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Pepinno
December 25th, 2010, 09:05 AM
Hello all.

I'm thinking of treating myself to a vintage book on UNIX, and I would like it to cover (among other general vintage UNIX miscellanea) specially SLIP and UUCP technologies.

I've found so far these references:

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"UNIX System Administration Handbook" (Prentice Hall, auth: Evi Nemeth et al.)
ed 1: 1989 (¿pro BSD bias?) not available in Amazon.com, but it's in eBay. [Unknown TOC]. ISBN 0-13-933441-6
ed 2: 1995 (SunOS, Solaris, IRIX, HP-UX, OSF/1, BSDi ) [SLIP+PPP (13 p), UUCP (30 p), USENET+NNTP (16 p)]. ISBN-10: 0131510517
ed 3: 2001 (RedHat 6.2, FreeBSD 3.2, Solaris 2.7, HP/UX 11) [no slip, no uucp, no usenet]. ISBN-10: 0130206016
ed 4: 2010 (Ubuntu 9.10, openSUSE 11.2, RedHat EL 5.5, Solaris 11, HP-UX 11i v3, AIX 6.1) ISBN-10: 0131480057. Too new -> disregard.

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"Essential System Administration" (O'Reilly, auth: Aeleen Frisch)
ed 1: 1991 (which are the unix flavors covered??) not available in Amazon.com, but it's in eBay. [unknown TOC]. ISBN-10: 0937175803
ed 2: 1995 (SunOS 4.1.4, Solaris 2.4, AIX 4, Digital UNIX 3, SCO UNIX 3, HP-UX 9 & 10, IRIX 6, Linux 1.3) [unknown TOC]. ISBN 10: 1565921275
ed 3: 2002 (AIX 5.1, FreeBSD 4.6, HP-UX 11, RedHat 7.3, SuSE 8, Solaris 8 and 9, Tru64 5.1) [TOC has no UUCP]. ISBN 10: 0596003439

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From the above, it seems the best candidate would be "UNIX System Administration Handbook, 2nd Ed.", the famous one from 1995 with the red cover (as its TOC covers SLIP and UUCP).

However, I'm wondering what the TOC is and what Unix flavors does the 1st Ed. of that same book cover... Anyone has "UNIX System Administration Handbook, 1st Ed." from 1989 and can shed light on that, please?

Also, I would like to know too what the TOC is and what Unix flavors does the 1st Ed. of O'Reilly's "Essential System Administration" from 1991 cover. Anyone has that oldie at hand?

And lastly, my third question is: does anyone know how good/bad is the SCO UNIX coverage in O'Reilly's "Essential System Administration, 2nd Ed." from 1995?


Long life vintage UNIX!

Chuck(G)
December 25th, 2010, 09:41 AM
True "vintage" Unix never had anything to do with SLIP or PPP. Think System III or System V, or even 4.1BSD. I would consider the versions you're thinking about to be in the area of modern Unix.

Pepinno
December 25th, 2010, 12:33 PM
True "vintage" Unix never had anything to do with SLIP or PPP. Think System III or System V, or even 4.1BSD. I would consider the versions you're thinking about to be in the area of modern Unix.

Fair enough.

However, I don't plan to buy a VAX mini, so I'm talking about vintage UNIX for the PC family which I may run at home on the metal (and not virtualized). Anyway, UUCP definitely is akin to vintage UNIX of any platform.

The earliest UNIX for the IBM PC were PC/IX and Xenix for 8086, I think both were System III based, and barely usable. Then for the 286 there is a System V based Xenix, and the same for the 386. For the 386 there is also early 386BSD. Those are mainly the systems I want to run on the metal at home.

Vintage UNIX for Apple microcomputers is also interesting to me, but I don't yet own any hardware of this kind.

To network this kind of vintage UNIX, mostly UUCP and SLIP are the only options. Ethernet was only available for them later in the game.

Chuck(G)
December 25th, 2010, 02:06 PM
I recall seeing several Unix ports around 1982-83 running on 68K hardware at NCC. There were some manufacturers who claimed that their 68K systems could replace traditional minis; one that comes to mind is Plexus. All suffered from anemic I/O in comparison with their mini cousins.

I did some contract work for Fortune Systems on their 16/32 system around the same time. And I did some development work with Xenix on the Durango Poppy (released in 1983) that ran on an 80286 CPU. (Curious tidbit: The Xenix setup was based on the TRS-80 model 16 in that a different CPU (Z80 on the TRS-80; 80186 on the Poppy) did the I/O for the Xenix system CPU (68K on the TRS-80; 80286 on the Poppy). No, the IBM 5170 was not the first 80286 PC!). Xenix was close enough to BSD from a user's standpoint that it really didn't matter.

I point this out just to illustrate that the early micro Unices were a lot more varied than you'd think.

Pepinno
December 25th, 2010, 04:39 PM
I point this out just to illustrate that the early micro Unices were a lot more varied than you'd think.

Again, fair enough.

So, UUCP should work with them, shouldn't it? Maybe SLIP too if they had a TCP/IP stack available...


