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Author Topic: MWC Coherent remembered  (Read 87 times)

Offline PDP-8

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MWC Coherent remembered
« on: July 17, 2019, 09:57:05 PM »
Wow - I remember Coherent.  Back then, distro-swapping for me meant juggling between Coherent, Yggdrasil Linux, and Xenix-286.

I never stuck with Coherent for long, since Yggradsil lead me to Slackware and the rest was history.

Apparently so for the MWC company.  Some good stuff here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coherent_%28operating_system%29
and
https://www.autometer.de/unix4fun/coherent/

But what is a total freak out for me is remembering the MANUAL!

http://www.nesssoftware.com/home/mwc/manual.php?select=Computers

What makes the manual so fascinating for me now is that I can feel the author's own personality in trying to explain the system - which was often chided for being an "antique" system that mostly emulated the ATT Unix V7 from about 1978.  Well, it was never meant to be big-time.

Anyway, what I find so fascinating is that rereading some of the material can *still* be useful - explaining commands in such a way that just one simple word, or other explanation can provide insight into corner areas.

It is a lot of fun to run through the commands and compare them to what Busybox has to offer.

Editors?  How about micro-emacs.  Or ED.  I just picked up a book from last year about using the ED editor, and quite frankly, may not have needed it had I know this material had already been released. :)

I find the author's heavy use of cat > testfile to create examples, followed by ctrl-d to write the files very interesting compared to most tutorials today, which usually immediately launch into nano, or vi.  Fascinatingly cool, since that's the way I try to teach the basics of default input and output to a new user before introducing them to an editor.

Maybe this is exactly where I got that notion from.

Anyway, it's a lot of fun to read a vintage manual, about a system that was already considered "vintage" material when published.
That's a UNIX book! - cool  -- Garth

Offline PDP-8

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Re: MWC Coherent remembered
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2019, 01:43:29 AM »
Wonder if TinyCore should be sold for $99 ? :)

In honor of Udo Munk, one of the original developers, (and author if the z80pack CP/M emulator and more) I found this German ad for it:

https://stoffl.info/2015/04/09/einblicke-in-die-unix-vergangenheit/

Talk about dedication.  Now that the source has been released as of 2015, he has reappeared in the comp.os.coherent newsgroup (never left really, but after 1995 there was a big loss of activity naturally).

Run it in modern vm's of course, and hacking it to make it run nicely there and still handing out help and advice.  Wow.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2019, 01:47:17 AM by PDP-8 »
That's a UNIX book! - cool  -- Garth

Offline PDP-8

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Re: MWC Coherent remembered
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2019, 03:13:04 PM »
Back to 1983 - Byte Magazine's Unix coverage

Ah, Byte magazine - nearly the size of a phone book.  This edition is kind of special to me (wish I still had it).  I lusted at all the "un-obtainium" and Unix was a total pipedream.  Still soldiered on with a Vic-20. :)

https://archive.org/details/byte-magazine-1983-10/page/n131

$500 for a floppy drive?  What a bargain!
That's a UNIX book! - cool  -- Garth