I've assembled some notes from old manuals and other sources
on the formats used for on-disk file systems through the
Additional notes, comments on style, and whatnot are welcome.
(It may be sensible to send anything in the last two categories
directly to me, rather than to the whole list.)
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The original question (from Ian KIng) was
> I'm looking for a copy of the C reference manual from some time between
> the 6th Edition (1975) and the first version that came with 4.3BSD
Some offered pointers to the 6th edition version (which is around
both at TUHS and also on my own home page.)
Norman observed that the standard V7 tapes omitted
the C manual from the documentation set, because
of the publication of K&R 1. However, it turns out
that in our own paper-published version of the 7th
edition, the then-current spec (very nearly
what became Appendix A of K&R 1) was indeed
printed. Probably some of these manuals were distributed
to people who got the tapes at that point.
The printed 7th edition also included a 1-page "Recent Pages
to C" addendum, describing the enum type, and
also confirming that structure assignment plus passing
and receiving structures to functions (promised for the
future in K&R 1) were available. At some point there
may have been an updated version of this--I don't have
it--confirming that the compiler now, indeed, treated
same-named members of different structures as distinct and
I retyped this addendum, and it's now on my home page.
More lately, Aharon pointed out that SCO had offered
a (for-fee) fairly complete distribution of System III
under an Ancient Unix license, and was kind enough
to send it to me. It includes (under the name c_man)
a version that looks to be just about the same as
the version with the internal 7th edition.
This also includes the "Recent Changes" as an addendum.
(Amusingly, the enum example switches a color in its
example: "winedark" to "puce". I don't know who did this;
it could have been me!).
Another interesting complication I turned up in
investigating this is that Brian and I seem to have lost
the machine-readable source for the actual
Appendix A of K&R 1! (The rest of the text is still
But to turn back to the original question: aside
from the "Recent Changes" page, and perhaps
some tweaking of the table of supported machines
and perhaps a few other fairly minor things,
there wasn't any significantly differing local C Reference
Manual between 7th ed / K&R 1, up to the ANSI
1989 standard. However, I should try to retrieve
what went into 4.3BSD-- I don't have a complete
copy of it.
Norman Wilson recalled
> 22. Pike, R. "The Blit: A Multiplexed Graphics Terminal". _AT&T Bell
> Laboratories Technical Journal 63_, 8 (Oct. 1984).
> Rob described an earlier version of the Blit work in a USENIX talk
> at USENIX in January 1982 (Santa Monica CA). So far as I know it
> was just a talk, no paper, though he showed a canned demo on video
By coincidence, one of the two videos made about early Blit
work is newly available in .mpg format: look near the
bottom of Rob Pike's page under Movies:
This was just now done by Gerard Holzmann.
Be aware that it is 43MB in size.
This version is spoken by actors, although the script
The other Blit video is in Betacam format, and we don't
currently have a player for it, so it's not digitized.
I think it's silent, and presumably Rob talked during its
showing. This might be what accompanied the Usenix talk.
(By the way, there are two other, twice-as large
videos there: the Labscam tape, and Rob's appearance
on the David Letterman TV show with Penn and Teller.)
If anyone has one of the SCO Ancient Unix licenses and a copy of the
archive that went with it, then they legally have the source to System
III. If such a person extracts sys3.tar.gz and looks in usr/src/man/docs
they'll find a file named `c_man' with the actual manual in it. I quote:
.SH "1. INTRODUCTION"
\(dg This manual is reprinted, with minor changes, from
.I "The C Programming Language"
by Brian W. Kernighan and Dennis M. Ritchie,
Prentice Hall, Inc., 1978.
describes the C language
What the legalities are of redistributing this, and/or generating
postscript from it, are, I don't know. Similar questions apply
to scanning in the ref man from a copy of K&R-I, which is now
out of print. (I wish Caldera had included System III in their
releasing of Ancient Unix. Sigh.)
I hope this helps, some.
P.S. Completely unrelated, but I find it really cool how much of
the System III doc refers to C and Unix on the System/370...
> Subject: Re: [TUHS] C reference manual
> From: norman(a)nose.cs.utoronto.ca (Norman Wilson)
> To: tuhs(a)minnie.tuhs.org
> Date: Thu, 17 Oct 2002 09:13:22 -0400
> To forestall those who haven't looked: the good news is that
> the papers from Volume 2 of the manual were included in /usr/doc
> on the V7 tape; the bad news is that the C Reference Manual was
> omitted. Here is /usr/doc/cman in its entirety:
> Sorry, but for copyright reasons, the source
> for the C Reference Manual is not distributed.
