[vcf-midatlantic] UNIX PC, was Re: Museum Report 7/16 & 7/17

Jeffrey Brace ark72axow at gmail.com
Tue Jul 19 18:14:07 EDT 2016

Thank you Dave for a concise technical explanation! It is also helpful to
have personal anecdote's like yours to tell visitors. :) I also will have
to explain to visitors what is UNIX, how it was important, who invented it

On Tue, Jul 19, 2016 at 5:53 PM, Dave McGuire via vcf-midatlantic <
vcf-midatlantic at lists.vintagecomputerfederation.org> wrote:

> On 07/19/2016 05:32 PM, Jeffrey Brace via vcf-midatlantic wrote:
> > Yes! I got the login and password from Evan. Then Jonathan G. and David
> ?.
> > helped me figure out the command to properly shutdown:
> > sync;sync;sync;shutdown.
> >
> > I just wanted to check that the machine worked so that I could demo it to
> > visitors. I just wonder what I could demonstrate to them that is
> > interesting. I also have to research the significance of that machine.
> Evan
> > put it in the museum for a reason.
>   The big deal with the UNIX PC is that it's a full-blown UNIX system on
> a desktop for less than $10K, when such a thing was unheard of.
>   It runs SVR2 on a 68010 at 10MHz.  The base configuration was 512KB of
> RAM and a 10MB hard drive.  This was enough to run the whole OS and get
> work done.  The original spec was a 5MB hard drive, but as far as I know
> that version never shipped, as 5MB wasn't enough to install even the
> first release of its OS.  The graphics are 720x348 monochrome, the same
> as the ubiquitous Hercules video system at the time.  The graphical
> environment, called "ua" (User Agent), is quite advanced for the time,
> and for its memory footprint.
>   It was done for AT&T by Convergent Technologies.
>   As a matter of opinion, this machine has the finest keyboard I have
> every used on any platform.
>   I worked in a store in NJ which received some of the first released
> UNIX PCs.  We had a regular churn of academic types who had seen the
> press release and came in to ogle it.
>   Contrary to popular belief, it has nothing at all in common with the
> 3B2 family, other than the name of the company that sold it.
>   Overall the machine was groundbreaking in many ways, and way ahead of
> its time.
>               -Dave
> --
> Dave McGuire, AK4HZ
> New Kensington, PA

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