
(This is a guest post by Antoni Sawicki aka Tenox)
Project Monterey was an attempt to unify the fragmented Unix market of the 90s in to a single, cross vendor Unix OS that would run on the upcoming Intel Itanium (and others) CPU. The main collaborators were: IBM, who brought its AIX, SCO brought UnixWare, HP was supposed to bring parts of HP-UX and SequentDYNIX/ptx. Ironically the project shared fate of the Itanium CPUâ€”it totally failed. In the end Linux took spot of the â€œsingle Unix OSâ€. IBM donated AIX pieces to Linux instead and the main legacy of Project Monterey was the famous SCO vs IBM lawsuit.
IBM did however produce AIX version for the Itanium architecture! According to Wikipedia, some 30+ licenses were sold in 2001-2002. For years a dedicated group of individuals was trying to locate a copy of the legendary OS. It seemed that the OS was lost foreverâ€¦
…until some 21 years later friends of NCommander checked in with a set of AIX5L IA64 CDROMS! The CDs have now been dumped and you can download them here. Unfortunately downloading will not get you much closer to actually running this. As of today no publicly available virtualization or emulation platform can boot this. Yes we tried Simics, looked at QEMU IA64 and XEN/KVM for IA64, etc. The OS will not boot on modern Itanium 2 (McKinley) CPUs, only the early â€œpre-releaseâ€ Itanium 1 aka Merced. The only emulator allegedly capable of doing so was the super elusive unobtanium called Intel SoftSDV.
Itâ€™s currently speculated that AIX5L IA64 will work on and only on so called â€œIntel Software Development Vehicle (SDV)â€ sometimes referred to as â€œIntel Engineering Sampleâ€. It was an Intel made machine, later sold in several OEM branded version: IBM IntelliStation Z Pro 6894, HP i2000 Workstation, SGI 750, Dell Precision Workstation 730 and Fujitsu-Siemens Celsius 880.
â€¦yes, they all look alike because all of them were in fact produced by Intel with custom case badges and paints.
Luckily I was able to score a working HP i2000. AIX booted up and installed on a first try:
Initially I was not able to get the onboard NIC working. Upon short investigation AIX5L IA64 supports only two network cards:
Luckily again I was able to find a working NIC on eBay!
The system comes with X11 and CDE but so far I was not able to get any GPU working beyond basic text mode. I tried many different video cards from that era but there simply doesn’t appear to be any driver in the OS except for basic VGA / LFT. I think the key to getting video working is the previously mentioned extended hardware drivers cd.
Finally, if you want to read more I have found some interesting pieces on ibmfiles and various mirrors here and here.
So this started out as a weird thing that killed a day for me. I thought it was a little fun to look at but, ultimately I proved that I could extract files, but not from the requested image.
So let’s get into some more details, my failure, and well it’s been raised into another chance for some luck/fast knowledgeable hacker to get a payout to extract a single file.
As mentioned above the computer is the Texas Instruments S1500, the disk image was dumped on bitsavers years ago as s1505_cp3540/s1505_cp3540.dd.gz. As you may guess it’s a raw ‘dd’ of a disk.
Now looking at a few sources namely unix-ag the OS in question is TI System V, an AT&T SVR3.2 derivate. Running strings does reveal ‘SysVr3TCPID’ And this appears to be the Unix Version Banner:
(c)Copyright 1993 Hewlett-Packard Company, All Rights Reserved.
(c)Copyright 1986-1992 Texas Instruments Incorporated, All Rights Reserved.
(c)Copyright 1984-1988 AT&T, All Rights Reserved.
(c)Copyright 1979, 1980, 1983, 1985-1990 The Regents of the Univ. of California
(c)Copyright 1980, 1984, 1986 Unix System Laboratories, Inc.
(c)Copyright 1990 Motorola, Inc.
(c)Copyright 1989-1990 The Santa Cruz Operation. All Rights Reserved.
RESTRICTED RIGHTS LEGEND
Use, duplication, or disclosure by the U.S. Government is subject to
restrictions as set forth in sub-paragraph (c)(1)(ii) of the Rights in
Technical Data and Computer Software clause in DFARS 252.227-7013.
3000 Hanover Street
Palo Alto, CA 94304 U.S.A.
Rights for non-DOD U.S. Government Departments and Agencies are as set
forth in FAR 52.227-19(c)(1,2).
