out-of-mainstream minis

Sean Caron scaron at umich.edu
Fri Jul 3 19:01:51 CDT 2015

Wasn't it Apollo, that used a pair of 68000s in their very early systems?



On Fri, Jul 3, 2015 at 7:59 PM, Johnny Billquist <bqt at update.uu.se> wrote:

> On 2015-07-04 01:54, mark at markesystems.com wrote:
>> In the late 80’s, I bought from a surplus/junk shop a (by then somewhat
>> obsolete) Unix computer, branded UniSys, I think.  It had 10 serial ports;
>> one was the primary console, one was intended for a printer, and the other
>> 8 were regular user TTYs.  The processor was a 68000 (not 010, 020, or
>> anything else), I don’t remember how much memory, and it had an integral
>> full-height hard drive as well (60 mB, maybe?).
>> When I say Unix, I mean real System-7 Unix – not Linux or any other
>> *nix.  I thought it was really a pretty neat system – 8 (or 9) users and a
>> printer, just perfect for a small office – or my apartment at the time,
>> which had a terminal or two in every room.  I learned how to program in
>> Unix on that machine, since it matched exactly the System 7 manuals I had.
>> Sadly, time moved on, I got married, and got rid of a bunch of “useless
>> junk”, like that computer.
>> Recently, I’ve been reminiscing and poking around some on the Web to try
>> to find information about it, but it seems to have vanished completely with
>> nary a ripple.  Has anyone else stumbled across this unit, or at least have
>> any knowledge of it?  It was a black case, about the size of a standard
>> IBM-PC, with ten serial ports on the back and not much else.  I’d sure be
>> interested to know where I might locate data about that unit, or (gasp!)
>> possibly even an existing one...
> I find it hard to believe it was a plain 68K in there. That CPU have some
> serious issues that makes it close to impossible to implement virtual
> memory or proper usermode protection.
> (Yes, it can be done, but the amount of hardware required means most did
> not. I think SUN did it with their own MMU, and an extra CPU in there.
> Trying to remember who else - I seem to remember one other company who
> actually used a plain 68K, and it was not Unisys.)
> Essentially, the 68010 is pretty much the minimum of processor needed to
> make a sane system to run Unix on.
>         Johnny
> --
> Johnny Billquist                  || "I'm on a bus
>                                   ||  on a psychedelic trip
> email: bqt at softjar.se             ||  Reading murder books
> pdp is alive!                     ||  tryin' to stay hip" - B. Idol

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