[TUHS] Zombified SCO comes back from the dead, brings trial back to life against IBM

Larry McVoy lm at mcvoy.com
Sun Apr 4 12:23:56 AEST 2021

On Sun, Apr 04, 2021 at 11:48:57AM +1000, David Arnold wrote:
> > On 3 Apr 2021, at 12:51, Dave Horsfall <dave at horsfall.org> wrote:
> ...
> > SunOS 4.1 was the best *ix I have ever used (and I've used lots over the decades);
> I used to tell people the same thing: my memory of it was very positive. And then I booted up my 4.1.1 tape on my 3/260 and .. it was very ordinary.
> The headers were missing a bunch of declarations, the tools didn???t have a lot of the options I???ve since come to rely on: it felt half-done and oddly amateurish compared to a recent Linux or BSD. 
> I was surprised. I tried Ultrix 4.4, Irix 5.3, and NeXT 3.3 (which I had more or less at hand) and they were all pretty awful.
> The world has moved on, and my bar is a lot higher now. I don???t doubt SunOS was great at the time but it???s absolutely obsolete now. 

I'm the biggest SunOS 4.x fan boy and I agree.  It was ~30 years ago.
Back then, all the open source stuff, or closed source stuff, took a
ton of work to make it work.  It just worked on SunOS.  I can't tell
you how many times I've brought up X10 or X11 on all sorts of systems
(it was a good learning experience, you learned to figure out that this
is part of my graphics card, this and that and that and that is not,
just ifdef that out and keep going).

At the time, SunOS 4.x was what everyone wanted.  Because Sun (me
included) was doing everything they could do to make that the best dev
system ever.  I get that it is nothing now but back then, you wanted
a Sun machine because everything just worked.  And it was fun.  SunOS
was fun, maybe I'm a nut but there are OS that are fun and then there
are OS that are not fun. VMS.  Not fun.  The IBM stuff, not fun.  A 
lot of vendor Unix, not fun.  SunOS 4.x was fun, it was just great.
I get that it is old but at the time, it was way more fun than what
other vendors had.  Way more fun.

I did lint libraries for SunOS, BSD, the various SysV, I had a huge
arguement with Rob Gingell (he was the god at that time, I lived in
fear of pissing Rob off), I wanted to ship those lint libraries, he
pushed back because it was 40Kb more in the install image.  I pushed
for it because I wanted SunOS to be the dev platform even if you were
developing for a different platform.  I had to threaten to quit and 
Rob shipped them.  That was me being stupid, we shipped those lint
libraries but I don't think anyone used them.  Whatever, that's a 
little taste of the passion that was there.  

I'm retired, did a bunch of stuff, changed the world in a few ways,
all these years later, the best part of my career was at Sun.  Sun
was the Bell Labs of my generation.  

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