wish I hadn't read "Norman Wilson" as "Norman Wisdom" (british
prat-fall comedian in the style of Jerry Lewis)
It's much better than the more-common typo in which
people call me normal. Neither accurate nor an
I've always enjoyed this paper; recently I found occasion to thumb
through it again. I thought I'd pass it on; I'm curious what some on
the list think about this given their first-hand knowledge of relevant
history (Larry, I'm looking at you; especially with respect his
comments on the VM system).
- Dan C.
As an admirer of minimalism, who has given talks that extol
Norman Wilson's streamlining of research Unix, I naturally
like Forsythe's thesis.
I noticed unintended irony in one more or less throw-away remark:
"It is dangerous to place too much hope in any improvement coming from just
following new fashions, if we lack insight into what really went wrong
before. Without that insight, I suspect that rewriting UNIX in C++,
for example, could easily become an excuse for increasing complexity
(because by using C++ `we can handle more complexity')."
Bjarne Stroustrup's avowed reason for building cfront, which
evolved into C++, was to have a tool for building an operating
system in object-oriented style. The tool took on a life of
its own, and arguably became more complex than the old-fashioned
Unix he aspired to improve on.
On Oct 22, 2017 1:39 AM, "Will Senn" <will.senn(a)gmail.com> wrote:
What is the last bootable and installable media, officially distributed by
Is that image currently publicly accessible?
What is the closest version, that is currently available, that would match
the os described in "The Design and Implementation of the 4.4 BSD Operating
Probably one of the best ways to get questions about installation media
answered is to simply email Kirk McKusick. He's a really nice guy and will
probably give you an answer pretty quickly.
That said, of the three distributions you mentioned, bootable/installable
media only existed for 4.4BSD (also called the "encumbered" distribution).
-Lite and -Lite2 were "reference distributions." It didn't take *too* much
work to get -Lite working, but it wasn't something that ran out of the box
(or more properly, off of the tape). The original idea was to release
4.4BSD-encumbered to Unix source licensees, and at the same time publish
4.4BSD-Lite sans the redacted bits as an open source distribution. These
were to be the final BSD releases from UCB, but the CSRG found they had
some coin left in the coffers a few months later, so they did -Lite2 as
something of a final hurrah snapshotting some ongoing maintenance work (and
possibly some research?) before officially shutting down.
At one point, I had a copy of a bootable exabyte tape with 4.4-encumbered
installation and source images for SPARC, specifically sun4c machines, that
I had liberated from somewhere. My understanding was that the reference
hardware at Berkeley was 68030- and 68040-based HP 9000 machines, and the
SPARC bits were a contribution from Chris Torek. I got -Lite running on an
older SPARCstation 1, but it wasn't particularly reliable (the compiler
would segfault, and it panic'ed once a day or so), so we put SunOS back on
it pretty quickly.
Hope that helps.
- Dan C.
I'm wondering, with 80s and 90s era Unix being discussed, if there are
any copies of the 80s and 90s era CAD software extant in some form or
other? (Preferably free to good archive?)
IIRC it was a major driver of graphics capabilities in Unix
workstations around that time.
> macOS requires you to have a data section aligned to 4K, even if you
> don't use it. The resulting binary is a little over 8K; again, mostly
Not quite. The classic empty executable file for /bin/true works
on OS X. That is not just a clever trick;it's a natural consequence
of Kernighan's ancient prrecept: do nothing gracefully. Conceivably
the 4K data section is, too--if the page has no physical presence
until it is accessed.
> From: Dan Cross <crossd(a)gmail.com>
> Hope that helps.
I don't have anything to add to this discussion, but may I point out that this
is _exactly_ the kind of thing we'd like to make available at the Computer
I'm too busy with other tasks to add it all myself, but I hope you all will be
able to add your pearls there, where it will be available in an organized way,
rather than having to hope Google/Bing/etc can find it in the list archives
among the megatons of other dross on the Internet.
If anyone would like an account there (due to spam issues, anon editing has
been disabled), please let me know, and I'll get you set up right away - just
send me the account name you like (a lot of us use our old time-sharing system
account names :-), and the email address you'd like associated with it.
