Sumitomo sumistation s-p300

 

This machine is really strange. It was built by Sumitomo Electric Industries, a big japanese corporation that seems to produce anything related to computers, electronics or chemicals. However, these Unix workstations seem to be pretty rare. I don't know any other living being that owns a Sumistation. :-) All I know from the previous owner of this machine is that a Japanese guy brought it to Germany and that it was used to test X-Terminals.

The Sumistation seems to be mostly a clone of the RISC/os platform made by MIPS inc. from the late 80ies to the early 90ies. The operating system, SEIUX,  should be very much like RISC/os 4. I now found out that it is even binary compatible with RISC/os. Additionally binaries from the Sumistation can be run under SGI IRIX 5.3. There were some API standards for MIPS binaries and I guess this is a working implementation :-)
It is however not clear whether the Sumistation can run an unmodified RISC/os or a NetBSD. Some NetBSD developer hinted that it might be just a generic MIPSco clone of a RS3230, but SEIUX somehow knows the difference between these genuine MIPS machines and the Sumistations. At least the system header files suggest that. It would be interesting to see if a normal MIPSco machine can boot SEIUX.
I finally tried to answer the question whether NetBSD runs on this machine. It's a very short story: The Sumistation does not even load the NetBSD kernel. I don't remember the exact error message, but I think it was related to the binary format of the kernel.


SEIUX is a pretty schizophrenic mix between SystemV R3.2 and 4.3BSD. The system can in theory be compatible with either universe, but these days it's mostly compatible with nothing. Also, it seems that SEIUX is meant to be SVR3 mostly. There is a script that seems to convert the system to a more 4.3BSD like behaviour, but there is no script that turns it into a System V again. I was never brave enough to run this script. I have backups of the system disk of course, but I don't want to trash my system intentionally.
Another hint that SEIUX is more SVR3 than BSD might be that you can easily include BSD header files and BSD libraries when you run in the default System V mode. You get some compiler warnings (from gcc), but it generally works.
At least it's not a plain SVR3 without all those extras like cc, TCP/IP, NFS, etc. that make a Unix system worth using.

twm is the default window manager, but there is Motif and mwm too. The underlying window system is X11R4.



CPU:                                 25MHz MIPS R3000

RAM:                                 32MB

graphics:                          8bit color

harddisk:                          650MB

bus type:                          who knows?

operating system:           SEIUX 3.2

build:                                1991

current status:                 working ; in storage