Old PCsenvironmental hazard 3244
Yes, I'm familiar with the Amiga archetecture. The connection I was trying to make (and thought the OP was too) was to older machiens (mini-computers, say) where the routines (or even hardware) were just barely bright enough to bring in the code to do the real work of starting the system.
You can do this with a PC too, of course, though mostly the support routines (the actual Basic InputOutput System in the ROM) are used to get the system going and are often (usually?) they, and others (oh, so many others) are still used after the system is up.
Old PCsenvironmental hazard 3245
snip Yes, that's my take on it too -- that it's close enough to a "current Unix system", meaning that (as you described in another post) I can open...
That's at least part of the distinction I was trying to make.
I've used the RAM based UNIX loaders myself.
But this "kick start" thing I'm talking about did far more than that. It was basically a "generate a full system" utility. In it's later incarnations, if you wanted to build a dozen PCs all the same, you'd get one built the way you wanted it, then run the, uh, "extractor" or "builder" version of this kick-start and it would create a disk set which you could use in another PC to basically make a copy of it. It wasn't really a sector copy, and wasn't really like Ghost, because it WOULD allow for different disk archetectures, different chipsets on the motherboard and so forth, within a limited subset. But after you were done, you'd end up with twelve computers which, within their hardware limits were identical