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From: car...@point.UUCP (Carson Wilson)
Newsgroups: comp.unix.sysv386
Subject: '386 Unix Wars
Keywords: sco unix interactive wars
Message-ID: <276d312d-8aecomp.unix.i386@point.UUCP>
Date: 17 Dec 90 23:00:04 GMT
Lines: 33

I'm trying to build an Intel 80386-based Unix machine for programming, and 
am having a difficult time determining which of the various i386 Unix 
vendors to support with my purchase.

As anyone shopping around for Unix system software soon discovers, there 
is a war on.  At least two or three manufacturers are actively competing 
for the desktop Unix market.  It appears that the Santa Cruz Operation 
(SCO) has grabbed the largest piece of the market so far, but is facing 
intensive competition from Interactive Systems Corporation.  AT&T and 
Intel also market Unix software for the i386, but seem to be less 
aggressive in pushing their product lines.

There is also a product named "Xenix."  Xenix was originally Microsoft's 
tradename for its Unix clone.  The name has now been licensed to SCO and 
probably other firms.  From what I understand, Xenix is a less 
sophisticated, but also less expensive alternative to desktop Unix.  Xenix 
lacks some of the capabilities of Unix, but requires only about 1/2 the 
memory and disk storage Unix needs.  According to a salesperson at SCO, 
though, Xenix is "on the way out" as a system standard.

I have generally found plenty of sales and support people who are happy to 
"inform" me of the relative merits of their software over that of other 
firms, but I haven't seen any discussion of this on Usenet.  I'd like to 
know your views on:

1) Relative merits of Xenix vs. Unix.

2) Experiences of end users with SCO, Interactive, and other firms.

The i386 Unix market is evolving quite rapidly. I feel we should discuss 
this topic far more actively while we still have a chance to determine the 
direction desktop Unix will take.  If we allow market forces alone to 
decide which standards succeed, we may be disappointed in the long run.

-Carson Wilson	[car...@point.UUCP]

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gargoyle!ddsw1!ddsw1!point!carson
From: car...@point.UUCP (Carson Wilson)
Newsgroups: comp.unix.sysv386
Subject: '386 Unix Wars
Keywords: sco unix interactive wars
Message-ID: <277bb1de-8ae.1comp.unix.i386-1@point.UUCP>
Date: 28 Dec 90 22:00:03 GMT
References: <276d312d-8aecomp.unix.i386@point.UUCP>
Lines: 171

I am disappointed that NOBODY has dared to comment publicly on my post 
about "'386 Unix Wars."  However, I did receive quite a bit of private 
mail in response to my message.  Most of the respondents expressed a 
desire to remain anonymous. I suppose I should have expected this.  
Anyone qualified to give an educated opinion on the various brands of 
i386/i486 Unix available most likely has already invested large amounts 
of cash in one package or another, and the support staffs of SCO and 
Interactive both monitor this network.
 
Nonetheless, below are excerpts from the private mail I've received so 
far, edited for anonymity.  Hopefully they will spur others to add to 
the discussion.  I haven't invested in an operating system yet, so 
perhaps I'm in the unique position of being able to post my opinions 
publicly.  So far my impression is that ISC emphasizes technical 
excellence above all else (making developers happy, but alienating end 
users) while SCO emphasizes marketing above all else (making end users 
and retailers happy, but alienating developers).
 
*** Response #1: *************
 
For whatever it's worth.... my comments. I work at SCO.
 
> 1) Relative merits of Xenix vs. Unix.
XENIX is SVID and SVVS compliant pretty much.  It has no NFS, no
FFS, no FSS (i.e., can only mount XENIX file systems), no CDROM
support, limited support for shared memory.  It's cheap, small, and
mature code (The new 2.3.4 version has ksh, fast SCSI and some
other benefits).  It will be supported indefinitely.  If you believe
that real standards are de facto, then XENIX wins hands down over
all others.  (over 250,000 sold).
 
> 2) Experiences of end users with SCO, Interactive, and other firms.
I've only used SCO.  The current SCO UNIX 3.2 version 2 is pretty solid
and fast.  Quite a few peripherals are supported, and it's backward 
compatible for XENIX apps.  The best buy is Open Desktop, runtime at $995
list. 
 
> this topic far more actively while we still have a chance to determine 
the 
> direction desktop Unix will take.  If we allow market forces alone to 
> decide which standards succeed, we may be disappointed in the long run.
 
SCO has been successful at listening.  We dont really do much else except
shoot ourselfs in the foot occasionally (as with C2).
 
Pls dont quote me. Thx.  Good luck!  I agree that the more discussion
the better.  I know that SCO, at all levels, welcomes and participates
in these discussions, but we cannot speak out on the net too much
for the obvious reasons.  
 
*** Response #2: *************
 
My reading of the situation is that if you are looking for a
production platform, SCO is more stable and better
supported.  If you want an OS that is "just like my 3B2,"
you'll prefer Interactive.
 
The point I'm trying to make is that SCO has a lot more
"value added" features.  Those that need to use several
different Sys V hardware platforms and don't have the time
to learn about the "new improved" system administration
methods of SCO (for instance) will prefer Interactive.
 
Some of SCO's value added features are of debatable value --
see the ongoing discussion of C2-like security -- but the
point is that SCO is commited to enhancing and supporting
the System V OS.
 
My recommendation is to go with SCO unless you specifically
need compatibility with something else.
 
*** Response #3: *************
 
My main recommendation is to stay away from Interactive Systems Corp.
They have arguably the worst technical support I have ever seen (and
I've seen some bad support operations over the years).  Not only are
they unlikely to help you with your problem, they are likely to be
very rude while they do so.  There have been countless horror stories
here of the form, ``I called ISC with problem XYZZY, they said they
would work on it, my thirty days of free support are over with no fix
yet and when I call them they say my thirty days are up and I'll have
to buy a support contract.''  Then they usually hang up immediately.
 
Our experiences with ISC have been somewhat different, but have
evidenced similar behavior, and it is getting much worse, not better.
 
