386s, unix, and dos

Andy Crump andyc at bucky.intel.com
Thu May 30 18:19:58 AEST 1991

>>>>> On 30 May 91 06:00:09 GMT, akcs.millera at ddsw1.MCS.COM (alan miller) said:

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

alan> i'm planning on getting a 386 (DX, probably 25MHz) to run Unix or Xenix, 
alan> and i've got a couple of questions that i hope i can get advice on.
alan> 1) Are there suggestions on hardware?  i'm looking at mail-order 386/25
alan>    machines, at least 2MB, preferably 4, RAM Cache if i can afford it, 
alan>    color VGA, 50MB or more (probably 80) hard disk, and either dual 
alan>    floppies or a 3.5" drive.  i'm pretty much operating out of PC 
alan>    Magazine, but they don't tend to mention Unix all that much.  Is 
alan>    there anything i should avoid like the plague?  Is there anything i 
alan>    should be specifically looking for?  I have a list of choices, but 
alan>    the PC world is somewhat foreign to me--i'm used to BSD and SunView 
alan>    on a Sun 3/50 LAN at school.

If you are going to run UNIX and in particular SVR4, you will need
more than 50MB disk.  A better size would be 140MB or bigger.  4MB of
memory is minimal for UNIX with X Windows, 8MB is better.  If you run
SCO UNIX 3.2, you should be okay with the system you have spec'ed out
here.  Always get as big of a disk as you can, you will use it if you
are a packrat like me.

alan> 2) Once i have a system and have *nix running on it, is there a way to
alan>    boot *ahem, sorry 'bout this...* DOS if i need to, or should i just 
alan>    stick to opening a DOS shell?  The reason for asking is that just 
alan>    about any system i get will have Windows and a mouse bundled, and i 
alan>    can get Word and PowerPoint quite inexpensively, as opposed to high 
alan>    prices for *nix versions of similar packages.  If i can't do it i'll 
alan>    try to get TeX or learn troff, and i'll still use TeX most of the time, 
alan>    but occasionally it might be nice to use a WYSIWYG.

As far as running DOS AND UNIX together, there are two packages that
let you do that under UNIX.  MERGE from Locus Computing and VP/IX from
Interactive System Corporation (also a distributor of UNIX).  VP/IX is
well integrated into ISC's UNIX 3.2 product.  We have even been able
to run Windows 3.0 under VP/IX.

alan> and i apologize in advance for the uproar this'un's gonna cause, but
alan> 3) What kind of Unix, Xenix, or variant should i look at?  this may 
alan>    actually have to wait for a while after i get the machine itself, 
alan>    since money is not something i'm going to have much of after this.  
alan>    On the source code side there's Minix, which i know a bit about from 
alan>    an operating systems and hardware class, but everything i've seen 
alan>    discussed here and elsewhere makes me question the wisdom of that.  
alan>    What i've heard of Coherent didn't strike me as promising, and i 
alan>    know basically nothing about SCO or any of the others available.

Either Interactive Unix (ISC) or SCO Unix are workable for your
applications.  SCO has the largest application base, but ISC has a
better integration of DOS and UNIX.  But you can run MERGE on SCO.

I hope that helps....

    -- Andy Crump

    ...!tektronix!reed!littlei!andyc | andyc at littlei.intel.com
    ...!uunet!littlei!andyc          | andyc at littlei.uu.net

Disclaimer: Any opinions expressed here are my own and 
            not representive of Intel Corportation.

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