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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • Moto 68k systems were awesome. The 68k built the Mac and the Sun empires. And lots of me-too systems that everyone's forgotten. For lazy folks who didn't like segment registers, they were simple to deal with. Those of us who thought operating system should reject writes to the wrong parts of memory always thought flat address spaces were a problem. History has alas proved us right far too late.

    But ... back in the day, the 68000 was a me-too chip, just []"hanging a bag on the side of the very successful 6800. The other 16bit chips that year were also bag-hangers, the 8086 hung a bag on the side of the 8080, and the Z8000 hung a bag on the Z80 which was itself an improvement of the 8080. The Nova was a bag on a PDP-8 (12bit!); the only novel 16bit design with any traction was the PDP-11. The bag-vs-new war that spawned D.G. was refought at DG during the 16->32 bit transition [].

    The Zilog Z8000 [] was the engine in the early inexpensive System III "Xenix" system. The 68000 may have ushered in truly mass-produced Unix boxes, but the Z8000 was there first. According to several sources on the net, the Onyx C8002 that I used in 1983 was the first in 1980. I used it with SCO Xenix System III, which was hardly the first port on it. We had 5 or 6 of them with punch-board serial "networking" instead of a single Vax for the development staff. Compared to a Vax, $20k @ was pretty inexpensive, and scalable. Competition between Z8k and 68k did drive prices down further soon thereafter, for which we can be grateful, but the 68k was the 3rd 16bit general purpose microprocessor chip (after 8086 and Z8000). [] [] [] []

    # I had a sig when sigs were cool
    use Sig;
    • Holy cow!

      Thanks very much, Bill, for contributing this -- complete with references. Of course, a whole article could be written on Xenux, but I'm not qualified, and Wikipedia probably already has it ;)