88k workstations and X terminals - Omron, NCD, Tektronix

Here’s Maki Kato’s setup from last year’s VCF-E in New Jersey:

I had an Omron Luna 88k running OpenBSD 7.2 and a MVME-187C running Sys/V 88k. A laptop running OpenBSD-luna on an emulator called nono and a NCD-88k xTerm that didn’t boot.

Subsequent adventures as seen on their blog:

Following links we find a page on OMRON’s LUNA 88k workstation - archived version is better because we can follow links to old news articles.

  • OMRON in Uncle Miod’s machineroom

1989 press release:

Omron Tateishi Electronics is pitching its new Luna-88K Motorola 88000 RISC-based workstations, due to be available in March, at the university market, and has priced them at the same level as less powerful machines from competitors: the Luna-88K comes with up to four 88000 RISC processors and runs under Carnegie Mellon University’s Mach variant of Unix: the station comes with 16Mb main memory, 250Mb disk and a black and white display, and prices start at a daunting $20,550; 88000-based systems are already in the market from Nippon Data General and Sony Tektronix.

From 1990:

The Luna/88K uses four 33MHz 88000 RISC processors, is rated at 100 MIPS and will cost around $50,000. Again it runs the Mach operating system, comes with X Window System, Motif, TCP/IP and Network File System, and will be out at the end of the year.

More pics of the Luna 88k linked here.

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At 50K a pop, I can see why we got LINUX rather than Mach
and before all the good people moved to the dark side, microsoft,

I guess, the 50K were more for 100 MIPS, a workstation-grade display system, probably some system throughput, and quite a huge software library, rather than specifically for Mach (which, BTW, was also found in free-of-cost Linux compatible GNU systems, like MkLinux – the name of which really doesn’t make much sense, since “Linux” is really the kernel, which was replaced by Mach.)

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Sort of – it’s every bit as much Linux as macOS is BSD or Unix. Mach handles virtual memory, some devices, and IPC, but the Linux kernel then runs as a service under Mach and all of userspace interacts with the outside world via Linux. In some ways it’s akin to Xen or other hypervisor services, although the isolation is lesser. The kernel service (Linux or BSD or whatever) must be aware that it is running under Mach, and must provide significant functionality itself.

100 MIPS seems like a lot in 1990!


I wasn’t aware of this.
(MkLinux was the very first *NIX system, I was playing around with, and I never got it running fully, probably, because I didn’t really know what I was doing… I rather thought, it was more of a Linux like interface… Well, this probably explains a lot, both regarding my above remark and my experiences… :slight_smile: )

100 MIPS
That was real MIPS back then.
Gates’s law (“The speed of software halves every 18 months”)