386s, unix, and dos

alan miller akcs.millera at ddsw1.MCS.COM
Thu May 30 16:00:09 AEST 1991

hi folks, this seems like the appropriate place for this, or as close as
i'll get anyway....

i'm planning on getting a 386 (DX, probably 25MHz) to run Unix or Xenix, 
and i've got a couple of questions that i hope i can get advice on.
1) Are there suggestions on hardware?  i'm looking at mail-order 386/25
   machines, at least 2MB, preferably 4, RAM Cache if i can afford it, 
   color VGA, 50MB or more (probably 80) hard disk, and either dual 
   floppies or a 3.5" drive.  i'm pretty much operating out of PC 
   Magazine, but they don't tend to mention Unix all that much.  Is 
   there anything i should avoid like the plague?  Is there anything i 
   should be specifically looking for?  I have a list of choices, but 
   the PC world is somewhat foreign to me--i'm used to BSD and SunView 
   on a Sun 3/50 LAN at school.
2) Once i have a system and have *nix running on it, is there a way to
   boot *ahem, sorry 'bout this...* DOS if i need to, or should i just 
   stick to opening a DOS shell?  The reason for asking is that just 
   about any system i get will have Windows and a mouse bundled, and i 
   can get Word and PowerPoint quite inexpensively, as opposed to high 
   prices for *nix versions of similar packages.  If i can't do it i'll 
   try to get TeX or learn troff, and i'll still use TeX most of the time, 
   but occasionally it might be nice to use a WYSIWYG.
and i apologize in advance for the uproar this'un's gonna cause, but
3) What kind of Unix, Xenix, or variant should i look at?  this may 
   actually have to wait for a while after i get the machine itself, 
   since money is not something i'm going to have much of after this.  
   On the source code side there's Minix, which i know a bit about from 
   an operating systems and hardware class, but everything i've seen 
   discussed here and elsewhere makes me question the wisdom of that.  
   What i've heard of Coherent didn't strike me as promising, and i 
   know basically nothing about SCO or any of the others available.

oh, and just to be a pest, what's the best place to look for more info on 
Usenet and news?  My school system wasn't connected to anything with any 
sort of reliability.

Thanks much, 
flames and suggestions in e-mail please,
and should i post a summary of responses if any?

ajm (Alan Miller)
akcs.millera on ddsw1
bitnet: millera @ grin1
"The Universe is laughing at you behind your back." --Deteriorata

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