[TUHS] Happy birthday, Dennis Ritchie! [ really sun vs dec/apollo ]

arnold at skeeve.com arnold at skeeve.com
Tue Sep 12 17:38:46 AEST 2017

Larry McVoy <lm at mcvoy.com> wrote:

> And don't underestimate the draw of a BSD that was "fixed", had mmap that
> worked, unified page cache, VFS layer that was pleasant.  I worked for
> Lachman before I worked for Sun, saw the guts of quite a few Unix OS's.
> SunOS was by *far* the most pleasant and well thought out.  It was an
> OS where you could predict what it would do based on the architecture
> and sure enough, that's what it did.

Thinking about it, particularly in light of the fact that Oracle has
finally killed Solaris, it seems to me that another reason that Sun
succeeded was that they were the ones who really innovated.

In particular, the creation of NFS and then the efforts to make it into
a de-facto standard (giving away the RPC and XDR code) was a HUGE thing.

They weren't afraid to swim upstream, either. Even though NeWS never took
off (even when combined with an X server), it was an interesting design,
ahead of its time even.

They were the first of the major Unix vendors to really dive into RISC, if
I recall correctly.  MIPS may have been the first Unix vendor based on
a RISC architecture, but they were a startup.

DEC, IBM, and HP, all seemed to be playing follow the leader to Sun for
many years.

My two cents, as filtered through my aging memory, (:-)


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