Playing with UnixWare

I took yesterday off work and, naturally, I had a wierd helpdesk request on my desk when I got back. One of our outlying locations needed help with a UNIX-based server that had gone down. This was wierd because I didn't think we had any UNIX-based systems.

Up until now, I thought the only UNIX-based system we had at work was part of our financial system. At least, I think we have one there. I'm not allowed to touch those servers. And I don't want to touch them, because in our organization, as soon as you touch a system, whether it's hardware or software, you automatically become responsible for maintaining it for the rest of your life. All I know is that I've seen KSH scripts sitting on the printer a couple of times, and the financial system is the only place they could be coming from.

But it turns out that this other department has a security system that uses a UNIX box. But not a good UNIX. It's a really old version of SCO UnixWare. The only other UNIX that old that I've ever used was the Digital UNIX server I dialed into in college to check my e-mail.

And when I say old, I mean positively primitive. No bash, no less (!), no grep -r, really old X server running Mwm. Basically, a classic example of the bad old days of UNIX.

Of course, in fairness to SCO (assuming they deserve any fairness), the computer was at least 7 years old and had never been updated. The UnixWare version was probably 8 to 10 years old. Linux wasn't that great when I got into it 6 years ago. I can only imagine what RedHat and SuSE were like 7 or 8 years ago. Although I can't imagine they were any worse to use than this.

In the end, it doesn't really matter how bad the OS was. They're replacing the security system with a Windows-based one used in other departments, so I only had to get the UnixWare box to limp along long enough for the new system to come in. And I didn't really even have to mess with the software, since the problem was with the hardware.

You can reply to this entry by leaving a comment below. You can send TrackBack pings to this URL. This entry accepts Pingbacks from other blogs. You can follow comments on this entry by subscribing to the RSS feed.

Add your comments #

A comment body is required. No HTML code allowed. URLs starting with http:// or ftp:// will be automatically converted to hyperlinks.