[BBC-Micro] OT PC architecture

Rob robert at irrelevant.com
Thu Feb 18 02:22:20 GMT 2010

On 18/02/2010, Rick Murray <rick at rs432.net> wrote:
> I wonder how Unixen worked pre-386? I know a lot of modern Linux-likes
> won't run on earlier hardware, however the concept predates the
> introduction of the 386. Was any sort of Unix released for earlier x86s?
> I ask because it seemed in numerous walks of life, MS-DOS suffered from
> the 64K/640K limitations (ever had to start a game from a special boot
> disc as loading your regular device drivers only left half a megabyte
> free?); so did these Unixen suffer similar problems or did they work
> around it? [or not exist at all?]

Don't know about UNIX, but I used to run BOS on 8086 and 80286
hardware.  No problems at all.  We were quite happy running a standard
80286 "PC" with half a dozen terminals hung off the back, each with 4
virtual screens.  That's 24 different applications all running
simultaneously. OK, each app only got 64K, but that's because the
environment was a virtual 16bit machine, and not anything to do with
the x86 - it was identical on the pdp11 implementation, for instance.
(And on what other "OS" could you copy the *programs* across from
machines with completely different processors and have them just run?)
  Hmm... reminds me - I wonder if I've still got any pdp11 install
discs, and if they would run on the ARM7 emulator...

> In my room are five PCs (old one, mom's one, Aiko, Ayleigh, Azumi). [1]
> In my room are four RISC OS machines (seven if you count the two Bush

I'd not even try and guess as to how many microprocessor based devices
I have here.  I can barely even count how many things are attached to
the Ethernet.. (at least 30, *before* counting PCs and laptops..)


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