ISC 386/ix

Bill Diamond diamond at hdchq.UUCP
Mon Nov 20 13:59:53 AEST 1989

In article <349 at shiloh.UUCP>, kmoore at shiloh.UUCP (kirk moore) writes:
> I have listened very intently to the discussions and flames that have 
been passed around about ISC. I thought to add my two cents, (really inflation 
and all). I have been up and running ISC 2.0.2, Vpix 1.1.1, a developers 
system for about 4 months. The following will give you a idea as to my opinion 
about ISC and SCO.
> I really am sorry for the long post, but after the fires and flames 
that have been leveled at ISC, some of which I feel are unfair. I felt 
that a post from someone that had good experances would be nice.

I agree! My flame went on longer than it should have, and certainly worse
than is appropriate for a "family" group.

My apologies to Patrick Curran at ISC - I believe he was sincerely trying to help.

Our experience with the ISC UNIX kernel and software have been uniformly
excellent - I have worked with quite a few versions of UNIX since 1981, as
a programmer and developer.  No one can touch ISC for pure quality in its

My complaint centers on a side piece of software, which I believe was not
truly market-ready, or perhaps not ready for the amount of use it recieves
in my organization.  Unfortunately, we have been in a position of having to
depend upon VP/ix to run our company - and the results have been stinging,
for my company and for me.  

Honestly, if I had to choose again, I believe I would stay with ISC.  I
have never felt so in control of an OS, nor so certain of the underlying
quality of a product.  

I received an e-mail message today, which I add:

>From: uunet!!nvk (Norman Kohn)
>To: hdchq!diamond
>Date: Sat Nov 18 23:39:51 1989

>To: diamond at hdchq.UUCP
>Subject: Re: ISC 2.0.2 and VP/IX Dos Emulation
>Newsgroups: comp.unix.i386
>In-Reply-To: <290 at minnie.UUCP>
>References: <240 at hdchq.UUCP> <36515 at>
>Organization: ddsw1.MCS.COM Contributor, Mundelein, IL

>>In article <290 at minnie.UUCP> you write:
>>In article <36515 at>, patrick at (Patrick Curran) writes:
>> Try unplugging the keyboard and then plugging it back in again.
>> This solves almost all of the "lockup" problems I experience.
>This is one of the most inutterably stupid ideas I've ever heard.

>I missed the antecedent message, but I should point out that my
>microport 386 unix system has a possibly similar characteristic:
>it sometimes ignores the keyboard unless I unplug and replug the 
>keyboard.  At such times the shift and num lock keys fail to
>toggle their respective lights.  The problem may lie in the
>hardware or firmware and not in the OS.

This problem sounds distressingly similar to the phenomena experienced by
my community.  The writer does not state whether he uses VP/ix or not.  For
us, the problem occurs only within VP/ix.  The wide perception by our users
is that since upgrading from 1.0.6 to 2.0.2 the problems have worsened.

With what I have been reading of late in the press about Phoenix
Technologies financial woes, and the indications they will pull out of the
UNIX market place, it doesn't seem to me that we will see any real
improvements in VP/ix.  Hopefully, I am wrong (again) and that Mr. Curran
from ISC will educate me.

I want to see ISC be a dominant force in 80X86 UNIX products - I am hopeful
that we can develop office automation systems which we can commercially
market based on ISC products.  I have been waiting over a year for the
product line to mature, and some of the products have.  I believe VP/ix is
a crucial puzzle which must be resolved for me to market these systems.

ISC must let its customers know when it can expect bug fixes, when updates
will be shipped, but most importantly we just have to know about known bugs
in the system.  It really irked me to find that 5 bug fixes had been
shipped from the net - and my distributor didn't even know.

In ways, the problems we've had remind me of the Commodore - Atari battle
between 85-87.  Atari had the better technology, but couldn't match Jack
Tramiel at Commodore for pure market savvy. Eventually, the 8-bit market
was owned by Commodore.  I fear the same thing will happen with ISC and its

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