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Author Topic: About the Amiga Unix Distro  (Read 18818 times)


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Offline olsen

Re: About the Amiga Unix Distro
« Reply #14 from previous page: April 09, 2011, 06:49:28 AM »
Quote from: nicholas;630280
Is it compatible with 040/060 accelerators?

Funny that you'd ask, because that was a major bone of contention back then. Not only did Commodore manage to kill the product, they killed it at a time when the introduction of the '040 could have really made it into something worthwhile, had Amiga Unix supported this platform. The 68040 used to be quite expensive when it was introduced and few machines were built which used it. But at the time it was binary compatible with the entire 68k family, for which a lot of software (especially for Sun systems) still did exist, and it was faster than the SPARC CPUs used by Sun workstations in the same price range.

Now this could have really been something... But there's one problem: the 68851 PMMU, which was merged into the 68030, allowed for very compact MMU tables, but the integrated 68040 MMU did not. You'd burn an awful lot of RAM for setting up the 68040 MMU, and the MMU table format was not even compatible with the format used by the 68851/68030. This required major rewrites and redesign of the virtual memory subsystem in your Unix kernel. This was a major stumbling block, and back at the time few vendors rose to this occasion.

Offline olsen

Re: About the Amiga Unix Distro
« Reply #15 on: April 09, 2011, 08:04:37 AM »
Quote from: Failure;630266
It's difficult to install and out of the box you get broken networking, DNS that only works with "some assembly required"

I wanted to add something to the DNS issue: back when Amiga Unix was new (1990/1991), DNS was just about getting traction, so the DNS resolver that shipped with it had to be somewhat primitive.

I recall that at the time, you'd still use IPv4 addresses in order to access ftp servers. If you wanted to send e-mail through the Internet, you'd use "bang addressing", which meant that you'd type out the route mail delivery would use to reach the destination. That route would consist of host names, separated by "!" characters. Back in 1990, you could have reached me under "cbmvax!cbmehq!sourcery!olsen" ;)

Offline Pentad

Re: About the Amiga Unix Distro
« Reply #16 on: May 12, 2011, 01:22:17 PM »
I thought I would add an interesting story about Amix...

Do you folks remember the brochures for the Amiga 3000UX?  You can view a page here:

I tracked down a few of the professors in this advert to ask about the Amiga 3000UX in their programs, the demise of Commodore, and looking back what did they think.

The replies I received were almost all like this:

-The Amiga 3000UX and Amix were amazing compared to to competition in terms of speed, price, and support.  Commodore had that on-site support deal going on during this time

-The students and faculty really loved the machines.  The ability to 'dual boot' was a very a real novelty at the time and offered great flexibility for all involved.

-In the end, it was a disaster for all involved.   Why?   Well, each university made it mandatory for a student to buy this computer (ie parents).  This isn't new or out-of-the-ordinary, however, it puts great pressure on the university to support this computer for the life of the student.

When Commodore killed the Amix platform and then went bankrupt, it caused utter panic for these organizations.  Parents used the argument "Hey you told us we HAD to buy THIS computer for our son/daughter for your program so you better damn well support it."

The guy from Lowell told me that they made it mandatory that each student buy a fully loaded Amiga 3000 UX with 18 meg of ram (16/2).  That was quite an investment by students and parents not too mention the additional price of software and a printer.  I'm trying to remember what he listed for software but I think it was a WP like Excellence! and a few others...I can't remember.

Some students were planning on doing their BA, MA, and PhD so their computer had to last 6-ish years.  When Commodore/Amix died, then you had a mix of students that the university had to support which became a bigger headache.

One of the people in the brochure told me that it became so bad that as students graduated the university offered to buy back their Amiga 3000UX for twice as much as the student paid for it.  That is how desperate they were for replacement parts.

In the end, almost all said that it was a solid platform and performed flawlessly but the sinking of Commodore was a disaster for everyone.

« Last Edit: May 12, 2011, 01:25:27 PM by Pentad »
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