I'm not 100% sure how best to ask this, but here goes...
I own a copy of the CSRG Archives CD Set that Kirk McKusick maintained.
I bought them ages and ages ago (BTW, they are now all available on
Archive.org). I dusted them off today because I had the brilliant idea
that with my significant growth in understanding related to all things
unix and ancient unix, that I might find them interesting and useful.
They are interesting, jury's out on useful beyond being a broweasable
historical archive of individual files. One of the CD's contains a 4.4
and 4.4BSD-Lite2 folder and is labeled releases (disk 3). I opened the
4.4 folder and it appears to be a set of folders and files I would
expect to find on a release tape, but unlike a tape, which one could
mount and boot from, I have no idea if this would be usable as install
media (if you do, please let me know how).
I googled about the two releases and although the same text appears all
over the place about how Berkeley released one version, then removed
some components, then re-released, and eventually wound up at
4.4BSD-Lite2, I could not figure out whether the word release meant
sourcecode, installable media, or what. I gather a lot of this made
sense back in the early 1990's but it's all a bit muddy to me in 2017.
In trying to figure it all out, I came across a webpage talking about
2.11BSD (maintained into this decade) and another about 4.3BSD
Quasijarus (also maintained in this decade?). Both descriptions
contained the text, "It is the release of 4.4BSD-Lite, and requires the
original UNIX license" (see http://damnsmallbsd.org/pub/BSD-UNIX). My
sense of things after reading and browsing and such is that with regards
to 4.4, 4.4BSD-Lite, and 4.4BSD-Lite2, they are either not released
(4.4), encumbered and retracted (4.4BSD-Lite), or not installable
Dang, so confusing...
My interest is pretty much based on a strong desire to boot up a 4.4
system that as closely as possible maps to the one described in "The
Design and Implementation of the 4.4 BSD Operating System" that I can
experiment with as I'm going through the text. I think I understand the
version history as it is described in various places, but I just can't
figure how the last handful of versions relate to real media that is
available to enthusiasts.
Questions begging answers:
What is the last bootable and installable media, officially distributed
Is that image currently publicly accessible?
What is the closest version, that is currently available, that would
match the os described in "The Design and Implementation of the 4.4 BSD
GPG Fingerprint: 68F4 B3BD 1730 555A 4462 7D45 3EAA 5B6D A982 BAAF
Dave Horsfall reported failures for the TUHS mirror at his site.
I've just looked at our TUHS mirror in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, and
% rsync rsync://rsync.math.utah.edu
produces the expected list.
I also checked the mirror cron job logs, and found that they all look
similar for every day this year, with no indication of connection
I then checked the TUHS filesystem tree, and found only two files
created in the last month (timestamps in UTC):
-rw-rw-r-- 1 mirror mirror 99565 Oct 20 17:27 UA_Documentation/TUHS/Mail_list/2017-October.txt.gz
-rw-rw-r-- 1 mirror mirror 400419 Sep 30 17:27 UA_Documentation/TUHS/Mail_list/2017-September.txt.gz
The first of those arrived here late last night (Oct 20 23:15 MDT, Oct
21 05:15 UTC).
- Nelson H. F. Beebe Tel: +1 801 581 5254 -
- University of Utah FAX: +1 801 581 4148 -
- Department of Mathematics, 110 LCB Internet e-mail: beebe(a)math.utah.edu -
- 155 S 1400 E RM 233 beebe(a)acm.org beebe(a)computer.org -
- Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0090, USA URL: http://www.math.utah.edu/~beebe/ -
> sed *n l pathname
> The latter also has the advantage that its output is
> unambiguous, whereas the output of historical cat *etv is not.
> But mind you, in preparation of this email i found a bug in
> Busybox sed(1) which simply echoes nothing for the above.
I assume that * is a typo for - . If so, sed did just what
-n tells it to--no printing except as called for by p or P.
And speaking of sed anticipating other tools, the inclusion
of "head" in v7 as a complement to "tail" was a close call
because head is subsumed by sed q.