In fact, it is so bad I ask that if you quote me to the net I ask that
you not use my name or my company's name.  Please be very careful about
this.  We still occassionally need to talk to people at ISC, and they
seem to take criticism very personally there.  (At one time we sold ISC
almost exclusively, now we try to avoid it at all costs.  That's a shame,
their product has a lot to offer, they were first in many areas (host
based TCP/IP, and X Windows to name but two) in their product
category.  They still have what is arguably the best X windows product
around.  But it just isn't worth it.
 
I have seen a comment in this newsgroup that their ISV support is much
better than their end-user support.  I can't comment on whether that
is true.
 
As for SCO, it is a decent product, and we have found their technical
support to be excellent.  (We are a distributor, or some such, as an
end-user your mileage may vary.)  They have free mailing lists and
a newsgroup and seem very responsive to questions asked there.  I have
some concerns about SCO.  Many have complained about their C2
security.  I share these complaints, although I have learned to live
with it, I would much rather be able to delete it entirely.  There X
Windows is primitive and slow compared to Interactive's.  It also
sometimes seems like you are joining the version-of-the-month club
with SCO, which is probably a direct consequence of their being
as esponsive to user complaints as they are.
 
More recently, products based on Unix V.4 are available from several
vendors including Dell, UHC, Microport, and Intel.  We just bought a
copy of Dell, and it looks quite solid, although the X Windows is
again not up to ISC's standards.  I personally think V.4 is going to
be the way to go in the future, but it may be a little premature
today.  Significantly, ISC's telnet daemon has problems with V.4
telnet clients.  This is because of something ISC did, and is another
strike against ISC.
 
I guess this sums up to be a recommendation for SCO.  Especially if
you are less interested in X.  They have some definite features
including support for WD7000 SCSI adapters (our favorite, despite
Adaptec's dominance) and a CD-ROM file system.  About the only down
side is their C2 security and (to some extent) their insistence on
mmdf over sendmail.  (But we use neither -- smail3.1.19 is the way to
go, and we have compiled for ISC and SCO.)
 
Oh yes, you asked about Xenix.  Xenix seems to be a thing of the past.
SCO keeps threatening to drop support for it.  Then the existing users
complain and SCO promises they won't do that as long as customers who
want to continue using it exist in sizable numbers.  Nonetheless, it
now seems pretty low on the support food chain (i.e. it is the last to
get the latest enhancements) and the chances of being orphanned in the
next few years probably rule it out.  Xenix was THE system for 286
boxes.  I think its time has passed.  (I also suspect a similar result
for V.3, but that will probably take some years.)
 
Hope this helps.  Maybe I'm being paranoid about wanting my quotes on
ISC to be anonymous, but I'd definitely appreciate your not including
my comments in any posting or email without deleting references to my
name and organization.  We've had a lot of experiences that lead me to
believe we are being singled out as a ``bad organization''.  We once
had them refuse to ship us an update because ``those guys find too
many bugs''.  I'd rather not risk alienating the few people there who
still look out for us.  (What a shame it has come to that.)
 
*** Response #4: *************
...
Support from the vendor (for the retailer) is important, and ISC has 
definitely been taking hits for that lately.  They are under a lot of fire 

over their new (4-5 months) policy of charging an additional fee for 
support to vendors of their products.  News flash -- SCO ALWAYS did this!
...
Buy what you want.  The real bottom line though, is buy from someone who 
will support you.  You're going to need it.
 
*** Response #5 **************
 
I hope this helps.
 
I installed SCO UNIX V/386 on a 80486 box app. 3 months ago.
 
Whatever you do, if you go the SCO route make sure you get version 
3.2.2.  I had the most horrible problems with 3.2.0 and 3.2.1.
 
Also, remember that SCO is a "trusted" systems conforming to the C2 
security level of your DoD. This can be good ot bad, dependent of what 
you expect of security. If you want tight security, it's great, if you 
like to do some hackking around, it's terrible because of the things you 
canNOT do.

Path: gmdzi!unido!mcsun!uunet!tut.cis.ohio-state.edu!snorkelwacker.mit.edu!
hsdndev!rutgers!mcdchg!ddsw1!karl
From: k...@ddsw1.MCS.COM (Karl Denninger)
Newsgroups: comp.unix.sysv386
Subject: Re: '386 Unix Wars
Summary: Ok, I'll speak up
Keywords: sco unix interactive wars
Message-ID: <1990Dec30.170614.22573@ddsw1.MCS.COM>
Date: 30 Dec 90 17:06:14 GMT
References: <276d312d-8aecomp.unix.i386@point.UUCP> 
<277bb1de-8ae.1comp.unix.i386-1@point.UUCP>
Reply-To: k...@ddsw1.MCS.COM (Karl Denninger)
Organization: Macro Computer Solutions, Inc., Wheeling, IL
Lines: 179

In article <277bb1de-8ae.1comp.unix.i38...@point.UUCP> car...@point.UUCP 
(Carson Wilson) writes:
>I am disappointed that NOBODY has dared to comment publicly on my post 
>about "'386 Unix Wars."  However, I did receive quite a bit of private 
>mail in response to my message.  Most of the respondents expressed a 
>desire to remain anonymous. I suppose I should have expected this.  
>Anyone qualified to give an educated opinion on the various brands of 
>i386/i486 Unix available most likely has already invested large amounts 
>of cash in one package or another, and the support staffs of SCO and 
>Interactive both monitor this network.

Well, that's what you should have expected with the way you phrased your
question and the subject of your posting!

>Nonetheless, below are excerpts from the private mail I've received so 
>far, edited for anonymity.  Hopefully they will spur others to add to 
>the discussion.  I haven't invested in an operating system yet, so 
>perhaps I'm in the unique position of being able to post my opinions 
>publicly.  So far my impression is that ISC emphasizes technical 
>excellence above all else (making developers happy, but alienating end 
>users) while SCO emphasizes marketing above all else (making end users 
>and retailers happy, but alienating developers).

Actually, there are a few other differences.  I'll comment as I go.

