NeXTstep experience on a HP 712 pizzabox (also an installation guide)

A nice mini series by Sophie Haskins on NeXTstep 3.3 on a HP PA-RISC workstation (speficly, a HP 9000 Model 712/60), which also makes a great installation guide in general, from principal installation to setup (including networking) and actually getting and running some software.

(Includes videos and lots of screenshots.)

Via HN,


The statute of limitations is probably over so that I can mention running OSF/1 in one of the HP 7xx pizzaboxes.

I had to look it up, found this:

In the late 1980s, Sun Microsystems, the major BSD vendor at the time, entered into a partnership with System V developer AT&T. Together, they integrated major BSD and SunOS features into System V to create System V, revision 4 (SVR4). In response, a number of other Unix vendors, including IBM, Hewlett-Packard, and DEC, formed the Open Software Foundation (OSF). OSF was dedicated to the creation of open architecture systems (specifications that were not under the control of any single company).

OSF/1 was one of the fruits of this effort. Based on Carnegie Mellon’s BSD-derived Mach and integrating features of both major Unix flavors, it was released as an alternative to SVR4. It conforms to Unix standards and is also compliant with the System V Interface Definitions (SVID). OSF/1 is not a complete operating system but specifies many operating system components that may be used when developing an operating system. As such, OSF/1 is as much a specification as it is an implementation. Operating systems that it has influenced include HP-UX, AIX, and especially Tru64 UNIX (formerly known as Digital UNIX and DEC OSF/1).

I thought it was great. DEC was fully on board, HP kind of dipped its toe in, but half-heartedly, and Sun and IBM wouldn’t hear of leaving Solaris and AIX.

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Another interesting sidestep in OS history involving Sun Microsystems is the ARX operating system initially intended for the Acorn Archimedes, which didn’t make it for the release of the machine. Apparently, this was, like NextSTEP, a microkernel system, but written in extended Modula 2. Some parts of the software used for the project were ported to Sun-flavor Unix in an attempt to bring Sun’s NeWS to the Archimedes, again without major results (or releases).

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I think I have a model 715 pizzabox stored somewhere. Maybe it would also work.