• Minix and Tanenbaum

    From physalis17@VERT to All on Wed Nov 19 16:19:29 2014
    Afternoon folks,

    I started looking up the Minix OS (the precursor to Linux) and found a great lecture video on the history of Minix by its creator Andrew S. Tanenbaum. Really fascinating stuff because if AT&T hadn't been so greedy and hush hush about the UNIX source code, the world of computing would be a totally different place.

    The first video is about an hour lecture. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bx3KuE7UjGA

    The second video is a little over ten minutes and talks more about the impact of Minix on the world of computing.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86_BkFsb4eI

    Enjoy! :)

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  • From Poindexter Fortran@VERT to physalis17 on Wed Nov 19 14:33:12 2014
    Re: Minix and Tanenbaum
    By: physalis17 to All on Wed Nov 19 2014 04:19 pm

    I started looking up the Minix OS (the precursor to Linux) and found a great lecture video on the history of Minix by its creator Andrew S. Tanenbaum. Really fascinating stuff because if AT&T hadn't been so greedy and hush hush about the UNIX source code, the world of computing would be a totally different place.

    Minix was a great learning tool -- having all of the source code available and having it be small enough to get your head around was a great learning experience.

    I have a Minix VM image that I downloaded off the net; I should get my old web server running. I had a public-facing Minix WWW server running my own pages and a mirror of http://minix1.hampshire.edu.

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  • From physalis17@VERT to Poindexter Fortran on Thu Nov 20 10:43:24 2014
    Re: Minix and Tanenbaum
    By: Poindexter Fortran to physalis17 on Wed Nov 19 2014 02:33 pm

    That's awesome that you had your own Minix server. What version of Minix did you run and since you have used and studied it, do you think it is mature enough to run as a personal OS like Tanenbaum is trying to get it to be or does it still need a few more years to mature like Linux still needed in the late 90's and early 2000's?

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  • From Knight@VERT to physalis17 on Thu Nov 20 08:33:54 2014
    Re: Minix and Tanenbaum
    By: physalis17 to All on Wed Nov 19 2014 04:19 pm

    I started looking up the Minix OS (the precursor to Linux) and found a
    great lecture video on the history of Minix by its creator Andrew S. Tanenbaum. Really fascinating stuff because if AT&T hadn't been so greedy and hush hush about the UNIX source code, the world of computing would be a totally different place.

    Absolutely true. Around that time I was using System V, and was porting software over to it so that it would compile and run. I owned an IBM XT (8088) running DOS and I had wished I could run a *nix flavour. So, of course minix ran GREAT on it.

    Then shortly after that I was using Linux kernel 0.1 (it didn't come with a userland, you had to make it YOURSELF!). LOADS of fun, and even more frustration :) Nothing like trying to troubleshoot random kernel panics.

    Knight

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  • From Poindexter Fortran@VERT to physalis17 on Thu Nov 20 09:49:00 2014
    physalis17 wrote to Poindexter Fortran <=-


    That's awesome that you had your own Minix server. What version of
    Minix did you run and since you have used and studied it,

    This was way back when on Minix 2.0, running on a 386. I've run it in a VM
    since then.

    I don't think it'll ever be a desktop OS in this day and age; with Minix/VM
    you could run an old version of X, and Michael Temari had ported some SMTP
    and web apps over to it, so you could sort of use it as a desktop hosting
    text tools. There are a ton of small linuxes out here that do a better job
    as a pure desktop OS, though.





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  • From physalis17@VERT to Knight on Thu Nov 20 17:54:10 2014
    Re: Minix and Tanenbaum
    By: Knight to physalis17 on Thu Nov 20 2014 08:33 am

    That is awesome that you got to use Linux 0.1. So there wasn't a DE? But you had X11 correct? Had KDE, Gnome, etc. not been created yet? What was System V like? I studied on Solaris 9 when I was in school at vo-tech. That was the only other exposure to a UNIX system other than Linux or OS X.

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  • From physalis17@VERT to Poindexter Fortran on Thu Nov 20 17:57:53 2014
    Re: Re: Minix and Tanenbaum
    By: Poindexter Fortran to physalis17 on Thu Nov 20 2014 09:49 am

    Hmmmm... Yeah I can see that it has a long way to go in terms of a modern OS. However, my impression of that lecture I posted was that Tanenbaum was really trying to commercialize Minix at least in Europe with the grant he got. Every part of the OS being modular seemed really fascinating to me especially the Reincarnation Server.

