Running different OSes on classic hardware (Re: Re installingXP

Scott Stevens chenmel at
Fri Mar 11 22:45:47 CST 2005

On Fri, 11 Mar 2005 22:55:20 +0000 (GMT)
ard at (Tony Duell) wrote:

> > You can learn boatloads writing a new OS for a classic machine. 
> > Many early mini's had very little software available.  Even less of
> > it is 'usable' in
> > a practical sense.
> > 
> > What if anything is wrong with developing new software for older
> > systems? 
> Absolutely nothing IMHO. And _writing_ an OS is a great project that I
> must try sometime, I know I'll leran a lot.
> My moan was really directed against running ready-written OSes on 
> machines when then are/were more interesting choices. This
> particualrly applies to trying to run unix on just about any 16 bit
> (or larger) machine, even when things like POS were available (note
> for DECheads, POS is not P/OS.... POS is the original PERQ Operating
> System). And running CP/M on every Z80 box, again when there were
> other choices (LDOS, for example).
> Don't get me wrong. I have nothing against unix-like OSes. I have
> nothing against CP/M. But that doesn't mean I want to run them on
> everything.
> -tony

I would agree, if it were a matter of _just_ running CP/M or UNIX on a
particular machine.  However, I feel that one can use a variety of OSes
on some hardware, and that it's useful to be capable of running all of
them.  I have two Macintosh SE/30 systems.  One has been 'torqued out'
with max memory and drive size, and runs NetBSD.  The other one is in
stock condition and runs a MacOS version contemporary with what it was
designed for.  

A well-known tool like NetBSD can be a highly useful to run on older
hardware.  You can use it to 'shake out' the hardware and prove it is
operating properly before you struggle to get something you're far less
familiar with, i.e. the original OS or other weird and cool things, to

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