The early version of our hardware was an AMD-powered 386 prototype board running at a clock frequency of 5 MHz running a very slim version of the BSD386 operating system. Eventually, this hardware was converted to a dedicated, stand-alone, floppy-based router. This piece of computer hardware served in this function 24/7 over the next 10 years with very few service interruptions.
Computer payload traffic was limited those days mostly to email and Usenet interest-based group discussions. Occasionally we used Telnet to help each other solve technical problems, remotely. Those were the days when trust and cooperation served as the basis for advancing the art and engineering of computing. The spirit of participating in a shared goal that exceeded what each of us could achieve on our own would eventually lead to technological advancements that exceeded our wildest expectations.
In 1986 I started working at the National Semiconductors Portland Development Center (PDC) as a senior systems developer. Consequently, the next hardware powering COREDUMP.COM became a one-of a kind engineering prototype of a 32-bit computer, using a National Semiconductor Corp. NS-32032 as the application processor and NS-32016 as the I/O processor.
|National Semiconductor NS 32032 Silicon |
The operating system used by this "beefy" new system was Genix, a customized version of Bell Labs UNIX System 5 Verions 4, otherwise known as SVR4.
|National Semiconductor NS 32032 CPU Package|
(Note the "-10" designation for a 10 MHz system clock specification)
Without a doubt, the person that we all owe thanks for in facilitating our volunteer based computer network is Alan Batie. Alan volunteered to provide a stable base in Portland, Oregon that would serve as a communication hub for the rest of us, computer hackers.
See Alan's historical web site at: https://alan.batie.org/.
The Next GenerationThe ICM-332 Industrial Computer Module:
|Original Advertising Picture of the ICM-332 Genix (UNIX SVR4) Based Embedded Computer|
(click on image to enlarge detail)
Below is the description of the ICM-332 capabilities from the advertising brochure. Among other things NSC provided an optimizing 'C' compiler, a debugger and a variety of diagnostic and development tools to its OEM customers.
|(click on image to enlarge detail)|
To be continued...