PC Unix/Xenix vendors

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Larry Snyder

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Jan 13, 1993, 4:19:38 PM1/13/93
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gry...@openage.openage.com (The Golden Gryphon) writes:

>This is all the info I have currently:
>SCO Open Desktop/UNIX (liked it enough to build a business around it)

requires the largest initial investment and continues
to rake users with expensive support and upgrades -- look
at the upgrade from ODT 1.X to 2.X -- a loaded system would
cost just about as much as another vendors product which is
based on real standards, not self defined ones (ie: SCO's
long file names and symbolic links come to mind). Of course,
if your income is based on sales and percentages, then SCO
might make you the most money in the short term --

>Dell (makes no upgrades, little to no support)

800 number support, quick support turn-around on call-backs, and
email support -- for what one paid for the ODT 1.X - 2.0 upgrade
one could have almost purchased the complete Dell with unlimited
users, DOS under UNIX, NFS, TCP, X11R5 (SCO is still behind with
X11R4 last time I checked) and as all SVR4's, support for long file
names, symbolic links and > 65k inodes.

Dell also has an excellent upgrade from prior release (cheap!)

Just my 2 cents


--
Larry Snyder internet: la...@gator.use.com
keeper of the Gator uucp: uunet!gator!larry

Christer Johansen

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Jan 14, 1993, 2:07:55 AM1/14/93
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Anthony P Lawrence (a...@world.std.com) wrote:
: la...@news.rn.com (Larry Snyder) writes:

: : gry...@openage.openage.com (The Golden Gryphon) writes:
: :
: : >This is all the info I have currently:
: : >SCO Open Desktop/UNIX (liked it enough to build a business around it)
: :
: : requires the largest initial investment and continues
: : to rake users with expensive support and upgrades -- look
: : ....
: : >Dell (makes no upgrades, little to no support)

: :
: : 800 number support, quick support turn-around on call-backs, and
: : email support -- for what one paid for the ODT 1.X - 2.0 upgrade

: Not the point. It doesn't matter if SCO costs more, has less support or
: anything else you want to complain about. What matters is that SCO
: *advertises* and *sells*.

: Grab a thousand x86 Unix/Xenix boxes and *most* of them will be SCO. In
: fact, I've seen ONE AIX box, a couple of Interactives, and zero Dell
: in all my experience.

: That's the reason my business is based on SCO.

: As an individual user, you can justify (to yourself, anyway) buying
: Dell. Personally, I wouldn't recommend anything but SCO to a business,
: because I am darn sure that SCO will be selling Unix 5 years from now, but
: I cannot be as sure for anyone else.
:
: Tony a...@world.std.com

I agree with Tony on this one. What matters for most commercial Unix end-users
is that they get a stable platform on wich to run their applications and that the
Unix they choose still exists years from now. It's of course very hard to look in
to the future, but SCO should have a fair chance.

We use SCO ODT 2.0 ourselves, and it provides an excellent user friendly platform.
Most of our users use X-terminals, and SCO's integration of X.desktop with their
own tools and the standard X-tools provides an excellent environment for novice
X-users. They also have their own character based menu (odtsh) for those who still
use dumb terminals.

I'll have to say I don't understand why Mr. Snyder keeps on complaining about
SCO all the time. Every time he gets the change he seems to pick on them.
This is in no way ment to be a defence speech for SCO, but they can't possibly be
as bad as Larry seems to think.

I know very little about Dell Unix, but one could be fooled into belive that
Mr. Snyder is a major stockholder in that company.

--
Christer Johansen, Tandberg Data A/S, PO Box 9, Korsvoll, N-0808 OSLO 8, NORWAY
Phone +47 (0)2 189090, dir +47 (0)2 189527 Fax +47 (0)2 189550
Internet: ch...@tdata.no X.400: C=no; A=telemax; P=tdata; O=tdd; S=chjo

Larry Snyder

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Jan 14, 1993, 6:26:29 AM1/14/93
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ch...@huldra.tdata.no (Christer Johansen) writes:

>I agree with Tony on this one. What matters for most commercial Unix end-users
>is that they get a stable platform on wich to run their applications and that the
>Unix they choose still exists years from now. It's of course very hard to look in
>to the future, but SCO should have a fair chance.

SCO is no more stable than Dell 2.2. And Dell 2.2 works and works. We
use it for our internet connection running multiple feeds -- try
PPP with SCO. Someone here mentioned that PPP with SCO is based on old
standards, and doesn't like to talk to the outside world unless it is
another SCO box running PPP. SCO also (according to the net) won't allow
a port to run both SLIP and bidirectional communications -- only one or
the other.

SCO be around, maybe. But if they keep trimming back their staff, who
knows?

>I'll have to say I don't understand why Mr. Snyder keeps on complaining about
>SCO all the time. Every time he gets the change he seems to pick on them.

Because SCO is so modified -- it's not real UNIX. SCO took Unix 3.2 and
made it SCO. They symbolic links and long file names from SVR4 and added
support with their 3.2 product calling it release 4.0 to confuse the issue.

They also removed support for alternate protocols like "g","e" and "f", then
added them (mind you they were in the original code from AT&T) in one of
their updates -- thus enabling them to charge for what had been available under
other vendors products for the pervious 3 years.

For your information, Dell also sells $CO, and no, I don't own Dell stock.

Steve Sheldon

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Jan 14, 1993, 9:57:05 AM1/14/93
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In <C0uD4...@news.rn.com> la...@news.rn.com (Larry Snyder) writes:

>Because SCO is so modified -- it's not real UNIX. SCO took Unix 3.2 and
>made it SCO. They symbolic links and long file names from SVR4 and added
>support with their 3.2 product calling it release 4.0 to confuse the issue.

Hmm, what exactly makes something a "real" UNIX? We're running SCO
ODT 2.0 here, along with our DECStation's running Ultrix 4.2a.

I don't know how much SVR4 differs from SVR3.2(.4 SCO), but IMHO, the
DECstation is running "real" UNIX, and the AT&T system is simply a
kludge.

Now some people would say that Ultrix is not "real" UNIX.

It sounds to me, that this is really just a matter of opinion, and relates
more to what you're used to working with.

Except for the poor and confusing documentation that came with SCO, I do
like the system. It works well for working in a production situation like
what we use it for.

(and from what I understand the documentation that comes with Dell is no
better than SCO's)
--
she...@iastate.edu Steve Sheldon
Project Vincent ICSS Resource Unit
SCO ODT, Arc/Info, Atlas GIS 2142 Agronomy Hall
Iowa State University

Evan Leibovitch

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Jan 14, 1993, 10:55:46 AM1/14/93
to
Sigh. I hope most of you who read the SCO newsgroups (that is, all of
you who don't get them through the e-mail gateway) read the other
newsgroups which have SCO-relevant content. This message (as have most
of the others in this thread,) is being cross-posted to all of them.

Anyone who's followed these groups, especially comp.unix.sysv386, should
know by now where Larry's coming from. He likes bandwagons. Loves them.
The term used in the newsgroups is Dellevangelist, and it seems to stick
pretty well.

Don't take it personally, SCO lovers. Larry's just as quick to tear
apart *any* Intel UNIX vendor besides Dell. To him, Dell can do no wrong
and the others can do no right.

Having said that, he often has valid points to make, if you can bother
to read his stuff through the appropriate bias filter. Being rabidly
pro-SCO is no better or worse than being rabidly anti-SCO.

In article <C0tEw...@world.std.com>
a...@world.std.com (Anthony P Lawrence) writes:

>la...@news.rn.com (Larry Snyder) writes:

>: [SCO] requires the largest initial investment and continues


>: to rake users with expensive support and upgrades -- look

>Not the point. It doesn't matter if SCO costs more, has less support or


>anything else you want to complain about.

I think it should matter more to you. If your application can run on two
platforms, and both are stable and do what you want them to do, wouldn't
it make sense to at least consider the one that's less expensive?

If you treat the systems software like the hardware -- as a commodity --
then stability, functionality and price are the driving concerns.

>What matters is that SCO *advertises* and *sells*.

That SCO sells as well as it has is partially due to the fact that there
haven't been any competitors with a serious committment to UNIX *and*
pockets deep enough to do the necessary marketing. SCO has essentially
had the field to itself, at worst being a Gulliver in a market full of
Liliputians.

Understandably, it may be difficult to consider a UNIX which is poorly
marketed and has little public profile. In technical terms and price
terms, though, it *may* be superior.

As has been stated in the editorial pages of UNIX Review, it's been easy
so far for SCO to stare down the half-hearted UNIX marketing attempts by
Interactive, Dell, Microport, ESIX, and even AT&T's own shot at Intel UNIX.

This is about to change. Novell has entered the Intel UNIX field, through
(its now wholly-owned subsidiary) Univel. Sun is due in soon. These
companies have good track records, though of course both have had their
turkeys. More importantly, both have the UNIX commitment and the
resources to take on SCO in the marketing trenches.

Univel has already started taking out glossy ads in various magazines.
It's packaged UnixWare almost identically to NetWare. That capitalizes
on Novell's reputation in the PC industry as a whole, which (like it or
not) dwarfs SCO's.

>Grab a thousand x86 Unix/Xenix boxes and *most* of them will be SCO. In
>fact, I've seen ONE AIX box, a couple of Interactives, and zero Dell
>in all my experience.
>
>That's the reason my business is based on SCO.

