Thomas Koenig <tko...@netcologne.de
> Looking around for a bit of computer history, I stumbled across
> the ROMP, the 801 version that IBM commercialized in 1986 as
> the RT PC.
ROMP was originally going to be for a displaywriter followon, running
CP.r implemented in PL.8. When displaywriter followon was canceled, they
decided to retarget to the unix workstation market. They got the company
that had done PC/IX AT&T unix port for IBM/PC ... to do one for ROMP
("AIX"). They also had all these IBM PL.8 programmers ... and so had
the PL.8 programmers do the VRM abstract "virtual machine" ... and
directed the company doing the unix port, to implement to the VRM
abstract "virtual machine" ... claiming that the combined effort to do
VRM plus the unix port to VRM ... would be much less than having the
unix company port directly to the real hardware.
There was an IBM group out in Palo Alto working on BSD port to IBM (370)
mainframe ... who got redirected to do BSD port to ROMP (instead)
... which required drastically less resources than the VRM+AIX effort
and done in signifcantly less elapsed time ... which shipped as "AOS"
for the PC/RT.
one of the side effects of the VRM+AIX was UNIX tradition of being able
to easily do new device drivers ... then required a new VRM PL.8 device
driver and a AIX device driver in "C".
The Palo Alto group had also been working with UCLA and had done a Locus
port to the the IBM Series/1 and working a 370 port ... which eventually
ships as AIX/370 (along with AIX/386)
some topic drift:
In 1987, "The NSF starts to implement its T1 backbone between the
supercomputing centers with 24 RT-PCs in parallel implemented by IBM as
"parallel routers". The T1 idea is so successful that proposals for T3
speeds in the backbone begin. Internet History of 1980.
Early 80s, I had HSDT project doing T1 and faster computer links (both
terrestrial and satellite) and was working with the NSF director and was
supposed to get $20M to interconnect the NSF supercomputer centers; then
congress cuts the budget, some other things happen and eventually
releases an RFP (in part based on what we already had running, like
requring T1 links). Preliminary announce (Mar1986)
The OASC has initiated three programs: The Supercomputer Centers Program
to provide Supercomputer cycles; the New Technologies Program to foster
new supercomputer software and hardware developments; and the Networking
Program to build a National Supercomputer Access Network - NSFnet.
Internal politics prevent us from bidding ... the NSF director tries to
help by writing the company a letter (with support from other agencies)
but that just makes the internal politics worse (as well as comments
that what we already had running was at least 5yrs ahead of winning
bid). Note the winning bid had (PC/RT) 440kbit links and to give it
appearance of meeting the RFP, had T1 trunks with telco multiplexors
running multiple 440kbit links over the T1 trunks. I would ridicule why
didn't they call it a T5 network ... since possible some of the T1
trunks were possibly multiplexed in turn over T5 trunks someplace.
They did ask me to be the "red team" for the T3 response .... the "blue
team" had couple dozen people from half dozen labs around the world. I
presented 1st then the blue team presented. Five mins into the blue team
presentation, the executive in charge, pounded on the table saying he
would lay down in front of a garbage truck before he let any but the
blue team proposal go forward.
virtualization experience starting Jan1968, online at home since Mar1970