Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 17th Feb 2017 22:40 UTC
IBM

I'm pretty sure all of you are aware of Advanced Interactive Executive, or AIX, IBM's high-end, professional UNIX operating system. It has been in development since 1986, and is currently at version 7.2, released in 2015. It's one of those operating systems you hear relatively little about here on OSNews, if only because it sits in a part of the market where few of us ever encounter it.

Which is why I was pleasantly surprised to learn that AIX hasn't been confined to (relatively) exotic non-x86 hardware such as IBM Power and PowerPC-based systems. During my research into the IBM PS/2, I discovered that IBM released versions of AIX for PS/2 systems. The first release was AIX 1.1 1989, followed by 1.2 in 1990, and the last release, 1.3, in 1992.

From the AIX 1.3 PS/2 announcement letter:

Performance tuning in AIX PS/2 Operating System Version 1.3 offers increased throughput for Input/Output (I/O) in both raw and block mode, in addition to kernel performance enhancements and smaller size requirements available through the availability of serviceable shared libraries usage in applications written to utilize them. Enhancements have also been made to the pager and swapper areas of memory management that have resulted in performance increases.

Improvements in the windowing and Graphical User Interface (GUI) areas are highlighted with the introduction of the X Windowing System V11 R5 from MIT available in AIX PS/2 X-Windows Version 1.3 and AIXwindows Environment for PS/2 Version 1.3 and OSF's Motif 1.1.3 available in AIXwindows Environment for PS/2 Version 1.3 along with AIXwindows Desktop. Support for the IBM Xstation 120 and Xstation 130 is provided in the AIX PS/2 Xstation Manager Version 1.3 Support for XGA-2 provides non-interlaced, high resolution graphics on those displays that support it.

The internet is a great thing, and IBM AIX 1.3 for PS/2 can be found on abandonware sites, and there are some repositories with more information. The full AIX 1.3 PS/2, with all the additional packages you had to buy separately, comes in at a whopping 94 1.44 MB floppies. The installation procedure is complex, and I haven't yet been able to get it installed in VirtualBox. I want to give this some visibility, because maybe someone with more experience with AIX can get AIX PS/2 to run inside VirtualBox or some other virtualisation tool.

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RE[2]: Wrong link
by wigry on Sat 18th Feb 2017 22:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Wrong link"
wigry
Member since:
2008-10-09

Any examples? I have experience with AIX as a bystander in awe to see the Oracle DB blast on it. So as Oracle ran on it, I thought it was uber cool machine. At the time the solution was using IBM F50 RS/6000 system and the I liked CDE on it a lot, the color scheme for terminal was really cool and the box was BIG compared to all the PCs around. So I thought it is a rock solid system and therefore I would really like to hear about some real experience in supporting such OS.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Wrong link
by christian on Sun 19th Feb 2017 16:19 in reply to "RE[2]: Wrong link"
christian Member since:
2005-07-06

Any examples? I have experience with AIX as a bystander in awe to see the Oracle DB blast on it. So as Oracle ran on it, I thought it was uber cool machine. At the time the solution was using IBM F50 RS/6000 system and the I liked CDE on it a lot, the color scheme for terminal was really cool and the box was BIG compared to all the PCs around. So I thought it is a rock solid system and therefore I would really like to hear about some real experience in supporting such OS.


It was little things, mainly on the programming side (our product was predominantly C based.) Shared libraries, for example, were a pain in the backside. GCC C++ objects couldn't be mixed with xlc, so you either had to compile everything with one or the other. The only machines we could justifiably afford at the time were low end RS/6000 machines, and were dog slow even compared to our other UNIX platforms (HP-UX and Solaris, and later Linux.)

Of course, some of the problems were possibly our own people's ignorance, and could have been worked round satisfactorily without the hacks we had in place, but that's the problem of being so very different to other UNIX platforms.

AIX just came from a different background. The AIX 1.x kernel wasn't even written in C as far as I know. I think the core of the kernel was implemented in PL/1, on top of which the UNIX personality was ported from SysV. However, I don't know if AIX for PS/2 was based on the AIX 1.x or AIX 2.x from the original ROMP (AIX 2.x moved away from the PL/1 based kernel I understand.)

We've since been acquired by IBM, so AIX hardware and expertise is no longer so hard to come by ;)

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: Wrong link
by wigry on Sun 19th Feb 2017 17:42 in reply to "RE[3]: Wrong link"
wigry Member since:
2008-10-09

Thanks for the explanation, much appreciated.

I totally envy people who have (had) and opportunity to program for Unix workstations / servers. It is one of my dreams and maybe it will come true some day. However nowadays it is almost unheard of starting to program a solution in C(++) against Unix standard. There are so many easier and more portable solutions and usually there is no need to make native solutions anymore.

So while I could say that I program against Unix and produce native code as iOS developer, then actually it is a far cry from real Unix programming.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Wrong link
by moondevil on Mon 20th Feb 2017 11:46 in reply to "RE[3]: Wrong link"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

I remember the first model of shared objects used by Aix were similar to Windows, using export definition files, only later revisions adopted the ELF way.

Reply Parent Score: 2