> Presumably the problem was that the Reference Manual was published
> as part of the a real book in 1978.
> I forget just what Tony was after in the first place, but maybe
> some of the stuff on Dennis Ritchie's home page will help:
> In particular the Sixth Edtion version of the C Reference Manual
> is there.
> Norman Wilson
> Toronto ON
To forestall those who haven't looked: the good news is that
the papers from Volume 2 of the manual were included in /usr/doc
on the V7 tape; the bad news is that the C Reference Manual was
omitted. Here is /usr/doc/cman in its entirety:
Sorry, but for copyright reasons, the source
for the C Reference Manual is not distributed.
Presumably the problem was that the Reference Manual was published
as part of the a real book in 1978.
I forget just what Tony was after in the first place, but maybe
some of the stuff on Dennis Ritchie's home page will help:
In particular the Sixth Edtion version of the C Reference Manual
I have an original (in print) of the C reference manual from Unix 6th Ed, as
part of a multipart binder titled "Documents for Use With the Unix
Timesharing System", as well as the "UNIX Programmer's Manual", which is a
print copy of the man pages. I could probably scan the C ref in my copious
spare time, if you're not in a hurry. Warren, do you want to archive stuff
like this? -- Ian
From: Tony Finch [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wednesday, October 16, 2002 1:10 PM
Subject: [TUHS] C reference manual
I'm looking for a copy of the C reference manual from some time between
the 6th Edition (1975) and the first version that came with 4.3BSD
(1986). The stuff in the TUHS archive mostly seems to be missing the
documentation sets, or in the case of the earlier BSDs they are ommitted
for copyright reasons. There are some tutorials dating from about 1979
but they aren't much use.
Any help would be appreciated.
f.a.n.finch <dot(a)dotat.at> http://dotat.at/
DOGGER: NORTHEAST 6 TO GALE 8 BACKING NORTHWEST 4 OR 5. RAIN OR SHOWERS.
MODERATE OR GOOD. _______________________________________________
TUHS mailing list
This is certainly non-technical UNIX history, which is not to
say it isn't interesting.
I can sharpen up a few details of Dennis's account. Peter was
already a department head when I first visited the Labs in early
1984. I believe his face was already a favourite test image for
various graphics experts, but the cult of the face didn't really
get started until the following year.
In particular I think it was in the summer of 1985 that Tom Duff
thought of the deathstar transform (turning a picture into variable-
width horizontal stripes, as the AT&T logo to a highlighted sphere).
Certainly it was later that year that the much-bigger-than-life
image appeared on the water tower: my calendar file still says
sep 16 btl water tower 1985
Peter was still a department head at that time; he didn't climb
further into management until about 1990.
As I recall, the water tower remained painted for a couple of days.
A two-man team from the Physical Plant department finally covered it
over: one man in overalls wielding paint, another in suit and tie
watching to be sure no trace remained.
Lest people get the wrong idea, Peter took no offense at the
overuse of his face. In fact a few years later he agreed to
have a plaster cast made. Someone (Duff?) then made a latex
positive from the plaster negative, intending to digitize it
somehow into a three-dimensional model. I don't know if that
ever happened, but I did borrow the latex one day, used it to
generate another negative in ice, and cast a large chocolate
truffle which I then set out in the UNIX Room (as the group's
common terminal room was called) for all to enjoy.
That may have been the only really interesting use of the 3d
face. In any case the plaster cast was presented to me when
I left the Labs in 1990, and I still have it, though I haven't
done anything with it since.
There were also some smaller stencils made of the same deathstar-
Peter face. (In fact I have it on good authority that the big
one was made by projecting one of the smaller ones on a wall.)
When Bell Labs bought a Cray X-MP in 1986 or 1987 (my records aren't
that complete), one of our group made several visits to Cray to
get a head start on a special network interface we would need.
He took along one of the small stencils and put a few Peter faces
on panels that were normally covered up when the machine was running.
(The Cray was to be shared by Research and the Comp Center, and the
Comp Center were a bit stuffier.) To everyone's surprise, when the
machine arrived it bore no extra decorations. Presumably Cray shipped
the painted system to another customer; we never found out who.
The Computing Science Research Center was a fun place to work.