Along with further extraneous info like:
TI Sys V
Hewlett-Packard 9000 Series 1500
Fantastic. Well digging around you’ll eventually find that SYSV filesystems have a magic number, and it’s 0xfd187320
So a simple search through the raw filesystem reveals some:
And this fits the bill, as the next 32bit ‘word’ is the version, in this case 2 to indicate 1024k blocks ,and improvement added to SYSVr2. One thing is that the struct to read a super block is 512bytes (or is it always?), and the magic number is near the end, so from the above offsets, subtract 496 (decimal!) and you can get the start and sizes of each filesystem. Fantastic!
Speaking of SYSVr2, Do you know what is another SYSVr2? A/UX.
Shoebill was panned for not emulating the full Macintosh, rather it reads the kernel directly from the filesystem, and boots into it. That means Shoebill can read UFS/SYSV. Great start?
So I took the filesystem code from Shoebill, hacked it enough to let me build on Visual Studio, and point it to a raw filesystem and take a look. I put it here: filesystem.c
Now I’m impatient so it still needs a legit Apple A/UX virtual disk. Granted we don’t need it, but it made it easier to let the existing code fiddle with apple partitions, but when it comes time to read SYSV blocks, I closed the file handle and swapped things around. And that lead to this:
As you can see there is a LOT of zeros. However the magic & type align.
Meanwhile here is what an A/UX SYSV filesystem looks like. Notice far less zeros.
Additionally I was able to get another 68k based SYSV Unix disk, and yeah not all zeros. Also yes, using the Shoebill code it extracted files just fine.
However using my approach on the filesytem I always only get a directory with 2 enteries the ‘. ..’. I modified the source to just count inodes and write them to disk. And use inode 2 is just a tiny file. No doubt with all the zeros the disk is either very corrupted (backup superblocks?! where?! how?!) or the kernel implicitly knows these things, or finds them somewhere else.
I’ve been authorized to give a bounty of $200 USD to be able to extract arbitrary files from the 1505 disk image. I thought I’d give it a shot, but I don’t get how the super block aligns but the data doesn’t. Unless there is some other insane padding thing for a 1k superblock? The more I think about it, it’s probably likely as I know at some point I was skipping 3 blocks from an offset to get to a superblock, and 3 is just a weird number. 1 block header, 2 block superblock makes more sense.
Additionally this table may prove useful, especially for the ‘skip 3’ or pad to 1k:
Tape and disk utility is in progress...
26 partitions, 12-longword descriptors:
Name Start Length User Comments
1 * LABL vl 0 2 FFFF
2 * PTBL pt 2 3 FFFF
3 SAVE sb 5 3 FFFF
4 FMT fp 8 9 FFFF
5 TZON tz 17 296 FFFF
6 * unx1 lb 313 1024 0002 TI Sys V 3.3.2
7 * unx1 lb 313 1024 000A TI Sys V 3.3.2
8 * unx1 lb 313 1024 0013 TI Sys V 3.3.2
9 * unx1 lb 313 1024 0014 TI Sys V 3.3.2
10 unx2 lb 1337 1024 0002 TI Sys V 3.3.2
11 unx2 lb 1337 1024 000A TI Sys V 3.3.2
12 unx2 lb 1337 1024 0013 TI Sys V 3.3.2
13 unx2 lb 1337 1024 0014 TI Sys V 3.3.2
14 unx3 lb 2361 1024 0002 TI Sys V 3.3.2
15 unx3 lb 2361 1024 000A TI Sys V 3.3.2
16 unx3 lb 2361 1024 0013 TI Sys V 3.3.2
17 unx3 lb 2361 1024 0014 TI Sys V 3.3.2
18 * cfg1 cb 3385 17 FFFF TI Sys V 3.3.2
19 cfg2 cb 3402 17 FFFF TI Sys V 3.3.2
20 cfg3 cb 3419 17 FFFF TI Sys V 3.3.2
21 * root fb 3436 12288 FC02 TI Sys V 3.3.2
22 usr fb 15724 32768 FC02 TI Sys V 3.3.2
23 jdis an 48492 2 FFFF multi-volume file system anchor
24 pipe fb 48494 1024 FC02 pipe file system partition
25 * swap pb 49518 32768 0002
26 prt1 fb 82286 448972 FC02 part of jdis multi-volume
Did you know there is almost nothing left to document that this poor machine even existed?
