[rescue] AIX N40 Tadpole

Justin Haynes justin at justinhaynes.com
Tue Mar 4 10:59:30 CST 2014

Rescue -

If I could go back and do this over again, I would.  I used to work at
University of Houston and at the time was the property custodian for my
department.  As such I could go to property management and pull items from
storage that were mostly ultimately destined for recycling or various other
non-profit or privileged organizations who could come and take their pick.

There was a pile of Tadpole N40 laptops and I checked out a couple.  I
finally checked them back in, thinking maybe I'd buy one at auction.  But
before that could happen, a "charter school" came and took them.  It was a
school later mentioned on the radio as one of many who were taking
advantage of public funds and leaving disadvantaged kids with less of an
education than the public alternative.

At any rate, they ran AIX and and almost no battery life at all, but they
represented an interesting slice of time at what I read as the very end of
the UNIX wars where there was a market, but not much of one, for small
laptops that matched the architecture of big iron.

Does anyone have one of these today?  I'd be interested in preserving one.
My SPARCbook 3gx is a delight.  I don't use it often, but I will preserve
it and keep it alive, bootable and usable.  I'd do the same for the N40.

I run OpenBSD on the 3gx but I have all the media for Solaris.  I know I
could always put Solaris back on the box.  But I think it is a testament to
the architecture that a software project can choose to maintain a modern OS
for an older architecture and that it can still be usable today.

If I had an N40, I'd keep AIX on it, because I think this platform is so
rare as to be really dififcult to find.  (Any disagreements here?)  If
anyone wants to make space who has one, I'd be interested in preserving.



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