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UNIX Advertising From Way-back-when 112

Doug Muth writes: "I found this advertisement over on Dennis Ritchie's Web site. It's an advertisement for a UNIX system back from 1981 when VAX-11 and PDP-11 systems were still being used. I wonder if Ritchie ever thought UNIX would get this popular?"
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UNIX Advertising From Way-back-when

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  • 5 to 40 terminals. More than 2000 systems in use outside the Bell System (as it was back then). More than 100 user utilities (Emacs probably has lisp versions of more than that now).

    Oh, and PWB "allows up to 48 programmers to simultaneously create and maintain software for many computer applications." Think about that next time you do an anonCVS update of your favorite program!

  • by MAXOMENOS ( 9802 ) <maxomai.gmail@com> on Friday April 21, 2000 @12:58PM (#1118024) Homepage

    Here's another bit of UNIX history from Ritchie's site: a brief history of the UNIX pipe [bell-labs.com].

  • This sounds like a job for Microsoft Windows NT! After all, it did say it supports up to 200 users... Now if you can only forget about the "without costly hardware part," I think Microsoft could use this as a new ad campaign.
  • I'm assuming Dennis Ritchie had originally considered his operating system as just a powerful, utilitarian, data-processing operating system. He probably never imagined so many geeks would take a liking to his creation. He also probably hated using its esoteric interface in the beginning, but had grown more accustomed to it as opposed to the rest of the operating systems which he used before the implementation of his own OS.
  • by Amphigory ( 2375 ) on Friday April 21, 2000 @01:02PM (#1118027) Homepage
    This brings up the whole subject of the history of UNIX. A really good book is A quarter century of UNIX [fatbrain.com]. This thing blows away a lot of the myths, and is actually quite helpful in trying to undewrstand why things are the way they are. Highly recommended.

    --

  • Hmmm. Well, compared to interfaces on other time-share systems I used back in the pre-Unix days, Unix was quite the opposite of esoteric: it was downright straightforward and easy to understand. Hmm. Allow me to test a hypothesis please. What was the first computer you ever used?
  • The nice thing about that old ad is that it does not look like this ad suggestive of a phallus popping off [209.207.224.220]. That's for a product targetted at the *nix market?

    Do those bozos really think that this makes anybody want their product? Anybody except a certain... ah, leave that for the trollers.

  • by MrP- ( 45616 )
    i was a fetus in my mommy (or was I a spermy in my daddy?)

    #----------------------------
    $mrp=~s/mrp/elite god/g;
  • I knew there was a better use than 'trek on a c shell. Err, about late 70s that is. -d
  • in only a half hour. How's that for a Unix advertisment?
  • The first computer I ever used was probably an IBM 386 running DOS, though I could be wrong (this was in kindergarten and I'm now a junior in high school).
  • I distinctly remember us buying 1.5Mb of core (those little round magnetic thingys with 1uS access times) for a cool million $$ for our B6700 which supported about 30 timeshared users and a large batch stream (from honest to got card readers no less) - any 486 PC would have walked all over it.

    Anyway my point is that a mini like a PDP11 that could support 30 timeshared users for tens of thousands of $$ WAS a big deal.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    ...and mirror User Friendly on /.

    All of the links have been the same for the past week...
  • THANK YOU! I've been saying that for years! (See sig.)

    Unfortunately, the average Slashdot user is so infatuated with his Linux(/BSD/HURD) plaything that he won't stop for a moment to consider the horrible horrible flaws which plague the entire Unix family (and relatives, and clones, and anything based on the Unix architecture or on its language of choice, the static, low-level "portable assembly" C). Even more sadly, he will steadfastly hold close to his belief that anyone who doesn't like Unix (or C) must be an evil Microsoftie, and in doing so will pass on the opportunity to learn that there are better things and life than the Beast from New Jersey.

    Ah well - I digress. Just take a moment to look at the critique of C/C++ [tunes.org] on the site for the Tunes project, if you will... and, as I say below, think twice before moderating the crap out of us both.

  • Wow, does this include ls? And no maintenance or tech support agreements. Right there in the same size text as everything else. I think it shows quite a bit about the state of programmers and admins today. That would never fly now- the blurb would be in 4 pt font on the bottom, and nobody (in business where money matters) now tries that hard to learn enough about a system to fix it on their own.

    Ah well, still a fun ad to look at today.
    Jason
  • by Anonymous Coward
    1981 you say...well, we still use a VAX/11 and quite a few PDP 11's where I work believe or not, although the VAX is used turned on once a month to do a backup, we keep it cause it might be needed to compile some old sources on, and we have some systems running 24/7 on the PDP 11's. Time to upgrade I think!
  • by Orville ( 104680 ) on Friday April 21, 2000 @01:30PM (#1118039) Journal
    Bell Labs has been the home to an astonishing number of inventions, notably the UNIX operating system we so admire.

    The computer research division is home to such UNIX "rock stars" such as Ritchie, Thompson, Kernhigan.

    The sheer amount of talent and respect generated by Bell Labs is staggering.

    Now, all you punks have gone and 'slashdotted' thier web server! I hope you're happy, you... you bastards!

  • Well, back in my day, when we used abucuses (abucii?)and such, we'd send our programs off to be typed onto punch cards, then we'd get them back and we'd send them off to be actually run and then we'd get them back and our program hadn't worked! So we'd have to walk two miles to the mainframe in deep snow. Uphill! And there was none of this MTV crap back then, either.
  • yep. i second this fully. for all those of us plotting to destroy UNIX, this book is a must read. [ora.com] really.

  • by SEWilco ( 27983 )
    Are you describing old Unix or Windows 2000? :-)
  • by Money__ ( 87045 ) on Friday April 21, 2000 @01:53PM (#1118044)
    This page [home.net] has some wonderfull pictures of the "Digital PDP-11/20 [home.net]".