There are still a lot of good reasons to choose SCO, as I do for people
when it's the right choice for the installation. The lemming approach,
however, is not one of those reasons. I (and you too, I would imagine)
have enough confidence in our UNIX skills to choose a product because
*we* like it, not because the rest of the world does. There are
countless examples, not just in the computer field, when the rest of the
world can be wrong.

If momentum, marketing savvy and installed base were all that mattered, we'd
all still be using SAA. Or MS-DOS.

>As an individual user, you can justify (to yourself, anyway) buying
>Dell. Personally, I wouldn't recommend anything but SCO to a business,
>because I am darn sure that SCO will be selling Unix 5 years from now, but
>I cannot be as sure for anyone else.

I don't like making *any* sure bets like that. I wouldn't even put money
on Microsoft's being around in five years. Things change too damned fast
in this industry.

Frankly, I'm looking forward to SCO getting a whole lot better over the
coming months. Univel and Solaris will be the first *real* competition
the company has ever had, and I certainly don't expect SCO to sit on its
hands and just let the others muscle in.

What I've least liked about SCO is its corporate attitude of arrogance,
its feeling that it makes standards, rather than participates in their
creation and follows them afterwards. I still blame SCO for sabotaging
the Intel ABI programme, which would have helped the entire Intel UNIX
industry but made SCO more compatible with its competitors.

Some real competition will knock that attitude down a notch or three,
which in itself is good news. For the first time ever, SCO may have to
worry about its products being compatible with other companies' UNIX.
I expect some sort of Open Look and ELF capabilities from SCO within the
year, just as they've recently announced support for NetWare protocols.

The next few years promise to be very interesting indeed in this field.

--
Evan Leibovitch, Sound Software Ltd., located in beautiful Brampton, Ontario
ev...@telly.on.ca / uunet!utzoo!telly!evan / (416) 452-0504
What's with all this multimedia stuff? Most vendors can't get *one* done right.

Shane Bouslough

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Jan 14, 1993, 5:57:25 PM1/14/93
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Evan Leibovitch (ev...@telly.on.ca) wrote:

: [ much excellent analysis of SCO, et al, deleted ]
:
: I don't like making *any* sure bets like that. I wouldn't even put money


: on Microsoft's being around in five years. Things change too damned fast
: in this industry.

I'll take that bet! :-)

: What I've least liked about SCO is its corporate attitude of arrogance,


: its feeling that it makes standards, rather than participates in their
: creation and follows them afterwards. I still blame SCO for sabotaging
: the Intel ABI programme, which would have helped the entire Intel UNIX
: industry but made SCO more compatible with its competitors.
:
: Some real competition will knock that attitude down a notch or three,
: which in itself is good news. For the first time ever, SCO may have to
: worry about its products being compatible with other companies' UNIX.

Damn well said.

: Evan Leibovitch, Sound Software Ltd., located in beautiful Brampton, Ontario


: ev...@telly.on.ca / uunet!utzoo!telly!evan / (416) 452-0504

-Shane

--
Shane Bouslough | #include <stddisc.h>
sh...@sbcs.sunysb.edu | #include <happy.rhodes>

Daniel R. Edelson

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Jan 14, 1993, 5:02:01 PM1/14/93
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In article <sheldon....@pv141b.vincent.iastate.edu> she...@iastate.edu (Steve Sheldon) writes:
>In <C0uD4...@news.rn.com> la...@news.rn.com (Larry Snyder) writes:
>
>>Because SCO is so modified -- it's not real UNIX. SCO took Unix 3.2 and
>>made it SCO. They symbolic links and long file names from SVR4 and added
>>support with their 3.2 product calling it release 4.0 to confuse the issue.

> It sounds to me, that this is really just a matter of opinion, and relates


>more to what you're used to working with.

All that matters is that your applications run and that your platform
is stable.

If emacs runs, one hurdle is crossed :-).

I've heard that the libraries with SCO's X11R4 implementation
are actually only R3. If true, that would be a disadvantage.

Anthony P Lawrence

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Jan 14, 1993, 10:45:56 PM1/14/93
to
ev...@telly.on.ca (Evan Leibovitch) writes:
: In article <C0tEw...@world.std.com>

: a...@world.std.com (Anthony P Lawrence) writes:
:
: >Not the point. It doesn't matter if SCO costs more, has less support or

: >anything else you want to complain about.
:
: I think it should matter more to you. If your application can run on two
: platforms, and both are stable and do what you want them to do, wouldn't
: it make sense to at least consider the one that's less expensive?
:
Well, first of all, I don't sell either SCO or any applications, all I
do is support and troubleshooting and maybe a little programming.

The reason I choose to concentrate on SCO is that they have enough market
penetration that I can maintain my standard of living specializing in
their OS and their OS alone. If I supported Dell, I think it would
be a long time between paychecks...

SCO as SCO has no particular importance to me. Nor does V3.2 2 vs 3.2 4
or the type of filesystem they use, or whether or not they support
mmap() or anything else. All I care about is how many business customers
buy it, and that's it. I'm just a parasite; a flea on the dog, and
if this dog dies I'll learn to like the taste of some other canine.

SCO is my business, not my crusade.


Tony a...@world.std.com

Lawrence & Clark, Inc (617) 762-0707 (206) 323-2864
Xenix/Unix support,etc Boston Seattle
Kevin Clark is embarrassed by most of what I say.

Henry van Cleef

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Jan 15, 1993, 4:48:08 AM1/15/93
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In article <sheldon....@pv141b.vincent.iastate.edu> she...@iastate.edu (Steve Sheldon) writes:
>
> Hmm, what exactly makes something a "real" UNIX? We're running SCO
>ODT 2.0 here, along with our DECStation's running Ultrix 4.2a.
>
> I don't know how much SVR4 differs from SVR3.2(.4 SCO), but IMHO, the
>DECstation is running "real" UNIX, and the AT&T system is simply a
>kludge.
>
> Now some people would say that Ultrix is not "real" UNIX.
>
> It sounds to me, that this is really just a matter of opinion, and relates
>more to what you're used to working with.
>
> Except for the poor and confusing documentation that came with SCO, I do
>like the system. It works well for working in a production situation like
>what we use it for.
>
> (and from what I understand the documentation that comes with Dell is no
>better than SCO's)

Now hold the phone a moment, Steve. I spent a year at Iowa State with
the Vincent system and a lot more years before that with Ultrix. Before
you talk about comparing equals to equals, Iowa State has an Ultrix
kernel source license, a large staff who have put years into tuning up
that kernel for the Vincent system.

Ultrix is a port of BSD4.2. It took DEC up to version 4.1 to get a
halfway decent system running. And where DEC is, in the Unix market, is
anybody's question. The latest cry is OSF/1, and those MIPS boxes you
have may very well be dead-end orphans. What Iowa State is running on
Vincent isn't a Unix that anyone can buy.

I will say point blank that I could build a Vincent system on SCO Unix
and Intel 486 Eisa setups that will run right along side what you have,
for a lot less money than it would cost to do it on Suns or DEC
products.

If you are talking about trying to integrate SCO Unix into the present
Vincent setup, lotsa luck. There are tons of symbolic link spiderwebs
in Vincent that don't make much space for any System V setup. That
includes any of the 5.4 products.

When it comes to documentation, (and I do know how much paper
documentation on Ultrix Iowa State does not have---but then it really
doesn't exist for anyone to buy, either), I have always felt boggled by
the boxes of books that come with ODT. Nobody's Unix comes with the
truckload of books that one can get for VMS or the IBM Mainframe setups.
O'Reilly to the rescue, but how many vendors make do with O'Reilly and
nothing else?

When it comes to "real Unix" vs. "imitation Unix," it seems pretty clear
to me that System V is historically "real" and the SCO implementation is
and always was cleaner than the AT&T 3b2 version. BSD diverged from
AT&T Unix 12 or 13 years ago, and has gotten the lion's share of
university attention, including yours. I am sitting here in front of a
SCO 3.2.4.1 box running X11R5, and it runs right along with a DEC 5000
MIPS workstation on Vincent, with some plusses, such as 30 seconds to
boot up, and ten seconds to log in under xdm. And I don't have to lean
on gcc as the only compiler that will compile some people's idea of
creativity, also known as "spaghetti code."

You can thank your lucky stars that if you feel like the lone ranger
running SCO Unix in that world that it isn't the other way around. You
have a team of top people---some of the best I have ever worked with in
30-odd years in this business---to deal with (small) crates from DEC,
and you can be damned glad you don't have to confront the box that
simply won't boot the TK-50 install tape or the other box that is, by
damn, simply not going to read from the CD-ROM.
--
Hank van Cleef vanc...@netcom.com vanc...@tmn.com Andover, Mass.
Unix systems consultant---kernel, device drivers, networking, X11
SysV, BSD, Sun, Ultrix, AIX, SCO. Porting a specialty.
The Union Institute History of Science

Evan Leibovitch

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Jan 15, 1993, 10:08:13 AM1/15/93
to
In article <C0vMG...@world.std.com>

a...@world.std.com (Anthony P Lawrence) writes:

>Well, first of all, I don't sell either SCO or any applications, all I
>do is support and troubleshooting and maybe a little programming.

>[...]


>SCO as SCO has no particular importance to me. Nor does V3.2 2 vs 3.2 4
>or the type of filesystem they use, or whether or not they support
>mmap() or anything else. All I care about is how many business customers
>buy it, and that's it. I'm just a parasite; a flea on the dog, and
>if this dog dies I'll learn to like the taste of some other canine.

