[TUHS] Porting 2.11 BSD

William Pechter pechter at gmail.com
Sun Nov 22 12:13:53 AEST 2015

Oliver Lehmann wrote:
> William Pechter <pechter at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I found this for a Z8000 System III box. It was an East German dual 
>> cpu Z80/Z8001 clone box running SysIII -- perhaps this may be of some 
>> help as a comparison.
> And I also redid (disassembled objects, translated it back to C) nearly
> all Kernel sources of the SYSIII (only lock.c is missing with file
> locking features - I only disassembled it)
> https://github.com/OlliL/P8000/tree/master/WEGA/src/uts
>> Emulator
>> http://www.knothusa.net/Home.php
> Yes... he built the Emulator based on MAME back in 2008 with quite
> some info from me - he used to work on a P8000 back in the 90s so
> he felt for it building the Emulator.... ;)
>> More P8000 info
>> http://www.pofo.de/P8000/
>> Z8000 docs
>> http://www.pofo.de/P8000/  (there's some Zilog System 8000 Z8000 Zeus 
>> info here as well.
> Cool... you found my page ;)
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Nice site... I worked for DEC back in the 80's and I ended up installing 
Exxon Office Systems'  Vaxes which
they used for software development for the Zeus systems.  Some employees 
were from the Berkeley area
and New Jersey, even Princeton, seemed to be culture shock.

The computer room was directly under the flight path to the little 
Princeton Airport and the rented building
wasn't really designed for those machines.  The place was small offices 
for insurance sales, accounting,
lawyers and such.   They later moved over to a new building on the RT 1 
corridor which had a real computer room after they had all the 
electricity put in for the 11/780.

They moved from California to Princeton, New Jersey back around '81 or 
so and were gone shortly
when Exxon closed them down in '84.

I think they were the first Ultrix32 box I saw in my lifetime... which 
was much more AT&T focused working
for DEC in New Jersey.  By 92 or so I was doing SunOS 4.1.3 at work and 
FreeBSD/NetBSD at home.

I never could figure out how AT&T kept the miserable self-destructive 
Unix Filesystem alive with it's 13 character filename limit and no 
symbolic links.  SysVR4 finally showed some promise, and I even
thought they had a winner with their object-oriented management tools to 
manage getty's and printers and such.

FACE, the SVR4 character terminal graphic utilities were not too bad. 
You could finally run the whole system without vi-ing configurations -- 
kind of like a pre-SUSE  Yast that used the button labels on function keys.
Perkin-Elmer/Concurrent had a similar thing in Xelos (SVR2) on their 
block-mode capable 1251 and 6312
terminals...  That was the thing in the 80's -- menu or function button 
Unix sysadmin screens.

AT&T killed their future OEM's by allowing the OSF/USL split to happen 
over their Sun investment
and promise that Sun would get the new Unix before everyone else. The 
Unix wars made sure there
wouldn't be one binary/source compatible version of Unix across all 
hardware platforms.

When I started to work with Solaris2 I was amazed as to how different it 
seemed than straight SVR4 and
I helped write Pyramid's training for their OS/x SVR4 MIPS R3000 product.

Had AT&T been more willing to supply the code equally and get out of the 
way you wouldn't have had
the waste of the NCR purchase later after the less than stellar 3b and 
3b2 sales of the late 80's.

To bring this back to the Z8000 ZEUS and Zilog:

Pyramid was an OEM for AT&T and AT&T was to sell Pyramid boxes to the US 
Government to replace
the Z8000 Zilog Zeus machines which were used by the IRS.  I think this 
all fell apart after the
NCR purchase.  My job kind of went with it as Pyramid went through a 
downward sales spiral
as AT&T stopped buying MIServers and the MIPS MIServer-S line (R3000 
SVR4) multicpu boxes.


Digital had it then.  Don't you wish you could buy it now!
pechter-at-gmail.com  http://xkcd.com/705/

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