I’m being a bit unfair as far as Alpha’s go it’s rough to get going but wow it’s GREAT! For starters it’s a Quadra 800 so System 7.1 through 8.1 will work. Also this has full 68040 capabilities so yes that means MMU and YES A/UX (and NetBSD!) will run
As always you can find more on emaculation, the best source for news and info on emulating the Mac.
Many of my Shoebill/Cockatrice III images didn’t work at all. Some at least were picked up as blank disks. I had less luck with freshly created raw/vmdk or qcow2 disks. Not sure at all. My minimal 7 2gb disk worked fine as a donor, and even converting to a vmdk was fine. Sooo YMMV. But hey it’s an Alpha and YES IT CAN WORK.
Another plus is that the idle loop works fine so it won’t burn 100% of your CPU. This could possibly be a great gopher server!? Time will tell.
Despite Gould’s location being a few minutes drive from where I first arrived in America, I never had any idea they existed, were making their own exciting machines, or were even a Unix VAR. At a time during the Unix wars one was left to choose SYSV or BSD, but Gould had gone another direction with UTX with a ‘why not both’ approach. Truly an 80’s miracle of Unix.
Even better he’s included tape images, and working INI files which I was able to make into a working system! (after some help with a tape bug)
File is COFF format
-> section (.bss) size (177960) clearing at (0xcbc18)
-> section (.text) size (724800) loading at (0x1200)
-> section (.data) size (105176) loading at (0xb2140)
UTX/32 2.1B (exp) #0: Mon Apr 10 19:46:05 GMT 1989
V6 CPUIPU(P) configuration (IPU not present)
top of system = 0x400000
real mem = 8388608
End of kernel map 0x218464
avail memory = 7356416
using 256 buffers containing 262144 bytes of memory
using 256 mirror buffer headers
ioi: channel iop0 at 7e00 online
ioi: channel dc0 at 800 online
ioi: channel dc1 at c00 not present, dci cc=2
ioi: channel dc2 at 400 not present, dci cc=2
ioi: channel tc0 at 1000 online
ioi: channel en0 at e00 online
-- CHECK AND RESET THE DATE!
swapping on the b partition
dmmax 512 mbswap 3576
Checking root filesystem
Check commented out, uncomment once you have edited /etc/fstab!
Automatic reboot in progress...
Mon Aug 30 05:35:46 CDT 2021
/etc/fsck -p /dev/rdk0d
/etc/fsck -p /dev/rdk0e
/etc/fsck -p /dev/rdk0f
File systems OK
Mon Aug 30 05:36:06 CDT 2021
Mounting file systems
/dev/dk0d mounted on /usr.POWERNODE
/dev/dk0e mounted on /home
/dev/dk0f mounted on /usr/local
Starting line printer daemon
Starting standard daemons: update cron.
Adding swap partitions
Standard setup functions
Invoke local rc file
dumpdirectory: No such file or directory
Starting Syslog Daemon
Starting local daemons: inetd.
Starting NFS/RPC daemons: portmap sund.
Mounting NFS filesystems
Checking aliases file
Preserving editor files
Clearing /tmp - does not remove directories
Clearing pseudo terminals
Mon Aug 30 05:36:07 CDT 2021
GOULD UTX/32 2.1B (noname) (console)
It’s very BSD feeling on the boot and in the /usr directory there is 5bin 5lib
Sadly transferring stuff by just pasting on the console reveals that there is some IO issues in the simulator:
syncing disks... done
dumping to dev 101, offset 11776
ioi: channel dc0 at 800 online
As a matter of fact doing anything too fast can/will panic the simulator. That goes for Ethernet and additional serial ports.
Interesting highlights of the platform:
Produced by hard-params version 4.1, CWI, Amsterdam
Compiler does not claim to be ANSI C
Char = 8 bits, signed
Short=16 int=32 long=32 float=32 double=64 bits
Char pointers = 32 bits
Int pointers = 32 bits
Alignments used for char=1 short=2 int=4 long=4
Obvious issues with the platform is a lack of GCC. The PCC compiler while standard for early 80’s non PDP-11/VAX machines is a bit lacking as the years went on. I was unable to build gzip due to the following error:
cc -o gzip gzip.o zip.o deflate.o trees.o bits.o unzip.o inflate.o util.o crypt.o lzw.o unlzw.o unpack.o unlzh.o getopt.o
ld: warning: near subsegments too big for static base spanning
no base for reloc of memref instruction at .nbtext+0x18 relative to symbol _progname
1221 more 'no base ' errors
gmake: *** [gzip] Error 4
Sadly I don’t find much on Altavista other than this & this. It only offers this terse comment:
The constraints on address space on a Gould are quite severe.