>*** Response #1: *************
> 
>For whatever it's worth.... my comments. I work at SCO.
> 
>> 1) Relative merits of Xenix vs. Unix.
>XENIX is SVID and SVVS compliant pretty much.  It has no NFS, no
>FFS, no FSS (i.e., can only mount XENIX file systems), no CDROM
>support, limited support for shared memory.  It's cheap, small, and
>mature code (The new 2.3.4 version has ksh, fast SCSI and some
>other benefits).  It will be supported indefinitely.  If you believe
>that real standards are de facto, then XENIX wins hands down over
>all others.  (over 250,000 sold).

Correct.  Xenix is also damn solid.  As for "limited support of shared
memory" don't tell that to any of my SVID-style applications which use it
VERY heavily without trouble!

Older versions were prone to panicking when heavy use was made of S5 IPC
features; 2.3.2 and beyond should be ok (2.3.2 is known to be ok here).

>> 2) Experiences of end users with SCO, Interactive, and other firms.
>I've only used SCO.  The current SCO UNIX 3.2 version 2 is pretty solid
>and fast.  Quite a few peripherals are supported, and it's backward 
>compatible for XENIX apps.  The best buy is Open Desktop, runtime at $995
>list. 

NO!

Open Desktop has a few (actually, several) problems:

1) It's "open" about the same way that Sun's Openwindows is -- that is,
   a window manager with an X environment which others can write to IF 
   they want to.  It's definately not MOTIF!

   Ask about something like Framemaker for ODT -- then try to run that copy
   on someone else's X server, such as ISC's or Dell's.  Good luck!

Also, that $995 is somewhat of a loss leader.  Expect to spend another $1000
on a development system (which anyone will need if they want to program) and
another $1000 by the time you get everything else you might want (like a NFS
server, etc).  Also, that $995 is a single-user (perhaps actually two user), 
single-workstation license.

Their "C2" security, which can't be turned completely off, will frustrate
you to no end.  Forget about doing things "your way" -- you get to do it
"the secure way".  C2 could easily be SCO's biggest mistake in 10 years.
The concept is good -- the mandatory nature of it bites!

>>this topic far more actively while we still have a chance to determine the 
>> direction desktop Unix will take.  If we allow market forces alone to 
>> decide which standards succeed, we may be disappointed in the long run.
> 
>SCO has been successful at listening.  We dont really do much else except
>shoot ourselfs in the foot occasionally (as with C2).
> 
>*** Response #2: *************
> 
>My reading of the situation is that if you are looking for a
>production platform, SCO is more stable and better
>supported.  If you want an OS that is "just like my 3B2,"
>you'll prefer Interactive.

Note that SCO also has had trouble with stability with their Unix 3.2.  I
have a customer who had HORRIBLE problems with 3.2.0, and it took him months
to get SCO to listen to him at all!

>Some of SCO's value added features are of debatable value --
>see the ongoing discussion of C2-like security -- but the
>point is that SCO is commited to enhancing and supporting
>the System V OS.

System V is a specification of features and functionality.  When you remove
some of that by adding something like C2 which you can't disable, it isn't
really System 5 anymore!

>*** Response #3: *************
> 
>My main recommendation is to stay away from Interactive Systems Corp.
>They have arguably the worst technical support I have ever seen (and
>I've seen some bad support operations over the years).  Not only are
>they unlikely to help you with your problem, they are likely to be
>very rude while they do so.  There have been countless horror stories
>here of the form, ``I called ISC with problem XYZZY, they said they
>would work on it, my thirty days of free support are over with no fix
>yet and when I call them they say my thirty days are up and I'll have
>to buy a support contract.''  Then they usually hang up immediately.

SCO has done the same kind of thing.  BOTH companies seem to feel that you
have no right of expectation to a bug-free product, or one which conforms to
the appropriate documentation and standards in the industry -- unless you
buy a nice expensive support contract.  

Welcome to the world of Desktop Unix.  The entry price is $1499; please fork
up an additional $900 per year to make sure it works once you have given us
our money.  

>As for SCO, it is a decent product, and we have found their technical
>support to be excellent.  (We are a distributor, or some such, as an
>end-user your mileage may vary.)  

As an end user SCO has the same problem that ISC has.  Fork up the cash or
forget about BUG FIXES.

Folks, support and bug fixes are TWO DIFFERENT ISSUES.

Asking how to add an account is support.
Getting a fix for a persistant PANIC problem is a BUG FIX.

The first companies should and do charge for.

The second is something I should be able to get for free, since I paid for a
WORKING package, not "15 diskettes with whatever happens to be on them".

>Oh yes, you asked about Xenix.  Xenix seems to be a thing of the past.
>SCO keeps threatening to drop support for it.  Then the existing users
>complain and SCO promises they won't do that as long as customers who
>want to continue using it exist in sizable numbers.  Nonetheless, it
>now seems pretty low on the support food chain (i.e. it is the last to
>get the latest enhancements) and the chances of being orphanned in the
>next few years probably rule it out.  Xenix was THE system for 286
>boxes.  I think its time has passed.  (I also suspect a similar result
>for V.3, but that will probably take some years.)

Of course Xenix is low on the food chain - it doesn't need to be fed!

Xenix has ONE big advantage -- it works, and is ROCK solid.  I would still
recommend it for business use, as you know what you have to spend up front.
Now, if you need solid TCP/IP, any form of NFS, or a few other things then
it's no longer a viable option.  For those who want a single-station system
with lots of terminals plugged in, it's still (and has been for a couple of
years) a winner.

>*** Response #4: *************
>...
>Support from the vendor (for the retailer) is important, and ISC has 
>definitely been taking hits for that lately.  They are under a lot of fire 
>over their new (4-5 months) policy of charging an additional fee for 
>support to vendors of their products.  News flash -- SCO ALWAYS did this!
>...

Correct.  SCO has always charged their dealers for support.   So has ISC.
As they well should -- anyone who can't read the documentation needs to be
hit in the wallet for "babysitting".

