[TUHS] Earliest UNIX Workstations?

Jonathan Gray jsg at jsg.id.au
Mon Feb 6 17:01:49 AEST 2023

On Mon, Jan 30, 2023 at 12:20:52AM +0100, Paul Ruizendaal via TUHS wrote:
> Herewith some interesting (somewhat) contemporary papers on early windowing systems:
> 1. There was a conference in the UK early in 1985 discussing the state of window systems on Unix. Much interesting discussion and two talks by James Gosling, one about NeWS (then still called SunDew), and one about what seems to be SunWindows. It would seem then that these were developed almost in parallel.
> http://www.chilton-computing.org.uk/inf/literature/books/wm/contents.htm

Another window system was Whitechapel Computer Works' Oriel.

"During 1985 major developments took place, mainly on the software front.
A factor of 6 improvement in graphics performance was obtained, and the
Oriel state-of-the-art window manager developed. The Newcastle
Connection and SUN's NFS have also been announced as products, available
on 42NIX, the Whitechapel release of Berkeley BSD 4.2."

has a photo of the GUI running on a MG-1 with NS32016.

"Booting 42nix 2.5 on a Whitechapel Computer Works MG-1"
from Tom Stepleton who also maintained

has an article on Whitechapel Computer Works and the MG-1, before they
changed from Genix to 42nix
"The operating system is Genix, a Berkeley 4.1 UNIX customized by WCW to
support the MG-1's graphics abilities"

"The WCW MG-1 was launched in September 1984
The monitor was a large (17 inch) 1024x800 bit-mapped monochrome screen,
and there was hardware support for up to 16 mask-shift raster operations
at once, modelled after the 3RCC/ICL PERQ raster-ops.
It ran a kernel based window system called ORIEL (and a SunTools like
graphics library called ANGEL), which took full advantage of the
raster-op hardware."

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