    Specs:" My PDP-11/20 was, like many machines, sold to me via the University of Wisconsin surplus program. This particular machine happened to be originally located in the Electrical Engineering Department real-time control lab that was sponsered by Professor Richard Marleau. Inside the panel, just above the CPU, is an RC11 disk drive. The RC11 is a 65K word (128 K byte) fixed head disk drive. After all these years (the system was first purchased around 1970) it still works!"

    Also this PDP-11/45 [home.net] sports such wonderfull specs as:"The PDP-11/45 is of approximately the same vintage as the PDP-11/20, but is a much more sophisticated machine. For one thing, it was a micro-coded CPU. It had robust memory management, not seen in microcomputers from Intel until the 80386. It could also support two separate buses: one primarily intended for memory, and the second generally used for peripherals. This is not unlike today's "local bus" PC's. I cut my teeth on Unix on a PDP-11/45 system at the University of Wisconsin in 1976 along with my friends Paul and Hannes (among others)."

    This PDP-11/05 [home.net] graphics system. " The GT40 was a graphic system, often used as a graphic terminal for DEC's PDP-10 and PDP-20 mainframe systems. The CPU was a PDP-11/05, but used the green color scheme of DEC's graphic systems rather than the magenta color scheme normally found on PDP-11's. The GT-40's main claim to fame is probably the famous Lunar Lander game, written by Jack Burness, as a consultant to Digital at the time."
    ___

  • Actually AT&T really blew the whole Unix thing, and this is why we have BSD and tux. It succeeded despite the evil death star.

    And my first computer was a Tab 132 dumb terminal that I dialed into the school's vaxen with.
    My first computer with an OS was a used AT&T 3b1 that I didn't retire until about 95.

    TastesLikeHErringFlavoredChicken

    on a scale of 1 to 10 I'll give links to Mr. Ritchie's pages 11 herring heads. This is what the web is ment for...
  • Any given operating system when pushed on a user who is better off using something else.. sucks..
    In short Unix and Windows both do suck...
    But understand.. It's not becouse the operating system is of poor quality...

    A system that can do anything waists resorces being prepaired to do anything...

    Most systems CAN do anything but require you DO something first before it accually has that feature. It would be a waist it have every posable feature active on any given system.

    Ok Windows is preinstalled on PCs so any given PC user has paid for Windows (unless they built the PC themselfs) but why would this apply to Unix? Surely you must go out of your way to install Unix or buy a machine designed to run Unix. You don't get Unix suffed down your shorts... do you?

    Rember unlike Windows Unix is first and formost a multi-user system. While a Linux PC is most likely used by one user most Unix boxes are set up expecting at least 4 users (4 users and 1 admin so 5 terminals).
    This means at least 4 users got no say. Often it's a great deal more than just 4 users.
    In todays computing environments however a personal system is the prefeared method. Each user may pick his own environment his own wallpaper his own operating system. Ideally....
    However far to often the ideal dose not translate into reality and a user who would be better off using Unix or Mac gets stuck with Windows becouse someone else some place else is affrade of anything else.
    Such a person should have never been given the job of office lan admin.
    Anyone who is affrade of a Sun Sparc in the network sould be replaced....

    In short... any operating system potentally sucks... if I pimp Linux to a newbe then Linux sucks.. if a salesmen whines "But EVERYONE uses Windows..." then Windows sucks... If a Mac user says "Linux? Bah.. I use Mac.." then Mac Sucks.. if a Solarus user says "Your just a wanabe techie becouse you don't use Solarus" then Solarus sucks... of a BSD person says "BSD is better" BSD Sucks... If my sister says "Commodore 64s are the best system out" she is joking..

    Basicly no system is ideal for all people and while usually people don't care about an operating system that dosn't work for them. But thats only becouse they'll never use it.
    As long as a person can pick the system that is best suted for them then everything is cool. Any time someone takes that choice away the system they are pimping.. simply put... sucks...
  • It's funny how even the ads keep scaling down. I remember seeing a magazine ad in the 1980's that showed a big raised-floor computer room, empty except for a single PC with a big bundle of serial cables coming out the back. The caption: INSTANT MAINFRAME. JUST ADD SCO.

    The more things change...

    --
  • As soon as slashdot posts a story, the site usually goes down, or least get's slow, and does not answer requests.

    It seems to me that their is enough bandwith among some slashdot users to setup a kind of automatic temporary web mirror system.

    The mirrorer's machine would one a small script that would listen for requests from slashdot and then would scrape the info from the other site. This could all happen before the story was even posted.

    Of course if the site was running asp, cf, php, pearl, java servlets, or some other language generating the pages it would be harder. But chances are those kinds of sites would have the bandwith needed, or closer to then some of the random static html pages we see here from time to time.

  • Anyway my point is that a mini like a PDP11 that could support 30 timeshared users for tens of thousands of $$ WAS a big deal.

    Right. Here in NZ the big old universities had B6700's, but the new boy Waikato got a PDP11/70. I used that in 1981 and it ran about 40 - 50 users in 768 KB of core, on the RSTS/E oprating system.

    By the next year we had a VAX 11/780 which ran about the same number of users in 1 MB or 1.5 MB (I forget) on VAX/VMS.

    During the day both those systems were slloooowwww. But in the small hours with only half a dozen people using them they were really quite snappy -- certainly better than any PC you could get at the time.

  • And what a solution! Post links to the Unix Haters Handbook, rant and rave about how you hate it's archaism, even equate every Unix supporter to someone who will slam you without reason.

    Well, thanks to you're wonderful and informative post that informed me of my options and alternatives to *nix derivatives, I've decided you do indeed deserve to be branded. Microserf I won't say, strange you would assume so. But like I said, you named so many alternative ways to think about OS'es in general that I am forever in your debt.