However, system-crashing problems are another matter entirely, and one that
vendors have addressed in the same was as "support".  They ARE NOT THE SAME
ISSUE!

'Nuff said.  I still like ISC despite the problems with getting help.  2.2
is a pretty solid release, with a relatively short exception list.

--
Karl Denninger (k...@ddsw1.MCS.COM, <well-connected>!ddsw1!karl)
Public Access Data Line: [+1 708 808-7300], Voice: [+1 708 808-7200]
Macro Computer Solutions, Inc.   "Quality Solutions at a Fair Price"

Path: gmdzi!unido!mcsun!uunet!samsung!olivea!orc!inews!iwarp.intel.com!csun!
kithrup!sef
From: s...@kithrup.COM (Sean Eric Fagan)
Newsgroups: comp.unix.sysv386
Subject: Re: '386 Unix Wars
Keywords: sco unix interactive wars
Message-ID: <1990Dec30.193929.16181@kithrup.COM>
Date: 30 Dec 90 19:39:29 GMT
References: <276d312d-8aecomp.unix.i386@point.UUCP> 
<277bb1de-8ae.1comp.unix.i386-1@point.UUCP> <1990Dec30.170614.22573@ddsw1.MCS.COM>
Organization: Kithrup Enterprises, Ltd.
Lines: 104

In article <1990Dec30.170614.22...@ddsw1.MCS.COM> k...@ddsw1.MCS.COM 
(Karl Denninger) writes:
>Correct.  Xenix is also damn solid.  

And small, and relatively fast.  (Some comments about this below.)  It's
simple, in many ways, and doesn't have as many features as 3.2.  But that
may be what you want.  In which case, I'd say go for xenix.

>Also, that $995 is somewhat of a loss leader.  Expect to spend another $1000
>on a development system (which anyone will need if they want to program) and
>another $1000 by the time you get everything else you might want (like a NFS
>server, etc).  Also, that $995 is a single-user (perhaps actually two user), 
>single-workstation license.

Well, some comments here.  First of all, ODT is being targeted as a
workstation, but not completely.  A desktop X machine, with local
processing, I guess is what you would call it.  (Face it, you can get a
'386SX, some semi-decent display, a bit of ram and a smallish disk, for only
a little more than most X terminals.  Granted, the display size of the X
terminals is larger, but that isn't the only issue.)  Since that is the
case, having more than two users doesn't make sense for that configuration
(and, in fact, to get that price, it *needs* to be a two-user license).
Similarly, not everybody in your company, where you've just bought 100
copies of ODT, is going to program; most likely, you're going to have one or
two people doing the programming and support for everyone else.

>Their "C2" security, which can't be turned completely off, will frustrate
>you to no end.  Forget about doing things "your way" -- you get to do it
>"the secure way".  C2 could easily be SCO's biggest mistake in 10 years.
>The concept is good -- the mandatory nature of it bites!

It's going, it seems.  Various messages from the net alone say that the next
version of 3.2 from SCO will at least potentially be non-C2.  That is, you
will at least be able to completely disable the C2 stuff, if it isn't
shipped like that.

>Note that SCO also has had trouble with stability with their Unix 3.2.  I
>have a customer who had HORRIBLE problems with 3.2.0, and it took him months
>to get SCO to listen to him at all!

I agree with 3.2.0.  Note, however, that 3.2v2 is the latest release, and
that's what kithrup is running (do you think I would run something at home
that I didn't trust?).  Also, at work, we're using 3.2v2 in all of systems
engineering; that is, the machines we get mail on, and read news from, and
work on, are 3.2v2 (well, the development machines are often a strange
hybrid 8-)).  3.2v2 is fairly robust and stable.  kithrup has panic'ed
twice, once due to a badly written device driver (my own, unfortunately).
I am *happy* with 3.2v2, and I *like* it.  And, once again, this is stated
as someone who *uses* it, not as someone who produces it.

>SCO has done the same kind of thing.  BOTH companies seem to feel that you
>have no right of expectation to a bug-free product, or one which conforms to
>the appropriate documentation and standards in the industry -- unless you
>buy a nice expensive support contract.  

Well... look at it another way.  Support personel are expensive.
Development people are expensive (as are all the people to back them up:
production, documentation, sales, managers, internal support, hardware
maintainance, etc.).  So... would you rather have to pay $8000 for a single
license, and get the support you want, or pay $1000, and get somewhat
limited support?  Note that people at SCO and ISC *do* read this group, and
some of them (us) are very protective towards their (our) respective
products.  While not everyone has access to usenet, it *is* something.
(I've also gotten email from people who had other people give them my name,
and I do try to help.  It's not my highest priority, but it is something I
pay attention to.)

I've been told that SCO has lots of its SLS's available for free (read about 
them in the monthly postings).  I am sure ISC does something similar, even 
if my biases do get in the way 8-).  The upgrade from 3.2.0 to 3.2v2 costs
money (unless you bought 3.2.0 after a certain date, if I remember
correctly); this is largely because 3.2v2 added lots of features, not just
fixing bugs.  In particular, 3.2v2 is *lots* faster in terms of filesystem
performance, and in other areas as well.  (It outperforms xenix in some
respects, now.)

>[bug fixing] is something I should be able to get for free, since I paid for a
>WORKING package, not "15 diskettes with whatever happens to be on them".

For the most part, I agree.  However, if you are the only customer
experiencing this panic, and it is not readily reproducible, why should a
company spend thousands of dollars to fix it?  I know it sounds callous, but
money has to come from *somewhere*.  And, of course, see the comment about
SCO's SLS's above.

>However, system-crashing problems are another matter entirely, and one that
>vendors have addressed in the same was as "support".  They ARE NOT THE SAME
>ISSUE!

Agreed.  And, again, the 'support' part of it comes from the fact that
people, who get paid, are needed just to interface with you while describing
the problem.  Then they need to test it, and, if it behaves as indicated,
they then get back to you and say, 'Yep, it's a problem, we're putting an
engineer on it right now.'  Now, if it *is* a system-crashing problem, that
more than two or three people run into, it is probably worth it.  But what
if it *isn't* a problem?  That your hardware is what's causing it?  Are you
going to fork over the money that the company spent afterwards?  No?  Then
how do you expect the company to stay in business?  Work out the math
yourself; it's not that hard.

