[rescue] really old SysVr4

Geoffrey S. Mendelson gsm at mendelson.com
Thu Dec 27 20:36:12 CST 2007

On Thu, Dec 27, 2007 at 03:49:47PM -0800, John Floren wrote:
> Well, recently I've become interested in running System V on an old
> 486 or something, just to get a feel for how things were. The problem
> is that I don't know where to get the software! Does anyone have some
> disk images for old-timey x86 Unix? I'm not too knowledgeable in that
> area, so I'm not sure what all my choices are, so suggestions and
> comments would be welcome.

You might also want to look at A/UX. It runs on Macintosh 68030 and
68040 computers. CD images can be found if you search for it. 

Finding parts for them is not that difficult. Apple CD-ROM drives
are common, the machines it runs on all had scsi controllers and
many had ethernet. 

I have over the years, tried to rebuild a 386 UNIX system I had
and found that getting parts for it was almost impossible. 
Support for SCSI controler, display and ethernet cards was very
limted. One version I tried only worked with ONE SPECIFIC CD-ROM
drive, and I only had the CD image.

One flaw was that they only used the first 1024 cylinders on an IDE
drive, an many of them did not tell you that when it was writing to
cylinder 1024 it was actually writing to cylinder 0, and overlaying your
partition map.

I would also look for unusual hardware such as an IBM RS/6000 from
those days, or an AT&T 3b2. The problem with a 3b2 is finding one
with a SCSI controller or if you can't, a working MFM drive 
supported by it's UNIX system.

You might also want to try an early version of Linux or one
of the PC versions of BSD from the early 1990's. 

I also had a lot of fun with Coherent on a 286. 

Geoffrey S. Mendelson, Jerusalem, Israel gsm at mendelson.com  N3OWJ/4X1GM
IL Voice: (07)-7424-1667 U.S. Voice: 1-215-821-1838 
Visit my 'blog at http://geoffstechno.livejournal.com/

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