    Now, seriously now, your post has about as much base as the average '[insert name here] sucks!' post. Try this on for size:

    Unfortunately, the average MacWorld reader is so infatuated with their MacOS 9 plaything that they won't stop to consider the horrible horrible flaws that plague the entire MacOS family. Even more sadly, he will steadfastly hold close to his belief that anyone who doesn't like MacOS must be an evil Microserf, and in doing so will pass on the opportunity to learn that there are things better then the Beast from Apple.

    Replace the term MacOS recursively with Windows. Or DOS. Or OS/2. Or anything. Next time, be constructive. At least the link you provided was a decent look at languages.

    The following is my stance on this issue: If Unix is indeed the wrong way to do things, it's a wonder it's survived for so many years and is now coming back not only in the free OS'es but in Apple's new commercial offering for the home user. Unix itself may not be what's so wonderful, but the fact that there is a platform with standards behind it (POSIX) that allows programmers to write once and port many ways may be what's so wonderful.
  • read the FAQ. this has been discussed thoroughly.
  • and what year did Compaq aka Digital stop producing the PDP-11? 19 - ninety - what?

    It has had one of the longest production runs for computer.

    Now the IBM XT we run 24/7 for testing optics is due for an upgrade ...

    TastesLikeHerringFlavoredChicken
  • But then again, who would have thought that computers would be so popular?
  • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Friday April 21, 2000 @02:15PM (#1118054) Homepage Journal
    In '81 I was spending the summer sitting in a windowless lab hacking in Ratfor (a preprocessor that added C like control flow structures to Fortran IV) on a PDP-11 for controlling experiments and analyzing data; a lot of which involved writing routines to rescue data for ham handed graduate students who kept putting the damned RK05 disk packs in crooked. Didn't have a Unix account, but I did screw around on Multics for fun. A few years later I got to work on Unix System III, which was nice and clean, but god it needed a symbolic debugger (adb only gave hex addresses).

    Gosh, remember what it was like to get up and go out for a sub and sit on a park bench while your computer compiled linked a program that was altogether maybe a couple of K lines long? One misplaced semicolon could cost you hours. The first time I saw a compile run that did more than a couple of lines per second I was in awe.

    Remember when Usenet primarily ran over UUCP on 1200 baud modems?

    Remember when you could swagger into a job interview with absolutely no credentials and only a tiny bit of tenuously related experience and have them eating out the palm of your hand? I guess some things don't change that much.
  • No kidding. If you ask me, Troll should be +1, not -1. Seriously, would there be *any* point to Slashdot whatsoever if it weren't for the trolls?
  • The post [slashdot.org] he was replying to got hidden, in part because your threshold is either set at 0 or 1...anywho the infamous Trollmastah comes in at a -1. If you reset your threshold to -1 and hit change the conversation will be quite a bit different...
  • by Magus311X ( 5823 ) on Friday April 21, 2000 @02:18PM (#1118057)
    Some brave soul is mirroring the image.

    http://reltheon.yi.org/~rgomes/unixad.htm [yi.org]

  • Its called "caching", and it might be a cool thing for slashdot to do before it toasts someones itty bitty link.
  • Esoteric interface? The beauty of the Unix shell is its simplicity. Similar systems of the time had monolithic commands with lots of confusing options. Go look up VMS [pitt.edu], Multics [multicians.org], or NOS/BE [www.tno.nl] commands.

    You can't compare DOS to Unix well, as Unix influenced DOS... When MS added subdirectories to DOS they boasted they were going to add more Unix features to DOS (anyone have that announcement in your files?).

  • How many hearts has Unix touched since those times?

    As far as I know, NetBSD hasn't been ported to pacemakers yet, but that's next on the list.
    --

  • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Friday April 21, 2000 @02:27PM (#1118061) Homepage Journal
    I think the cartoon aim's to be kind of New Yorker-ish. Something the bosses of yesteryear would associate with class and sophistication.

    In other words, they're trying to associate themselves with James Thurber's wit without bothering to produce any new wit of their own.

    It seem incomprehensible because nobody would try to sell something by making associating it with a "classy" magazine now. In twenty years, the current dot-com ads which try to borrow some of the hip by adopting a post modernist GenX look without the incisive irony will look equally pathetic, I assure you.
  • I just saw this on UF a few hours ago. oh well, it's still cool.
  • even equate every Unix supporter to someone who will slam you without reason.

    No, I equated the average Unix supporter to someone who will slam me without reason. I have found this to be the case, in general.

    Unfortunately, the average MacWorld reader is so infatuated with their MacOS 9 plaything that they won't stop to consider the horrible horrible flaws that plague the entire MacOS family. Even more sadly, he will steadfastly hold close to his belief that anyone who doesn't like MacOS must be an evil Microserf, and in doing so will pass on the opportunity to learn that there are things better then the Beast from Apple.

    That's actually a very good look at the average Mac user. (And I'm using a Mac myself right now.)

    Next time, be constructive. At least the link you provided was a decent look at languages.

    Actually, the entire tunes.org site makes for excellent reading, and you can drop by at OPN #tunes anytime for a rational discussion on why Unix sucks. (The site linked to by the OP also has a lot of text which you might consider constructive.)

    If Unix is indeed the wrong way to do things, it's a wonder it's survived for so many years and is now coming back not only in the free OS'es but in Apple's new commercial offering for the home user.

    Why? It's Gresham's Law, as it's always been: good software drives out the bad. (Not that, say, Windows or Mac OS are any better than Unix, no... but there have been many other OSs which, despite being technically superior to Unix offerings, were deprecated for other reasons. This process was very similar to what's happening nowadays to the corporate environment, with Micro$oft's relentless push towards WinNT.)

