Nat Semi ns32k, was Re: Whitechapel Computer Works MG-1

Eric Smith spacewar at
Mon Dec 1 09:32:39 CST 2014

Steve Jones wrote:
> Tektronix delivered a couple models of UTek workstations.

On Mon, Dec 1, 2014 at 7:58 AM, Rick Bensene <rickb at> wrote:
> Yes, the first machine, whose designation I cannot recall at the moment,
> was 32032 based, and was a desk-side unit, quite large.   The UTek OS
> was based on 4.2bsd, though there were definitely some Tek-specific
> modifications.

Perhaps I'm mistaken, but I was pretty sure that the first UTek machine was
the 4404 "Artificial Intelligence Workstation", introduced in 1974. The 4404 was
MC68010 based, had a custom-designed MMU, and had a 640x480 13-inch
onochrome bitmap display. There were memory expansion and Ethernet options.
It was intended to ran Smalltalk-80 on UTek 1, which was *not* BSD-based, but
was based on a third-party Unix clone, though I don't recall which
one. Internally
Tek had started from a PDP-11 Unix, and at one point planned to use OS9/68000,
but that's not what was shipped with the 4404.

The 4404 was followed in 1985 by the 4405 and 4406, which were MC68020
based, had more memory and an MC68881 floating-point coprocessor. The
4405 had the same display as the 4404, while the 4406 had a 19-inch
1280x1024 monochrome display.

At some point they switched to BSD for UTek 2 on the 440x. After that they
started doing NS32K stuff. They also offered Franz LISP, Common LISP, and

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