[TUHS] If not Linux, then what?

William Pechter pechter at gmail.com
Thu Aug 29 08:27:42 AEST 2019

I tried three times to respond by phone but the lack of a decent 
environment for mail killed my first attempts.

Anyway, without top posting:

On 8/28/2019 4:27 PM, Adam Thornton wrote:
> I was an ardent OS/2 supporter for a long time.  Sure, IBM's anemic 
> marketing, and their close-to-outright-hostility to 3rd-party 
> developers didn't help.  But what killed it, really, was how damn good 
> its 16-bit support was.  It *was* a better DOS than DOS and a better 
> Windows than 3.11fW.  So no one wrote to the relatively tiny market of 
> 32-bit OS/2.
OS/2 was slick and if they could've kept the W\indows 3.x compatibility 
(the Win32S was a sliding target that Microsoft kept changing.  There 
was a pretty decent Unix work-alike ported to the top of OS/2 that made 
most of the public domain and open source (the term didn't exist yet) 
stuff available.

I could telnet into the box and run a pretty slick Unix work-alike 
shell.  Unfortunately, I left IBM and IBM dumped OS/2 support and future 


> I have a hypothesis about Linux's ascendance too, which is a personal 
> anecdote I am inflating to the status of hypothesis.  As I recall, the 
> *BSDs for 386 all assumed they owned the hard disk.  Like, the whole 
> thing.  You couldn't, at least in 1992, create a multiboot system--or 
> at least it was my strong impression you could not.  I was an 
> undergrad.  I had one '386 at my disposal, with one hard disk, and, 
> hey, I needed DOS and Windows to write my papers (I don't know about 
> you, but I wanted to write in my room, where I could have my 
> references at hand and be reasonably undisturbed; sure Framemaker was 
> a much better setup than Word For Windows 1.2 but having to use it in 
> the computer lab made it a nonstarter for me).  Papers, and, well, to 
> play games.  Sure, that too.
I love Framemaker.  I run a 2nd hand version of Windows Framemaker since 
I no longer have any Unix boxes that would run the Unix version unless I 
pull an old CD and rebuild a SunOS 4 box.  Wonder if the NVRAM battery's 
dead in the Sparc2 or Sparc10?

I did a training Unix Admin for DC/OSx course for Pyramid that could 
print a full doc with instructors guide (on back side of the pages) and 
all the pages and overheads for the class in a single Frame doc.  And 
everyone told me it couldn't be done in Frame 1.2 or 1.3 on Pyramid OSx. 
Sure you can if you force it. Come here and hold  my Xterminal keyboard 
and my beer. 8-)

Anyway, I thought I had a 386 running with Win3.1 and OS/2 and FreeBSD 
on a single drive.  I checked the FreeBSD archives and it COULD install 
in a primary partition (partition type 165) and share the disk with 
other OS types.

The one thing that was a PITA was the docs --- since they used the 
partition term as well as "disk slices" with partitions meaning ONE 
thing to Unix folks and another to DOS/Windows/OS2 types.  So it was 
explained multiple times on the FreeBSD mailing lists.  I never had any 
issue with it and until ZFS which wants it's own drives to control (and 
drives are now cheap and large -- so why not splurge a bit for data 


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