    Unix itself may not be what's so wonderful, but the fact that there is a platform with standards behind it (POSIX) that allows programmers to write once and port many ways may be what's so wonderful.

    I have two things to say about that: (1) There have been standards before POSIX. (2) POSIX imposes the Unix worldview upon the programmer, and therefore constrains and hinders the system engineer's freedom to make something better out of the OS. Otherwise, no objections.

  • Gresham's Law states, in fact, that bad software drives out the good, not the other way around. Sorry.
  • I think you can find horrific flaws in anything if you try hard enough...
    Unix isn't perfict and in many cases a diffrent operating system dose the job better...
    But for any "perfict operating system" I will find you flaws...
    Linux advocacy over Windows is often a bit overstated. "World domination" is a gole that will NEVER happen for Linux. It's a target.. nothing more.. Like when you puch you aim PAST the target... When you run a race you don't slow down untill you cross the finish line. World domination... a goal well byond what Linux advocates want..
    What dose urk me is some times people turn and attack Linux becouse Linux is the WRONG os for them. Instead of going after Microsoft.. Instead of targetting world domination themselfs...
    Apple has a game plan and Linux has a game plan they both are after that "total market" goal.

    I personally use Linux however when I threaton to buy a computer for my lady friend I threaton to buy her a Mac. Ok I occasionally threaton to install Linux on it but she knows I am joking about that...

    A perfict os.. find an operating system that protects everything drives everything controlls everything and dosn't let any application take over the system and at the same time lets any given application take over the system.. all while not slowing the system down...
    Dose EVERYTHING and dosn't do anything that is unnessisary. Every posable feature automaticly available with out confusing the user. Dosn't crash isn't big uses minimal procesing power runs on an 8 bit chip while being a 64 bit os...
    I think you get the idea... some things are simply imposable.
    With Unix everything is a file.. with Mac everything is an Icon.. other operating systems have there own style. Each is ideal for SOME things but in no way works for everything.

    Why not talk about how BeOS or MacOs could beat Microsoft? Well there is this small issue that it dosn't translate into action...
    Linux is a big community effor.. so is BSD.. MacOs and BeOS are property and I assure you that the same "how do we crush Microsoft" chats on Slashdot are going on at Apple and Be Inc.
  • Heh - maybe this shows that I'm just a youngin' but I find it funny that the UNIX system can support 'high-level "C" languages'. Oooh! Ahhh! :)
  • OK since when did a programming language actually matter?

    Since the dawn of time. Say what you want, a given system's design and architecture always end up reeking of its language of choice. So it was with any of the "ancient" platform-based OSs and their related assembly languages. So it is with Unix and C. (So it is with BeOS and C++ too.) This is not only not a Bad Thing, it's also unavoidable; the language you program with has a definite effect on the way you program and build systems.

    In fact, a properly reflective environment will enforce no distinction between the system level and the language level; in systems such as Squeak, Native Oberon, DrScheme and even OpenGenera (the descendant of the Genera OS which ran on Symbolics' Lisp Machines), the language and OS are fully entertwined, therefore giving the programmer total and complete freedom (not to mention increasing performance and architectural simplicity).

  • St. Joe's.. Cracked skull from a fall onto concrete.. I spent a whole lot of time in bed with an Atari 400 on my lap and a 300 baud rubber cup modem connection to a Unix box. I think I wrote my first few C programs, a primitive calendar program that was freindly to my teletype and a videogame kind of like Zork during that period, but my memory is more than a wee bit foggy. (I wasn't yet four)
  • Just looking at the front panel switches (after 20 years!) my fingers felt this urge to key in the boot loader ....
  • >No, I equated the average Unix supporter to someone who will slam me without reason. I have found this to be the case, in general

    I find the avrage (insert person class) is a decent person and at worse a human being.

    Something my sister showed me.. People NEVER slam with out reason. It may not be a good reason but there is a reason.

    >(2) POSIX imposes the Unix worldview upon the programmer,
    You find me an operating system that dosn't impose a "single world view"...
    No operating system is a utopia... The fewer restrictions the fewer features... The more features the more restrictions.
    To code with no restrictions at all what so ever... break out a rom burnner...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    You must have forgot to include the link to the superior operating system you wrote. Probably just a simple mistake.
  • I find the avrage (insert person class) is a decent person and at worse a human being.

    Well, I should hope so!--- or do you know something about the impending invasion of the large-brained giant squid that I don't? ;)

    Something my sister showed me.. People NEVER slam with out reason. It may not be a good reason but there is a reason.

    Of course there is a reason. But it may be that they're wrong. (Yes, despite the best efforts of postmodernists everywhere, there still is such a thing as being just plain wrong.) And that is the case all too often - you can be an entirely decent person and still be wrong. (Story of my life... heh.)

    You find me an operating system that dosn't impose a "single world view"...

    But POSIX isn't an operating system, it's a standard. And standards are supposed to allow implementation on diverse and heterogeneous platforms, which of course POSIX doesn't. Case in point: QNX. Go look at it and then come talk to me about POSIX's effect on the system engineer's freedom.

    No operating system is a utopia...

    Yes, so?

    The fewer restrictions the fewer features... The more features the more restrictions. To code with no restrictions at all what so ever... break out a rom burnner...

    That's just completely untrue. If you bother to take a look at systems such as Oberon or Squeak, you'll find that they're both very feature-full and completely unrestrictive, in that their reflective design allows the programmer to tap into the controls of the environment itself and turn off any restrictions which may be enforced by default. That is freedom. (And it can be even better - we're working on it, anyways.)
  • What i Would like to see is the first ad for a linux product!!
    (Who Was First!)
  • It's free. I use it when at home (read: never). Ah well.
  • Er, I think Netcraft is confused... here's what you get by entering in cm.bell-labs.com:

    cm.bell-labs.com is running Plan9

    Then again, if anybody's going to know how to play tricks with identifying a Unix system by its TCP stack, I'm guessing it's dmr... :-]

  • If you worked in computers back then, you'd realize this was a fairly impressive number. It meant as maybe 50,000 people or more had accounts on Unix machines. And in '81 terms 50K users was a huge number.