If your support of SCO is based *only* on the fact that your work is
totally in the aftermarket, I see your point. If you only come in after
the purchase is made, your reasoning ("I work with SCO because that's
what's out there...") makes sense.

BUT...

That's not what you said in the article I was responding to.

In article <C0tEw...@world.std.com>, you said:

>As an individual user, you can justify (to yourself, anyway) buying
>Dell. Personally, I wouldn't recommend anything but SCO to a business,

There you implied that people trusted your recommendations for purchases
*before* the fact. If you recommend SCO only because that was the one UNIX
you were familiar with, then I don't think you're giving your recommendee
the best possible advice. It's the choice that will keep you working
after they buy, but it may not be the best choice for them.

>because I am darn sure that SCO will be selling Unix 5 years from now, but
>I cannot be as sure for anyone else.

Check out SCO's financial situation. According to UNIX Review, SCO
hasn't been more than a break-even company for all the years its had
the market to themselves. With the new competition, they'll be losing
market share and/or lowering their prices and/or adding new features,
all of which will hurt SCO's bottom line in the short-to-medium term.

And there are other factors to consider when boasting of SCO's
"Prudential rock" image. A lot of money and manpower went into ACE,
resources that can be now considered down the toilet. *AND*, at the worst
possible time, the company's guiding light (Michaels) has been forced to
quit because of a sexual harrasment scandal.

Yes, the company is more stable than most of its previous competition,
but that ain't saying much. If Univel and/or Solaris make significant
inroads into SCO's market share, the company could be in real trouble.
It has yet to be seen how SCO copes with big-league competition
following a history of being the industry's 200-pound bully.

For the health of the industry, I want SCO to remain vibrant and
competitive. I want Univel and SCO to keep each other on their toes.
That's good for all of us.

But I believe that the ability to do this will require significant
attitude shifts in SCO's management. Is it capable? I sure hope so.

>SCO is my business, not my crusade.

Sorry, but "Personally, I wouldn't recommend anything but SCO" are the
words of a crusader. There are situations where SCO is clearly the
best solution and some situations where clearly it is not. The best
approach is an open mind and a familiarity with all the choices.

Christer Johansen

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Jan 15, 1993, 11:14:19 AM1/15/93
to
Larry Snyder (la...@news.rn.com) wrote:
: ch...@huldra.tdata.no (Christer Johansen) writes:

: >I agree with Tony on this one. What matters for most commercial Unix end-users
: >is that they get a stable platform on wich to run their applications and that the
: >Unix they choose still exists years from now. It's of course very hard to look in
: >to the future, but SCO should have a fair chance.

: SCO is no more stable than Dell 2.2. And Dell 2.2 works and works. We
: use it for our internet connection running multiple feeds -- try
: PPP with SCO. Someone here mentioned that PPP with SCO is based on old
: standards, and doesn't like to talk to the outside world unless it is
: another SCO box running PPP. SCO also (according to the net) won't allow
: a port to run both SLIP and bidirectional communications -- only one or
: the other.

I didn't say SCO is more stable than Dell and I really don't know either.
What matters to me is that the OS I choose is stable and well supported
and that software companies are porting their software for that OS.
SCO has buildt a worldwide sales/support organization, you should
try to get local support on Dell Unix here in Norway!

As goes for SLIP and PP I don't know if what you say is correct and
I don't care. I don't use them anyway. And thats one of my points,
different OS's for different needs.

: SCO be around, maybe. But if they keep trimming back their staff, who
: knows?

As I said before, it's VERY hard to look into the future.

: >I'll have to say I don't understand why Mr. Snyder keeps on complaining about


: >SCO all the time. Every time he gets the change he seems to pick on them.

: Because SCO is so modified -- it's not real UNIX. SCO took Unix 3.2 and
: made it SCO. They symbolic links and long file names from SVR4 and added
: support with their 3.2 product calling it release 4.0 to confuse the issue.

Oooops, you're on thin ice. What exactly is "real UNIX".
Dell of course, rigth?

: They also removed support for alternate protocols like "g","e" and "f", then


: added them (mind you they were in the original code from AT&T) in one of
: their updates -- thus enabling them to charge for what had been available under
: other vendors products for the pervious 3 years.

I didn't say SCO is perfect and I don't have such feelings for SCO as you
seems to have for Dell. Maybe in a few years from now we're using Dell
Unix instead of SCO. My point is that one should choose the OS that
best suits their needs. It doesn't matter if the package reads Dell, SCO,
Interactive, Windows NT or something else. But rigth now SCO seems to be
the best choise, at least for us.

: For your information, Dell also sells $CO, and no, I don't own Dell stock.

Thank you, I didn't know that. Maybe I should go to Dell the next time
I buy a ODT license......

Bill Campbell

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Jan 15, 1993, 12:03:23 PM1/15/93
to
In <2B558D...@telly.on.ca> ev...@telly.on.ca (Evan Leibovitch) writes:

....LOTS DELETED TO GET TO MY POINT :-).
:>What matters is that SCO *advertises* and *sells*.

This is precisely the reason that I made the decision to use SCO
back in 1987 when I had to choose Unix for an Intel system. At
that time the major choices were Microport and Interactive.

Interactive had the reputation amongst the net.hackers of being
the technically superior product, but I was (am) more concerned
about having choices in peripherals, 3rd party software, and a
solid system for my commercial clients. It helped SCO that I had
been using Xenix on 68000 platforms for about 5 years so it would
be easier for me to use their Xenix product (and every time I ran
AT&T Unix I pissed and moaned about the things they didn't have
that made life easier on a Xenix system).

It seems to me, five years later, that this was a good decision.
As for the future -- it remains to be seen what Novell's
committment is to Unix. My impressions of SunSoft/Solaris aren't
too good (a large dose of arrogance on their part).

NEWS FLASH:
My posting was just interrupted by my friend Gary who is in the
process of installing the latest and greatest Solaris/
Intaractive from SunSoft (he's considering reselling it). He
asked ``Doesn't this thing have soft links?''. He wanted to
use symbolic links to put X11 stuff in another file system.
Then he went on about what a pain in the ass it was because
now he had to start from scratch with the 56 floppy disks
(tape isn't available yet). Each floppy is a mountable file
system and takes about 20 minutes to process. Gary has been
working with Sun, Solbourne, and various other Real Unix
systems for years and wasn't too impressed :-).

:That SCO sells as well as it has is partially due to the fact that there


:haven't been any competitors with a serious committment to UNIX *and*
:pockets deep enough to do the necessary marketing. SCO has essentially
:had the field to itself, at worst being a Gulliver in a market full of
:Liliputians.

:Understandably, it may be difficult to consider a UNIX which is poorly
:marketed and has little public profile. In technical terms and price
:terms, though, it *may* be superior.

:As has been stated in the editorial pages of UNIX Review, it's been easy
:so far for SCO to stare down the half-hearted UNIX marketing attempts by
:Interactive, Dell, Microport, ESIX, and even AT&T's own shot at Intel UNIX.

Where are these companies now? I would much rather be an SCO
customer who paid a bit more for a product that continues to
be supported than have an orphaned product and have to start over
from scratch.

I want my suppliers to stay in business and they have to make a
profit to do this. Too many technoids (and liberals :-) don't
seem to understand that businesses have to make money in order to
pay their salaries, the rent, and other necessities like that.
Few seem to realize the real costs of running a business,
particularly when the compare it to dealing a few PCs out of
their garages where they have no overhead costs.

When I managed Radio Shack Computer Centers between 1980 and 1983
the standard markup was about 100% (54% cost of goods) and a 12%
net profit was required to qualify for the leaders club (or
whatever they called it :-). Very few RSCCs made that 12% because
they had to pay for customer service reps, classroom instructors,
and repair technicians. Of course nobody wanted to pay for
customer support so I had to pay the CSR out of the profit on
sales.....

Bill
--
INTERNET: bi...@Celestial.COM Bill Campbell; Celestial Software
UUCP: ...!thebes!camco!bill 6641 East Mercer Way
uunet!camco!bill Mercer Island, WA 98040; (206) 947-5591
SPEED COSTS MONEY -- HOW FAST DO YOU WANT TO GO?

Bill Campbell

unread,
Jan 15, 1993, 12:07:03 PM1/15/93
to
In <id.FY...@ferranti.com> pe...@ferranti.com (peter da silva) writes:

:In article <C0uD4...@news.rn.com> la...@news.rn.com (Larry Snyder) writes:
:> Because SCO is so modified -- it's not real UNIX.

:"Real UNIX" is as hard to pin down as "true christian" at times. Perhaps
:you could explain WHY it's not REAL UNIX when my AT&T bog-standard SVR3.2
:UNIX *is*?

I'll take a guess. Isn't it Real Unix because SCO has fixed many
of the bugs? Or maybe it's because SCO left /usr/spool/mail
where it's always been so they wouldn't break all the old
programs (just one example of ``improvements'' in Unix over the
years).

Karl Denninger

unread,
Jan 15, 1993, 2:04:29 PM1/15/93
to
In article <C0uD4...@news.rn.com> la...@news.rn.com (Larry Snyder) writes:
>ch...@huldra.tdata.no (Christer Johansen) writes:
>
>>I agree with Tony on this one. What matters for most commercial Unix end-users
>>is that they get a stable platform on wich to run their applications and that the
>>Unix they choose still exists years from now. It's of course very hard to look in
>>to the future, but SCO should have a fair chance.
>
>SCO is no more stable than Dell 2.2. And Dell 2.2 works and works. We
>use it for our internet connection running multiple feeds -- try
>PPP with SCO. Someone here mentioned that PPP with SCO is based on old
>standards, and doesn't like to talk to the outside world unless it is
>another SCO box running PPP. SCO also (according to the net) won't allow
>a port to run both SLIP and bidirectional communications -- only one or
>the other.

