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Kevin Adams
October 13th, 2010, 01:03 PM
Hello Everyone!

I am running TRS-Xenix v03.02.00. if you're not familiar with it,
TRS-Xenix was a flavor of Unix licenced by Microsoft to Tandy, and
then considerably adapted by Tandy. The Hardware is a Tandy 6000,
and I've installed the core OS, plus development system, and was
lucky enough to find a set of games disks to round out the system.
It all works well, and I have Kermit 95 Setup on my Windows 7
machine to move files in and out of the real world.

BUT. It appears that any programs larger than a given file size
result in the abrupt message "Killed" displayed and nothing else.

Hack works. (270k). Moria (380k) and Nethack (400k) do not.

I have one meg of memory installed. I'd increase the memory but
Tandy requires this thing called an MMU to go beyond 1M. I don't
have one, and suspect they're rare.

I talked to our Linux Guru at work. He suggested I review the
system logs for clues. Seems like the logs back in 1985 were not
very good. The only log I could find gave me no help.

I've poured over the TRS Xenix manuals, and frankly can't find
much in the way of commands to help with memory management.

Any ideas? Thanks in advance for any assistance!

Kevin

NathanAllan
October 13th, 2010, 08:09 PM
Holy cow, talk about obscure! I have a copy of Xenix here but it's installed on an Altos, not a Tandy. I'd love to see it in action or just pictures of the screen while it's working.

As far as the mysterious "Killed" message, it sounds like there is a batch in the background preventing those programs to run, maybe a safeguard to not crash the system due to low memory. I wish I had more to offer, but there is precious little known about Xenix as a whole.

But talk about neat software! Xenix, a Unix that was licensed by Microsoft and later abandoned, then competed against as Linux :) Now I hear (from you) that M$ actually licensed a copy to Tandy! I love this stuff.

Chuck(G)
October 13th, 2010, 09:07 PM
licensed by Microsoft and later abandoned,[/I] then competed against as Linux :) Now I hear (from you) that M$ actually licensed a copy to Tandy! I love this stuff.

MIcrosoft licensed Unix and heavily modified it and distributed it as Xenix. Sometime around 1982, I went up to Bellevue to talk to them on behalf of my employer. We had an 80186-80286 system with the I/O accessible by the 186 only, so the 286 would have to funnel its I/O requests to the 186 for processing. Microsoft was doing a similar thing with the Tandy Model 16 and offered us a listing of the I/O linkup that they'd developed for the Model 16 that did a similar thing (Z80 did the I/O). I dscarded the listing many years ago, so don't ask.

This was about the time that Intel was doing the Xenix kernel port for the 80286 and turning up one 286 PM bug after the other.

At the time, getting a Unix license with unlimited terms from AT&T would run you about $50K. What you got was the documentation and a tape that could be booted on a DEC PDP 11/70. Shortly thereafter, AT&T wised up and started with per-seat licenses on Unix and made the terms much more expensive and restrictive for source code.

Interesting times... :)

NathanAllan
October 14th, 2010, 12:52 AM
Interesting times, indeed! I'm reading an old book, Cyberpunk, about all the exploits that went on throughout the computer world. Pretty darn interesting. I'm about halfway through it and really it's written like a suspense novel than a documentary. It has its dry parts, sure, but for the most part it's a pretty good read. Gets a thumbs up from this techie.

I was to young to care in the early to mid eighties about too much stuff, so I never kept up. There's a user, Saundby on Atariage, that tells me sometimes when I ask about what he did back in the day, I like to hear him tell it (or type it, rather). There I go, showing my youth again.

So a Unix license was 50K? Wow. How far we have come.

carlsson
October 14th, 2010, 04:54 AM
Kevin, is there anything like swap space on TRS Xenix or is that a newer invention? Have you tried to disable any other processes that may use some of the memory? After all, a program using 400K is pretty much on a 1 MB machine. Do you have ps, and which amount of information about the running processes will it display?

kb2syd
October 14th, 2010, 05:42 AM
There is a process space. It is part of the config script. Initially it is set very small (256K or 384K). I know it had to be increased to run filPro 16+ (a great database by the way). The problem is I don't remember how to get into the system configuration. If you ls /etc you should be able to find an executable script or program called sysconfig or something similar. It is prompt driven. Up it to 512K.

Chuck(G)
October 14th, 2010, 07:59 AM
So a Unix license was 50K? Wow. How far we have come.

Yup, and let's be plain about it--that $50K bought you a source-code license. Given the prices that Microsoft and then SCO was charging for object code, fixed-seat licenses, that was a heckuva deal.

channelmaniac
October 14th, 2010, 09:00 AM
What's the part # for the MMU chip? Will it plug into the board on your computer or do you have to have another whole board to support it?

If it's just a chip I can check my usual haunts for it.

kb2syd
October 14th, 2010, 09:25 AM
It is the MMU for the 68000. It does not plug in. There is a pretty simple breadboard for making one work, but I've never seen it in the wild.

Kevin Adams
October 15th, 2010, 05:22 AM
There is a process space. It is part of the config script. Initially it is set very small (256K or 384K). I know it had to be increased to run filPro 16+ (a great database by the way). The problem is I don't remember how to get into the system configuration. If you ls /etc you should be able to find an executable script or program called sysconfig or something similar. It is prompt driven. Up it to 512K.

Thank you Kelly! This gave me the lead I needed. I searched the comp.sys.tandy archives and found a post from Gordon Burditt on July 12th, 1992 with the subject: "compress(1) for Tandy 6000HD, XENIX".

Strangely using the cfg command as he described did not work.. (maybe my cfg is corrupt). Editing the kernal as he describes did the trick!

I'm a happy clam. I can play nethack!!

Here is the relevant quote from Gordon's post:

(2a) for 3.2 systems, as root:
# /etc/cfg maxmem=796
#
(note that changing other parameters with /etc/cfg may affect available
user memory, which may affect your choice of a process size limit.
To see the limit to be used on the next reboot, just run /etc/cfg with
no parameters.)
OR
(2b) for any system, as root:
# adb -w /xenix
_Maxmem?W 796
^D
#
To view the limit:
# adb /xenix
_Maxmem?D
^D
#
(3) Shut down the system and reboot to make the change take effect.

Kevin Adams
October 15th, 2010, 05:28 AM
What's the part # for the MMU chip? Will it plug into the board on your computer or do you have to have another whole board to support it?

If it's just a chip I can check my usual haunts for it.

The MMU was a daughter board installed on the 68000 card. I believe the process back in the day was to exchange your existing 68000 board along with cash for an upgraded board with an MMU. If you had an MMU board, and the instructions, I guess you could do it yourself.

I keep hoping I'll find a 68000 card already upgraded one day. Longshot time ---> Anyone got one for sale? <grin>