    81 was really was a cusp. The exponential growth of computer technology had been going on for some time, but in absolute terms it hadn't amounted to much outside of large research labs and corporate data centers. The first Intel processor capable of handling a decent OS was four years away; the 68K was available then, but I don't know if the PMMU had shipped yet; the first 68K based Unix boxes I remember were circa 1983. We had ten programmers working on that box, which was in processing terms about the same speed and memory as a palm pilot.
  • by Trickster Coyote ( 34740 ) on Friday April 21, 2000 @03:11PM (#1118077) Homepage
    I wonder if they would send out some literature?

  • That's what I get for not digging deeper...

    http://plan9.bell-labs.com/plan9/faq.html [bell-labs.com]

    And it runs on the 68020, too. Hmmm, I've got a Macintosh LC that isn't doing anything....

  • In college at Berkeley. I was whacking Pascal on a PDP-11 for CS classes. I guess that was also about the time I was using front panel switches to toggle data into a PDP-11/10 (or was it a 11/7) for the assembly language programming course. Those were the days :-)
  • God yes! It was just like playing the piano.

    And I miss the blinking lights.
  • Yeah, my favorite right now (and you don't even have to be at -1!) is OOG. If not for the content, then for watching the moderators fall over themselves trying to moderate the posts one way or the other.

    --GnrcMan--
  • See Windows 2000 Terminal Services [microsoft.com] and welcome to the 1970's.
  • >Gresham's Law states, in fact, that bad software drives out the good, not the other way around. Sorry

    There are allways pesimists...

    I chouse not to live by someone elses self imposed limitations.

    If the above were true then nothing worthwhile exists....
  • Commodore 64s are the best systems out. they only need a 386 to run their tcp/ip stack
  • I'm now finishing my third year of my Computer Science degree. In our second year, we studied PDP-11 (in one course) for a full term. I can program machine code (zeros and ones) on the PDP-11. The rest of my class can also do this. Man, the PDP-11 was the most amazing chip (or so it seamed).

    Flat memory model
    Orthogonal instruction set

    Those were the days. I went in knowing how to code x86 assembly, by the time I was done, I couldn't read it anymore.

    Are there any modern chips out that have an orthogonal instruction set and a flat memory model that can do 64bit integer operations? I would dearly love to play with such a beast.
  • The beauty of UNIX is doing things RIGHT. the first time. simple commands building on each other to produce a complicated system is the *right* way to go. two letters for each command speeds up the learning process, piping seamlessly allows interaction between commands, C allows a higher abstration than assembly (and faster prototyping - heck, only java has come somewhere close to C...no other language can touch it even after 30 years..C++ doesnt count - its a bad idea) and decent performance, seamless multithreading (especially & for background jobs), remote display of graphics, etc etc.
    The more things change - the more they stay the same.
  • by GypC ( 7592 )
    Eunuchs maybe?

    "Free your mind and your ass will follow"
  • You've missed the point. Gresham's law is a conclusion based on an analysis of market reactions to software. It does not mean that there can be no good software; it means that, for several reasons of many different kinds, products which are technically inferior generally tend to gain marketshare while their superior competitors languish. WinNT is a prime example of Gresham's Law at work.

    That does not mean trying to write good software is pointless; I personally am still a believer in the Right Thing (as opposed to New Jersey's "Worse is Better" philosophy). After all, Gresham's Law is more like Murphy's Law than like, say, the Laws of Thermodynamics. I.e., you get to bend them from time to time, if you try really hard.
  • Remember when Usenet primarily ran over UUCP on 1200 baud modems?

    We called 'em !200 baud modems around here ;)

  • dude, you have no sense of humor (and neither does that kaufmann guy). you might want to actually look at the damn link before spouting off. BTW, the UNIX haters handbook was written by people who contributed significantly to UNIX itself..heres a clue - dennis ritchie contributed to the book as did programmers who worked on the solaris NeWs system, NeXT and others. and moderators - that applies to you too. man...i dont believe i got moderated down for posting a link to the handbook [catalog.com].
  • I guess that makes me the geek's geek.
  • If you ask me, Troll should be +1, not -1.

    I think the moderation system ought to allow arbitrary point assignments for any category. For example, some trolls are worthwhile reading, and some aren't, so the Troll label should allow either +1 or -1, at the moderator's discretion. We also need new categories, as most of the posts marked "troll" aren't technically real trolls. The lack of a "flame" label means that the "flamebait" label is misapplied to flames, instead of posts that simply try to provoke flames. And we also could use labels like "Moderator-bait" (for those posts that collect lots and lots of moderator points, like OOOG the Caveman), "Random" (for those posts that don't bear on the current discussion but are technically still on-topic), and "WTF?!" (just because I like the idea of a category like that).

  • This reminds me of the old days back when Usenet used to run mainly over UUCP links. We used to have a UUCP connection up five or six hours every night. Boy, did that give you an incentive to jump on off-topic threads. Of, course you had plenty of time because it gave you something to do when you were waiting for your programs to compile, and boy do I mean wait. CC used to compile, what, a hundred lines a code a minute? And don't get me started on the ld. Cripes, when the linker started I'd get up and go for a run around the lake (I was fine strapping, young lad in those days, always full of energy for a run, a all night coding session, or a good flame war; it's too bad my complexion was so bad and I spent all my time coding and reading science fiction).

    Anyhow, the accountants were always giving us guff about the long phone calls, but we'd tell them it was the "UUCP" connection and they didn't know what the hell UUCP was so they'd go back to their cubicles and go bother somebody they could understand.

