On Thu, Feb 20, 2020 at 2:44 AM Rich Morin <rdm@cfcl.com> wrote:
I looked at Solaris very briefly and decided that it wasn't my idea
of a proper (read, BSD) Unix system.  So, I kept my Sun running SunOS
until I finally replaced it with a FreeBSD box.

I got the Unix-on-PCs religion sometime in the mid-'90s after Sun's shift to Solaris and SVR4 and FreeBSD was my ecclesiastic weapon of choice after a brief flirtation with Linux. I will admit, with a small amount of shame, that I still carry around a bit of that chauvinism, though now driven primarily by nostalgia instead of belief in technical superiority.

When I was in high school, the folks I looked up to told me, "BSD is the stuff; SysV is garbage" and not knowing anything, I adopted that as a sort of "four legs good, two legs bad" kinda mantra. I liked Sun machines because they were what the cool people were using, but the move to Solaris felt like a betrayal and I started looking for alternatives. The Alpha was promising, but didn't make a lot of local headway. SGIs were neat but felt like high-end toys for graphics weenies and Irix was too weird for my taste. PCs were getting fast, though, and within a couple of years we went from my 486DX/33 to 200 MHz Pentiums and FreeBSD was real, so that seemed like the way forward. It amazed me how everyone around me kind of rolled over, threw their hands up and said, "Oh well, I guess we all have to run Solaris now...."

Wait, what? Why? I remember being dismayed that no one else saw the potential for running essentially gratis software on cheap, fast hardware, and that the same people who gladly put down multiple hundreds of thousands of dollars for a VAX a decade prior, but then threw away the vendor-supplied OS and installed 4.3BSD now were so concerned about things like, "vendor support" that they couldn't see to doing essentially the same thing, but at much lower overall cost.

What a time....

        - Dan C.