6 unix implementations on ibm pc

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Sep 22, 1983, 11:05:19 AM9/22/83

Someone recently handed me a copy of an article from a magazine
named "Unix Review" (the 1983 June/July issue). I have no address
or other information on this magazine, but I'd like to hear more about
it. Anyway, the article in question is titled "Unix on the IBM
Personal Computer: Six Approaches" and was written by Michael Stone.
I recommend reading it, if you can exhume a copy.
The 6 Unix lookalikes are:

Company Name Price (incl. C) Multiuser Hard disk
------- ---- --------------- --------- ---------
Mark Williams Coherent $500 +$300 XT, other
Whitesmith's Idris 1100 Yes XT
Sritek Microcard 68k 2695 +300 "Any"
Quantum Software QNX 650 "16 users" XT, other
Lantech uNETix 298 "Fall 83" None
VenturCom Venix 400 Yes XT, other

There are considerable differences in speed, capabilities, etc.,
not necessarily related to price. Looks like a case of caveat
emptor. But I will say that none of the systems mentioned looks bad,
from the description in the article. Lantech's $298 system does not
support a hard disk, for example, but does offer 8087 support, good
response time, and the ability to read and write PC DOS compatible
files. (And note this is $298 including C!)
I repeat my recommendation that you read the article if you are
thinking of getting a PC Unix. And as Stone says in his conclusion:
"Depending on what your needs are, you might choose any of these
packages to put a UNIX-like system on your PC. You'll be at a double
advantage if you wait, however; we've already arranged with three of
these firms to put their systems on our IBM PC/XT. So future issues of
UNIX REVIEW will show you how long each one takes to install, how fast
they run, whether they perform as promised, and whether they act like
a "real" UNIX system. Also, it's known that IBM is working on getting
UNIX on a personal computer (possible, however, the new PC they
haven't announced yet); if they choose one of these systems, that one
will be the de facto standard. If you can stand the suspense, maybe
wait just a little longer...."

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