Low-end Unix (was: TI99: Anyone reading this with a TI-99/4A?)

From: Ward Donald Griffiths III <gram_at_cnct.com>
Date: Fri May 8 00:05:02 1998

Uncle Roger wrote:
> At 02:12 PM 5/3/98 -0400, you wrote:
> ><To my knowledge no flavor of unix runs on anything less than a 32-bit
> ><processor. There's a unix-workalike for the C-64/128, but that's not
> >
> >Your knowledge is limited. Unix was started and lived for years on
> >PDP-11s (a 16 bit machine) in the form of V5, V6, V7 and 2.9BSD and
> >2.11BSD. I may add it was on other machines like the Interdatas.
> I have heard tell (from a very reliable source) of a version of Unix
> written for the Radio Shack Model 100 (8085, 32K max). (And no, it's not
> available, and yes, he's tried to get the company that did it to release it.)

Somebody may have ported something similar to OS-9 the Mod 100, but
no way this side of Hell would it run anything like a real Unix --
even Radio Shack's first Xenix had a 70k kernel. A set of Unix-like
commands, that's not impossible though hard to implement in a machine
with interpretive BASIC as its core OS. Look at the MKS toolkit of
Unix utilities for MS-DOS -- they ran just fine on a 256k Tandy 2000.
which demonstrates that they used standard system calls and vectors
instead of the calls to specific IBM hardware locations that seemed
necessary to most MS-DOS programmers.

> I thought someone had said that CP/M was based on Unix? Or was that one
> of the PDP opsys?

Gary based the command set and most utilities he did on RT-11 -- and
some parts of Unix share that ancestry. MS-DOS, originally cloned
from CP/M, gained a lot of imports from Unix with v2.0 because of the
Xenix project.

> >I find the idea of not less than 32bits, 200mhz cpus and large memory
> >being a must to be patently retrorevisionist to the history of what was
> >done before those things were available.

These things are only a "must" to run the bloated applications that
keep showing up simply because the new machines can run them.

Ward Griffiths
They say that politics makes strange bedfellows.
Of course, the main reason they cuddle up is to screw somebody else.
				Michael Flynn, _Rogue Star_
Received on Fri May 08 1998 - 00:05:02 BST

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