That is correct. Also, an example from work:

12:50pm up 63 days, 17:07, 8 users, load average: 0.03, 0.00, 0.00
portal:/users/auspex/kdenning>

That's 63 days since we had to turn it off because our power in the room was
about to go out :-)

This machine is running DELL. So is that one (portal). Both are fine
pieces of work. Mine runs with 2 SCSI adapters, 4 disks, and two tape
drives as well as a real network (IP) to several other machines.

Mine goes offline more frequently, but then again I perform more maintenance
and "tinkering" :-)

>SCO be around, maybe. But if they keep trimming back their staff, who
>knows?

Or if they keep having women sue their officers for harassment. ;-)

>>I'll have to say I don't understand why Mr. Snyder keeps on complaining about
>>SCO all the time. Every time he gets the change he seems to pick on them.
>
>Because SCO is so modified -- it's not real UNIX. SCO took Unix 3.2 and
>made it SCO. They symbolic links and long file names from SVR4 and added
>support with their 3.2 product calling it release 4.0 to confuse the issue.
>
>They also removed support for alternate protocols like "g","e" and "f", then
>added them (mind you they were in the original code from AT&T) in one of
>their updates -- thus enabling them to charge for what had been available under
>other vendors products for the pervious 3 years.

In UUCP, yes they did that.

My primary problem with them is arrogance. SCO, a few years ago, had a
really nice XENIX product. I sold the product, and had software which ran
under it on the commercial market. When the time came to move to a Unix
architecture, SCO wanted me to shell out over $3,000 to "upgrade" my
operating system. I had already paid, over the last couple of years, more
than $1,000 in upgrade fees.

Considering that the replacement I finally settled on cost me $600 COMPLETE,
I told SCO to go stuff it.

Then, to add insult to injury, SCO's new "Unix" broke my major revenue
product, despite their claims of "complete Xenix compatibility". Well, that
was true, as long as you didn't depend on the authentication stuff (like the
password file, being able to have accounts without a password, etc).
COMPLETE compatibility? No. They refused to fix it, and in fact did not
until recently when the "security" options became real options (ie: you
could disable instead of "relax" them).

Therefore, I no longer support ANY SCO products. Period. I also strongly
advocate that people not support, use, buy, write for or otherwise get
revenue to them.

--
Karl Denninger (ka...@ddsw1.MCS.COM, <well-connected>!ddsw1!karl)
Data Line: [+1 312 248-0900]

Roger B.A. Klorese

unread,
Jan 15, 1993, 2:46:29 PM1/15/93
to
In article <2B56D3...@telly.on.ca> ev...@telly.on.ca (Evan Leibovitch) writes:
>A lot of money and manpower went into ACE,
>resources that can be now considered down the toilet.

Take it from those of us who followed ACE from outside SCO... they didn't put
anywhere near the enormous investment into ACE you may think.
--
ROGER B.A. KLORESE +1 415 ALL-ARFF
rog...@unpc.QueerNet.ORG {ames,decwrl,pyramid}!sgiblab!unpc!rogerk
"Normal is not something to aspire to, it's something to get away from."
-- J. Foster

Bill Pottenger

unread,
Jan 15, 1993, 9:46:44 PM1/15/93
to
> ch...@huldra.tdata.no (Christer Johansen) writes:
>I agree with Tony on this one. What matters for most commercial Unix end-users
>is that they get a stable platform on which to run their applications and that

>the Unix they choose still exists years from now. It's of course very hard to
>look into the future, but SCO should have a fair chance.

Couldn't help but put a plug in for an excellent PPP product, Morningstar
PPP (slip and cslip too). I'm using it under Ultrix, but it does run
under SCO. See sa...@morningstar.com.

Bill

Larry Snyder

unread,
Jan 16, 1993, 11:50:31 AM1/16/93
to
ev...@telly.on.ca (Evan Leibovitch) writes:

>resources that can be now considered down the toilet. *AND*, at the worst
>possible time, the company's guiding light (Michaels) has been forced to
>quit because of a sexual harrasment scandal.

I heard that as well -- was that the original Michaels (or the son?). That
is bad press for SCO. Many folks will take notice these days and it will
end up costing sales in the long run (even though he is no longer actively
involved at SCO).

There are more pieces to Unix pie than even, and SCO will have to keep
current to continue to draw users. I was called the other day to work
on a local 200 user system that was based on SCO until last year -- when
they switched to ESIX SVR4. The SA expressed a concern with SCO and their
failure to move with current technology (SVR4) and instead adding new
features to an old product. His analogy was the VW bug -- they kept
adding and adding -- and finally it died a slow death.

Larry Snyder

unread,
Jan 16, 1993, 11:52:47 AM1/16/93
to
ch...@huldra.tdata.no (Christer Johansen) writes:

>Oooops, you're on thin ice. What exactly is "real UNIX".

You are right there, without a definition, what is real Unix?

That is like, "who is God?" or "what is life" to many of us.

I was making reference to adding symbolic links and long
file names without increasing inodes to a 3.2 based product
which is non-standard.

Larry Snyder

unread,
Jan 16, 1993, 11:57:59 AM1/16/93
to
bi...@Celestial.COM (Bill Campbell) writes:

>Where are these companies now? I would much rather be an SCO
>customer who paid a bit more for a product that continues to
>be supported than have an orphaned product and have to start over
>from scratch.

There is a fine line to this. A couple of months ago, folks were
complaining about the cost to upgrade a complete ODT 1.x system to
ODT 2.x. The cost of this upgrade was almost as much as another
vendors release of Unix which would have offered many extra features.
The bottom line, with ODT 2.x, you still would not be running the
latest release of Unix (maybe the latest release of SCO) since
regardless how you look at it, SCO is still a 3.2 based product.
And don't give me the SVR4 isn't stable. That's hogwash. I can
provide a list of machines that I am aware of which are running SVR4
that are stable and solid.

Larry Snyder

unread,
Jan 16, 1993, 12:02:24 PM1/16/93
to
rog...@queernet.org (Roger B.A. Klorese) writes:

>Take it from those of us who followed ACE from outside SCO... they didn't put
>anywhere near the enormous investment into ACE you may think.

They sure liked to "sell" the fact that they did.

Stuart Lynne

unread,
Jan 16, 1993, 6:56:37 PM1/16/93
to
In article <C0yHK...@news.rn.com> la...@news.rn.com (Larry Snyder) writes:
>ch...@huldra.tdata.no (Christer Johansen) writes:
>
>>Oooops, you're on thin ice. What exactly is "real UNIX".
>
>You are right there, without a definition, what is real Unix?
>
>That is like, "who is God?" or "what is life" to many of us.
>
>I was making reference to adding symbolic links and long
>file names without increasing inodes to a 3.2 based product
>which is non-standard.

It really gets down to whether you are talking dejure or defacto
standards. AT&T (supposedly) sets the dejure UNIX standard in it's
current product (now USL, now Novell). SCO merely sets the market
defacto standard by selling more than anyone else.

At least in the Intel PC UNIX environment. In that market if
doesn't say SCO, it ain't UNIX.

If you're really in favour of dejure standards I'm sure you also
use X.400, FTAM, etc for your networking :-)

--
Stuart Lynne <s...@wimsey.com> ......................... UNIX Facsimile Software
Wimsey Information Technologies ................... moderator biz.sco.binaries
uucp login:nuucp passwd:nuucp .................... ftp.wimsey.com:~ftp/ls-lR.Z
PD Software for SCO UNIX .................... ftp.wimsey.com:~ftp/pub/wimseypd

Bill Campbell

unread,
Jan 16, 1993, 8:36:24 PM1/16/93
to
In <C0yHK...@news.rn.com> la...@news.rn.com (Larry Snyder) writes:

:ch...@huldra.tdata.no (Christer Johansen) writes:

:>Oooops, you're on thin ice. What exactly is "real UNIX".

:You are right there, without a definition, what is real Unix?

Real Unix was Version 7 when everything was still bundled. Care
to go back to that?

:That is like, "who is God?" or "what is life" to many of us.

:I was making reference to adding symbolic links and long
:file names without increasing inodes to a 3.2 based product
:which is non-standard.

So what? The ONLY time I've been concerned with the 64K inode
limit was with news spool partitions. With symbolic links I can
simply break /usr/spool/news across several file systems once and
forget about it. It isn't like this is an ongoing problem.

This reminds me of my hot-rod days as a kid. I just had to have
the latest and greatest for my flat-head Ford. It didn't matter
that the Mallory Magspark ignition didn't offer a bit of
improvement over the stock ignition -- it sure did look neat!
Don't forget the chrome air cleaners which didn't do nearly as
good a job as the stock one.

Now I want a car that works when I turn the key, and a Unix that
does the same. SCO fits the bill pretty well for that. What are
the alternatives?
Dell -- I've had pretty bad luck with their support. Dell is
still primarily a hardware company.

Solaris/Interactive -- get real.

Microport, ESIX,....?????

SCO -- just keeps on ticking.

