Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 27th Nov 2015 21:31 UTC
General Unix

The latest problem I was working out was how to run Unix on the Atari ST. The Tramiels had somehow wrangled a license for AT&T's SVR-something-or-other version of Unix (might have been SVR3, but this was in the bad old days when AT&T was actively fucking up Unix, and it could have been just about any version, including SVR666). The license was for a mind boggling, nay, jaw-dropping ten bucks a seat. The problem was that the ST didn’t have any kind of memory management hardware, just a raw CPU flinging real addresses at naked DRAM, and the machine's cheap-ass vanilla 68000 was incapable of recovering from a fault unless you cheated.

On a related note, there's MiNT.

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RE[3]: That takes me back
by tidux on Sat 28th Nov 2015 10:28 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: That takes me back"
tidux
Member since:
2011-08-13

Of all the home computer OSes of 1980-1998, only MS-DOS and its clones have survived in any meaningful way. Windows and MacOS got replaced by ports/clones of VAX OSes (VMS and Unix respectively) with an API shim on top and some superficial graphical similarity, and the rest vanished into the mists of time entirely. Saying the ST's OS was "limited beyond the 1980s" is sort of obvious.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: That takes me back
by Alfman on Sat 28th Nov 2015 11:23 in reply to "RE[3]: That takes me back"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

tidux,

Of all the home computer OSes of 1980-1998, only MS-DOS and its clones have survived in any meaningful way. Windows and MacOS got replaced by ports/clones of VAX OSes (VMS and Unix respectively) with an API shim on top and some superficial graphical similarity, and the rest vanished into the mists of time entirely. Saying the ST's OS was "limited beyond the 1980s" is sort of obvious.


That's what I was thinking as well. The question wasn't really meant in the context of Atari standing still for 35 years. Obviously MS evolved too. MS really became significant because of product bundling, it's products were otherwise quite a bit lacking at that time. I'm just curious where the technology would be now if there were different leaders influencing it, for better or worse.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[5]: That takes me back
by Kochise on Sat 28th Nov 2015 13:16 in reply to "RE[4]: That takes me back"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

The biggest advantage of PC, beside bundling the OS, was the modularity. Want a bigger video card ? Want a better sound card ? Want to switch from coax to Ethernet ? Just do it.

The ST line haven't much evolved in almost a decade, and when the Falcon came on the market, it was 16 MHz with a maximum of 14 MB of RAM, when the Mac line was at least 4 times more powerful in every aspect.

The TOS also have evolved too slowly, Mint then Multitos was a resource hog, yet relatively stable. A chance Atari has put some standard into the Falcon (IDE, SCSI, VGA via adapter).

The RAM slot would have been better with a standard SIMM support though. And two PS2 ports for keyboard and mouse.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[4]: That takes me back
by Vanders on Sun 29th Nov 2015 00:38 in reply to "RE[3]: That takes me back"
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

Windows and MacOS got replaced by ports/clones of VAX OSes (VMS and Unix respectively)

UNIX pre-dates VAX. Neither is a clone of the other.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: That takes me back
by tidux on Mon 30th Nov 2015 07:27 in reply to "RE[4]: That takes me back"
tidux Member since:
2011-08-13

Learn to read. I said NT is a clone of VMS and OS X is a Unixlike.

Reply Parent Score: 2