[pups] Interesting PDP/Xenix History

Greg 'groggy' Lehey grog at lemis.com
Thu Mar 28 11:28:08 AEST 2002

On Thursday, 28 March 2002 at  0:24:11 +0100, Lars Buitinck wrote:
> I'm getting really confused with all these companies.  If I understand
> correctly...
> AT&T/Western Electric sold UNIX rights to Microsoft.
> Microsoft had HCR develop XENIX from V7.
> SCO licensed XENIX from Microsoft.
> SCO then subsubsublicensed XENIX to various vendors.
> Please correct me.  I must be wrong.
> (What happened to our MERT discussion anyway? :-)
> Long & winding PS.: I read this really cute book about Linux at my local
> library some time ago.  It discussed UNIX, Linux, their relation, and the
> current state of affairs when it was written -- in 1994.  The book
> started out with an etymology of XENIX, which would have been derived
> from Dutch "'k Zie niks," meaning "I don't see a thing" -- the first
> thing Dutch users uttered when XENIX booted.

Note that in English, the X is usually pronounced like an S ("zie
niks").  Siemens made a pun on this with their Sinix product; "Sinix"
in German is pronounced the same way as "XENIX" in English :-)

> Last year, I talked to a fellow member of the HCC (Hobby Computer
> Club) UNIX gg (gebruikersgroep, user group) who remembered his worst
> experience with UNIX -- having to use XENIX.  He was still shocked
> by its Microsoftian performance.

I've used XENIX/386 in the early 90s.  The development tools were
terrible, but I found somebody who had ported the GNU tools to XENIX
(doing it yourself would rob you of your sanity).  After that, it
wasn't too bad, but it was a pretty limited system.  I ended up
building a cross-build environment on UnixWare.

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