[pups] Interesting PDP/Xenix History

Peter Jeremy peter.jeremy at alcatel.com.au
Thu Mar 28 12:33:20 AEST 2002

On 2002-Mar-28 11:58:08 +1030, Greg 'groggy' Lehey <grog at lemis.com> wrote:
>I've used XENIX/386 in the early 90s.

I recall using XENIX/286 in the mid 80's.  We were porting some
software from Micro/RSX on a PDP-11/03.  The AT-class box (an ITT
XTRA/XL) was significantly faster.  And later, having 8 developers on
one 8MHz 80286 was, err, interesting.  I also remember having it panic
when it tried to fork a large (~2MB) process.

>  The development tools were terrible,

And unbundled.  I don't recall too many problems with the C compiler,
but we were porting Pascal - and the Pascal compiler was atrocious.
The object code (and whether a piece of code would compile at all)
seemed to depend on whim of the compiler.  Obviously whoever wrote it
hadn't grasped the concepts of initialising variables, making arrays
large enough to fit their contents or only using a single piece of
memory to store one thing at a time :-).

> but I found somebody who had ported the GNU tools to XENIX
>(doing it yourself would rob you of your sanity).

I don't think you could get any of the GNU tools to run on a 286 so I
was mostly limited to the SCO tools.  I recall doctoring MicroEmacs so
that it was all small model but allocated the buffers in "far" memory
- that gave me the ability to edit large files with acceptable


More information about the TUHS mailing list