PDA

View Full Version : Fun With XENIX on my 5162!!



ibmapc
May 4th, 2017, 11:21 AM
A while back Trixter led me to a deal on a really clean almost perfect XT/286 AKA IBM 5162. Ever since, I've been trying to figure out what I should use as an OS. I quickly got bored with DOS and Windows 3.1 running in standard mode. The only version of OS2 (v1.x ??)that I could get working on it seemed very primitive. So, I decided to try an OS that takes me far outside of my comfort zone. Not having ANY experience with UNIX and very very limited experience with Linux back in the mid '90s, the learning curve has been extremely steep! But SCO XENIX286 installed and runs pretty well with an Intel Aboveboard Plus 8 supplying 8 MB of extended RAM. I even have my 5155 playing dumb (terminal that is) over a serial connection running Kermit (I love Kermit!!) on the portable. Man this stuff is a BLAST! Not because it's flashy or quick but because it's so very different yet similar to the DOS that I grew up on in the early 80's. No A: or B: or C: . Just /dev/rroot or /mnt/whatever. "/" instead of " \ " . Why did DOS go with " \ " anyway?
I know there are several others here with 5162's. Has anyone else used alternative OS's on one? Does anyone Know of interesting Apps that will run on XENIX286?

lyonadmiral
May 4th, 2017, 11:24 AM
A while back Trixter led me to a deal on a really clean almost perfect XT/286 AKA IBM 5162. Ever since, I've been trying to figure out what I should use as an OS. I quickly got bored with DOS and Windows 3.1 running in standard mode. The only version of OS2 (v1.x ??)that I could get working on it seemed very primitive. So, I decided to try an OS that takes me far outside of my comfort zone. Not having ANY experience with UNIX and very very limited experience with Linux back in the mid '90s, the learning curve has been extremely steep! But SCO XENIX286 installed and runs pretty well with an Intel Aboveboard Plus 8 supplying 8 MB of extended RAM. I even have my 5155 playing dumb (terminal that is) over a serial connection running Kermit on the portable. Man this stuff is a BLAST! Not because it's flashy or quick but because it's so very different yet similar to the DOS that I grew up on in the early 80's. No A: or B: or C: . Just /dev/rroot or /mnt/whatever. "/" instead of " \ " . Why did DOS go with " \ " anyway?
I know there are several others here with 5162's. Has anyone else used alternative OS's on one? Does anyone Know of interesting Apps that will run on XENIX286?

If you can get your hands on Enable, they ported it with a special installation disk for UNIX/XENIX, both productivity and power! I was going to try to set up an AT to run it along with Enable, because I have many good memories from way back, but I have too much going on now... :(

vwestlife
May 4th, 2017, 02:08 PM
"/" instead of " \ " . Why did DOS go with " \ " anyway?
Because IBM put that key on the keyboard and they wanted to make use of it. :p

But seriously, it's because DOS already used / as the switch character before support for subdirectories was added in DOS 2.0.

DOS 2.x did contain an undocumented CONFIG.SYS command (SWITCHAR) to change the switch character to something else (such as the - used in UNIX), which would allow / to be used to designate directories, but that broke compatibility with many programs, so they kept that feature hidden.

There was another undocumented CONFIG.SYS command (AVAILDEV) to allow drives and ports to be addressed in the same manner as UNIX -- for example A: would become /dev/a, LPT1 would become /dev/lpt1, etc.

These are remnants of Microsoft's plan to replace DOS with a hybrid OS that would be a stepping-stone between DOS and XENIX, called XEDOS.