… and after Mary Ann was done with it (sometime 1981?), Professor Fabry gave the UCB Onyx
to a bunch of undergraduates which they used as the first computer of the Undergraduate
Computing Facility (UCF, predecessor to the UCB XCF which had a pile of Suns to play with)
in room B50 (basement) of Evans Hall. I was one of those undergrads.
That machine became the “x” host on the UCB BerkNet, and it was where B version netnews
software was written by Matt Glickman (he was a high school student at the time and while
he had Mary Ann’s patronage, my memory is that none of the more official computer services
in CS or the Computer Center would give him an account - but we did). At the time, every
other computer had restrictions on who could use ‘em, or that you had to pay hefty fees
for use (the computer center PDP-11/70s were in that class) - our policy was: if you have
a current UCB student ID, we’ll give you an account. We didn’t care whether you were a CS
or Engineering student, or not.
I remember fixing bugs in various bits of BSD stuff we added to the userland and kernel -
we had full source to play with, which was nice. Adding job control was a top priority,
and one of our hacks was to change the tty line discipline to restore previous “cooked”
character processing state if the program in foreground which had last changed it exited
non-zero - that way, programs that modified tty state didn’t need to be recoded for job
control too, which, in a system with PDP-11-like memory restrictions (64k text, 64k data
maximum per process), was useful.
We trained an awful lot of students in the ways of Unix, and many of them became system
administrators of the explosion of Unix systems which came to UCB later: the workstation
clusters, other microcomputer based Unixes, etc. Kernel hackers (systems programmers)
Mary Ann also allowed me to photocopy a samizdat copy of the Lions Book, too. I still have
that … somewhere, though I bought a copy of the Peter Salus 1996 republication, too.
On Jan 22, 2020, at 09:00, Mary Ann Horton
Absolutely. When I was an impoverished grad student at Berkeley, Zilog hired me as a
consultant to port vi and the other Berkeley tools to their Z8000 UNIX system. It was a
treasured paying gig.
As I recall, it was a 16 bit system (with some addressing enhancements ala the 11/70). By
then, the VAX was popular and everybody wanted 32 bit systems. People were pinning their
micro-UNIX hopes on the Motorola 68K.
Even before Zilog's ZEUS, Onyx came out with a microwave oven-sized box based on the
Z8000. They loaned one to Berkeley, and it was my first home computer when I took it home
to port the tools. Everything had to be copied over by serial port.
On 1/21/20 9:52 AM, Jon Forrest wrote:
> There's been a lot of discussion about early Unix on Intel, National
> Semi, Motorola, and Sparc processors. I don't recall if Unix ran on
> the Z8000, and if not, why not.
> As I remember the Z8000 was going to be the great white hope that
> would continue Zilog's success with the Z80 into modern times.
> But, it obviously didn't happen.