[TUHS] System Economics (was is Linux "officially branded UNIX")

Josh Good pepe at naleco.com
Thu Mar 16 05:28:17 AEST 2017

On 2017 Mar 14, 21:11, Clem Cole wrote:
> My point is that you (and many others)  equate "open" and "free" - I ask
> you to please not make that error.   Open means we can talk about it and
> share it, see it.  Which is exactly what we did "back in the day".  But as
> people pointed out you had to pay AT&T to be a member of the UNIX club if
> you were commercial, although any University type could be apart for free.

What UNIX for PC in the '90s had the option to buy a source code license
for that specific version, so that PC hackers could write drivers for
their hardware and tune the kernel internals to their liking, or be able
to fix themselves a bug in the serial port driver, etc.?

Certainly not OpenServer, not UnixWare nor SCO Xenix. Did DELL Unix
offered a payware source code license for their product? I'm not aware
of such.

>From System V onwards, UNIX became closed source in what matters, that
is, the version running on your hardware and the version with the drivers
you are using (unless you were an employee at IBM, DEC, HP or SUN running
propietary hardware and happened to be in the right group).

It is obvious to me that RMS's GNU movement was aimed at solving that
very problem. And if that was a problem, then the "UNIX openness" you
talk about does not seem to have been very practical at all. At least,
it was totally useless to PC hackers, like Linus Torvalds - he had to
write his own UNIX, because he was not able to get any UNIX source code
he could readily compile and run on his i386.

Josh Good

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