Fred Rump from home

unread,
Jan 16, 1993, 8:55:06 PM1/16/93
to
ev...@telly.on.ca (Evan Leibovitch) writes:

>>SCO is my business, not my crusade.

>Sorry, but "Personally, I wouldn't recommend anything but SCO" are the
>words of a crusader. There are situations where SCO is clearly the
>best solution and some situations where clearly it is not. The best
>approach is an open mind and a familiarity with all the choices.

Again I disagree with Evan. I would rather say that if the SCO solution is not
the right one, we tell the customer about and part ways. I do not think
recommending this or that solution out of a choice of many does anyone any
good except the guy who comes after us and is really an expert on what we
recommended. No one is best at everything.

The Ford dealer does not also sell any other car in his shop. He would need a
whole other support organization to support some other car. It is not much
different in the software world. The idea is always to be the best at what you
do and not recommend the product of the moment.

Besides, we don't run into situations where SCO does not provide the solution
the customer is looking for. Perhaps we simply have a unique set of customers
who simply want to run their business and not be bothered by all this mine is
bigger (or better) than yours business. The proof of the pudding is always in
the satisfied customer.

Fred
--
W. Fred Rump office: fr...@COMPU.COM "A man's library is a sort of
26 Warren St. home: f...@icdi10.compu.com harem" - Emerson (1860)
Beverly, NJ. 08010
609-386-6846 bang:uunet!cdin-1!icdi10!fr

Fred Rump from home

unread,
Jan 16, 1993, 9:05:04 PM1/16/93
to
ka...@ddsw1.mcs.com (Karl Denninger) writes:

>Therefore, I no longer support ANY SCO products. Period. I also strongly
>advocate that people not support, use, buy, write for or otherwise get
>revenue to them.

A real professional never knocks his competition. He rather attempts to
respect their view of the world as at least as valid as his own. A know-it-all
has no such compunction.

Karl Denninger

unread,
Jan 16, 1993, 11:37:48 PM1/16/93
to
In article <C0yHG...@news.rn.com> la...@news.rn.com (Larry Snyder) writes:
>ev...@telly.on.ca (Evan Leibovitch) writes:
>
>>resources that can be now considered down the toilet. *AND*, at the worst
>>possible time, the company's guiding light (Michaels) has been forced to
>>quit because of a sexual harrasment scandal.
>
>I heard that as well -- was that the original Michaels (or the son?). That
>is bad press for SCO. Many folks will take notice these days and it will
>end up costing sales in the long run (even though he is no longer actively
>involved at SCO).

I believe it was the chairman, who stepped down. It was reported in the
trade press. This is quite bad news for them.

Given their arrogance in the last few years, however, perhaps this will wake
them up. I would consider that this is all very bad for their chances to
pull off a successful public stock offering (which they have said they have
to do to keep going).

Franky, if this guy is half as guilty as these women make him out to be, I
hope they win a few million and really put the screws to SCO in the
process. The stuff that has been rumored in the trades was quite damaging.

Larry Snyder

unread,
Jan 17, 1993, 9:26:18 AM1/17/93
to
ka...@ddsw1.mcs.com (Karl Denninger) writes:

>Given their arrogance in the last few years, however, perhaps this will wake
>them up. I would consider that this is all very bad for their chances to
>pull off a successful public stock offering (which they have said they have
>to do to keep going).

>Franky, if this guy is half as guilty as these women make him out to be, I
>hope they win a few million and really put the screws to SCO in the
>process. The stuff that has been rumored in the trades was quite damaging.

And the saga will continue. Can SCO absorb a large judgement? This was
really stupid of Michaels. Now SCO will get what they have coming..

Now is the time for the other Unix vendors to make a push into the market -
as the judgement (and press) can't be measured. SCO's massive amount of money
spent on advertising will mean nothing if this press continues.

Stew Ellis

unread,
Jan 17, 1993, 9:37:38 AM1/17/93
to
f...@compu.com (Fred Rump from home) writes:

>ev...@telly.on.ca (Evan Leibovitch) writes:

>>>SCO is my business, not my crusade.

>>Sorry, but "Personally, I wouldn't recommend anything but SCO" are the
>>words of a crusader. There are situations where SCO is clearly the
>>best solution and some situations where clearly it is not. The best
>>approach is an open mind and a familiarity with all the choices.

>Again I disagree with Evan. I would rather say that if the SCO solution is not
>the right one, we tell the customer about and part ways. I do not think
>recommending this or that solution out of a choice of many does anyone any
>good except the guy who comes after us and is really an expert on what we
>recommended. No one is best at everything.

>The Ford dealer does not also sell any other car in his shop. He would need a
>whole other support organization to support some other car. It is not much
>different in the software world. The idea is always to be the best at what you
>do and not recommend the product of the moment.

But your Ford dealer and every other dealer I know of in the US does sell
anything he can make a profit on whether he can support it or not. Every
dealer I know of sells used cars without regard to make (and sometimes
without regard to condition if they look right (e.g. have a 5 and a 4 in
there somewhere)). Most dealers will now lease you any brand car you want.
Car dealers have not generally been about service (I had to go to the Buick
dealer to get my Pontiac's power steering fixed under partial warranty after
the Pontiac dealer I bought it from said there was no program (he was only
reimbursed real hours rather than flatrate manual hours by GM)). Most
dealers will work on any kind of car you drive in. My Toyota dealer (owned
by the same guy who owned the Buick dealer above) had so little work to
perform on Toyotas that they were able to keep a proper staff of good
mechanics by keeping them busy working mostly on other brands of cars.

If you are looking for anologies|metaphors for the computer VAR or
consultant's situation, I hardly think the retail car sales is appropriate
or desirable. If you want to talk about the marketroid tricks by the
vendors then that might be more appropriate. The editor of Road & Track or
Car & Driver took his parents shopping for a new car a few years ago before
front wheel drive was as dominant as today. When they asked which end of
the car had the drive wheels at several dealers, the answers were randomly
distributed against the truth, except where the sales droid asked them which
end they were looking for, then the drive wheels were definitely on that end
regardless of the truth. "What kind of UNIX were you looking for? SysVr4?
Yeah we got UNIX with a V and a 4 in it. Fix you right up."

>Besides, we don't run into situations where SCO does not provide the solution
>the customer is looking for. Perhaps we simply have a unique set of customers
>who simply want to run their business and not be bothered by all this mine is
>bigger (or better) than yours business. The proof of the pudding is always in
>the satisfied customer.

>Fred
>--
>W. Fred Rump office: fr...@COMPU.COM "A man's library is a sort of
>26 Warren St. home: f...@icdi10.compu.com harem" - Emerson (1860)
>Beverly, NJ. 08010
>609-386-6846 bang:uunet!cdin-1!icdi10!fr

Of course the time to market of all of the commercial-quality SVR4 products
has been so long and the prices have risen so dramatically and they are so
severely unbundled these days in most instances and the companies are
falling apart so bad. The last person I recommended Dell to could not find
anybody at Dell who knew anything about how to order a topline Dell computer
with the tapedrive and UNIX preloaded. Esix's prices have gone through the
roof so that SCO ODT with developer bundle begins to look halfway reasonable
again. UnixWare is SOOO expensive by the time you have networking and
development tools, that a Sun IP{C|X} or Classic or LX with GCC is not that
much more expensive than a PeeCee and complete UNIX. Your mileage may vary
if you are not subject to academic discounts, but there are some VARs
putting together very nicely priced Sun bundles for the public. Of course
anyone with hacker inclinations is going to gravitate toward Linix or
BSD386, but I think this thread started out concerning commercial UNIXes.

As lots of people keep saying, it is going to be very sad when the son of
VMS is finally unleashed, years late with numerous incompatibilities and
UNIX still will have blown it because of overpricing and lack of market
focus.


--
___________________
R.Stewart(Stew) Ellis, Assoc.Prof., (Off)313-762-9765 / _____ ______
Humanities & Social Science, GMI Eng.& Mgmt. Inst. / / / / / /
Flint, MI 48504 el...@nova.gmi.edu /________/ / / / /

Shane Bouslough

unread,
Jan 17, 1993, 11:29:00 AM1/17/93
to
Fred Rump from home (f...@compu.com) wrote:

: ev...@telly.on.ca (Evan Leibovitch) writes:
:
: >>SCO is my business, not my crusade.
:
: >Sorry, but "Personally, I wouldn't recommend anything but SCO" are the
: >words of a crusader.

:
: Again I disagree with Evan. I would rather say that if the SCO solution is


: not the right one, we tell the customer about and part ways.

:
: Besides, we don't run into situations where SCO does not provide the solution

: the customer is looking for.

Well, which is it? Do you "part ways" sometimes, or is SCO "always the
solution"?

: W. Fred Rump office: fr...@COMPU.COM "A man's library is a sort of

: 26 Warren St. home: f...@icdi10.compu.com harem" - Emerson (1860)
: Beverly, NJ. 08010
: 609-386-6846 bang:uunet!cdin-1!icdi10!fr

-Shane

--
Shane Bouslough | #include <stddisc.h>

sh...@sbcs.sunysb.edu | SVR4 - UNIX as nature intended

Larry Snyder

unread,
Jan 17, 1993, 11:46:54 AM1/17/93
to
el...@nova.gmi.edu (Stew Ellis) writes:

>again. UnixWare is SOOO expensive by the time you have networking and
>development tools, that a Sun IP{C|X} or Classic or LX with GCC is not that
>much more expensive than a PeeCee and complete UNIX. Your mileage may vary

Yep. I was thinking the same thing. The Sparc Classic
I believe is $3900 with the education discounts -- and
includes something like a 200 meg fast SCSI drive, with
16 megs of RAM and a large monitor.

