[TUHS] PC Unix (had been How to Kill a Technical Conference

heinz at osta.com heinz at osta.com
Wed Apr 7 10:58:24 AEST 2021

I developed LSX at Bell Labs in Murray Hill NJ in the 1974-1975 
An existing C compiler made it possible without too much effort. The 
source was available to Universities by then. I also developed Mini-UNIX
for the PDP11/10  (also no memory protection) in the 1976 timeframe.
This source code was also made available to Universities, but the source
code for LSX was not.

Peter Weiner, the founder of INTERACTIVE Systems Corp.(ISC) in June 
the first commercial company to license UNIX source from Western
Electric for $20,000. Binary licenses were available at the same time.
I joined ISC in May of 1978 when ISC was the first company to offer
UNIX support services to third parties. There was never any talk about
licensing  UNIX source code from Western Electric (WE) from the founding
of ISC to when the Intel 8086 micro became available in 1981.
DEC never really targeted the PC market with the LSI-11 micro,
and WE never made it easy to license binary copies of the UNIX
source code, So LSX never really caught on in the commercial market.
ISC was in the business of porting the UNIX source code to other
computers, micro to mainframe, as new computer architectures
were developed.


On 2021-04-06 10:32, Charles H Sauer wrote:
> For much of my last few years at IBM, my uucp machine, ibmchs, was an
> AT running Xenix, probably that version of Xenix.
> On 4/6/2021 12:09 PM, Clem Cole wrote:
>> Doug -- IIRC IBM private-labeled a Microsoft put out a version of 
>> Xenix, although I think it required an PC/AT (286)
>> On Tue, Apr 6, 2021 at 11:36 AM M Douglas McIlroy 
>> <m.douglas.mcilroy at dartmouth.edu 
>> <mailto:m.douglas.mcilroy at dartmouth.edu>> wrote:
>>      > I wonder. IBM introduced the IBM PC in August of 1981.
>>      > That was years after a non-memory managed version of
>>      > Unix was created by Heinze Lycklama,  LSX. Is anyone
>>      > on this list familiar with Bell Labs management thoughts
>>      > on  selling IBM on LSX rather than "dos"?
>>     IBM famously failed to buy the well-established CP/M in
>>     1980. (CP/M had been introduced in 1974, before the
>>     advent of the LSI-11 on which LSX ran.) By then IBM had
>>     settled on Basic and Intel.  I do not believe they ever
>>     considered Unix and DEC, nor that AT&T considered
>>     selling to IBM. (AT&T had--fortunately--long since been
>>     rebuffed in an attempt to sell to DEC.)
>>     Doug

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