I'm trying to grab some stuff from bitsavers.org. It seems to be failing to
lookup name records. I'd send mail directly to Al, but the only address I
have for him at at bitsavers.org :(
Anybody have a better contact or good back-channel to Al?
I would imagine that the user land changes made its way into 386 Mach. Although I haven't seen anything I can recall off the top of my head about 386 commits in user land until much later.
Maybe one day more of that Mt Xinu stuff will surface, although I'm still amazed I got the kernel to build.
Internet legend is that the rift was massive.
From: TUHS <tuhs-bounces(a)minnie.tuhs.org> on behalf of Larry McVoy <lm(a)mcvoy.com>
Sent: Sunday, January 19, 2020, 12:26 a.m.
To: Greg 'groggy' Lehey
Cc: UNIX Heritage Society
Subject: Re: [TUHS] Early Linux and BSD (was: On the origins of Linux - "an academic question")
On Sat, Jan 18, 2020 at 03:19:13PM +1100, Greg 'groggy' Lehey wrote:
> On Friday, 17 January 2020 at 22:50:51 -0500, Theodore Y. Ts'o wrote:
> > In the super-early days (late 1991, early 1992), those of us who
> > worked on it just wanted a "something Unix-like" that we could run at
> > home (my first computer was a 40 MHz 386 with 16 MB of memory). This
> > was before the AT&T/BSD Lawsuit (which was in 1992) and while Jolitz
> > may have been demonstrating 386BSD in private, I was certainly never
> > aware of it
> At the start of this time, Bill was working for BSDI, who were
> preparing a commercial product that (in March 1992) became BSD/386.
Wikipedia says he was working on 386BSD as early has 1989 and that
clicks with me (Jolitz worked for me around 1992 or 3). I don't
remember him mentioning working at BSDI, are you sure about that
part? Those guys did not like each other at all.
Ted Ts'o mentioned Bruce Evans in a reply to "On the origins of
Linux". I'm really sorry to have to announce that he died last month.
His family is holding a "small farewell gathering" in Sydney in late
February. To quote his sister Julie Saravanos:
We would be pleased if you, or any other BSD/computer friend, came
There's no date yet, and I don't think it's appropriate to broadcast
details. If anybody is interested, please contact Warren or me.
Sent from my desktop computer.
Finger grog(a)lemis.com for PGP public key.
See complete headers for address and phone numbers.
This message is digitally signed. If your Microsoft mail program
reports problems, please read http://lemis.com/broken-MUA
Of all those CSV repositories, geocities sites and yahoo groups are any indicator, it's going to be up to people to put the past onto plastic and get it out there.
If anything right now the utzoo archives along with people posting source and patches to usenet survived...
Not to mention all those shovel ware CD-ROMs from the 90s that ironically preserved so much early free software and other gems of the pre Linux/NT world.
Github will eventually be shuttered like anything else and all that will remain is dead links.. It really needs to be distributed by nature, but then you have people using Github as cloud storage of all things.
I don't think the CSRG CD's were hot sellers, and I couldn't imagine getting utzoo or TUHS pressed... Although maybe it's something to look at.
It might be interesting. From: TUHS <tuhs-bounces(a)minnie.tuhs.org> on behalf of Lars Brinkhoff <lars(a)nocrew.org>
Sent: Friday, January 17, 2020, 2:47 p.m.
To: Warren Toomey
Subject: Re: [TUHS] History of TUHS
Warren Toomey wrote:
> Heh, I hadn't thought that TUHS itself should now be considered
I often imagine future historians 100 years from now pouring over
mailing list archives and bitrotted GitHub repositories, including those
that contain historical research. Metahistory maybe?
Hello people in the future! How's the singularity treating you?
Sorry about the climate.
Is there a history of TUHS page I've missed?
When was it formed? Was it an outgrowth of PUPS? etc.
Again, I'm working on a talk and would like to include some of this
information and it made me think that the history of the historians should
be documented too.
TL; DR. I'm trying to find the best possible home for some dead trees.
I have about a foot-high stack of manilla folders containing "early Unix papers". They have been boxed up for a few decades, but appear to be in perfect condition. I inherited this collection from Jim Joyce, who taught the first Unix course at UC Berkeley and went on to run a series of ventures in Unix-related bookselling, instruction, publishing, etc.
The collection has been boxed up for a few decades, but appears to be in perfect condition. I don't think it has much financial value, but I suspect that some of the papers may have historical significance. Indeed, some of them may not be available in any other form, so they definitely should be scanned in and republished.
