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Re: 80386 support

    Date:        Tue, 11 Sep 2012 19:14:42 -0700
    From:        "Greg A. Woods" <woods%planix.ca@localhost>
    Message-ID:  <m1TBcTS-004lScC%more.weird.com@localhost>

  | However I don't think I ever ran any kind of unix on any 32-bit machine
  | with just 2MB of main memory, or if I did it was just to see if it could
  | boot.

I have no idea what this thread is actually about these days (the recent
messages don't seem to contain any notable content) but don't any of you
people remember the "definition" of a useful workstation ...

That was that it have
        1 MHz processor
        1 Mpixel graphics
        1 MB RAM

That's what Sun workstations were designed for, and they certainly ran
32 bit unix (and self-hosted if needed).

The first 32 bit system I ran unix on had 384KB of RAM, that also ran
unix, self hosted, and handled multiple users (no networking, networking
for unix had yet to be invented, not even uucp in the early days).   What
it ran initially was a variant of 6th edition unix that was designed to
be able to run on non split I/D PDP-11's (which meant total program size
for any program, including the kernel, < 64KB (56KB for the kernel to allow
memory mapped I/O controller access).   Even with the natural expansioon
from using 32 bits everywhere instead of 16, and a less effecient
instruction set than the PDP-11's, 384KB was quite a lot of RAM
(and expensive, and used a lot of physical space.)

I suspect that the smaller model of the same type of computer at
the University of Wollongong, where Richard Miller did the 6th edition
port that made this possible probably had just 256KB (maybe only 192K
or perhaps 128K).  That also self hosted, and supported multiple users.

I don't remember the initial specs now, but I think the first VAX 11/780
that I ran BSD unix on (the first munnari.oz.au) probably started out
with 1MB RAM.


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