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Porting Doom to A/UX

ArmorAlley

Well-known member
I heard about this on the Retro Computing Roundtable podcast just now (episode 256) and I'm sharing it here.

Cariad Keigher, the programmer in question, describes her work here:

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CC_333

Well-known member
I've often wondered why nobody has really bothered much with A/UX. Perhaps it's because it only runs on very select machines?

Or that it was very expensive when new, and thus unpopular?

Nevertheless, I'm glad there's finally some attention being paid to it.

c
 

rplacd

Well-known member
The noob in me is going "I wonder if suppressing console output would make this a lot more quicker"... I know that, in (relatively) ancient Unices with not-so-sophisticated IO systems, debug output could slow interactive applications to a crawl.

I remember Bolle getting native Macintosh Toolbox Doom running on a tricked-out SE/30... look at that beauty.
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ArmorAlley

Well-known member
I've often wondered why nobody has really bothered much with A/UX. Perhaps it's because it only runs on very select machines?

Or that it was very expensive when new, and thus unpopular?

Nevertheless, I'm glad there's finally some attention being paid to it.

c
I wonder if computer snobbery has much to do with it.

The UNIX-sysadmins I know now rather like Mac OS X / MacOS and usually work on it on the terminal.
However, when I was studying Computer Science back in the early 1990s, the command-line folk I was in college with were very dismissive of the Macintosh. It was good for vector graphics work, Prince of Persia and PageMaker but not the sort of thing one would consider as a server. They were far more interested in the Vaxes we had.

My guess is that the people who would have liked to have used it (and would be candidates today for A/UX evangelism), never really got the opportunity to do so while those who had the opportunity to work with it are now in their 70s and mightn't even know what Doom is.
 

MrFahrenheit

Well-known member
I've often wondered why nobody has really bothered much with A/UX. Perhaps it's because it only runs on very select machines?

Or that it was very expensive when new, and thus unpopular?

Nevertheless, I'm glad there's finally some attention being paid to it.

c
A/UX is something I read about in magazines and saw once at an Apple user group meeting demonstration of the WGS95.

I remember getting a Quadra 800 in 2005 or so, for $20 and downloading and installing A/UX on it. I setup a webserver and had a bit of fun, then put it away and forgot about it.

A few years later I gave all my beige Mac’s away, and in 2020 I regained my desire for beige and the Platinum OS.

I got into collecting boxed software once I had a few Macs in my collection, and I remembered my quest to try out A/UX, so I looked for it on eBay for MONTHS. It was a unicorn. I found prior sales of it, and even some mislabeled eBay auctions for $50 and $65 which I couldn’t fathom. Finally, in June 2020, I stumbled upon an eBay buy it now with A/UX 2.0.0 and 2.0.1 installation media, listed as PowerBook modem software. $50 and I had both. My heart raced.

Ever since, I’ve been on the quest to fill up the shelves with all of Apples boxed operating systems, and I’ve nearly completed it. Spring of 2021 I got A/UX 3.0.0 install media and complete manual set from Germany, and now I have a WGS95 set of installation media, which is A/UX 3.0.1.

It’s not just about having the media. It’s about the retention of the online disk extractions being good images. Some of the media I have had never been uploaded anywhere. For 2.0, many of the disks online were corrupt or had missing images.

I think part of the reason it hasn’t really seen a lot of use in the last 20 years is because OS X came along, which is “better”, and accessible hardware and good download files makes A/UX difficult to get and install.

Hopefully that all changes soon. With the advent of QEMU emulating a Quadra 800, A/UX is accessible again. And with good clean images uploaded and accessible, people will start to explore it again.

I can only think of what would have resulted if Apple had bought out whomever owned the license for it (AT&T?). Perhaps it could have evolved into Copland as a real OS, not just some Apple engineer pipe dream that fizzled into nothingness.

I’m often asked: so what’s the deal wifh A/UX? What can you do on it that can’t be done using System 7? My answer: it’s as “useless” as System 7 is. If we were so concerned as to why use such a weird and old OS, why are as playing with 30 year old computers and the old Mac operating systems? Surely Sheepshaver on even a Windows 10 machine is superior?

I have some more installation media coming my way for A/UX. Hopefully it allows some more people to be able to install and use it and try something out they only saw in a magazine article. That’s my hope.
 
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