NetBSD/mac68k History

Allen Briggs was the port maintainer of NetBSD/mac68k up until the release of NetBSD 1.2. He handed this position over to Scott Reynolds effective as of the 1.2 release. Here is Allen's story of the origins of NetBSD/mac68k:

Once upon a time...

Brad Grantham, got to thinking that a cool, cheap workstation with a decent interface, tools, and capabilities would be a lot of fun to build and sell and was just what the world needed. Well, he started talking to some friends and they decided that a nifty first step would be to make some money by selling a real cheap Unix for the old Mac II's (that were required for CS majors at Virginia Tech for a couple of years -- basic config? 80MB HD, 2MB RAM, A/UX 1.0/1.1--later upgraded to 2.0).

At this time, Berkeley Networking Release 2 (Net/2) was available on the Internet and 386BSD 0.0 had recently been released, so that looked like a handy place to start. Brad and Lawrence Kesteloot spent a lot of time and sweat getting the system to almost work--relieving stress by killing earwigs. They got the system up to single-user mode, but hit a slump that Chris Caputo broke. Chris also did a significant amount of work to get the system to be self-hosting and read/write SCSI at a decent rate. About this time, there was lots of wind about great things to come from 386BSD 0.2, but there was also these new system, NetBSD, that seemed to be going somewhere. Chris began to merge the existing code to NetBSD's 0.8 release.

Well, that summer (1993) saw several changes: Lawrence went off to grad school; Chris went to Microsoft and got married; Brad moved to California; and Allen Briggs and Michael Finch started working on the system instead of just hanging around like spectators. They got MacBSD merged into NetBSD 0.8 by the time that NetBSD had progressed to 0.9... At Christmas that year, Brad and Lawrence got back together and had a hacking session with Mike in Mike's apartment. This led to support for a few more systems and was generally considered to be a Good Thing.

Allen took on the responsibility of keeping the mac68k code up to date and managed to do so while also making some improvements and merging in the occasional contributed changes.

Quotes included in an early release of MacBSD

"The best book on programming for the layman is `Alice in Wonderland'; but that's because it's the best book on anything for the layman."

-- Fortune

"Just about every computer on the market today runs Unix, except the Mac (and nobody cares about it)."

-- Bill Joy 6/21/85

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