Of course, the OS is included, as is an ethernet port.

Anthony P Lawrence

unread,
Jan 17, 1993, 1:03:30 PM1/17/93
to
ev...@telly.on.ca (Evan Leibovitch) writes:
:
: >SCO is my business, not my crusade.
:
: Sorry, but "Personally, I wouldn't recommend anything but SCO" are the
: words of a crusader. There are situations where SCO is clearly the
: best solution and some situations where clearly it is not. The best
: approach is an open mind and a familiarity with all the choices.

I disagree somewhat. I am intimately familar with the caoabilities and
limitations of SCO. If I recommend it, it is because I know it will do
the job and that the client will be happy with it. If the situation is
such that I cannot feel comfortable, then I recommend nothing, and advise
the client to seek help elsewhere.

I cannot be knowledgable of SCO, OS/2, SUN, VMS, et al. Hell, I can barely
keep up with one vendor's product!

That is not to say I am not familiar with other products: I have SUN and
OS/2 manuals right here on my bookshelf, along with books on everything from
CP/M through Pick and now Windows NT. But I couldn't begin to make
a recommendation of Pick, for example, because I don't work with it.

I do work with SCO. Again, not because it's the most wonderful product in
the world, but because it is the market leader. Someone disdainfully
referred to "lemmings" in this context, but let's get real: SCO got to
be number one because they gave the small business customer an inexpensive
solution that worked.

Well, maybe things are changing. It looks to me like most of the fuss in
the Unix world right now concerns big customers with lots of interconnected
machines, probably with Dos and Windows and OS/2 thrown in. Personally,
I don't work with clients of that size. First of all, they usually have
their own department, and probably don't need me. Secondly, if they
do need an outside firm, they probably are too damn big for me to handle.
Finally, (and probably most important), I just don't get along with big
stuffy corporate structures (and they never seem to be too happy with me and
my dirty jeans and uncombed hair, either). How many of the same reasons apply
to SCO? I don't know. It may be that SCO should stick to it's knitting and
concentrate on the small business market. Somebody sure should: it's
the market that put SCO where it is today.

Larry Snyder

unread,
Jan 17, 1993, 1:22:59 PM1/17/93
to
sh...@cs.sunysb.edu (Shane Bouslough) writes:

>Well, which is it? Do you "part ways" sometimes, or is SCO "always the
>solution"?

Let's face it, if you work on a percentage, and OS X is more, you will make
more selling X over Y, so it's in your best interest to sell X.

Fred Rump from home

unread,
Jan 17, 1993, 3:34:02 PM1/17/93
to
la...@news.rn.com (Larry Snyder) writes:

>I was called the other day to work
>on a local 200 user system that was based on SCO until last year -- when
>they switched to ESIX SVR4. The SA expressed a concern with SCO and their
>failure to move with current technology (SVR4) and instead adding new
>features to an old product. His analogy was the VW bug -- they kept
>adding and adding -- and finally it died a slow death.

Care to swap facts about your 200 user ESIX system and our 200 user SCO
system?

I'm really curious to see a 200 user ESIX box. If it exists, maybe I'm missing
something.

I'm also curious to know why a 200 user user would switch operating systems in
midstream. He obviously must have thought the grass was greener on the other
side of the street for some reason. What was it?

fred
--

Fred Rump from home

unread,
Jan 17, 1993, 3:37:40 PM1/17/93
to
la...@news.rn.com (Larry Snyder) writes:

>The bottom line, with ODT 2.x, you still would not be running the
>latest release of Unix (maybe the latest release of SCO) since
>regardless how you look at it, SCO is still a 3.2 based product.

So?

The NEXT OS is a much finer product than 4.2, doesn't mean the world is
running to it, does it? People tend to go with what other people use. That
tends to be more of a standard than what someone simply calls a standard.

Karl Denninger

unread,
Jan 17, 1993, 5:26:08 PM1/17/93
to
In article <C10By...@news.rn.com> la...@news.rn.com (Larry Snyder) writes:
>el...@nova.gmi.edu (Stew Ellis) writes:
>
>>again. UnixWare is SOOO expensive by the time you have networking and
>>development tools, that a Sun IP{C|X} or Classic or LX with GCC is not that
>>much more expensive than a PeeCee and complete UNIX. Your mileage may vary
>
>Yep. I was thinking the same thing. The Sparc Classic
>I believe is $3900 with the education discounts -- and
>includes something like a 200 meg fast SCSI drive, with
>16 megs of RAM and a large monitor.
>
>Of course, the OS is included, as is an ethernet port.

The Classic is $4k RETAIL!

Including a 15" (blech) color monitor, SCSI, RAM, keyboard, etc.

UnixWare either gets reasonable about pricing or they are going to get blown
to hell in this market. If I want to run PeeCee applications on that
Classic I can buy a Puzzleboard '386 SBUS card for another thousand or so
and have that too.

Now, for under $5k, I get a system which has TWO processors and will blow
the PC folks out of the water. Oh yeah, it has built in Ethernet too.

Intel machines are still cheaper, but not if the OS costs $3,000.

I would predict that the Sparc Classic means serious trouble for both Univel
AND SCO. Both are seriously overpriced and are in for some real
competition.

Roger B.A. Klorese

unread,
Jan 17, 1993, 8:22:35 PM1/17/93
to
In article <C10rn...@ddsw1.mcs.com> ka...@ddsw1.mcs.com (Karl Denninger) writes:
>Intel machines are still cheaper, but not if the OS costs $3,000.

Don't forget that you'll pay for a development environment on the SPARCclassic
now too...

Roger B.A. Klorese

unread,
Jan 18, 1993, 8:04:09 PM1/18/93
to
In article <C129x...@ddsw1.mcs.com> ka...@ddsw1.mcs.com (Karl Denninger) writes:

>In article <C10z...@queernet.org> rog...@queernet.org (Roger B.A. Klorese) writes:
>>In article <C10rn...@ddsw1.mcs.com> ka...@ddsw1.mcs.com (Karl Denninger) writes:
>>>Intel machines are still cheaper, but not if the OS costs $3,000.
>>
>>Don't forget that you'll pay for a development environment on the SPARCclassic
>>now too...
>
>No I won't. GCC is on the Catalyst CDROM for free....

OK. Make that "you'll need to pay for a vendor-supported development
environment on Sun now, just as you would on Intel-based UNIX, if that's
important to you"...


--
ROGER B.A. KLORESE +1 415 ALL-ARFF
rog...@unpc.QueerNet.ORG {ames,decwrl,pyramid}!sgiblab!unpc!rogerk

"Sometimes you wake up. Sometimes the fall kills you. And sometimes, when
you fall, you fly." -- N. Gaiman

Larry Snyder

unread,
Jan 18, 1993, 7:55:38 AM1/18/93
to
f...@compu.com (Fred Rump from home) writes:

>Care to swap facts about your 200 user ESIX system and our 200 user SCO
>system?

It's a ESIA 486/50 with 32 megs of RAM and a Eqinox cluster controller
running ESIX SVR4 3.0. It's running an internal accounting system..

>I'm also curious to know why a 200 user user would switch operating systems in
>midstream. He obviously must have thought the grass was greener on the other
>side of the street for some reason. What was it?

They wanted to run the latest OS, and got tired of SCO's rates for upgrades
which added features which had been available in other operating systems for
years.

Actually, several of their other offices have since installed ESIX SVR4. I
by no means am a ESIX fan, but I would choose ESIX over SCO. In my opinion,
SCO is on the lowest end of the spectrum. I (like others have expressed)
hope they loose this legal case and it costs them millions. SCO was stupid
to tolerate Michaels behavior even if he was (is) the president.

william E Davidsen

unread,
Jan 18, 1993, 12:02:00 PM1/18/93
to
In article <C0zE7...@ddsw1.mcs.com>, ka...@ddsw1.mcs.com (Karl Denninger) writes:

| Franky, if this guy is half as guilty as these women make him out to be, I
| hope they win a few million and really put the screws to SCO in the
| process. The stuff that has been rumored in the trades was quite damaging.

Let's put his wife and children in prison, too, if you want to punish
innocent people. Why should alledged behavior on the part of any one
ex-employee result in problems for the company? Do you believe in guily
by association?

Rumors are cheap, as my grandmother used to say "the paper holds
still." What I've read is that much of what is supposed to have happened
was years ago, and that the claim was made just before the IPO because
they thought Michaels would settle to avoid publicity. If that's true I
think it's pretty close to blackmail as moral distance is measured. The
fact that the suit is being defended instead of settled indicates that
the man feels he should defend himself, and was willing to give up the
company he built from nothing to go to court to protect his name.

--
bill davidsen, GE Corp. R&D Center; Box 8; Schenectady NY 12345
Keyboard controller has been disabled, press F1 to continue.

william E Davidsen

unread,
Jan 18, 1993, 12:06:09 PM1/18/93
to
In article <C105F...@news.rn.com>, la...@news.rn.com (Larry Snyder) writes:

| And the saga will continue. Can SCO absorb a large judgement? This was
| really stupid of Michaels. Now SCO will get what they have coming..

The suit is against the person, not the company.

| Now is the time for the other Unix vendors to make a push into the market -
| as the judgement (and press) can't be measured. SCO's massive amount of money
| spent on advertising will mean nothing if this press continues.