-- 
Sean Eric Fagan  | "I made the universe, but please don't blame me for it;
s...@kithrup.COM  |  I had a bellyache at the time."
-----------------+           -- The Turtle (Stephen King, _It_)
Any opinions expressed are my own, and generally unpopular with others.

Path: gmdzi!unido!mcsun!uunet!zaphod.mps.ohio-state.edu!rpi!crdgw1!sixhub!
davidsen
From: david...@sixhub.UUCP (Wm E. Davidsen Jr)
Newsgroups: comp.unix.sysv386
Subject: Re: '386 Unix Wars
Keywords: sco unix interactive wars
Message-ID: <2777@sixhub.UUCP>
Date: 31 Dec 90 05:34:59 GMT
References: <276d312d-8aecomp.unix.i386@point.UUCP> 
<277bb1de-8ae.1comp.unix.i386-1@point.UUCP> <1990Dec30.170614.22573@ddsw1.MCS.COM>
Reply-To: david...@sixhub.UUCP (bill davidsen)
Organization: *IX Public Access UNIX, Schenectady NY
Lines: 74

In article <1990Dec30.170614.22...@ddsw1.MCS.COM> k...@ddsw1.MCS.COM (Karl Denninger) 
writes:

| Correct.  Xenix is also damn solid.  As for "limited support of shared
| memory" don't tell that to any of my SVID-style applications which use it
| VERY heavily without trouble!
| 
| Older versions were prone to panicking when heavy use was made of S5 IPC
| features; 2.3.2 and beyond should be ok (2.3.2 is known to be ok here).

  That's been my experience.

| 1) It's "open" about the same way that Sun's Openwindows is -- that is,
|    a window manager with an X environment which others can write to IF 
|    they want to.  It's definately not MOTIF!
| 
|    Ask about something like Framemaker for ODT -- then try to run that copy
|    on someone else's X server, such as ISC's or Dell's.  Good luck!

  I'm not sure what you mean about that one... I have run my WM on ODT
and clients on lots of other machines (Sun, Ultrix, Convex, Xenix,
Stardent) and run the WM from other machines and used ODT applications,
both without unexpected problems. If you mean that SCO is on X11R3 and
the world is on X11R4 about to go to X11R5, that's true. I've given up
on that issue, they have told me about enhancements coming for X11R3,
and asked for a non-disclosure agreement to get a copy of the *public
domain* Athena widgets for ODT. However, the disk is free, and if it
doesn't cost you $500 to run the agreement past a corporate lawyer you
can just ask for it.
| 
| Also, that $995 is somewhat of a loss leader.  Expect to spend another $1000
| on a development system (which anyone will need if they want to program) and
| another $1000 by the time you get everything else you might want (like a NFS
| server, etc).  Also, that $995 is a single-user (perhaps actually two user), 
| single-workstation license.

  For someone who wants to run applications it's just perfect. It needs
no development set or anything else, and you can have one server with
shared applications mounted. A bargain, if it it what you need. I'm
told that the price will go up a lot in 1991, and if that's tre it may
effect our vendor, since we budgeted for a certain price we get by
buying in quantity from a VAR.

| SCO has done the same kind of thing.  BOTH companies seem to feel that you
| have no right of expectation to a bug-free product, or one which conforms to
| the appropriate documentation and standards in the industry -- unless you
| buy a nice expensive support contract.  

  SCO has a nice free machine loaded with SLS's to solve many of the
common problems. They have released things as complex as a new C
compiler there. Many bug fixes can be gotten there.

| Folks, support and bug fixes are TWO DIFFERENT ISSUES.
| 
| Asking how to add an account is support.
| Getting a fix for a persistant PANIC problem is a BUG FIX.
| 
| The first companies should and do charge for.
| 
| The second is something I should be able to get for free, since I paid for a
| WORKING package, not "15 diskettes with whatever happens to be on them".

  I agree completely! I have also asked for an option of four hours of
support anytime for a year, instead of all the time I can use in 30
days. This would allow me to ask the tricky questions when they come up.

| Xenix has ONE big advantage -- it works, and is ROCK solid.  I would still
| recommend it for business use, as you know what you have to spend up front.

  Yes, yes, yes! And it runs in at least 2MB less memory than SCO UNIX.
-- 
bill davidsen - david...@sixhub.uucp (uunet!crdgw1!sixhub!davidsen)
    sysop *IX BBS and Public Access UNIX
    moderator of comp.binaries.ibm.pc and 80386 mailing list
"Stupidity, like virtue, is its own reward" -me

Path: gmdzi!unido!mcsun!ukc!stl!robobar!ronald
From: ron...@robobar.co.uk (Ronald S H Khoo)
Newsgroups: comp.unix.sysv386
Subject: Re: '386 Unix Wars
Keywords: sco unix interactive wars
Message-ID: <1990Dec31.053142.10444@robobar.co.uk>
Date: 31 Dec 90 05:31:42 GMT
References: <277bb1de-8ae.1comp.unix.i386-1@point.UUCP> 
<1990Dec30.170614.22573@ddsw1.MCS.COM> <1990Dec30.193929.16181@kithrup.COM>
Organization: Robobar Ltd., Perivale, Middx., ENGLAND.
Lines: 34

s...@kithrup.COM (Sean Eric Fagan) writes:

> First of all, ODT is being targeted as a
> workstation, but not completely.  A desktop X machine, with local
> processing, I guess is what you would call it.