    Uh, what were we talking about?
  • I know what you mean and I really wish that TUNES was anything more than a lot of hot air... but at this point in time, for me, Linux (and FreeBSD) suck the least.

    And I'm sure that (list Windows Mac Be) suck the least for other people.

    I just don't see your point of trying to abash us Unix fans because it isn't theoretically perfect. We are not impressed nor are we suddenly ashamed and enlightened.

    It's like shouting "Ferraris are better" at a VW Beetle fan club convention. Sure it's an air-cooled piece of crap that goes faster uphill if you push it... but it gets us where we're going and we can take it apart and put it back together all by ourselves with a basic toolkit.

    We just glance up and mutter, "What an asshole," and then get back to work.

    "Free your mind and your ass will follow"

  • >But POSIX isn't an operating system, it's a standard.

    True.. Unix systems are free to ignore posix.
    This isn't without problems and most feel the advanages of a standard are far greater than the disadvantages...

    I have writen multiplatform code with out the benifit of Posix.
    This one example dosn't change much...
    I know there are many points where Posix fails...
    I can code around thies problems.
    With Posix I don't allways need to worry about this.

    Or if I wish I can allways write Linux only code. This option is not taken from me by Posix.

    >If you bother to take a look at systems such as Oberon or Squeak, you'll find that they're both very feature-full and completely unrestrictive

    If you can change EVERYTHING then I know ONE feature you'll NEVER have....
    Consistency.. with out this writing code is a nightmare...
    This is why Posix was created in the first place..

    >Of course there is a reason. But it may be that they're wrong.

    True... They may be blindly classifying you as wrong... Or you may be doing exactly the same to them...
    It allmost allways makes me wonder when a person proclames a larg body of people to be wrong...

    "3,000 people cann't be wrong" of course they can...
    However normally a larg body of people comming up with the same answer are at least close to the truth.
    There are occasions when a larg body of people are absolutly wrong.. in such a case there is a cause for this. Be it floating myths bad TV reporting lead poisoning in the water, coverup or marketting.
    There are many ways to make a larg body not think for themselfs...

    I don't believe any of them apply to this situation
  • If the site isn't especially new, it may already be mirrored at Google [google.com].
  • dude, you have no sense of humor (and neither does that kaufmann guy).

    Sure I do. I just happen to think that Unix does, in fact, suck - and I did so long before I found the Handbook. I've spoken to at least one of the authors in length, and he also thinks that Unix sucks. So, it seems to be a consensus... after all, why do you think Ritchie and the gang have left Unix for Plan 9? ;)
  • While pleading ignorence of Gresham's law...
    WinNT is unlikely to be a good example of that law... it's a very specal case that breaks enough market rules to make one puke...

    In my own view and experences the second best becomes market standard and is then proclammed to suck becouse it dosn't work for everyone.

    Why not the best?
    Small problem of inflated egos resulting from being the best and knowing it... product dosn't get premoted.. product dies...
  • Well, now code compiles and links like lightning. You have no excuse.

    Boy does it ever, but I still have an excuse. I have to program for NT, and I write flames on my Linux box while I'm waiting for NT to reboot.
  • You are a hard man to debate...
    This is a good thing...
    Your arguments are hard to challange...
    Your challanges are hard to dispute..

    Thank you for your thoughts and ideas...
  • >But POSIX isn't an operating system, it's a standard.

    True.. Unix systems are free to ignore posix.
    This isn't without problems and most feel the advanages of a standard are far greater than the disadvantages...


    Boy, miss the point yet again, will you?!?

    >If you bother to take a look at systems such as Oberon or Squeak, you'll find that they're both very feature-full and completely unrestrictive

    If you can change EVERYTHING then I know ONE feature you'll NEVER have....
    Consistency.. with out this writing code is a nightmare...
    This is why Posix was created in the first place..


    That's a logical fallacy if I ever saw one. Customisation and flexibility do not necessarily imply lack of consistency. Any programmer can write code for Squeak and be assured that it'll run flawlessly on any Squeak system - yes, even if the user of said system has decided to completely change his environment. This works thanks to clever use of metaobjects. Remember, just because Unix does it the brain-damaged way doesn't mean there's no other way to do it.

    "3,000 people cann't be wrong" of course they can...
    However normally a larg body of people comming up with the same answer are at least close to the truth.


    That's an absurd statement. It's only even marginally true when the truth happens to somehow match the mixture of common-sense and popularly diffused ideology that the populace tends to believe at any given time. Even within the IT field, which is supposed to be made up of smart(er) people, at any given time the general consensus about just about anything is just plain wrong.

    There are many ways to make a larg body not think for themselfs...
    I don't believe any of them apply to this situation


    Oh, please. The modern IT field is a fucking paradigm of social dynamics gone bad. You've got your clueless masses, your bunch of evil conspiracies, your even larger bunch of not-particularly-evil but still self-interested parties; you've got your ruthless manipulation of the general opinion throughout whatever means necessary, your "keep 'em in the dark" philosophy, your FUD wars... et cetera et al, ad infinitum. Considering this, you mean to tell me that you really expect that the widespread adoption of Unix in this midst is any more driven by reason and straight-headed economics than the widespread adoption of Microsoft software? Bah.

  • I just don't see your point of trying to abash us Unix fans because it isn't theoretically perfect. We are not impressed nor are we suddenly ashamed and enlightened.

    You're not supposed to be - it's just meant to get people off their high horses. "Unix sucks" is first and foremost a direct reaction to "Unix rules". There are just so many people who believe with all their heart that Unix is the Second friggin' Coming that I just can't help but play devil's advocate; indeed, for some people, Unix (or whatever) may suck the least, but there's a huge leap between that and the "non-Unixers are lusers" feeling.

