Ongoing Projects

IBM RT-PC Documentation


Turbo's many projects

Greg has many projects, located over yonder.

Yearly Dayton Hamvention Trip

A chance to hit the road as brothers, seek out precious junque, brainstorm for projects, meet up with friends, and run into acquaintances, especially of the classiccmp variety.


We'd like to see a NetBSD port to the IBM RT-PC some day. We were introduced to the RT when we found one out of service at UIUC (along with its monstrous 5085 Graphic Coprocessor Unit). The RT is commonly regarded as the first commercially available workstation featuring RISC-like features, a precursor of the POWER architecture. We got AIX running on it but were more interested in AOS (the Academic Operating System, a BSD derivative) which is even less widely available.

A proper NetBSD port would require a heculean effort, from a compiler to binutils to the actual port. A ROMP emulator (the underlying processor) would be a good first start to divorce the development from the now-sometimes-flaky original hardware (5.25" floppy disks and ESDI drives). Two of the better sources of RT information on the web are Derrick Brashear's RT Information Page and the IBM RT-PC Page.

We have been busy amassing RT documentation and hardware (presently in our Offsite Storage), sometimes road tripping hundreds of miles, so as to some day tackle this project. The RT has a lot of interesting history, including one interesting anecdote about getting an operating system up and running: the RT port of AIX was targeted to a virtual layer called the VRM (Virtual Resource Manager) (IBM has been and still is a big fan of virtualization of course) to speed development. Allegedly, the AOS/BSD team completed their port to the bare metal faster than the AIX/VRM team was able to finish their work, and with faster results. This may be a warning to our emulator efforts...