FYI. I sent this to one of the lead DOC people from the old days to see if she knew. Here is her answer.
Begin forwarded message:
> From: "Janet Egan"
> Date: October 11, 2019 at 7:53:16 PM EDT
> To: "'Clem Cole'"
> Subject: RE: Curious Question from the Ether about use of Upper and Lower case at DEC
> Hi Clem,
> Hmm, I don’t remember whether the style guide addressed that. In the docs for RSX-11M and such I always wrote it “PDP-11”, that is upper case with the dash. I do remember the logo on the machine as always lower case with no dash. The PDP-8 had the same style logo. And you’re right about seeing the lower case on the cover of the handbooks. I have never seen the lower case with the dash or the upper case without it. I don’t think I still have my copy of the style guide. Maybe I’ll take a look around my archives for it.
> What a fun question to be thinking about .
> From: Clem Cole
> Sent: Friday, October 11, 2019 9:47 AM
> To: Janet Egan
> Subject: Curious Question from the Ether about use of Upper and Lower case at DEC
> I'm part of The Unix Historical Society (TUHS) mailing list and a topic came up that I thought you might be able to shed some light on. The observation was that 'DEC seemed to have a schizophrenic attitude to wrt to use of upper and lower case WRT to the PDP-11 brand,' i.e. sometimes using "PDP-11" and sometimes "pdp11" (but I note rarely if ever PDP11 or pdp-11) . For instance, the logo on the system itself was all lower: PDP-11/40 but DEC documentation mostly used uppercase in the text; but when used on the places like the cover could be either e.g. the "pdp11 peripherals handbook" to transcribe the cover exactly but it uses upper case "PDP-11" several times on pg 1-1 and the same on the binding. But I could not find examples of pdp-11 or PDP11, i.e. if all lower it was with the dash or all upper without.
> Do you remember if there were rules or guidelines and if so what they might have been?
I was reminded of this by Larry's comment:
> I miss Brian on this list. I've interacted with him over the years, the
> one I remember the most was I was trying to do an awk like interface to a
> key/value "database".
Recently I've had to deal with a lot of data in CSV
(comma-separated-value) format. Awk is *almost* prefect for this, but
of course doesn't handle the quoting of fields that contain commas.
One can usually work around it by finding a character that doesn't
occur in the data and converting the CSV file to use that as the
separator, but it's not ideal.
Awk's input could easily be modified to handle CSV files, but output
would be a bit more difficult, because you don't specify field
boundaries explicitly on output. One possibility would be a printf()
format specifier that takes a field and quotes it appropriately.
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> From: Arnold Skeeve
> K&R was so dense that my head was swimming after the first read.
I learned C from "Programming in C - A Tutorial", by Brian Kernighan, which
for some reason seemed to have fallen into desuetude from V7 on (at least,
that was the impression I got). Which was a pity, it was one of the best
documents I ever read - a breeze to read through, and clear as crystal.
Not sure I had an "aha erlebnis" with UNIX. I'd done some testing on a
Philips PTS6000 with T.O.S. All assembler code with debugging syslod
the most fun (breakpointing code which moves itself in memory). Then I
was a user on VAX 11/730, 11/750 with Ultrix which was a bit of a step
down. The VAXes run VMS during the week and only in weekends we could
place our disk pack and boot Ultrix. Funny feeling to go home when
colleagues arrive in the morning.
Later "Propriety UNIX" versions based on System III, 7, V. No source.
Still had shells, command line, scripts, a bit of programming in C if
all else fails (or is too slow). Never liked Windows. In that sense
maybe more an 'aha windows' moment to quickly forget :-)
Well, I guess mine is kinda weird. I had messed with a number of
computer systems a litle bit and then became proficient with 516-TSS
as a result of being part of the explorer scout post at BTL Murray
Hill in high school. Interesting note is that one of my advisors
who wrote a lot of 516-TSS interviewed Ken for his job at BTL.
Ended up with a paid job at BTL starting near the end of my senior
year of high school. Needed to document my work. Don't remember
why, but my group acquired a PDP-11/40 that was across the hall
from the 516 lab in building 2 that was running UNIX version 3.
I started using roff on it to do my documentation which meant
learning ed and a bunch of other tools. Of course, I took the
manual home and read it cover to cover and started messing around
with the various cool tools that it had and was hooked.
> From: Tony Travis
> It's always puzzled me when everyone talks about [the] PDP11 when, in
> fact, is says "pdp11" on the system itself:
DEC documentation mostly used uppercase in the text; e.g. the "pdp11
peripherals handbook" (to transcribe the cover exactly) uses "PDP-11"
several times on pg 1-1.
> From: Warren Toomey
> What was your "ahah" moment when you first saw that Unix was special,
> especially compared to the systems you'd previously used?
Sometime in my undergrad sophmore year, IIRC. A friend had a undergrad
research thing with DSSR, who I think at that point had the first UNIX at
MIT. He showed me the system, and wrote a tiny command in C, compiled it, and
executed the binary from the shell.
No big deal, right? Well, at that point ('75 or so), the only OS's I had used
were RSTS-11, a batch system running on an Interdata (programs were submitted
on card decks), the DELPHI system (done by the people in DSSR), and a few
similar things. I had never used a system where an ordinary user could 'add' a
command to the command interpreter, and was blown away. (At that point in
time, not many OS's could do that.)
Unix was in a whole different world compared to contemporaneous PDP-11
OS's. It felt like a 'mainframe' OS (background jobs, etc), but on a mini.
For a contrast in aha moments, consider this introduction to
an early Apple (Apple II, I think).
When my wife got one, my natural curiosity led me to try to
make "Hello world".
I asked her what to use as an editor and learned it all depends
on what you're editing.
So I looked in the manual. First thing you do to make a C program
is to set up a "project", as if it was a corporate undertaking.
I found it easier to write a program in some other editor than
the one for C. Bad idea. Every file had a type and that editor
produced files of some type other than C program.
After succumbing to the Apple straitjacket, I succeeded.
Then I found "Hello world" given as an example in the manual.
The code took up almost a page; real men make programs that
set up their own windows.
Aha, Apple! Not intended for programmers.
And that didn't change until OS X.