What's wrong with using Xenix for this, other than the outrageous
"extra" cost of Streams in order to be able to buy TCP for it ? Other
than "No NFS" I suppose.  Hrrmph.  The *only* piece of functionality
that you don't get from Xenix.  And that's a *marketing* decision isn't
it ? With all the mention of FFS in the various bits of Xenix TCP
documentation, it can't be that most of the work to put it in hasn't
been done ? Not that it's a particularly difficult hack anyway,
compared to some of the SYSV->Xenix hacks SCO have already done,
it seems (looking from the sidelines :-)

> Granted, the display size of the X
> terminals is larger, but that isn't the only issue.)

aww, 16" SVGA/8514 screens for PCs aren't *that* expensive anymore.
Especially not if you only want monochrome.
I could live with non-interlaced 1024x768 16" mono...

H'm.  When the free X for Xenix patches come out next month (cross
fingers) maybe that'll be an incentive to swap back to Xenix ...

> I am *happy* with 3.2v2, and I *like* it.  And, once again, this is stated
> as someone who *uses* it,

OK Sean, I believe that, but have you considered how much happier you might
be running SVR4 instead ?  Hey, that's a *good* idea......

-- 
ron...@robobar.co.uk +44 81 991 1142 (O) +44 71 229 7741 (H)

Path: gmdzi!unido!mcsun!uunet!wuarchive!emory!rsiatl!jgd
From: j...@Dixie.Com (John G. DeArmond)
Newsgroups: comp.unix.sysv386
Subject: Unix Support or lack thereof (Re: '386 Unix Wars)
Keywords: sco unix interactive wars
Message-ID: <5553@rsiatl.Dixie.Com>
Date: 31 Dec 90 04:42:36 GMT
References: <1990Dec30.193929.16181@kithrup.COM>
Organization: Rapid Deployment Systems (making go-fast things and things that-go fast)
Lines: 120

>Well... look at it another way.  Support personel are expensive.
>Development people are expensive (as are all the people to back them up:
>production, documentation, sales, managers, internal support, hardware
>maintainance, etc.).  So... would you rather have to pay $8000 for a single
>license, and get the support you want, or pay $1000, and get somewhat
>limited support?  Note that people at SCO and ISC *do* read this group, and
>some of them (us) are very protective towards their (our) respective
>products.  While not everyone has access to usenet, it *is* something.
>(I've also gotten email from people who had other people give them my name,
>and I do try to help.  It's not my highest priority, but it is something I
>pay attention to.)

[on my soapbox]

Then pay attention to this.  That red herring you run up regarding
support stank in the CP/M days, it stank in the DOS days and it
especially stinks with Unix.  Quite frankly we as customers and
developers don't give a fiddler's damn how much support staff or
development staff or marketing staff or the front office receptionist
cost.  That's all a part of doing business.  If you can't run with the
big boys, don't get off the porch as the old saying goes. One could even
note that support costs would be minimal if the original product
exhibited a modicum of quality.  A company does not have to support
non-existant bugs.  

Support is integral to the whole product.  If someone at ISC or SCO
wanted to see how support makes a product, have someone take a
millisecond's look at WordPerfect sometime.  Though I consider WP to be a
terrible word processor, the quality of the package and the support make
me recommend it to my clients. Look at what you get for your couple of
hundred bucks: 

*	Totally free tech support
*	UNLIMITED tech support even if it qualifies as hands holding.
*	Even an 800 number to get it from.
*	Enough well prepared documentation that most people don't need support.
*	A program that runs on just about anything that will boot DOS or Unix
	and that will drive just about any device hooked to it capable of putting
	ink on paper.

And ISC or SCO tries to tell us that they can't provide a fraction of the
quality for many times the dollars?  Bullshit!  Either of these products 
would be laughed off the pages of any magazine that reviewed them to the
same standards as DOS products. 

Before the SCO or ISC cheerleaders try to note that Unix is bigger or
more complicated, consider that about 90% of Unix comes already written
from AT&T.  I'd lay odds that WP has written more original code for its
product than both of the Unix vendors put together. 

The problem is that both SCO and ISC started small, are small and will 
remain small because they think small.  It's a small minded attitude that
makes a company think that they have to nick every customer for every
dollar that it can.  Perhaps someone at either company should take an
evening and read a Drucker book on quality sometime. 

>>[bug fixing] is something I should be able to get for free, since I paid for a
>>WORKING package, not "15 diskettes with whatever happens to be on them". 

>For the most part, I agree.  However, if you are the only customer
>experiencing this panic, and it is not readily reproducible, why should a
>company spend thousands of dollars to fix it?  I know it sounds callous, but
>money has to come from *somewhere*.  And, of course, see the comment about
>SCO's SLS's above.

That's the attidude that will guarantee that when a Unix company comes
along that understands service, these two companies will find themselves
about as relevant as Digital Research is now.  As surprising as it may
seem, a user or developer does not really give a damn how many others are
having panics or how many dollars it takes to fix it.  If it takes HIS
machine(s) down, it is a fatal flaw.  Is it going to take getting lawyers
involved to force a change? 

While we're on the subject of bug fixes, why do you suppose it is that
ISC cannot fix the damn Inode bug?  The bug had been explained to them on
the net.  There have been binary patches posted to the net.  And still
the  bug persists even in versions hot out of the box.  If their "high
priced" technical help cannot fix a bug for which a solution has been
handed to  them on a silver platter, what does that say about other
aspects of the product.  And why can't they fix uugetty or write a asy
port driver that  that works?  Why can I write a uugetty in an evening
that DOES work and they can't fix it at all?  Why does FAS exist and ISC
not at least take  a peek at how to do it right?  

And why can't they make the boot process look at the hardware and post at
least a semi- intelligible error message when problems are found instead
of simply locking up?  After all, the DOS guys have been doing this for
oh, what, 10 years or so.  And why can't the SCSI disk driver make at
least a weak attempt at error recovery rather than throwing up its hands
in panic?  Could it not figure out that a "media change sense error" on a
hard drive might just be spurrious and maybe, just maybe retry the
operation and see what happens?  Oh, I  guess they think we all like to
sit around for the 30 minutes it takes for a GB of disk to fsck.  Yeah,
there's the answer!  

It can't be that they don't have time to fix any of this stuff.  If they
were that overworked, they would not have time for such trivial stuff
as auth.  So the answer has to be that they just don't give a damn.