I also have a variety of newer materials, including full sets of BSD manuals, SunExpert and Unix Review issues, along with a lot of books and course handouts and maybe a SUGtape or two. I'd like to donate these materials to an institution that will take care of them, make them available to interested parties, etc. Here are some suggested recipients:
- The Computer History Museum (Mountain View, CA, USA)
- The Internet Archive (San Francisco, CA, USA)
- The Living Computers Museum (Seattle, WA, USA)
- The UC Berkeley Library (Berkeley, CA, USA)
- The Unix Heritage Association (Australia?)
- The USENIX Association (Berkeley, CA, USA)
According to Warren Toomey, TUHS probably isn't the best possibility. The Good News about most of the others is that I can get materials to them in the back of my car. However, I may be overlooking some better possibility, so I am following Warren's suggestion and asking here. I'm open to any suggestions that have a convincing rationale.
Now, open for suggestions (ducks)...
I just found out about TUHS today; I plan to skim the archives RSN to get some context. Meanwhile, this note is a somewhat long-winded introduction, followed by a (non-monetary) sales pitch. I think some of the introduction may be interesting and/or relevant to the pitch, but YMMV...
In 1970, I was introduced to programming by a cabal of social science professors at SF State College. They had set up a lab space with a few IBM 2741 (I/O Selectric) terminals, connected by dedicated lines to Stanford's Wylbur system. I managed to wangle a spot as a student assistant and never looked back. I also played a tiny bit with a PDP-12 in a bio lab and ran one (1) program on SFSC's "production system", an IBM 1620 Mark II (yep; it's a computer...).
While a student, I actually got paid to work with a CDC 3150, a DEC PDP-15, and (once) on an IBM 360/30. After that, I had some Real Jobs: assembler on a Varian 620i and a PDP-11, COBOL on an IBM mainframe, Fortran on assorted CDC and assorted DEC machines, etc.
By the late 80's, my personal computers were a pair of aging LSI-11's, running RT-11. At work (Naval Research Lab, in DC), I was mostly using TOPS-10 and Vax/VMS. I wanted to upgrade my home system and knew that I wanted all the cool stuff: a bit-mapped screen, multiprocessing, virtual memory, etc.
There was no way I could afford to buy this sort of setup from DEC, but my friend Jim Joyce had been telling me about Unix for a few years, so I attended the Boston USENIX in 1982 (sharing a cheap hotel room with Dick Karpinski :-) and wandered around looking at the workstation offerings. I made a bet on Sun (buying stock would have been far more lucrative, but also more risky and less fun) and ended up buying Sun #285 from John Gage.
At one point, John was wandering around Sun, asking for a slogan that Sun could use on a conference button to indicate how they differed from the competition. I suggested "The Joy of Unix", which he immediately adopted. This decision wasn't totally appreciated by some USENIX attendees from Murray Hill, who printed up (using troff, one presumes) and wore individualized paper badges proclaiming themselves as "The <whatever> of Unix". Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery... (bows)
IIRC, I received my Sun-1 late in a week (of course :-), but managed to set it up with fairly little pain. I got some help on the weekend from someone named Bill, who happened to be in the office on the weekend ... seemed quite competent ... I ran for a position on the Sun User Group board, saying that I would try to protect the interests of the "smaller" users. I think I was able to do some good in that position, not least because I was able to get John Gilmore and the Sun lawyers to agree on a legal notice, edit some SUGtapes, etc.
Later on, I morphed this effort into Prime Time Freeware, which produced book/CD collections of what is now called Open Source software. Back when there were trade magazines, I also wrote a few hundred articles for Unix Review, SunExpert, etc. Of course, I continue to play (happily) with computers...
If you waded through all of that introduction, you'll have figured out that I'm a big fan of making libre software more available, usable, etc. This actually leads into Perkify, one of my current projects. Perkify is (at heart) a blind-friendly virtual machine, based on Ubuntu, Vagrant, and VirtualBox. As you might expect, it has a strong emphasis on text-based programs, which Unix (and Linux) have in large quantities.
However, Perkify's charter has expanded quite a bit. At some point, I realized that (within limits) there was very little point to worrying about how big the Vagrant "box" became. After all, a couple of dozen GB of storage is no longer an issue, and having a big VM on the disk (or even running) doesn't slow anything down. So, the current distro weighs in at about 10 GB and 4,000 or so APT packages (mostly brought in as dependencies or recommendations). Think of it as "a well-equipped workshop, just down the hall". For details, see:
I note that assorted folks on this list are trying to dig up copies of Ken's Space Travel program. Amusingly, I was making the same search just the other day. However, finding software that can be made to run on Ubuntu is only part of the challenge I face; I also need to come up APT (or whatever) packages that Just Work when I add them to the distribution.
So, here's the pitch. Help me (and others) to create packages for use in Perkify and other Debian-derived distros. The result will be software that has reliable repos, distribution, etc. It may also help the code to live on after you and I are no longer able (or simply interested enough) to keep it going.