Re: UniPlus UNIX: oops...

From: Blair Aakre <baakre_at_email.domain.hidden>
Date: Wed, 13 Feb 2008 18:49:17 -0600

And if you have got a way to scan in the instructions, that would be very cool!

On Feb 13, 2008, at 6:33 PM, Andrew Warkentin wrote:

> Blair Aakre wrote:
>> Can you make disk images (Using Disk Copy 4.2 on a Mac) of them
>> before
>> you ship them off?
>> On Feb 13, 2008, at 3:03 PM, -jeffB wrote:
>>> in, "oops, I wish I'd found this group sooner."
>>> I was a grad student in Virginia Tech's CS department in 1985, when
>>> they required all incoming CS freshmen to buy Lisas running the
>>> UniPlus UNIX system. I wanted one badly enough not only to get in
>>> on
>>> the student deal, but to pay something like $300 extra for the
>>> distribution of UniPlus.
>>> Fast-forward 23 years, and in the wake of recent $3500-4000 closing
>>> prices, I decided to list my Lisa on eBay. AFTER starting the

>>> auction, I found my UniPlus disks. All sixteen of them. "Sure", I
>>> thought, "those disks will be PERFECTLY readable after twenty-three
>>> years, the last eleven spent in a non-climate-controlled garage."
>>> Well, I tried running the installation last night (to a ProFile
>>> whose
>>> MacWorks installation had gotten corrupted), and the first part of
>>> it
>>> appeared to work. I got no read errors on either of the first two
>>> disks, which let me install the bootstrap loader. Unfortunately,
>>> the
>>> process hung right before I reached the UNIX prompt. This *might*
>>> mean that the disk is hosed, but it may also mean that I need more
>>> memory -- the standard config was 1MB of RAM, and one of my RAM
>>> boards
>>> went south a few years ago.
>>> So, a dilemma: I have this set of disks, possibly still readable,
>>> which I'm obliged to ship with the Lisa when it sells (the auction
>>> closes Sunday). I'd really rather not see this OS lost to history
>>> (although I probably would've said differently at the time I was
>>> using
>>> it). But the disks are serialized to my machine, Unisoft has long
>>> since moved on to other things, and IIRC the Lisa's low-level
>>> diskette
>>> formatting is odd enough that I'm not sure whether the disks can be
>>> copied.
>>> What should I do in my few remaining days with the diskettes?
>>> "Cancel
>>> the auction" is tempting, but I've been working myself up to selling
>>> this thing for a long time, and if I don't do it now, I might not be
>>> able to later. It's unlikely to keep running forever anyhow, and I
>>> don't want to be in the Lisa-maintenance business.
>>> I've used Service Mode to copy my machine's serial and AppleNet
>>> values. I don't know whether those are the only pieces of
>>> information
>>> the UniPlus installer uses for serialization; I don't know how to
>>> find
>>> out. I don't remember much about UniPlus, but I have the disks and
>>> installation instructions, and it looks like that makes me the
>>> world's

>>> surviving authority. (There were something like 300 students who
>>> got
>>> these; surely SOMEONE still has the stuff squirrelled away, but
>>> Google
>>> doesn't know where...)
>>> Now what?
> I would say cancel the auction until you can make disk images, and
> re-list it once you have made the images. Disk Copy 4.2 or DART on a
> Mac
> with a built-in floppy drive (but not a New World or x86 Mac with a
> floppy drive) will work. Any later version of Disk Copy will not work,
> since the later versions discard tags, which Lisas require for booting
> (and LisaOS uses them in its filesystem).
> >

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