Xenix was close enough to BSD from a user's standpoint that it really didn't matter.
A big difference I see between early BSD and Xenix is the the former used Unix domain sockets and had TCP/IP from the beginning, while the latter used Streams. Also, it seems Xenix didn't have a TCP/IP stack until the 386 version came out.

Chuck(G)
December 25th, 2010, 05:44 PM
Remember that BSD didn't have TCP/IP until after 4.1 (4.1a) and few installations were using TCP/IP anyway. 4.2 didn't come out until mid-1983; too late for porting and inclusion with the early x86 systems. In 1983, we got an 11/750 in and it still was used to host 4.1 until at least a year later.

So I think my statement in connection with the 1983 Poppy Xenix that "Xenix was close enough to BSD from a user's standpoint that it really didn't matter." still holds water.

Pepinno
December 26th, 2010, 02:53 AM
So I think my statement in connection with the 1983 Poppy Xenix that "Xenix was close enough to BSD from a user's standpoint that it really didn't matter." still holds water.

It was not my intention to disprove the generality of your statement, but just to point out a technological difference between them regarding the implementation of their TCP/IP subsystems, which is the part I'm interested in right now (also in UUCP) to be able to network them, somehow.

Back on topic, has anyone got the books "UNIX System Administration Handbook, 1st Ed." (1989) and/or "Essential System Administration, 1st Ed." (1991) and can report what do they have in their TOC and what UNIX flavors do they cover?

saundby
December 28th, 2010, 12:42 AM
SLIP implementations are a lot more recent than TCP/IP and UUCP. TCP does not imply SLIP. Most systems got a SLIP program in the mid nineties or so, they were specific to the current OSes at the time. So far as I know it was only delivered with AIX and SCO UNIX. It was an ftp GET for HP-UX, SunOS, etc.

If you want to do UUCP, get "the book": Managing UUCP and USENET by Todino and O'Reilly. My most recent copy is 10th ed., 1992. It covers all major Unices of the day, 4.3, System V, Xenix, etc.

My 1994 edition of TCP/IP Network Administration by Craig Hunt covers SLIP well, covering SunOS, AIX, Xenix, and SCO Unix. Others have similar implementations, so the instructions here are comprehensive enough for you if you've got a SLIP for your system.

My 1995 (2nd) edition of Essential System Administration (the armadillo book) only has brief mentions of UUCP and doesn't have SLIP. By going to
http://oreilly.com/catalog/9781565921276/
and clicking on "full description" you'll see the OSes it covers. I found it comprehensive enough that I gave away my 1st edition without worrying about losing info specific to older systems (I was still supporting a range of older systems back to BSD 4.2 and System III.)

This is a great book if you're learning system admin, or an experienced admin looking to do better. It's more of a "running" than "setting up" book, though.

Pepinno
December 28th, 2010, 10:09 AM
If you want to do UUCP, get "the book": Managing UUCP and USENET by Todino and O'Reilly. My most recent copy is 10th ed., 1992. It covers all major Unices of the day, 4.3, System V, Xenix, etc.
I'll have a look at that book, because right now kermit and UUCP seem to be the only options to network Xenix 386, as the "SCO Xenix TCP/IP Supplement" is either lost or very much well guarded by some in their cave^Wcomputer room...


My 1994 edition of TCP/IP Network Administration by Craig Hunt covers SLIP well, covering SunOS, AIX, Xenix, and SCO Unix. Others have similar implementations, so the instructions here are comprehensive enough for you if you've got a SLIP for your system.
That is very interesting information. If the TCP/IP Supplement for Xenix does ever appear, that book seems like a nice have to play with it...


My 1995 (2nd) edition of Essential System Administration (the armadillo book) only has brief mentions of UUCP and doesn't have SLIP. By going to
http://oreilly.com/catalog/9781565921276/
and clicking on "full description" you'll see the OSes it covers.
Yeah, it's already covered in the OP. The "mistery" is what did cover the first editions of both "Essential System Administration" and "UNIX System Administration Handbook".


This is a great book if you're learning system admin, or an experienced admin looking to do better. It's more of a "running" than "setting up" book, though.
I already own and have read (and practiced with RedHat 6.2 back in the day) the 2001 edition of "UNIX System Administration Handbook" (the purple book). But, as I said in the OP, it totally bypasses UUCP and SLIP, which therefore I have never done. Yeah, they don't look like rocket science, but I do like to have a book to go with my vintage items...

saundby
December 28th, 2010, 09:34 PM
Essential System Administration covers how to be a sysadmin, from communicating with users to learning the tools of the trade. I tells you what a Unix system does when it boots, how it's organized, the different types of filesystems and how to manage them, doing backups and restores and how to set policies for doing them as well as automating them, automating common tasks, performing common tasks from the command line as well as using the graphical tools some Unices provide.

If you're new to Unix, you might see about an older copy of Unix in a Nutshell. It'll give you a good grounding in basic Unix system use and operation, an intro to programming on such a system, and will cover differences between different flavors of Unix so that when you sit down and type 'ps -ef' and get a nastygram from the system you can say, "OK", then type 'ps -ax', or dealing with BSD vs. AT&T filesystems and their related commands.