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  • From Gluon@VERT to physalis17 on Thu Nov 20 23:22:10 2014
    Re: Re: Minix and Tanenbaum
    By: physalis17 to Poindexter Fortran on Thu Nov 20 2014 05:
    57 pm

    I believe Tanenbaum's plans to commercialize Minix are targeted at the embedded market. Features like the reincarnation server, microkernel and a small memory footprint make it ideal for embedded applications.

    The other obvious market for Minix is academia. As I type this message, I'm looking at my copy of the book "Operating Systems - Design and Implementation" by Andrew S. Tanenbaum, which came with a Minix 2.0 CD and was the textbook of a course during my university days. :)

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  • From Poindexter Fortran@VERT to Knight on Thu Nov 20 15:24:47 2014
    Re: Minix and Tanenbaum
    By: Knight to physalis17 on Thu Nov 20 2014 08:33 am

    Absolutely true. Around that time I was using System V, and was porting software over to it so that it would compile and run. I owned an IBM XT (8088) running DOS and I had wished I could run a *nix flavour. So, of course minix ran GREAT on it.

    About that time, I ran a SCO XENIX system at work -- it ran a reportwriter system running on an AS/400. I spent a week in Santa Cruz getting trained on it, and visiting a local sysop who was at school at UC Santa Cruz at the time.

    Given that it was a college town, we both dined on my per-diem for a week, got a suntan (which both angered and confused my boss) and got to see the instructor playing piano at a jazz bar down the road. Good times.

    I used to code in vanilla ANSI C, and have been looking for an excuse to get back into coding. I wonder if I could port Fido BBS to MINIX? :)

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  • From Khelair@VERT to physalis17 on Thu Nov 20 16:11:47 2014
    Re: Minix and Tanenbaum
    By: physalis17 to All on Wed Nov 19 2014 16:19:29

    I started looking up the Minix OS (the precursor to Linux) and found a great lecture video on the history of Minix by its creator Andrew S. Tanenbaum. Really fascinating stuff because if AT&T hadn't been so greedy and hush hush about the UNIX source code, the world of computing would be a totally different place.

    Wow, I'm familiar with Minix, but I wasn't actually aware (or have forgotten in the intervening years) that it was a precursor to the Linux kernel. The bits about AT&T's greed seem particularly intriguing. I've been really interested in what they're up to ever since I first heard in the 90s about their NSA splice room. :)

    The second video is a little over ten minutes and talks more about the impact of Minix on the world of computing.

    Thank you for your contributions. I'll be checking those videos out as soon as I have a chance here. :)

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  • From Khelair@VERT to Poindexter Fortran on Thu Nov 20 16:13:41 2014
    Re: Minix and Tanenbaum
    By: Poindexter Fortran to physalis17 on Wed Nov 19 2014 14:33:12

    I have a Minix VM image that I downloaded off the net; I should get my old web server running. I had a public-facing Minix WWW server running my own pages and a mirror of http://minix1.hampshire.edu.

    Still jealous about this. :) I had Minix only running on an original XT @ 4.77MHz and never had the VMD version of it going (not sure if it was even available at that time, I think around '94?). I've really got to get my 'hard iron' machine replaced so that I can get some VMs up and running. :) I miss being able to tinker and having only OpenBSD w/no Linux machine to spend time doing things on (and games for my son on) is kind of getting to me, I must admit.

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  • From Poindexter Fortran@VERT to physalis17 on Thu Nov 20 20:41:36 2014
    Re: Minix and Tanenbaum
    By: physalis17 to Knight on Thu Nov 20 2014 05:54 pm

    That is awesome that you got to use Linux 0.1. So there wasn't a DE? But
    you had X11 correct? Had KDE, Gnome, etc. not been created yet? What was
    System V like? I studied on Solaris 9 when I was in school at vo-tech.
    That was the only other exposure to a UNIX system other than Linux or OS
    X.

    I had a friend who compiled Linux 0.2 on a 386 with 4 megs of RAM. He was apparently crucial in getting support for Intel ethernet cards, as all we had in the office were Intel EtherExpress 16 cards, Linux didn't have support, and he had a family member who worked at Intel. No one knew about the GPL back then. :)

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  • From physalis17@VERT to Poindexter Fortran on Fri Nov 21 12:05:12 2014
    Re: Minix and Tanenbaum
    By: Poindexter Fortran to physalis17 on Thu Nov 20 2014 08:41 pm

    Wow I had no idea that Linux relied on so many different people to get drivers and the kernel functional. That's the difference I see between a community and a corporation. Yeah it takes more time and luck with getting a group of dedicated people for a community OS, but there is obviously more passion and heart that has been put into Linux than any of the corporate OS.

    When I read your guy's replies, I can feel your passion and love of Unix. I have a learned a lot from your stories and I really enjoying hearing about the history that you have personally experienced. :)

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