We (at the Labs outside of 11127) were definitely forced to use the 3B series, despite its unbelievable lack of documentation (and floating point, for the 3B20s). Having to eat your own dog food doesn't make it palatable, it just prevents you from doing something worthwhile, and dislike those who prepare the menu. I'd be happy to apologize, if the 3Bs had proved their worth.

On Mon, Aug 27, 2018 at 1:33 PM, Clem Cole <clemc@ccc.com> wrote:

On Mon, Aug 27, 2018 at 12:04 PM Mary Ann Horton <mah@mhorton.net> wrote:

Inside AT&T (but outside research) there was considerable pressure to use AT&T products (3B, System V, BLIT/5620, Datakit) rather than the externally developing Sun/Ethernet/TCP suite, especially in the mid-late 1980s.  We all (mostly) hated them and wanted Suns, but we were told "eat your own dog food." 

That was always my impression.     IIRC Mt. Xinu made a poster (and Kolstad made a series of buttons) stating "4.2 > V"  I remember somebody (ber probably) had it hanging in Whippany and certain supervisors were not amsussed.

The 3B20 and 3B5 were awful, but the 3B2 had potential. 

It was not so much they we awful IMO, is that they were nothing special - too little too late.   The 3B20 (the only computer I even knew with a 'pull starter'), was basically a 1MIP 780 and took the same resources (machine room, multiple 19" cabinets, etc); when a 68020 based Masscomp, Apollo or Sun was at 4-5 MIPS and fit under your desk.   As I said, fighting the last war.

The 3B2 got the size and performance more inline, but the SW was still behind and by them it was arguable if a BLIT over a serial line could compete with the builtin graphics.   For the former, did the 3B2 only run SRV3 and SRV4?   The others ran SVR0-2 which was not even close to BSD.  By SVR3 the OS finally got better.    BILT had some great stuff, but I think the shear volume of programmers using X-Windows, particularly once it ran on super cheap HW (i.e. Wintel based) it was tough.


Once we got a working TCP/IP network in Bell Labs the tide turned in favor of Suns

Although by the time of its release, the default system for
SRV4 was Wintel.