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

Dan Cross crossd at gmail.com
Thu Mar 2 00:54:11 AEST 2017

On Wed, Mar 1, 2017 at 2:45 AM, Ronald Natalie <ron at ronnatalie.com> wrote:

> > On Feb 28, 2017, at 10:15 PM, Gregg Levine <gregg.drwho8 at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >
> > Hello!
> > We (well most of us) all of us know about AIX. Well what about AIX/370?
> > ——
> AIX/370 was a real product.     One of the ones that I don’t ever think
> saw the light of day was the i860 AIX port.   IBM made two i860 add-in
> cards for the PS/2.   The single processor version was called the Wizard
> and there was a 4 processor version with an integral frame buffer called
> the W4.     We ported AIX to both.    The i860 version actually had more in
> common with the 370 version than it did with the 386.     All of these AIX
> versions came from the same source code and used the IBM TCF to allow you
> to transparently run executables across nodes in the cluster.     The only
> AIX that didn’t play was the completely independent (and in my opinion
> somewhat brain damaged) IBM/RT UNIX.

We had RTs where I was. By the time I came on the scene, they were being
decommissioned in favor of RS/6k hardware (arguably, the RT was pretty
low-powered even for its day), so the students were running around grabbing
them and playing with them. We ran AOS on ours, which was a more-or-less
straight port of 4.3BSD+NFS (maybe they started with Tahoe? I don't know),
but IBM seemed to want to push AIX with them. The RT was my first exposure
to "real" Unix source code.

What was interesting to me was all of the #ifdef's in the source that made
it clear that someone at IBM had obviously tried to port 4.3 to the 370. I
don't think that ever saw the light of day, but there were definitely
vestiges of it in the kernel.

I had understood was that AIX/370 was actually OSF/1 based and totally
separate from AIX 2.x (on the RT) and AIX 3.x (on the RS/6k)? From what you
wrote, it sounds like that wasn't quite right.

If there was a TCF-based RT kernel, I never saw it, even inside the IBM
> labs.
> Speaking of odd job control mechanisms.   The 386 side had a device that
> multiplexed the PS/2 console into multiple streams called the “High
> Function Terminal.”   When we wrote the virtual console for the Wizard/W4
> add in card, we called it the “Low Function Terminal."

Did the HFT survive into the RS/6k? I seem to recall hearing about that.
Perhaps it was an option on the RT, or somehow could be used with the
"crossbow" card on the 6152?

        - Dan C.
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