[rescue] 3b1/7300/unixpc/s4 history [was: Wanted - 3B2]

Sandwich Maker adh at an.bradford.ma.us
Wed Jul 9 08:42:24 CDT 2008

" From: "Geoffrey S. Mendelson" <gsm at mendelson.com>
" On Wed, Jul 09, 2008 at 07:48:47AM -0400, Sandwich Maker wrote:
" > i recall there was a way to make a backdoor that would give you root
" > access, but not what it was.  i used it -once- to break into a system
" > for which the root passwd was lost.
" I don't know about the 3b1, but the 3b2 required you to boot from the
" disk which I remember as being called disk tools, but I expect it was
" really called something else.

the 3b2 did run real sV, and was a completely different machine from a
completely different company.  the 3b1 backdoor was in the menu
system, which was unique to it and not used even on related convergent
tech systems.

" > * i was once personally told by an hp-ux developer that the sV kernel
" > was 'crap'.  i would guess sun thought so too, as solaris 2 made
" > significant progress in performance and stability when they rewrote
" > the kernel, about 2.4 iirc.
" I doubt that. The SysV kernel worked fine, I ran several versions of the
" SysV kernel on PC's. Where it really was crap was the device drivers, which
" were written in C and designed to work the simplest (and most reliable) way.

the sV kernel worked fine, but it was designed to be portable and not
play to the strengths or weaknesses of any particular architecture.
the drivers would be a reflection of that.  iirc this was the crap the
hp developer referred to, that nothing was tuned to hp-pa system

the att std c compiler was likewise also designed to be portable.  the
unix team was actually proud of their lowest-common-denominator
portability approach, and how rapidly they could port sV to a new
platform as a result.

iirc dec unix got about twice the mips from a vax that att sV did,
because of all this.  it's not a complete apples-to-apples comparo b/c
dec unix was of course berkeley based.

" Around 1990, there were many SysV vendors for the PC, who bought source code
" licenses, and offered their binary products. They had advertising wars over
" who had the best device drivers. Some of them included Apple (A/UX for 
" the 68000), Everex (ESIX) for the PC, Interactive for the PC (later
" bought by Kodak and then sold to SUN), SCO (the original one, not Caldera),
" and so on. Dell got involved too, but I don't know if they bought someone
" else or their own license.

this could partly be because rewriting drivers is much easier than
rewriting the kernel, and you have to write new drivers anyway for
new hardware.

had sco been spun out of microsoft by that time?  they were originally
formed to supply unix for the 68k-based tandy pc.

" There also was a straight AT&T version which was the worst of the lot, 

Andrew Hay                                  the genius nature
internet rambler                            is to see what all have seen
adh at an.bradford.ma.us                       and think what none thought

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