[TUHS] Old 386 Unix Versions, was: Re: PCC for the i386

Warner Losh imp at bsdimp.com
Thu Jul 18 01:31:08 AEST 2019

On Wed, Jul 17, 2019 at 9:11 AM Larry McVoy <lm at mcvoy.com> wrote:

> On Wed, Jul 17, 2019 at 02:10:14AM -0600, arnold at skeeve.com wrote:
> > emanuel stiebler <emu at e-bbes.com> wrote:
> >
> > > On 2019-07-11 18:50, A. P. Garcia wrote:
> > > > On Thu, Jul 11, 2019 at 12:31 PM Clem cole <clemc at ccc.com> wrote:
> > >
> > > > Did Sun have anything to do with that? I seem to recall something
> > > > called "Interactive Unix" for the 386, possibly marketed by Sun...
> > >
> > > "Interactive Unix" was pretty nice back than.
> > > Anybody remembers ESIX? Still have the document wall for that ...
> > >
> > > Cheers
> > >
> >
> > Sun had a '386 based system in early 90s-ish called the Road Runner.
> > I never saw it. It ran SunOS 4.x and I think was discontinued by the
> > time Solaris 2.x came along.
> Yep, can confirm.  I was a fan but the powers that were at Sun at the
> time just didn't want competition for SPARC.  Which was sort of silly,
> a 386 was nowhere near as fast as the SPARC chips of the day, that was
> when RISC actually made sense.  But perhaps they had a crystal ball
> and could see that x86 was going to be as fast or faster down the
> road?  I tend to doubt it, they really looked down on the 386.

And wasn't it a weird version of SunOS? Support for the Roadrunners was
only in a couple of releases too (4.0, 4.0.1 and 4.0.2 only). Most of the
sunos sources that have fallen off a truck on the internet are 4.0.3 and
newer, so there's no i386 support in them. I used a Sun386/250 at
Wollongong to do testing. Mostly it ran X and was one of the available X
workstations in the testing lab since it was weird enough people didn't
want to use it (though the Sony News box next to it might also have come in
a close second for weird).

The wikipedia page says there was a Sun486 (code named apache) that was
designed and a few built, but that was then cancelled before release.

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