Taking risks on software (ISC)

Liam R. E. Quin lee at sq.sq.com
Thu Dec 7 12:43:22 AEST 1989

Larry Snyder (akcs.larry at nstar.UUCP)  writes:
>>I have been very satisfied with the reliability and performance of 386/ix. 
>>I run NFS, tcp-ip, X11, VPix without any problems.  I have run xenix software
>How has the file system managed with complete un-attended power downs?  Try
>pulling the plug a couple of times and see what happens.  I've lost the
>power a couple of times to this machine (running SCO) and have NEVER lost a
>file let alone the ability to boot the machine (which was the case SEVERAL
>times when running ISC 2.02).

I think this depends on your hardware -- Xenix is better on some systems,
386/ix on others.  We have had only one problem with 386/ix that I recall,
and that was due (as it turned out) to a faulty hard disk.
We sell both Xenix and 386/ix, and have many, many more problems with Xenix
and corrupted filesystems (`my /usr/spool has turned into a FIFO, help!')
than with 386/ix.  We have had a couple of unbootables, but the hard disks
could be mounted on the floppy and everything recovered.  This is often
caused -- it seems -- by disk or controllers doing nasty thigs on a power cut.

>>My only perk with Interactive is that they don't let me call them when I had 
>>a problem.  I had to go through my distributer who knows much less then I do

In the UK there is only one (maybe 2 now) 386/ix distributor, and they have
a monopoly by virtue of the huge fee ISC charge to be a distributor.  So we
are a dealer, not a distributor, for both 386/ix and Xenix (for other reasons).

But I can still call both Interactive and SCO, and both companies are helpful
and courteous.  Perhaps because they are larger, SCO are not so good at
returning calls, and it's often hard to get through to the right person there,
but they do answer.

>I feel sorry for you spending $3000 for ISC.  I purchased it through the
>75% off retail plan (for anyone who wants to be a dealer) and still feel
>ripped off. 
As this (assuming you have a full system) is so cheap, compared to both SCO
Xenix and 386/ix, I am not at all sorry!
There is no 75% plan in the UK as far as I am aware.

In general, I reccommend to people that they look at Xenix if they have not
used Unix and want to use a few applications & little else.
If they want to do development work, especially with portability to or
from System V or BSD systems, I suggest that they look at 386/ix.
Especially since ISC are so far ahead of SCO in releaseing V.3.2, and will
no doubt be a few months (years?) ahead with V.4.

I think you can probably find `hard-luck' stories about both products.
Both products, and both companies, are a lot better than a number of others
who spring to mind.  Can you say `micr .... er, well, I certainly can't :-) :-)

Liam R. Quin, Unixsys (UK) Ltd [note: not an employee of "sq" - a visitor!]
lee at sq.com (Whilst visiting Canada from England, until Christmas)
 -- I think I'm going to come out at last...
 -- What?  Admit you're not a fundamentalist Jew?  They'll *crucify* you!  :-)

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