Most of the press is being pretty careful to distinguish between the
man and the company. Pity usenet readers aren't that fair.

Roger B.A. Klorese

unread,
Jan 18, 1993, 10:59:26 AM1/18/93
to
In article <C10z...@queernet.org> rog...@queernet.org (Roger B.A. Klorese) writes:
>In article <C10rn...@ddsw1.mcs.com> ka...@ddsw1.mcs.com (Karl Denninger) writes:
>>Intel machines are still cheaper, but not if the OS costs $3,000.
>
>Don't forget that you'll pay for a development environment on the SPARCclassic
>now too...

Oh, and you'll probably want an operating system. That right-to-use license
is $795.

And you may want to install it... another $600 or so for a CD-ROM drive
should get you there...


--
ROGER B.A. KLORESE +1 415 ALL-ARFF
rog...@unpc.QueerNet.ORG {ames,decwrl,pyramid}!sgiblab!unpc!rogerk

william E Davidsen

unread,
Jan 18, 1993, 12:38:02 PM1/18/93
to
In article <C0wsz...@ddsw1.mcs.com>, ka...@ddsw1.mcs.com (Karl Denninger) writes:

| That is correct. Also, an example from work:
|
| 12:50pm up 63 days, 17:07, 8 users, load average: 0.03, 0.00, 0.00
| portal:/users/auspex/kdenning>
|
| That's 63 days since we had to turn it off because our power in the room was
| about to go out :-)

I've run both SCO and Dell to uptimes of 1+year (my public access
system went 368 days on the first boot after I got the UPS - SCO). I
think you can get good stability from either.

| My primary problem with them is arrogance. SCO, a few years ago, had a
| really nice XENIX product. I sold the product, and had software which ran
| under it on the commercial market. When the time came to move to a Unix
| architecture, SCO wanted me to shell out over $3,000 to "upgrade" my
| operating system. I had already paid, over the last couple of years, more
| than $1,000 in upgrade fees.

When a vendor forces you to change to a new product, you should look
around.

|
| Considering that the replacement I finally settled on cost me $600 COMPLETE,
| I told SCO to go stuff it.

I'm still on good terms with SCO, although I use less expensive brands
when they make sense.

| Then, to add insult to injury, SCO's new "Unix" broke my major revenue
| product, despite their claims of "complete Xenix compatibility". Well, that
| was true, as long as you didn't depend on the authentication stuff (like the
| password file, being able to have accounts without a password, etc).
| COMPLETE compatibility? No. They refused to fix it, and in fact did not
| until recently when the "security" options became real options (ie: you
| could disable instead of "relax" them).

You now have a choice of four levels of security, which hasn't
remotely solved the problems, I agree. I want to have some short login
names to be compatible with hundreds of existing installations. I also
need short passwords for the same reason. If I turn down the security
enough to allow this I lose shadow passwords. And if I want multiple
logins to have the same UID, I better be willing to hand edit the passwd
file myself, because it's a "feature" to protect me from doing that.

william E Davidsen

unread,
Jan 18, 1993, 12:50:08 PM1/18/93
to
In article <1993Jan15.1...@Celestial.COM>, bi...@Celestial.COM (Bill Campbell) writes:

| NEWS FLASH:
| My posting was just interrupted by my friend Gary who is in the
| process of installing the latest and greatest Solaris/
| Intaractive from SunSoft (he's considering reselling it). He
| asked ``Doesn't this thing have soft links?''. He wanted to
| use symbolic links to put X11 stuff in another file system.
| Then he went on about what a pain in the ass it was because
| now he had to start from scratch with the 56 floppy disks
| (tape isn't available yet). Each floppy is a mountable file
| system and takes about 20 minutes to process. Gary has been
| working with Sun, Solbourne, and various other Real Unix
| systems for years and wasn't too impressed :-).

Solaris has slinks, ISC V.3 doesn't.

Keith Barrett

unread,
Jan 18, 1993, 11:34:07 AM1/18/93
to

You know what would be nice? If someone did a comprehensive list of all the
pro and cons of the various unix offerings, including price, and all
the various "complaints" brought up in this topic thread, and posted the
summary here so others could make up their own minds.

As I look at the UNIX offerings on intel platforms right now, I'm disappointed.
SCO is not true SVR4 (let alone V4.2) and is expensive, DELL only wants
to talk DELL (and again, isn't SVR4.2), most of the others are UNIX look-
alikes or "bare" offerings. The one with the greatest potentional is USL;
only time and pricing will determine that. Perhaps given time, the 386BSD
product will over take them all.

It's sad that all these come close, but "miss the mark" over issues that
could be rectified. If DELL started officially supporting non-DELL hardware and
went onward to V4.2 -- they'd have it. If SCO dropped their prices below
everyone else -- they's have it. If all the popular products get ported to
386BSD -- they might have it. How long do I have to wait until a good
personal UNIX offering exists? I've been trying to decide "whose" to buy for
the last month or so, and I'm no closer now than when I started.

I'm leaning toward 386BSD just because it's the lowest cost, or USL because
of its potential.

Stuart Lynne

unread,
Jan 18, 1993, 4:35:44 PM1/18/93
to

I've complained bitterly about short names since I got the first version
with the security software. Didn't take me more than five minutes to
get it working :-)

Anyway with ODT 2.0 I havn't noticed any problems with short names. I
don't use the new user scripts though. I just add lines to the
passwd file.

Evan Leibovitch

unread,
Jan 18, 1993, 10:47:33 AM1/18/93
to
In article <C0yHG...@news.rn.com> la...@news.rn.com (Larry Snyder) writes:

>>at the worst
>>possible time, [SCO's] guiding light (Michaels) has been forced to


>>quit because of a sexual harrasment scandal.

>I heard that as well -- was that the original Michaels (or the son?). That
>is bad press for SCO. Many folks will take notice these days and it will
>end up costing sales in the long run (even though he is no longer actively
>involved at SCO).

I don't want to blow this into more than it is. I'm almost sorry I
brought the subject up.

People have human failings, some of them severe. I don't believe that Mr.
Michaels' actions, if proven true, should reflect whit upon all the other
SCO employees, some of whom haven't even met him.

I for one don't believe that the personal life of one man is going to
make people think worse of SCO the company. Michaels' problems are between
him, his alleged victims, and his Creator. I have no interest in
judging him (let alone his company), and I hope most other people out
there would feel the same way.

The reason I even brought the issue up was for its effect *within* SCO,
not to the company's public image. SCO needs some courageous and
inventive leadership right now; losing Michaels at this time, for
whatever reason, may hurt the company's abilities to amke the tough
decisions needed to deal with the new competition.

These people do exist within SCO. Michael Tilson, who I believe is a VP at
SCO, is quite capable. He was president of HCR in Toronto, Canada's only
distributor of Interactive UNIX, at the time SCO purchased HCR and turned
it into SCO Canada. During his reign at HCR, Tilson was peresented with the
first-ever "UNIX person of the year" award by UniForum Canada. Hardly a
lightweight. And I'm sure there are many others within SCO.

Point is, let's not blow this out of proportion. This is Usenet, not
Hard Copy. Anyone who chooses to buy or not to buy SCO based on the
sexual conduct of its chairman, is an idiot.

--
Evan Leibovitch, Sound Software Ltd., located in beautiful Brampton, Ontario
ev...@telly.on.ca / uunet!utzoo!telly!evan / (416) 452-0504
What's with all this multimedia stuff? Most vendors can't get *one* done right.

Karl Denninger

unread,
Jan 18, 1993, 12:58:35 PM1/18/93
to
In article <C10z...@queernet.org> rog...@queernet.org (Roger B.A. Klorese) writes:
>In article <C10rn...@ddsw1.mcs.com> ka...@ddsw1.mcs.com (Karl Denninger) writes:
>>Intel machines are still cheaper, but not if the OS costs $3,000.
>
>Don't forget that you'll pay for a development environment on the SPARCclassic
>now too...

No I won't. GCC is on the Catalyst CDROM for free....

--

Stew Ellis

unread,
Jan 18, 1993, 10:14:41 PM1/18/93
to
la...@news.rn.com (Larry Snyder) writes:

>el...@nova.gmi.edu (Stew Ellis) writes:

>>again. UnixWare is SOOO expensive by the time you have networking and
>>development tools, that a Sun IP{C|X} or Classic or LX with GCC is not that
>>much more expensive than a PeeCee and complete UNIX. Your mileage may vary

>Yep. I was thinking the same thing. The Sparc Classic
>I believe is $3900 with the education discounts -- and

Actually it is closer to $3300 with 15" monitor.

>includes something like a 200 meg fast SCSI drive, with
>16 megs of RAM and a large monitor.

>Of course, the OS is included, as is an ethernet port.

>--
>Larry Snyder internet: la...@gator.use.com
>keeper of the Gator uucp: uunet!gator!larry

Stew Ellis

unread,
Jan 18, 1993, 10:20:24 PM1/18/93
to
rog...@queernet.org (Roger B.A. Klorese) writes:

No, you can download the Cygnus version of GCC from uunet. Many people
report it yields smaller faster code than the Sun value-added compiler.
Many people who have both use GCC in preference.

Stew Ellis

unread,
Jan 18, 1993, 10:25:27 PM1/18/93
to

I don't have it in front of me, but I believe the right to use is free, but
the media and docs are $795. This is a little bit unclear. The CDROM is
becoming less and less of a problem, with lots of people buying them. There
are VARS who will preload the OS for free on top of a reasonable price for
the system. There was a big discussion on misc.forsale a couple of weeks
ago.

