Help me to choose a UNIX laptop.

Aldo Villa avilla at
Sun Mar 11 02:54:22 AEST 1990

I'm a prospective buyer of a laptop (or transportable) computer and I
desire to have UNIX as main O.S. with MS-DOS or PC-DOS (or an improved
look-alike) as a second O.S. in order to can also run the common ad hoc
software. I also want to run SAS on it and, by the way, also for this I
need to have MS-DOS available as the SAS institute makes a UNIX version
of its famous statistical software, but this is available just for 4
machines: 2 Hewlett Packard and 2 SUN workstations.

Now, my ideas of choice are going nowhere as a functions of the
following factors:

1) Exploding number of hardwares on the market. Just considering the CPUs
there are 80286 and 80C286 based machines running at 10, 12, 16 and 20 MHz;
80386SX based machines running at 16 and 20 MHz; 80386 based machines 
running at 12, 16, 20 1nd 25 MHz; and, finally, 80486 based machinses and 
some others like the MAC laptop..

2) Then there is the problem of finding a suitable version of UNIX 
running on a PC. My preference would go to a BSD 4.3, but the fact of not
having ever heard of any BSD 4.3 in PC version let me suspect that it
doesn't exist. Until recently, I thought that XENIX was the PC version of
UNIX by anthonomasia with the excepton of UNIX AT&T that I thought was
only offered on the prpoprietary hardware (and, therefore, not available
an a laptop version). I just recently discovered that XENIX is very close
to UNIX system V by AT&T; but at the same time I also discovered
that SCO is marketing a new product called SCO-UNIX, different from
SCO-XENIX and I read that many people are afraid that SCO will 
progressively abandon XENIX to its destiny withdrawing its technical 
support. This seems to make many people mad and makes me doubtful with 
respect of the opportunity of buying a SCO product in a moment when this 
company seems to be abandoning its time-honored product in favor of its 
bugs-full and expensive new one. I also discover that there is a XENIX 
version for 16 bit computers exactly at the same time that I understand 
that this product is so very little known up to the point that the 
readers of comp.sys.laptops engaged on a furious discussion on the topic: 
"Will SCO-XENIX run an a 80386SX-based machine? Finally, I also found out
that DELL computers offers UNIX-AT&T version V on its new laptop.

3) Then there are other problems on which I tend to skip over: SAS-PC
exist just in MS-DOS version and not in UNIX (except ... see above) and
nobody seems to know if it would run on an MS-DOS emulator overheaded by
SCO-XENIX or UNIX-AT&T. If not, it would always be possible to let a
share of the hard-disk for MS-DOS who will therefore run completely by
itself. This option has however obvious disadvantages ......

4) Finally, if considering the problems in 2, I try to look beyond
SCO-XENIX, SCO-UNIX and AT&T system V, I hear of ESIX, ISC, INTEL, and
other names of companies manifacturing UNIX clones. But I have no
informations whatsoever about these things and I don't know where to
retrieve them from.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE help me sharing with me the wealth of the knowledge
on the above topics that you possess and I don't. For the moment I'm just
plainly confused on what to do:

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