[TUHS] Un-released/internal/special UNIX versions/ports during theyears?

jsteve at superglobalmegacorp.com jsteve at superglobalmegacorp.com
Sun Feb 26 00:44:45 AEST 2017

I’ve read from early Microsoft employee’s that you had to learn to use vi to get vacation time, as they ran Xenix on all their backend stuff.  Although their first Xenix ads did mention it was available on the PDP-11, and other than one old post where someone mentioned that anytime there was a serious bug it was always in the Xenix portion.

It’s kind of funny that despite at one time being the highest installation by site count, Xenix has all but disappeared.  Not that OpenSERVER was either open or much of a good server.  And the only people I ever saw all that excited about UnixWare was telecom companies.

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

From: Arno Griffioen
Sent: Saturday, 25 February 2017 10:18 PM
To: tuhs at minnie.tuhs.org
Subject: [TUHS] Un-released/internal/special UNIX versions/ports during theyears?


Some of the stories on here reminded me of the fact that there's also likely 
a whole boat-load of UNIX ports/variants in the past that were never released 
to customers or outside certain companies.

Not talking about UNIX versions that have become obsolete or which have
vanished by now like IRIX or the original Apple A/UX (now *that* was an 
interesting oddball though..) and such, but the ones that either died or 
failed or got cancelled during the product development process or were never 
intended to be released to the outside ar all.

Personally I came across one during some UNIX consultancy work at Commodore 
during the time that they were working on bringing out an SVR4 release for the 
Amiga (which they actually sold for some time)

Side-note.. Interestingly enough according to my contacts at that time inside 
CBM it was based on the much cheaper to license 3B2 SVR4 codebase and not the 
M68k codebase which explained some of the oddities and lack of M68k ABI 
compliance of the Amiga SVR4 release.. 


It turned out that they had been running an SVRIII port on much older Amiga 
2000's with 68020 cards for some of their internal corporate networking and 
email, UUCP, etc. and was called 'AMIX' internally. But as far as I know it 
was never released to the public or external customers.

It was a fairly 'plain jane' SVRIII port with little specific 'Amiga' hardware 
bits supported but otherwise quite complete and pretty stable.

Worked quite well in the 4MB DRAM available on these cards. The later SVR4
didn't fare so well.. Paged itself to death unless you had 8 or even (gasp!) 

It was known 'outside' that something like this existed as the boot ROM's on 
the 68020 card had an 'AMIX' option but outside CBM few people really knew 
much about it.

It may have been used at the University of Lowell as they developed a TI34010 
based card that may already have had some support in this release.


This does make me wonder.. Does anyone else know of these kinds of special 
'snowflake' UNIX versions that never got out at various companies/insitutes?
(and can talk about it without violating a whole stack of NDA's ;) )

No special reason.. Just idle curiosity :)

Likely all these are gone forever anyway as prototypes and small run production 
devices and related software tends to get destroyed when companies go bust or 
get aquired.

							Bye, Arno.

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