Fred Rump from home

unread,
Jan 18, 1993, 2:09:39 PM1/18/93
to
el...@nova.gmi.edu (Stew Ellis) writes:

>If you are looking for anologies|metaphors for the computer VAR or
>consultant's situation, I hardly think the retail car sales is appropriate
>or desirable.

Well, my car dealer is different. Perhaps it is just like in computers, there
are those who are instant experts at everything if you wave a dollar bill in
front of them and there are those who worry first about keeping their existing
customers and only add new ones as they feel secure about supporting them
also.

My analogy about cars may not hold everywhere but I think you may get the
drift of what I'm saying.

>As lots of people keep saying, it is going to be very sad when the son of
>VMS is finally unleashed, years late with numerous incompatibilities and
>UNIX still will have blown it because of overpricing and lack of market
>focus.

Overpricing would only hold in a mass market. UNIX is still not there. It
still requires some handholding and assistance from computer folks. It can
only enter a pricing war once that is no longer required.

Market focus? Depends on where your head is. Lots of folks talk of UNIX as a
workstation product. SCO made its mark in the small systems multi-user world.
SCO ODT is an attempt to join the more fruitful UNIX on every box scenario.

But guess where the money still comes from? So should SCO stick to its old
market focus or should they become another SUN and sell hardware to make big
bucks and give away the software? It is a question of market focus and it
seems to be there. Stick to what you know and cautiously move into more
lucrative markets.

fred

Fred Rump from home

unread,
Jan 18, 1993, 2:17:35 PM1/18/93
to
sh...@cs.sunysb.edu (Shane Bouslough) writes:

>Fred Rump from home (f...@compu.com) wrote:
>:

>: Again I disagree with Evan. I would rather say that if the SCO solution is
>: not the right one, we tell the customer about and part ways.
>:
>: Besides, we don't run into situations where SCO does not provide the solution
>: the customer is looking for.

>Well, which is it? Do you "part ways" sometimes, or is SCO "always the
>solution"?

Both.

We part ways sometimes when the solution is not appropriate or previously
preordained. This leaves us to our specialty: SCO. But as I said, it is
better for us not to have a customer who assumes he is the expert and attempts
to spec the system. For him SCO may not be the right solution as he already
has his mind made up for whatever reason. (He may have read an article on SYS
V 4.2) It is best he hire the local hacker to configure his dream system for
him and go from there. Sometimes they stick their tail between their legs and
come back anyway.

fred
--

Fred Rump from home

unread,
Jan 18, 1993, 2:26:04 PM1/18/93
to
a...@world.std.com (Anthony P Lawrence) writes:

>If I recommend it, it is because I know it will do
>the job and that the client will be happy with it. If the situation is
>such that I cannot feel comfortable, then I recommend nothing, and advise
>the client to seek help elsewhere.

>I cannot be knowledgable of SCO, OS/2, SUN, VMS, et al. Hell, I can barely
>keep up with one vendor's product!

That also applies to larger companies with lots of staff. There various
experts can be allocated to subsystems and specialties, but still, all within
one vendor's line. Just all the hardware idiosyncrasies can drive a company
crazy.

If I were a customer instead of a vendor, I would feel very comfortable with
somebody like Lawrence who told me he doesn't know everything but what he does
know, he knows extremely well. It is the mark of a real professional. I'm sure
he can command appropriate fees for his expertise and nobody minds paying
them. Results count!

>to SCO? I don't know. It may be that SCO should stick to it's knitting and
>concentrate on the small business market. Somebody sure should: it's
>the market that put SCO where it is today.

Amen.

Fred

Fred Rump from home

unread,
Jan 18, 1993, 2:30:31 PM1/18/93
to
la...@news.rn.com (Larry Snyder) writes:

>sh...@cs.sunysb.edu (Shane Bouslough) writes:

>>Well, which is it? Do you "part ways" sometimes, or is SCO "always the
>>solution"?

>Let's face it, if you work on a percentage, and OS X is more, you will make
>more selling X over Y, so it's in your best interest to sell X.

Look guys! If making a living depended on the revenue from selling an OS we'd
all be dead by now from starvation. Regardless of SCO's prices it is a drop in
the bucket as this is not a mass market. Each system includes lots of
expertise that provides future management and support - that is what the
custome buys. He doesn't give a hoot about spending $200 more today, he
worries much more about running his business reliably tomorrow and being able
to call someone if something fails.

fred
--

Karl Denninger

unread,
Jan 18, 1993, 11:21:59 PM1/18/93
to
In article <1993Jan18.1...@crd.ge.com> davi...@crd.ge.com (bill davidsen) writes:
>In article <C0zE7...@ddsw1.mcs.com>, ka...@ddsw1.mcs.com (Karl Denninger) writes:
>
>| Franky, if this guy is half as guilty as these women make him out to be, I
>| hope they win a few million and really put the screws to SCO in the
>| process. The stuff that has been rumored in the trades was quite damaging.
>
> Let's put his wife and children in prison, too, if you want to punish
>innocent people. Why should alledged behavior on the part of any one
>ex-employee result in problems for the company? Do you believe in guily
>by association?

No, I believe in a company being spoken for, and its ethical tone being set
by, its top corporate officers. Which the accused was. About as top as you
can get in fact.

It can be argued that the "personal" representative of any corporation is
its top brass. They certainly are personally liable for serious mistakes
undertaken in the name of the firm; environmental problems, legal criminal
liability if someone is negligently killed (and they know about it), etc.
If anyone can be said to be "the company", as an "Inc'd" firm is a
fictional person, the corporate officers are.

Therefore, since he was in that position, he not only speaks for the firm,
but he <is>, in no small part, the firm. Therefore, what Michaels does in
an official capacity is inseparable from the name "SCO".

> Rumors are cheap, as my grandmother used to say "the paper holds
>still." What I've read is that much of what is supposed to have happened
>was years ago, and that the claim was made just before the IPO because
>they thought Michaels would settle to avoid publicity. If that's true I
>think it's pretty close to blackmail as moral distance is measured. The
>fact that the suit is being defended instead of settled indicates that
>the man feels he should defend himself, and was willing to give up the
>company he built from nothing to go to court to protect his name.

We'll see, and the courts will decide. Note that above I said <IF> he is
proven to be guilty. Until that time I'd not hang them out to dry -- but
if it is shown that he did indeed commit these acts then the reputation of
the company is tarnished IMHO.

That he has chosen to fight is not an issue. If he were to capitulate then
he would be admitting guilt, even though the "legal" definition wouldn't
work out that way. His <only> method of defense is to fight. That much
I'll give you.

This is, in my mind, much more serious than, say, dealing drugs out of his
home would have been. The reason is that it took place (if true) in an
official capacity, and as such is part of the firm's business AND its
statement on ethics from a corporate perspective.

Karl Denninger

unread,
Jan 18, 1993, 11:23:21 PM1/18/93
to
In article <C124F...@queernet.org> rog...@queernet.org (Roger B.A. Klorese) writes:
>In article <C10z...@queernet.org> rog...@queernet.org (Roger B.A. Klorese) writes:
>>In article <C10rn...@ddsw1.mcs.com> ka...@ddsw1.mcs.com (Karl Denninger) writes:
>>>Intel machines are still cheaper, but not if the OS costs $3,000.
>>
>>Don't forget that you'll pay for a development environment on the SPARCclassic
>>now too...
>
>Oh, and you'll probably want an operating system. That right-to-use license
>is $795.

I believe the Classics come with a limited right-to-use (will have to check
again).

And you need only ONE CDROM drive for 100 classics; once you have the first
one booted, you can use the CDROM on it to load the rest. Just as with
DELL, or most other reasonable operating systems, you need a tape drive --
on ONE machine.

The beauty of networks.

Larry Snyder

unread,
Jan 19, 1993, 8:23:14 AM1/19/93
to
el...@nova.gmi.edu (Stew Ellis) writes:

>No, you can download the Cygnus version of GCC from uunet. Many people
>report it yields smaller faster code than the Sun value-added compiler.
>Many people who have both use GCC in preference.

So for $3300 one can obtain a Sparc based Sun and after obtaining gcc,
they will have a fully functional system that can compete head on with
the Intel based hardware and operating systems, correct? Gosh, last
time I checked, for one to buy a copy of everything included in the base
Dell package from SCO the cost was right around $3300 (discounted price
from Tech Data in Clearwater, Florida).

The Sparc Classic will run all Sparc software?

william E Davidsen

unread,
Jan 19, 1993, 1:34:45 PM1/19/93
to
In article <ellis.727413927@nova>, el...@nova.gmi.edu (Stew Ellis) writes:

| I don't have it in front of me, but I believe the right to use is free, but
| the media and docs are $795. This is a little bit unclear. The CDROM is
| becoming less and less of a problem, with lots of people buying them. There
| are VARS who will preload the OS for free on top of a reasonable price for
| the system. There was a big discussion on misc.forsale a couple of weeks
| ago.

You're right, and I do have it in front of me. In the column labeled
"Soliris license included" is "Solaris 2.1, SunOS, ONC, OpenWindows V.3,
DeskSet and OPEN LOOK." As nearly as I can type the bizarre
caPitAlizatIOn.

Also: 6k cache, 8bit audio, 16MB RAM, 15" monitor.