    So, in conclusion... Unix sucks!!!! :)

    P.S.: I fail to understand how you can be an Unix fan. Please clarify.

    P.P.S.: Tunes is more than a lot of hot air. The thing is, it's a hugely ambitious project, not to mention very vague. However, even as we speak, there's a lot of effort being put into Slate, a proposed high-level language to be used to bootstrap Tunes. (Well, two people working in their spare time doesn't really qualify as "a lot of effort", but they're two very good computer scientists - Brian Rice and Lee Salzman -, and it's better than nothing, eh?)
  • ain't it great?


    / k.d / earth trickle / Monkeys vs. Robots Films [homepage.com] /



  • http://cm.bell-labs.com/cm/cs/who/dmr/picture.ht ml
  • Hate to tell you this, but a Vax/780 running BSD 4.2 crawled to a halt whenever it got above 20 users. Yeah, 30 people could log in, but they would be seriously uncomfortable if all 30 attempted to be active. I seriously doubt that a PDP-11 could support 30 timeshared users in any sort of comfort, even the big PDP-11 (the 11/65, was it?). Hold it, maybe it could, since everybody was using teletypes rather than terminals, and 'ed' rather than 'vi', but I'd hardly call that 'using' :-).

    Of course, even 20 timeshared users for tens of thousands of $$ would be a big deal when the mainframes STARTED at $1M.... and actually I think USL paid around $250K for their Vax 780, complete with two of the big 500Mb drives. That was more storage space than their $6M mainframe had at the time!

    -E

  • are these the only good reasons to use C?

    No, these are the only good reasons for the Tunes project to adopt C/C++.

    if C/C++ are that bad, why didn't everyone switch to lisp or something else?

    "If COBOL is that bad, why didn't everyone switch to Ada or something else?"
    "If WinNT is that bad, why didn't everyone switch to Linux or something else?"

    Et cetera et al. Ad populum - as I was explaining to Felinoid, the general consensus is wrong very often. People are using C/C++ for a variety of reasons - very few of which really represent valid technical points, IMAO.

    the people at tunes.org are trying to invent a language for use with their OS. Is this a very smart idea? why would anyone want to include some sort of lisp interpreter inside the OS?

    You've missed the point of Tunes. It intends to go even beyond - to break the barriers between system and application, environment and program, programmer and user, OS and language. It intends to build a foundation so that your system can be anything you want it to be, so that you have full computing freedom. In short, we want to integrate our language and our OS, and be able to change them both at will, from within themselves. If you read further into the Tunes pages, you'll find a lot more information explaining why this is actually a Good Thing.

    isn't it a bit weird to invent a language to suit your OS?

    I don't know... the Bell Labs gang seem very fond of it... case in point: Unix and C, Inferno and Limbo... et cetera.

  • I think the no maintenance or tech support is because the Bell System had signed a consent decree with the Justice Department that prohibited their entry into the computer and software business. This restriction was removed when the Bell System was broken up.
  • The problem, though, is that neither instruction set has the classic symmetry and simplicity of the PDP-11 instruction set.

    The Motorola 68000 was similar to the PDP-11 in its addressing modes and memory model, but it had that funky divide between data registers and address registers. For example, to do an indexed read off a pointer to an array, you'd load the pointer into an address register (like A1), then you'd load the offset into a data register (like D1), then

    move (A1)[D1],D0

    (the above is not the 68000 assembler's format, BTW, it's been too long :=-( ).

    Anyhow, even with that address/data register split, it was still head and shoulders above the (blech) 8086. But the one I really wanted to get my hands on was the ?NCR?AMD??? 32032, there was a big write-up in Byte Magazine on the chipset and it made me slobber (even if I can't remember who made the stupid chip!). Had a MMU that implemented true paged virtual memory, had a symmetric instruction set that greatly resembled a VAX, etc... this was right after Motorola introduced the 68000, which had no MMU and thus really wasn't well suited for Unix. Unfortunately, the maker of the chip never managed to ship them in volume or with adequate performance. Kind of the same story as with Zilog and the Z8000, making microprocessors back then was a lot of hand-drawing masks and stuff, and many of the old-line companies just couldn't scale their design process to the "new" 16-bit microprocessors. Probably the only reason Motorola managed the 68000 was because they gave up and microcoded most of the instructions, and even then, the 68000 was late to market and thus missed the IBM design win (because IBM needed something available right then and there, and the 8088 was "good enough"). I still think we would be better off if Motorola had beat Intel to market... even the Pentium III and Xeon suffers from a serious lack of available processor registers (makes GCC's optimizer make aweful noises and die messily from time to time -- ask the kernel guys about all the work-arounds they've had to do when the optimizer craps on their code). One thing you could not accuse the 68000 of was a shortage of registers (it had 16 -- 8 address and 8 data, though 2 of the address registers were reserved for stack and program counter, and 1 of the address registers was usually used as an offset to the current stack frame).

    _E

  • Most of the RISC chips are fairly clean, three address, load-store architectures. You might take a look at the Alpha for a nice 64-bit chip.

    What I miss are all those neat PDP-11 addressing modes. I used to love writing assembler in MACRO-11.

    At my workplace, we excessed our PDP-11/23 running V7 UNIX last year. It had 256KW of RAM and a 40MB 8" Winchester disk. It was so old that it didn't have vi or csh, just ed and sh. Networking was limited to UUCP over a 1200 bps modem.

  • You guys are just mentioning this now? ;)

    Must have been a slow news day.

  • I fail to understand how you can be an Unix fan. Please clarify.

    What the hell? I just told you. I like it, OK? Like some people like VW Beetles or Chevy Novas and others like old Godzilla movies. Talk about your high horses...

    You need to lighten up, it's just a damn operating system.

