[rescue] Catching up - Mach/Lunas, 2000Es, PPC/88k stuff

Francisco Javier Mesa-Martinez lefa at ucsc.edu
Sat Jun 21 03:51:12 CDT 2003

1st off you are my hero of the day... a Perq!!!!

> Accent's kernel, the disk and Ethernet drivers, and the instruction set
> for C/FORTRAN/Pascal all fit within a 16K x 48bit writable control store,
> with room left over for a Lisp instruction set (dynamically loaded when
> the SPICE Lisp environment was booted - btw, the first workstation
> implementation of Common Lisp) AND some room left over for user-loadable
> microcode.  Think about that:  kernel, drivers, two instruction sets, AND
> room left over.  <dig> Now, if only CMU had developed a windowing system
> instead of that heap of cruft we got from MIT...</dig> :-)

So, as far as I remembered the Perq's original processor was a bunch of
bitslices put together by some FSM and fully microcoded, to the point that
one could define their own microcode, right? I believe the microcode was
actually stored in some boot partition. However I did not know you could
load microcode dynamically. That sounds awefully sweet.

Also there were 2 main flavors of OS for PERQ right, one was their own
thing and the other was supposed to be unixy, so the thirth was the mach
precursor? Or you could run the microkernel and give it whichever
personality was available?

And sorry to have so many questions, I believe the Perqs also had their
own windowing system, right? And I also believe that CMU had some work on
windowing systems I dunno if they were related with the W effort in
Stanford (which begat X, wonder where X got its name :) ). But I remember
reading some papers about windowing sutff, distributed of course, as part
of the whole ANDREW system. The papers were mid 80s -which had a
staggering production of papers from CMU with respect to
OS/filesystems/distributed stuff BTW- so I assumed they were not using X.

> I'd LOVE to get my hands on a Luna 88k.  Those are cool and funky and
> rare, and worthy of collecting. :-)  I'd love even more to find another
> working PERQ... my machines are over 20 years old now, and spare parts are
> impossible to find.

I believe I may have access to one, one old coleage went to CMU and got
one of these critters. I saw it a few years ago, but i dunno if he still
has it after a couple of moves. But I remember he telling me how the
machine was pretty much unobtanium in the US, since most of the machines
were shipped directly from japan to CMU. In fact some of the stuff was
still in kanji!!!!

> NeXT, the 88k, the PPC601, and Irony

Thank you, I feel soooo understood!!! :)

However on the "real" G5, as far as I know was that moto could just not
produce the parts. And I believe that Apple was in dire need of something
to replace the G4. Thankfully IBM needed some entry level PPC too, so
hence we have the "new" G5. Frankly, I believe that both apple and IBM may
be fed up with Moto, since Moto should stop pretending they give a crap
about non embedded chips. But then again, both moto and IBM may be butting
heads in the embedded market, since IBM is also pushing the PPC's big time
for embedded stuff. But I am pretty sure that Apple shaw the writing on
the wall, and it was as if the Moto guys were going the way of the PPC
620! Also if moto is having problem with G4's over 1Ghz, chances are that
their 64bit parts will be even worse, since the critical paths on the
64bit ALUs and stuff should be killing them if their process suck so much.
Plus at this time motos process are pretty much a generation or so behind
of anything IBM and intel can offer, which is really sad to see moto
manufacturing heading down so quickly!!!

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