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.)
I looking for the source code to the Maitre'd load balancer. It is
used to run jobs on lightly used machines. It was developed by Brian
Berhard at Berkeley's Computer Systems Support Group. I have the
technical report for it (dated 17-dec-1985). But haven't run across the
I've been fixing and enhancing James Youngman's git-sccsimport to use
with some of my SCCS archives, and I thought it might be the ultimate
stress test of it to convert the CSRG BSD SCCS archives.
The conversion takes about an hour to run on my old-ish Dell server.
This conversion is unlike others -- there is some mechanical compression
of related deltas into a single Git commit.
Greg A. Woods <gwoods(a)acm.org>
Kelowna, BC +1 250 762-7675 RoboHack <woods(a)robohack.ca>
Planix, Inc. <woods(a)planix.com> Avoncote Farms <woods(a)avoncote.ca>
We lost J.F. Ossanna on this day in 1977; he had a hand in developing Unix, and
was responsible for "roff" and its descendants. Remember him, the next time
you see "jfo" in Unix documentation.
He also accomplished a lot more, too much to summarise here.
We retired gets from Research UNIX back in 1984 or perhaps
earlier, with no serious pain because replacing it wasn't
hard and everybody agreed with the reason.
I'm glad to hear some part of the rest of the world is
We also decided to retire the old Enigma-derived crypt(1),
except we didn't want to throw it out entirely in case
someone had an old encrypted file and wanted the contents
back. So it was removed from the manual and the binary
moved to /usr/games.
Seen in the FreeBSD Quarterly Report:
Contact: Ed Maste <emaste(a)FreeBSD.org>
gets is an obsolete C library routine for reading a string from
standard input. It was removed from the C standard as of C11 because
there was no way to use it safely. Prompted by a comment during Paul
Vixie's talk at vBSDCon 2017 I started investigating what it would take
to remove gets from libc.
The patch was posted to Phabricator and refined several times, and the
portmgr team performed several exp-runs to identify ports broken by the
removal. Symbol versioning is used to preserve binary compatibility for
existing software that uses gets.
The change was committed in September, and will be in FreeBSD 13.0.
This project was sponsored by The FreeBSD Foundation.
And the world is a slightly safer place...
I'm looking for a reference to any Unix ports where the kernel ran in
a non-paged address space and user mode was paged. I could swear this
was done at some point, and memory says it was on a soft-TLB system
like the MIPS, to avoid TLB pollution and TLB fault overhead.
But maybe I'm nuts. I am happy to hear either answer.
I had a hand-held degausser, but lent it to someone years ago
and never got it back.
It was actually Exabyte that made me buy it. I bought a new
8505 through a reseller to supersede the 8200 I was using for
home backups. It turned out the 8505's firmware refused to
overwrite a tape already written at any but the highest density,
so I couldn't reuse any of my existing backup tapes. Exabyte
insisted it was a feature, not a bug. So I gave up and bought
a degausser so I could turn a used tape into a blank tape so
the damn tape drive would write on it.
For further vintage-computing amusement: I decided to buy at
that time because the reseller had arranged a deal with Exabyte:
trade in any old tape drive, working or not, and get a couple of
hundred bucks off on a brand-new 8505. So I gave the reseller
an old, broken TK05 I had lying around. My sales contact for
the reseller was a former service tech at the same company, so
I figured (correctly) he'd get the joke.
Snotty remarks aside, I have a couple of Exabyte drives in my
home world. They haven't been used for a long time, but when
they were (for some years I used them as a regular backup device)
they worked just fine.
I've pinged the guy.