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

William Pechter pechter at gmail.com
Thu Mar 16 10:05:38 AEST 2017

Josh Good wrote:
> On 2017 Mar 15, 15:45, Clem Cole wrote:
>> SVR4 (aka UnixWare) was available for source  - the problem is many people
>> did like the price to see it.   It was $100K.  But the source was available
>> it was open and many, many of people with PC and had access to it, wrote
>> drivers for it etc.  There were books published about it.  It was hardly
>> secret.
> Nobody says UNIX source code was "secret". It just was not open after
> UNIX began to be directly sold by AT&T post Bell-breakage.
> If UNIX source codeHa was "open" at $100K, then Windows NT source code can
> also be seen as open if you have enough money to buy Microsoft.
Having worked at a minicomputer company (Concurrent Computer
Corporation) back in the 87 days... I can say that
there was no way I could access the SysV sources without being an
approved developer or support engineer.
I was the IT Systems Administrator with the company managing their Xelos
SysVR2 systems in the MIS department
and I had no access.

When I found a serious bug they looked at it.  Reproduced it.  Reported
it to AT&T who checked the will not fix box on
their ticket and closed the bug.  The problem was that cron would malloc
memory until it couldn't get any more and core
dump.  This  stopped automatic backups and jobs from being scheduled
reliably and was critical to my operations.

The fix was I had to write a script to kill -0 cron with a sleep... and
if the job was no longer there  -- restart cron.

AT&T support basically said "Get a machine that implements demand paged
virtual memory and it won't happen."

Pretty sad.  I had worked for DEC and other places that would've fixed
the code for a customer.  Especially an OEM.

Concurrent had pretty much put Unix on the back burner until they bought
Masscomp.   Their only OS they were pushing
at the time was OS/32.  Xelos was a pretty decent SVR5.2 port -- the
next version even had ksh in it.

I wanted to get a 3280 and see how Xelos on it compared with something
equivalent on a VAX 8650.

Pechter at gmail.com

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