[rescue] UnOracle patches for Solaris

gsm at mendelson.com gsm at mendelson.com
Wed May 19 17:34:25 CDT 2010

On Wed, May 19, 2010 at 04:55:28PM -0500, Jerry Kemp wrote:

> Sun's support for x86 varied through out the years, but it was 
>there, and Solaris x86 worked well if you had the right hardware.  I 
>never understood why Sun always got singled out for driver support on 
>x86, but if you are sticking with x86 and are NOT running windows, 
>rule #1 is to figure out what OS you are going to run, then purchase 
>hardware from the HCL for that OS.  I don't know how difficult it 
>would have been for SGI to release IRIX on x86, but to the best of my 
>knowledge, I was not aware of an IRIX x86 release.  Sun always stated 
>that Solaris Sparc and x86 were created from the same code base.

That's because it all came from Interactive's UNIX/386 port. Interactive was
on of several companies that bought System V/386 source code licenses.

The idea was that AT&T produced a base system, with generic PC drivers, and
the vendors could do anything they wanted with it as long as they paid AT&T
a royalty ($60 for 1-2 users, $250 unlimited users) for each binary license
they sold.

Kodak had built a series of retail imaging workstations, based upon a SUN
computer, color monitor, CD-ROM drive, etc. They idea was you put in your
picture CD, and used the system to view and select pictures for ordering.
I've never actually used one, so I can't speak to the additional features
(if there were any) of the software.

This priced the system around $10, which was too much for most retail
locations. When the 80386 UNIX came out, Kodak decided to try to port their
software to it, and being successfull ended up buying Interactive themselves.

Kodak eventually abandoned UNIX entirely and sold Interactive to SUN. 

Some other comments about licensing, SunOS and Solaris 1 where sold with a
RTU (right to use) license to the original owner of the computer. Most people
did not bother to get a new RTU license when they bought/rescued a used 
computer, although some dealers required it and included it in the price.

SUN never seemed to care, as long as you did not ask for service, they did
not come around checking RTU's. The internet was still young in those days,
so patches were made available via FTP to anyone who could.

In effect there was a defacto hobbyist license, but in reality there was not,
but no one seemed to care.

Solaris 2.6 was the last 2.x versions, the next one was Solaris 7, which was
similarly priced to 2.6. 

Solaris 7 was later released with a free license fee, you still had to sign 
up for licenses, and pay a media fee. 

OEM versions of Solaris 7 that were bought from SUN before the price drop
where never reduced in price, for example Tapdole's.

BTW, someone earlier said that no one ever got fired for buying SUN. It
may be true, but I'll bet there are a lot of people on this list who would
like to see it happen to Larry Ellison. :-)


Geoffrey S. Mendelson, Jerusalem, Israel gsm at mendelson.com  N3OWJ/4X1GM
New word I coined 12/13/09, "Sub-Wikipedia" adj, describing knowledge or
understanding, as in he has a sub-wikipedia understanding of the situation. 
i.e possessing less facts or information than can be found in the Wikipedia.

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