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View Full Version : Dearth of Xenix and Unix items



kb2syd
April 23rd, 2012, 01:01 PM
I've always been a fan of Xenix since I installed it for the first time back in the 80's on a TRS-80 mode 16. 12 meg sure went a long way. I know there were thousands of installations of Xenix on boxes going back this far. When I search on information out there, especially on EBay, all I ever see for Xenix is Lisa and the occasional SCO reference.

Any thoughts on this observance? I think it is primarily due to the pleaces where these machines were installed. Homes for the Lisa vs businesses for most Xenix installations. Businesses are known to scrap what is laying around un-used while individuals seem to hold on to things "just-in-case".

Any other thoughts?

What made me think of this is my on-going search for the installation disks for Tandy's Xenix based hypertext system called VideoText for the model 16.

Thanks,
Kelly

Unknown_K
April 23rd, 2012, 02:31 PM
Have any idea how many copies were sold? Xenix is like A/UX for the mac, it rarely comes up for sale and few people even know about it.

barythrin
April 23rd, 2012, 02:36 PM
Well, Xenix was pretty popular for the Model II line although I don't find xenix installs very often online and they generally have an anti-hobbiest price tag. It's interesting though to me regarding how much MS was out there in the beginning home/business computer market. Xenix, the MSX computers, Basic, and DOS. Lots of vectors that were pretty intelligent at the time. I mean, buy a computer that does nothing OR buy a computer that right out of the box you can program basic on WITHOUT additional purchases. No hardware standards or compatibility so out comes the MSX system with compatible cartridges.

Anyway, what did you use Xenix for back in the day?

Chuck(G)
April 23rd, 2012, 03:12 PM
A fair number of Xenix installations for the PC base were customized to a given manufacturer's hardware (e.g. Wyse). SCO/Microsoft had some whacky licensing procedures as well--different keys for every product, for example. So you kept them around.

There were many Unices from the 1980s--some (e.g. Fortune Systems) with really paranoid system licenses--so much so, that they haven't survived to any extent.

kb2syd
April 24th, 2012, 04:59 AM
Anyway, what did you use Xenix for back in the day?
Everything needed to run an office. Scripsit 16 was an awsome word processor. FilePro 16 plus was a great database. Working together you could do a lot. UUCP for external mail and micnet for internal mail and file transfer. For everything else, there was cc and mbasic.

kb2syd
April 24th, 2012, 05:00 AM
There were many Unices from the 1980s--some (e.g. Fortune Systems) with really paranoid system licenses--so much so, that they haven't survived to any extent.
Wern't the Fortune licenses tied to a code in the ROM. So even if you had install media it had to match the license in the ROM or it wouldn't run anyway.

njroadfan
April 24th, 2012, 09:05 AM
The local YMCA used to run a Xenix system in their offices until like 1996-97 or so. They seemed to like it, but eventually gave it up for a Windows based network.

Chuck(G)
April 24th, 2012, 09:31 AM
Wern't the Fortune licenses tied to a code in the ROM. So even if you had install media it had to match the license in the ROM or it wouldn't run anyway.

Yup. Makes the Fortune boxes and the distros pretty much useless unless you had matching software and equipment. It's probably why not many examples survive. But there were lots of 68K Unix implementations, probably because it was an easy port.

And there was a lot of technical incest going on. You were just as likely to see Bill Joy at Fortune as at Sun, for example, so problems and their resolutions were shared among the Stanford mafiosi.