These guys are doing the same thing with Unix as IBM did with the PC.
They're killing their own product with callousness toward their 
customer base and are just daring others to fill the void.  I say godspeed
to anyone who decides to take advantage of this opportunity.

I recommend ISC to my clients now as the lesser of the evils but I'll flip
in a New York second to any company that discovers that service is something
more than a few glory words printed in a brochure.

(A word to anyone from Kodak - Hey guys, how about taking a look at this 
little company and injecting some of the quality I've come to know in 
your film and chemicals?  Do us all a favor and kick some ass.)

[Off my soapbox now]

John

-- 
John De Armond, WD4OQC        | "Purveyors of speed to the Trade"  (tm)
Rapid Deployment System, Inc. |  Home of the Nidgets (tm)
Marietta, Ga                  | "To be engaged in opposing wrong offers but 
{emory,uunet}!rsiatl!jgd      |  a slender guarantee of being right."

Path: gmdzi!unido!mcsun!uunet!samsung!usc!csun!kithrup!sef
From: s...@kithrup.COM (Sean Eric Fagan)
Newsgroups: comp.unix.sysv386
Subject: Re: '386 Unix Wars
Keywords: sco unix interactive wars
Message-ID: <1990Dec31.100329.23178@kithrup.COM>
Date: 31 Dec 90 10:03:29 GMT
References: <1990Dec30.170614.22573@ddsw1.MCS.COM> 
<1990Dec30.193929.16181@kithrup.COM> <1990Dec31.053142.10444@robobar.co.uk>
Organization: Kithrup Enterprises, Ltd.
Lines: 81

In article <1990Dec31.053142.10...@robobar.co.uk> ron...@robobar.co.uk 
(Ronald S H Khoo) writes:
>OK Sean, I believe that, but have you considered how much happier you might
>be running SVR4 instead ?  Hey, that's a *good* idea......

Actually, yeah, I have.  And I've also considered how much happier I might
be if I ran xenix.  Or ISC.  Or (*gasp*) Microport.  Or Dell.  Or Esix.
Etc.

My reasons for going with SCO aren't all the same as everyone else's (I
mean, not everyone knows the home phone number of quite a few of the kernel
engineers 8-)), but I think some of them are relevant.  And, as has been
demonstrated time and time again, quite a bit of what I want matches quite a
few people's desires.  Faster kernel, more reliable system, smaller kernel
(quite possibly synonymous with the faster part 8-)), bugless devsys, etc.

Some of the reasons I do use SCO UNIX instead of some other one (including
Mach or BSD, which I can get through various means):  familiarity with the
product (as if you couldn't guess 8-)), stability, features I want/like,
ease of installation, ease of use, ease of maintainance.

kithrup has three main uses:  email, playing around, and news (roughly in
that order of importance).  A friend set up the MMDF system while I was in
Canada for a while, so I really cannot say how easy or difficult it was.  He
said it was fairly easy.  I've since changed it a few times, in relatively
minor ways.  While I admit the documentation could be better (all I had was
the online stuff), it wasn't too hard.  (I think my major gripe with it was
the fact that I ended up, at one point, with a 25Mb log file, which had
eaten up about three quarters of my available disk space.  *grrr*  Hooray
for the quot command! 8-))

For development, I now only do '386 development.  I use both /bin/cc and
gcc (with a slight emphasis on the latter, recently, since I've been doing
lots of inline assembly lately), and have no real non-standard libraries (I
think I replaced the opendir et al in libx.a with the ones from libc, and
did some appropriate changes on the header files to match).  I run into
about as many problems as I did on my Sun-3/50 three years ago, when trying
to port stuff from the net.  Most of the time, I end up trying to teach
programs that BSD systems aren't the only ones with SIGTSTP and company...

For news, well, I run trn, rn, and C News.  Fairly simple to get working.  I
spent about three hours worth of work on C news, including compiling times.
Using cc, not gcc, incidently.  The couple of problems I ran into, I mailed
to Henry, and got some feedback.

Despite my diatribe against C2, I really do have to admit I run into it
rarely.  (When I do, I might scream at my snake for a few minutes, though...
8-) 8-))  If it were just a *little* bit more unobtrusive, I think the only
reason I would notice it's there is because I use sysadmsh to create users
instead of vi, mkdir, and cp.

Anyway, kithrup is a very stable machine.  uptime reports:

  1:57am  up 11 days,  6:15,  6 users,  load average: 0.14, 0.02, 0.00

(the six users are:  root, sef, sef, sef, news, sef.)  It was brought down
11 days ago so that I could install an FPU, and move some of the cars around
to fit better.  Four of those days, I wasn't here at all, and it still
handled mail and news (including forwarding three messages to some people
who are no longer around to play with kithrup).

It took me a shade less than 12 hours to compile the entire X11R4
distribution, a couple of weeks ago (without the FPU, I should add).
Although not incredible, I do believe that is credible performance,
especially, again, while running other tasks (including news, email, some
playing around, and being used as a terminal).

Look, this is a bit longer than I'd intended.  All I'm trying to say is that
3.2v2 is, I think, worthwhile.  I like it, and I *have* considered the
alternatives.  None of them offers me enough benefits to go with the risk
(i.e., a non-SCO supplier [including, potentially, myself!]).  About the
only thing I want on kithrup right now, I think, is dynamic linking, and
I've got a couple ideas about that anyway...

This was not intended to be a sales plug or anything.  Just reasons why I'm
satisfied, for the most part, with what I have.

-- 
Sean Eric Fagan  | "I made the universe, but please don't blame me for it;
s...@kithrup.COM  |  I had a bellyache at the time."
-----------------+           -- The Turtle (Stephen King, _It_)
Any opinions expressed are my own, and generally unpopular with others.

