NEXTSTEP/OPENSTEP history - was Re: Classics long overdue a Boot.

Toby Thain toby at
Fri May 20 13:30:04 CDT 2016

On 2016-05-20 2:04 PM, David Brownlee wrote:
> On 20 May 2016 at 15:50, Toby Thain <toby at> wrote:
>> On 2016-05-20 3:39 AM, Adrian Graham wrote:
>>> On 19/05/2016 23:10, "Sean Caron" <scaron at> wrote:
>>> ...
>>> My NeXT slab also hadn't been powered up for 10 years so I checked that
>>> one
>>> and all was ok, only it wasn't my slab! I picked up a load of NeXT gear
>>> from
>>> an ex-employee many years ago including a colour turbo, cube, slab and
>>> Elonex SCSI PC running the x86 version of NeXTSTEP (NeXTSTART by then?).
>>> At
> Could be, though NeXTSTEP 3.x (for x>0) was definitely available on
> Intel hardware - I remember helping support a bunch of Pentium 133

Sure. I just hadn't heard of NeXTSTART.


> "workstations" at Dreamworks running custom software under NeXTSTEP
> 3.3. They also mainly had Micropolis disks ("For all your data loss
> needs").
> This combined with NeXTSTEP's baroque install process and tendency to
> occasionally crap out and destroy its own disk (I believe this was
> more of an x86 only feature), meant production support spent a fair
> amount of time reinstalling boxes.
> The solution was BSD boot floppy which asked for their pager id, then
> downloaded and blatted a compressed NeXTSTEP disk image onto the local
> disk, emailed their pager and then rebooted into a nearly complete
> NeXTSTEP system, so they could walk away and be pinged to come back to
> finish off the config some time later.

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