[TUHS] Unix on PDP8?

Ron Natalie ron at ronnatalie.com
Wed Nov 29 09:26:08 AEST 2017

Ø  People like me did not start to "port" UNIX until the 16 bit micro's show up -- i.e. the 68000, Z8000, 8086 where you could build a 'microcomputer' that was close to the power of the 'minicomputer' for a lot less money.



 Mike Muuss’s standard answer to any question was that we could put UNIX on it.    This is how he wrested the RSTS-running PDP-11/45 away from the EE department to start with (only proviso is that he had to get Basic+ running on it).    At BRL, he picked up a bunch of PDP-11 variants that were lying around (particularly an 11/34-based RJE system for the Cyber mainframe.    We pitched the card reader but used the printer, the vector general graphics system, and the DQ-11/modem combo).    Then when BRL commissioned the HEP to be built and nobody had a clue what software to put on it, we launched into the port on the HEP.   This was 1982.   It our first foray into a non PDP/VAX platform.    


Amusingly, I had a manager show up in my office and tell me that in a few years they would have the performance of a VAX in a little cubic foot box I could have on my desk all to myself and I’d be happy.    It was then I coined “Ron’s rule of computing.”   Our expectations grow with the technology.   Ron always needs a computer “this” (holding my hands out to approximately the width of a 780 cpu cabinet) big.    It worked for many years but I have to admit around 2000 or so, I started being happy with comptuers about the size of 2 drawer filing cabinets.


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