Bummer. Additionally neither Hack 1.0/1.03 or PDP-11 Hack will build either. Surprisingly bash-1.14.7, make-3.75 and ircii-2.5 compiled. Obviously with no networking IRC is kind of pointless.
It’s an interesting time capsule of life outside of AT&T/CSRG or SUN, going in a different direction. It seems like a larger lost opportunity to take their ‘it runs both’ approach software and not have it available on different platforms. Granted for a hardware company once the software leaves the compelling reason to buy the hardware evaporates. Hello NeXT.
If anyone wants to try to re-create it, download and build the SEL32 emulator from github, and I put my vague instructions here.
Or for like minded OS tourists, you can give it a spin here: UTX32_2.1B.7z. I included a ‘9346-UTX-blank.disk’ file which is already prepared if you don’t want to go through the 15 questions to prep a disk. Likewise I made a ‘9346-UTX-biga-blank.disk’ image which is just a single large ‘a’ partition as it’s trivial to just add a bunch of big disks these days.
Full 32bit Unix machines from Ft Lauderdale! Who knew?
Again super thanks to shadyjesse for finding and fixing the larger issues, and philpem for his great emulator, freebee!
I have to say, having never played with an AT&T Unix PC, it’s kind neat with this windowing non X11 UI. Although even in emulation it’s incredibly slow. But such was the Unix microprocessor revolution of the era, it’s crazy to think the mighty SUN-2 is also on the same level of performance, although SUN would at least go the way of the 68020 before giving up on the 68k for SPARC.
Even though the 68000 lacked the ability to recover from bus faults, allowing a better path to UNIX with the 68010, OEM’s still brought their own MMU technology to flesh it out, leading to divergent systems. Not that it mattered all that much for AT&T as they started to establish themselves as the new defacto go to UNIX vendor they quickly abandoned the market leaving the Unix PC, and 3B2’s to die off. While so many like to think that the ‘Unix’ business is booming, it really only boomed once AT&T exited the market until Linux had started to gain enough mindshare post 1.0… Which also included 68000 support, although aimed for the the stronger 68030/68040’s.
Anyways I’m sure you didn’t come here for my ramblings about the 68000 instead you want an easy to run package to click and GO!
There are two executables, for normies, tourists, and people only wanting to witness the fun it doesn’t matter which one you use. For anyone wanting to install the 3B1 Unix, you’ll want “freebee-10sec-O2.exe”. Since the 3B1 uses a non standard format, if you want to use FAT 360kb disks from a PC emulator then you’ll need “freebee-9sec-O2.exe”. Isn’t compatibility great?
The Makefile is so nice it chains in c files from sub-directories to build, which unfortunately it doesn’t work so well with the latest Musashi. Like a bull charging into the China shop I just smashed together a build script, and got a working exe:
And it’s so nice to see it actually boot up.
Things like the C compiler still break, apparently the 6100 had an actual physical memory buffer for IPC? It’s all so confusing.
Not that mine is all that great but my crap fork is here:
Now for me, GCC 7 didn’t build the source cleanly. I had to make a change to the file config-host.mak and remove all references to -Werror. Also I removed the sound hooks, as we won’t need them. remove the following lines:
Now you can build Qemu. it’ll happily build in parallel so feel free to build using the -j parameter with how many cores you have. I have 32, so I use
Now telnet to your localhost on port 4441 and you will see the console doing it’s BIOS initialize and eventually drop to the OK prompt.
One trick I’ve found is that from the Open Firmware prompt you can find out what partitions are recognized from the firmware. If it see’s partitions then there is some hope that the image you have is valid enough to boot. In the last few days I’ve found quite a few AIX images, which are lacking the partition table, and unable to boot.
simply type in boot cdrom:2 to kick off the installer. It may take a minute or so for the installer to kick off.
If all goes well, you’ll see the BIOS reload itself, then after a minute you’ll be prompted to press 1 to select the console
It doesn’t echo, don’t panic!
