Hehe für Chris & Co. ;)
-------- Original Message -------- Subject: Free UNIX machine. Date: 21 Mar 2002 19:07:08 UT From: email@example.com To: firstname.lastname@example.org CC: email@example.com
From: Ben Mesander firstname.lastname@example.org
Please redistribute as widely as you want to anyone who might be interested.
The Soul of an Old Machine -or- UNIX workstation for free (also a long winded and pointless rant)
In the BSD vs. System V UNIX wars, I was firmly in the camp of UNIX System V, from AT&T. I held out for years, but now that I am a BSD developer by trade, the time has finally come to retire my System V UNIX box. When I was a system administrator for the US Geological Survey, I used to run a network of Data General machines running their System V derivative, DG/UX, so when the opportunity to acquire one of these machines came up several years later, I took the offer for nostalgia's sake. However, I now find myself at a point in my life where nostalgia is much less important than having fewer possessions.
One of the BSD developers who I work with looked at me like I was insane when I said I had always been a big System V fan and thought BSD sucked in the late 80's early 90's. For his sake, and for your amusement, I offer the following 10 reasons that System V is better than BSD:
1 My first BSD experience was with the world's most overloaded VAX at the University of Oklahoma. We were not allowed to use vi because it used too much memory. And emacs was right out. Yes, I had to use 'ed' to write FORTRAN programs. It was about as much fun as using cards on the campus IBM 3081. I distinctly remember that a 20-line FORTRAN program took 20 minutes to compile one evening. This was not a good user experience.
2 My next experience was with the BSD on the Encore Multipanic, er, Multimax which replaced the VAX at OU. This system crashed incessantly while attempting to page in the paging code in the kernel, which never should have been paged out. I had to pay a special assessment of $35/semester to fund the purchase of this piece of garbage. I gave up using the campus infrastructure of nonworking boxes owned by the engineering department running BSD and annoying IBM lameframes that could only be spoken to with cards run by the university computing services, and used an old TRS-80 model 1 and a TI 99/4a I got for $50 when TI exited the home computing market for the rest of my college career.
3 My friend Richard gave me an account on his Apple Macintosh IIx running A/UX, an SVR3 derivative. It actually worked. This would count as my first positive UNIX experience. He loaned me a V7 manual to read, and gave me a UUCP feed. Thanks, Richard!
4 I got a guest account on an AT&T 3B2, at some AT&T research facility. It actually worked too. I wish I still had an att.com email address. I can't even remember the machine name.
5 I tried using the NetBSD machines at the Free Software Foundation, and they incessantly re-arranged my source code in random 8K chunks whenever I saved my files. The System V based HP/UX machines actually worked. However, I do have to admit that AMIX SVR4 on the Amiga was a total loss.
6 BSD had a dumb little devil logo. AT&T had the Death Star, and the frightening and creepy AT&T YOU WILL advertisements on TV, which seemed to imply (correctly as it turns out) that in the future, we would all be in touch with each other incessantly, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so work could call you while you're vacationing on the beach, and everyone's life turns into the same stress-filled hell that only first-level helpdesk personnel and telemarketers had experienced prior to the internet revolution.
7 Bob Manson liked System V. I think it plays a part in the plot to replace all of us with giant mutant squirrels. I have no doubt that giant mutant squirrels would do a better job at running this planet.
8 I worked for IBM doing AIX stuff, and AIX was System V-like if for no other reason than it was also big, slow, and evil (like me).
9 I will still have 12 working computers when this one is gone. 12 has better Feng Shui than 13. Someday, I hope to get down to 1, and after that, zero.
10 ksh kicks ass. csh loses.
OK, the rant is over. Here's what you get, if you want it. Note that I'd prefer to give this to someone local so it could be free. If I have to ship it, I can ship the manuals and tapes via media mail, but I'm sure given the weight of the heavy steel cases and such that shipping would be around $150-200 to US destinations. I'm in Longmont, Colorado.
1 AViiON 310c w/64M of RAM in good working condition. Has color output via 3 BNC connectors as was common with UNIX workstations of this era. CPU is a Motorola 88100 RISC. Video is 1280x1024x256 colors.
1 PHU (Peripheral Housing Unit) w/ 320M SCSI disk and 1/4" SCSI tape drive. DG/UX 5.4R3.10 & X11R4 is installed.
1 Data General 19" greyscale monitor (1280x1024x256 shades) w/BNC connector.
1 AViiON 300, not working, for parts (power supply, simms, etc.)
2 Data General keyboards.
2 Data Genaral optical mice.
1 Mouse-Trak model M5 trackball for Data General systems (nice space saver). (I wonder how many of these were ever made?)
1 Box with approx 50 lbs of data general manuals, 1/4" tapes, random Data General simms, etc.
This is a complete, working system with documentation, software, and spares sufficient to keep it running. One word of warning - the AViiON 300 series has a hardware bug that will cause it to lock up if the system clock is set to 1999 or beyond. Yes, everyone else worried about Y2K, but Data General had a year 1999 bug. And they wanted a lot of money to fix it if you didn't have a service contract (and I don't). I keep setting the clock back to 1996 or so every year, and you should too. Re-live the mid-90's for decades to come!
Yours, Ben Mesander email@example.com
To: firstname.lastname@example.org Cc: email@example.com