    And no I'm not one of those people that think Unix is the second coming, but it's a lot of fun for me and a lot of other people. It's a hobby for many of us and it happens to do a pretty good job of getting real work done (I can feel a snide response to that statement coming but don't even bother).

    Is that all right with you? Do I have your permission to use Unix without being called an idiot? Perhaps you could point out some alternative operating systems that suck less and have the huge library of useful software that I'm accustomed to?

    "Free your mind and your ass will follow"

  • You realize we've perpetrated a distributed denial of service attack. Turn in your hardware and you might get a suspended sentence.
  • Well, I don't really trust Netcraft as much anymore after it said that Microsoft IIS runs on Linux [1wh.com].
  • I actually think that when a server gets "slashdotted," it's a sign of affection rather than malice (unlike the DoS attacks, which are malice). People aren't *trying* to crash the server, but they do so because so many are interested in the resources it provides.
    =======

    Life is exciting, isn't it?
  • This ad has been out since 1981!

    Just kidding, Rob, Hemos, etc...

  • Bell Labs is AT&T, right? And also that would make them Pacific Bell, Bell Atlantic, USWest, etc., right? So Bell Labs was where this corporate behemoth is hiding all their "talent and respect", or where they used it all up 30 years ago?

    Not that I am bitter or anything.

  • Bell labs was funded by a 10% "research tax" on all income in the Bell Empire. Its management had no accountability to the groups that funded it and could choose to do any pure research they wanted to do. That resulted in so many cool things like the transistor and laser and thousands of other things. Bell labs was (is?) the second largest inventor in the world after NASA.
  • You know, this thing deserves to be saved.

    But since it's offtopic everywhere, I'm not sure how to do it.

    Instead of moderating it up, I'm going to say, "Nice job" and lose my ability to moderate it at all. Only makes sense.

    D

    ----
  • . But the one I really wanted to get my hands on was the ?NCR?AMD??? 32032,[...]

    National Semiconductors. Diffrent form NCR. I think they are still in bisness. They bought Symbios a year a two ago if I remember right. They make nice SCSI controlers (that happen to have little 16/32bit CPUs), not sure what else. They might have bought Cyrex, and then sold it.

    Unfortunately, the maker of the chip never managed to ship them in volume or with adequate performance.

    Volume might have been a problem. I don't recall. Performance would have been Ok, they had decent clock rates for the time, and decent cycle counts. I think what killed them was tons of eratta for each stepping of the CPU. That would be "hardware bugs". Many time appearing and dissapaering over diffrent steppings. It made some instructions useless, some addressing modes useless, and many combos of the two useless. (i.e. it might have had "load the value at R1, add it to the value at R2 and store if greater then zero", but you coulnd't use it on 30% of the CPUs, so it was worthless).

    I think it (or a decendent) actually got used in the PC532, which was a homebrew computer (probbably the last ever sold as a scematic and bag of parts, sodder together, not plugging cables and bords in!). They can run NetBSD now (and for the last N years). There may be as many as 200 of them in the world.

  • Sure I do. I just happen to think that Unix does, in fact, suck - and I did so long before I found the Handbook. I've spoken to at least one of the authors in length, and he also thinks that Unix sucks. So, it seems to be a consensus... after all, why do you think Ritchie and the gang have left Unix for Plan 9? ;)

    Plan 9 strikes me as "more Unix then Unix". Everything is a file. Everything. No more ioctl, or fcntl, just have a few extra "control devices". (I know, you put the smiley there, but I had to respond....)

    My big problem with the Unix Haters Handbook, is not that they hate Unix. I rather hate parts of it too. It's just that the whole seems to be better then all the other stuff that is out there, at least that I can get!

    My beef with it, is that while it did discribe Unixs failings (and sometimes things I didn't think of as failings) at great length, it seldom described a system that did it better. It did for error messages (I think it liked the VMS error system), and it did for a hand full of other things, but for less then half.

    To me that just makes it a bitch session. Which is fine if that's what you want. I would rather have something point me at a "right way", something for Unix to grow, or at least something to pine for that can't be retrofitted. I woulnd't buy a book telling me my car sucked because it only has a 190HP engine. I might buy one if it told me how other componies managed a 240HP engine in the same space. At least if I were mechanically inclined ;-)

    (and yes, I have the tunes project page up in another window, that looks more intresting then the UHB)

  • Yeah. That answers my question in spades. The DOS 3 user interface was partially lifted from UNIX and VMS -- what came before UNIX was a heck of a lot more esoteric, believe me. You can look it up. Had you tried to work on a circa 1974 time-sharing system (with a tty that was really a teletype and had actual paper and ink in it), you would have looked at UNIX' user interface and said "Hallelujah! Insanely great!" not "How esoteric."

    BTW this is kind of a neat thread, even the low-karma posts. It's fun to get a snapshot of the /. age and perspective distribution ... thanks

  • >
    -- The best things in life are non-proprietary.

    >Yeah, right. Does that apply to your girlfriend as well?


    Yes, it most certainly does.

    proprietary - from Latin proprietas meaning property

    She is certainly not my property. I don't own her. What century are you living in?

    [adjective] used, made, or marketed by one having the exclusive legal right

    Good Lord, do you take me for a pimp?!!!
    I didn't make her - her parents did that, but they don't own her either.
    Exclusive legal right to use her? I thinking using people is rather repugnant. And as far as exclusivity goes, she is a free person and if she decided she would rather be with someone else, that is her choice. It might hurt me, but I would respect it. However, she has stayed with me for over 9 years so far and things are still going quite well, so I feel no fear of losing her.

    You are welcome to try to woo her away from me if you wish, but I doubt you would get very far. She has already shown that she prefers guys who are mature, intelligent, and respect women as human beings.

"The medium is the massage." -- Crazy Nigel

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