Next select your language. I’m doing English.
Next it’ll ask about installation type. Default ought to be fine.
Because this will destroy the contents of the disk (which doesn’t matter as it’s blank) it’ll prompt for confirmation.
After this it’ll begin the installation. Depending on how fast your disk & CPU is this will take a while.
For me, the installation took about 11 minutes. This is using my Xeon E5-2667 v2. It took 17 minutes on my 2006 Mac Pro, with X5365’s it .
After it’s done, right around the 96% time it’ll reboot back to the BIOS
Once you are back at the OK prompt, you can now boot disk:
it’ll look like it’s hung for a minute, then it’ll start booting from disk!
Once the OS is booted up, you select the terminal type. I’m using putty but I’ll select the vt100. Of note the function keys are selected by hitting escape and then the number key. So F3 is ESC 3.
I’m just going to finish the install, as we can always run smitty to mess with the system more, but right now I’m just interested in a base install of the BOS (Base Operating System, and IBM ISM).
A few moments later, you’ll get dumped to the login prompt.
By default there is no password, so just login as root, and there you go, your very own virtual AIX 4.3 system.
# uname -a
AIX localhost 3 4 000000004C00
So there you go! All thanks to Artyom’s hard work!
So after nearly 8 years ago from messing around with UnixWare, I wanted to confirm something from a SYSV Unix that has a C compiler that isn’t GCC, and I remembered I have UnixWare 7.1.1 from a long time ago.Â Anyways I have long since lost the virtual machine I had installed onto, but I still have media and of course the more important licenses.
UnixWare licenses. the dread of fixing things 20+ years later
Yep it’s the real thing.Â So with my certs in hand I do an initial install in Qemu and on reboot the system basically has bricked itself.
WARNING: System is in an unreliable state.
And then looking at the licenses it turns out that my license has expired.Â What?
Somehow I got lucky before, but it turns out that the installation process for ancient UnixWare is NOT Y2K compliant!Â And this actually turned out to be a known issue.Â I can’t find the original article, but a mirror is here:Â ischo.net
So basically install using an eval license, which will of course expire on install, and then use your actual license after the installation, remove the eval, reboot and all will be well.
Although you can’t boot up in any real useful state, the networking will kick people off, and it’ll constantly complain that you are in license violation, you can at least bring up the SCO Admin tool, and add in your actual licenses, and then delete the evals.
And now we’re good!
Ok, now for the real fun part, flags and how to run with kvm/qemu.Â Since I was loading this onto a server for remote access something like this works fine for me as I’m using the VNC remote console.
So the key things are to restrict the CPU level, and I’ve deferred the network configuration so I can update network drivers, and the OS.Â I’ve found that by doing the networking during the install resulted in an OS that crashed with an integer divide by zero after installing the fixpack 5.
Once you have UnixWare 7.1.1 installed, be sure to installÂ Maintenance Pack 5, which is thankfully still online over at sco.comÂ I’d also recommend to do this in single user mode, you can enter single user mode by hitting a key during the boot logo and typing in:
And you’ll boot in single user mode, and can install the Maintenance pack with ease.Â Until the maintenance pack is installed, expect poor stability, and the system won’t actually listen to the real time clock device, and it’ll accelerate the clock like crazy where I was passing an hour every minute or two.
Adding the AMD PCnet on UnixWare
Once the install and update is done, I just added a PCI network card (So older versions of Qemu work well with the ne2k_isa, but newer work much better with the AMD PCNet card.), which is a popular choice for both machines and VM’s of the era.Â Although you can use SLiRP the built in NAT for Qemu/KVM alternatively you can also use tun/tap.Â I tried to enable SMP, however it has issues binding to the other processors, although it does see them.Â And this is better to give full access to the network stack for fun things like FTP, NFS and whatnot.
Oh yeah so I don’t forget years from now I’m using the following OS & Qemu version:
# qemu-system-x86_64 -version
QEMU emulator version 2.8.1(Debian 1:2.8+dfsg-6+deb9u3)
# cat /etc/issue
Debian GNU/Linux 9 \n \l
Also I found an eval serial for SMP, but it doesn’t recognize the second processor after the boot.
# psrinfo -v
Status of processor 0 as of 01/31/18 16:40:07
Processor has been on-line since 01/31/18 16:13:57.
The Pentium processor has a i387 floating point processor.