Path: utzoo!utgpu!news-server.csri.toronto.edu!cs.utexas.edu!samsung!olivea!
orc!inews!iwarp.intel.com!gargoyle!ddsw1!ddsw1!point!carson
From: car...@point.UUCP (Carson Wilson)
Newsgroups: comp.unix.sysv386
Subject: '386 Unix Wars
Keywords: sco unix interactive wars
Message-ID: <277fad16-8ae.3comp.unix.i386-1@point.UUCP>
Date: 31 Dec 90 22:00:09 GMT
References: <276d312d-8aecomp.unix.i386@point.UUCP> <1990Dec30.170614.22573@dds
Lines: 29

Here's another response to my request for opinions about i386 Unix:
**************************
From: ddsw1!riacs!rutgers!sirius.ctr.columbia.edu!david (David Freidlander)
Date: Sun, 30 Dec 90 00:35:59 -0500
To: riacs!lll-winken!ddsw1!point!carson (Carson Wilson)
In-Reply-To: carson@point.UUCP's message of 28 Dec 90 22:00:03 GM
Status: O

Just thought I should respond to your posting.  One of your
correspondents says he(she) has had very bad experiences with
Interactive Systems.  I can only say that my experiences have been
quite the opposite.  A real human being answers the phone very
quickly, and this person almost always has an answer.  If they don't
have an answer, they DO get back to you, invariably.  I have been
working with Interactive for about 2 years now.

Possibly this depends partly on the area of the country in which you
are.  I am in New York, and my support is from the office in New
Hampshire.  This part (I don't know how large a part it is) has
recently broken away and formed its own company called "Multi-User
Systems", which makes me think that something unusual may have been
happening there.

For the record, I have been selling Interactive Unix as well, so
perhaps I'm an interested party.  But I will say that their support is
a major reason why I have continued to work with them.

You can quote me on this if you want, with or without my name.

David Friedlander

Path: gmdzi!unido!mcsun!uunet!zaphod.mps.ohio-state.edu!julius.cs.uiuc.edu!
apple!veritas!geoff
From: ge...@Veritas.COM (Geoffrey Leach)
Newsgroups: comp.unix.sysv386
Subject: Re: '386 Unix Wars
Message-ID: <1990Dec31.213625.5481@Veritas.COM>
Date: 31 Dec 90 21:36:25 GMT
References: <1990Dec30.193929.16181@kithrup.COM>
Organization: VERITAS Software
Lines: 66

From article <1990Dec30.193929.16...@kithrup.COM>, by s...@kithrup.COM 
(Sean Eric Fagan):
> In article <1990Dec30.170614.22...@ddsw1.MCS.COM> k...@ddsw1.MCS.COM 
(Karl Denninger) writes:

>>SCO has done the same kind of thing.  BOTH companies seem to feel that you
>>have no right of expectation to a bug-free product, or one which conforms to
>>the appropriate documentation and standards in the industry -- unless you
>>buy a nice expensive support contract.  
> 
> Well... look at it another way.  Support personel are expensive.
> Development people are expensive (as are all the people to back them up:
> production, documentation, sales, managers, internal support, hardware
> maintainance, etc.).  So... would you rather have to pay $8000 for a single
> license, and get the support you want, or pay $1000, and get somewhat
> limited support?

In essence, Sean says that the Karl (as an SCO customer) has no right to expect 
that their product should work "as advertised", given their price point which
Sean describes as, "somewhat as a loss leader."  If SCO (or any oem!) had a 
disclaimer on their shrink wrap packages that read something like this, I'd
be inclined to agree.

	Notice to Purchaser.  SCO makes no warranty, express or implied that
	this product functions according to the documentation which SCO
	furnishes as part of the package.  The purchasor has no rights
	whatsoever. The purchasor must purchase a support contract before
	SCO will even speak to him concerning the use, functioning or 
	operation of this product.

Its been some time since I opened any SCO products, but I think I would 
remember seeing it if it was there.  I expect ISC is no better.  To say
nothing of ATT!  Their shrink wrap 386 SVR3 comes with free support for
something like three months.  But try to collect.  If you don't have a
piece of their hardware, their service organization won't talk to you.
(That's my experience as of almost two years ago.  Perhaps they've changed.)

Rather than having a discussion of what <your oem> has done to you lately,
perhaps we could shift the discussion to what are reasonable expectations
for product labeling and performance.  Keep in mind, that we are talking
about low-end product here.  Stuff that competes with OS2.  Many -- perhaps
the majority -- of potential purchasors are upgrading.  They have no knowledge
of UNIX and have never heard of UseNet.  Do the oems have any responsibilities,
or is it buyer beware?

My response to this question is radical.  I believe that it is in the economic
self-interest (albeit long term) of the oem to provide full support as part of
the cost of the package.  In other words, "fre" support.  The model I have
in mind is that used by Word Perfect, who (as of a year ago, at least) had
an 800 number that would talk to you about any aspect of the product whatsoever.
They didn't even attempt to eliminate bootleg copies.  As I see it, the 
basic advantage to the vendor of such a policy is that it builds good customer
relations.  Would the vendor perfer to have a customer that loves him and his
product -- and will, as a result, be willing to put up with a lot of hassle
should a bad release ever get out -- or one that is looking for any way at
all to replace the vendor's product with a new one?  Perhaps less obvious,
but still a real advantage, is that the vendor is forced to face up to the
necessity of producing a quality product.  Bugs become a cost to the
organization rather than a profit center.

Unfortunately, the computer industry is run, for the most part, by bean 
ounters.  Anything that reduces the cost of the product is OK by them.
Well, I disagree.  If we don't know that a buggy product is not a product
at all, then we are making a fatal mistake.
If we don't learn that if we ship products (hardware or software)
that do not live up to the customers' expectations for quality, then our
industry will go the way of the American automobile industry.

Geoff Leach

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		       SCO Files Lawsuit Against IBM

March 7, 2003 - The SCO Group filed legal action against IBM in the State 
Court of Utah for trade secrets misappropriation, tortious interference, 
unfair competition and breach of contract. The complaint alleges that IBM 
made concentrated efforts to improperly destroy the economic value of 
UNIX, particularly UNIX on Intel, to benefit IBM's Linux services 
business. See SCO vs IBM.

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