And now ... Weirdnix?

George Michaelson ggm at
Thu Oct 5 02:15:35 AEST 2017

I think the dual-boot state of the perq was pretty wierd. From memory,
you could peek into some UNIX state from the other OS, but not the
other way.

The weird bit was the 'hacky' nature of the OS/memory/screen boundary.
Compile? ok, you clearly don't need your screen memory because who
would think they could do useful mouse/keyboard work while compiling?
So.. I'll just rob that memory buffer to do this compilation... Very
interesting bitblt implications all over the screen. I suspect this
was considered a 'feature' because you got a free meter of your
compilation progress by crud on the screen..

On Tue, Oct 3, 2017 at 10:58 PM, Tom Ivar Helbekkmo
<tih at> wrote:
> Warren Toomey <wkt at> writes:
>> To kick a more relevant thread off, what was the "weirdest" Unix
>> system you used & why? Could be an emulation like Eunice, could be the
>> hardware e.g NULL was not zero, NUXI byte ordering etc.
> That would be the userland Unix from the Norwegian company Norsk Data.
> For years, they made excellent mini machines with their own operating
> system, SINTRAN.  People kept telling them that that time was passing,
> and they needed to get with the times and adopt a standardized OS, like
> Unix, but they insisted that there was no need.
> When they finally started trying to do that, it was too late.
> They made two attempts.  One was a System V port to their hardware, the
> other a port to SINTRAN, having Unix run as an application under it.
> Neither attempt got any real traction, and today, the company is only a
> fond memory.
> Oh, and when Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web, he did it
> on a Norsk Data computer running SINTRAN.  :)
> -tih
> --
> Most people who graduate with CS degrees don't understand the significance
> of Lisp.  Lisp is the most important idea in computer science.  --Alan Kay

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