The following conditions exist:
Device drivers are bound to this processor.
I’ll try apparently this as for some reason it doesn’t detect the MP in Qemu/KVM so it never installed the osmp driver.
pkgadd -d cdrom1 osmp
Add the following line to the file /stand/boot:
AT&T 3B2 SYSTEM CONFIGURATION:
Memory size: 4 Megabytes
Device Name Subdevices Extended Subdevices
72 Megabyte Disk
This machine has to be set up by you. When you see the "login" message type
followed by the RETURN key. This will start a procedure that leads you through
those things that should be done the "first time" the machine is used.
The system is ready.
Back in the 1980’s AT&T shifted UNIX from being an internal research project that got somewhat popular in college spaces (and larger companies, General Motors was an early UNIX adapter, along with companies like Industrial Light and Magic).Â Quickly after the divestiture of 1984, AT&T entered the commercial space with it’s own custom machines & their home made UNIX operating system.Â Below is one of the ads they ran in 1984, touting their so called ‘super microcomputers’, featuring the 3B2, the 3B5, and the AT&T Personal Computer.
Thew new computers from AT&T
And indeed for many a government institute bewildered by the dozens of UNIX vendors, standards, and chaos of different platforms and processors many were all to happy to buy AT&T UNIX on AT&T machines.
And indeed this was my first experience with genuine SYSV Unix.
And I hated it.
Initially I had been thrown at an English computer lab because I knew how logon and do my work in style & diction, they decided I could help.Â The system was aging and had major problems, as some prior students had figured out enough of the link kit that they would put their own attempts at re-writing portions of the kernel into the system, and it’d break.Â Naturally the original installation diskettes were lost, and the best that could be done was basically shut it down throughout the day and run the disk repair utilities.Â It was not a fun job.
Later on the 3B2’s were thrown into the ‘common garbage’ aka free kit for other departments, and the 3B2’s re-appeared at the next place I was volunteering at on campus.Â However in addition to the two machines, there was a few other boxes of manuals, and oddly enough the installation diskettes.Â And also about a dozen of these AT&T ISA Starlan adapters.Â These weren’t the ones that were basically Ethernet (Starlan10) but rather the original ones.
Through some incredible luck we did find an NDIS 3 MS-DOS driver for the Starlan car, and we were able to cobble together a Starlan1 LAN consisting of a 3B2 that we cannibalized the RAM and disks from one of them to make a ‘super’ 3B2, with added TCP/IP software and a massively cut down port I did of samba to turn it into a tiny file & print server (72MB MFM disks were it’s biggest if I recall), along with Windows 95 clients.Â And of course with a TCP/IP lan we could easily load a proxy server (WinGate?) on one machine with the 56kb modem, and now we all had internet access.Â I know it’s sad today, but trust me back then it was “a big deal” that we had a fully functional LAN.
Instructions and disk images on the site made it incredibly easy to grab the latest SIMH Windows Development binaries, and get my own virtual 3B2 up and running in minutes! So naturally I pasted in dhrystone.c to see if it’d work.Â And that was the first weird issue is that the backspace is the pound # key.Â So all the C macro definitions lost their # sign.Â I added them in vi without full terminal support because I’m crazy and:
# uname -a
unix unix 3.2 2 3B2
Dhrystone(1.0) time for 500000 passes = 40
This machine benchmarks at 12500 dhrystones/second
Obviously this is 100% bogus, as the real machine should get around 735, and I didn’t even bother with the -O flag.
The current emulator doesn’t do any additional serial ports, nor any Ethernet adapters.Â So you only get a console.Â But with the pre-installed C compiler image, I was able to build a trivial file just fine.Â Although pasting on the console really leaves a lot to be desired.
SDF AT&T 3B2/500 UNIX System
I know for some of us old people the 3B2 hid in the corners of our call centres, running our AT&T Definity switches, our voicemail, and even some of our early ISPs.Â After funneling money into SUN to get them to work on SYSVr4 which was the grand unification of BSD + SYSV AT&T’s interest if UNIX quickly waned, and they divested themselves of UNIX, and eventually all PC hardware, although they did re-enter the PC space a few times before exiting yet again.
As time would tell, proprietary hardware + a previously ‘open’ operating system were not the winning combination.Â And so far the only UNIX vendor to weather the Linux storm so far is IBM with it’s A/IX.