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Thread: Anybody here actually collect Unix stuff?

  1. #11

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    As a kid I was fascinated with 3D animation and dreamed of having an O2 with Softimage. Now I've got a bunch of SGI and Sun workstations - a deskside Onyx & Crimson, an Indigo, an O2, and I2, an Octane, and a few Indys. Also have a Sparc 10, 20, and IPX. The SGI machines are more interesting, but the Suns are better built. Someday I'd like to make a YouTube retro UNIX pizzabox shootout that compares the Indy to the Sparc20.

  2. #12

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    I collect the Tandy TRS-80 Model 16 and it's decendents the Model 16B and 6000. These machines ran TRS-XENIX which was an adapted version of XENIX for the MC68000 sub-system found in these computers. The 16 and 16B had a 6Mhz CPU and ran TRS-XENIX 1.0, which was mostly Unix v7 but also incorporated some features of Unix System III and BSD Unix, such as the vi editor. The later Tandy 6000 has an 8Mhz CPU and supported TRS-XENIX 3.x which incorporated most of Unix System III functionality.

  3. #13
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    Sunblade 2000
    NeXT Cube and NeXT Slab
    Couple of Indys and O2s, Indigo and Indigo2
    Sun Voyager and Sparc 20
    3B2/310 with a 5620DMD
    A/UX and MachTen on some Apple gear

    Probably stuff I'm forgetting

  4. #14

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    I find that, because they're workstations, these machines are not sought after. Most people have never seen Sun hardware, let alone used it. Most computer collectors tend to seek out the stuff they used in the past, particularly the hardware they used when they were teenagers or kids. I don't know many people who have fond memories of using a Sun workstation during the summer hols. Maybe some did at their parents' workplace or something but, even then, how much gaming was done? Also, UNIX hardware tends to come from big institutions, governments and multinational tech firms. Without a known use for them in a domestic context, very few employees would ask to take something that was being thrown out, and very few tech departments would offer them. So all this stuff slips under the radar and into the greasy hands of the recyclers.

    I ended up with my Sun SPARCstation 5 by accident really. I used Solaris once on a UNIX sysadmin course at uni and was always curious about it. So when I saw a local ad for free Sun hardware, I snapped it up. Also got an Ultra 30 with the Creator 3D card, but it was dead so I had to wave goodbye to that beast. I'm running NeXTSTEP on the SPARCstation for the fun of it, but am considering moving to Solaris and running a Quake server for my retro computing LAN

  5. Default

    I'm into 8-bit stuff myself, not exactly what most of you are thinking of, but some of you might be shocked to learn how much 8-bit Unix stuff there is.

    My favorite is the Tandy Color Computer 3. Not well known because it's predecessor stuck with early 80's hardware through the mid 80's, the CoCo 3 completely blows away the competition (Atari 130XE, Commodore 128, Apple IIc, even the IIgs) because it just happened to use the Microware (not Macintosh) OS-9 operating system. It starts up in disk basic like everything else, but insert a floppy and type DOS and it comes up in an only slightly non-standard Unix. There are utility packages that add more standard Unix commands, lots of applications,and an optional GUI, but what's most amazing, FULL MULTITASKING!!! That's right, five years before a 640k Commodore 128 could even have two GEOS windows open, the 512k CoCo 3 could have up to eight, a GUI as good as GEOS, and four users at once. Of course pushing it's limits like that slowed it down, but just playing Koronis Rift while downloading from Compuserve at the same time, while someone else copied a spreadsheet to the Model 200 was pretty amazing.

    Today, the HD6309 CPU and NitrOS-9 OS upgrades make it much faster.

    Unix clones and variants are now available for the Apple IIgs, Commodore 64, and probably many others, so if you have trouble finding the 68000 or ARM systems from the good old days, try something that was a little closer to home. There is probably a Unix of some kind for whatever you used to use.

    Of course, the 65802 and 6809 are not 68000's, but isn't the challenge of pushing the supposed limits a huge part of the fun of retrocomputing?

  6. #16
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    But the 8 bit stuff isn't Unix, is it? It's a Unix look-alike.

    In other words, if I read off my AT&T SysVR4 tapes, you couldn't compile them for the 6502, could you?

  7. #17

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    Nope.
    I use my C128 because I am an ornery, stubborn, retro grouch. -- Bob Masse
    Machine room: http://www.floodgap.com/etc/machines.html

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    But the 8 bit stuff isn't Unix, is it? It's a Unix look-alike.

    In other words, if I read off my AT&T SysVR4 tapes, you couldn't compile them for the 6502, could you?
    Do you know where Cromemco CROMIX fits in there? I suspect it's largely a workalike, not API compatible. That'll run on a Z80 or 68K system.

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by glitch View Post
    Do you know where Cromemco CROMIX fits in there? I suspect it's largely a workalike, not API compatible. That'll run on a Z80 or 68K system.
    Wikipedia describes it as "Unix-like," so I'd bet you're right.
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  10. #20
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    There's always Morrow's Micronix, which had a complete enough API-compatibility that the Bourne shell, once compiled, would run ok.
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