That so sounds like Dennis! I can add a couple of other things
about Dennis, outside of work.
A group of us used to go into New York from time to time to take in a
concert, and Dennis was often one of the group. One time in the
dead of winter, we went to an Early Music concert in a cold drafty
church in winter--it was part of a series called "Music before
1620". The musicians were almost unable to get their instruments
to stay in tune, and the whole thing was kind of train wreck. On
the way back, Dennis said "It's clear that pitch was invented sometime
On another occasion, we found ourselves in Brooklyn having blintzes
outside on picnic tables. My 4-year-old son was with us. My wife
was telling people how my son was starting to ask questions about
sex. My son, hearing his name, said "What's sex?". Dennis said
A work-related anecdote. There was a manager in USG who managed to
get on the nerves of many of us in Research. One day we came in to
discover that he had been promoted and took a job in Japan. We
were discussing this at lunch, and someone said "Why Japan?".
Dennis said "They haven't opened their office on the moon yet."
PS: I certainly remember the belt buckle quip. That chip was so
big that they could not finish the test patterns before the chip came
back. So they generated random tests and compared the results
until they found two that were the same. They concluded that these
two chips were fabricated correctly, and went on from there. The
chip had a number of flaws, and we scrambled to fix them in
software. One was that the branch instruction garbled the last 4
bits of the branch target. So one of the guys hacked the assembler
to make every label the center of a "target" of 32 NOP instructions.
We were able to get the chip to run, and even run an asteroid
game.... The guy to made the fix put up a sign outside of his office
that said "BellMac chips fixed while U wait." The same VP was
rather PO'd about this as well...
----- Original Message -----
From: "ches(a)Cheswick.com" <ches(a)cheswick.com>
To:"Warren Toomey" <wkt(a)tuhs.org>
Sent:Fri, 29 Jun 2018 06:53:02 -0400
Subject:Re: [TUHS] Any Good dmr Anecdotes?
Dennis, do you have any recommendations on good books to use the
I don’t know, I never had to learn C. -dmr
Message by ches. Tappos by iPad.
On Jun 29, 2018, at 3:53 AM, Warren Toomey
We do have ken on the list, so I won't be presumptious to ask for
anecdotes, but would anybody like to share some dmr
I never met Dennis in person, but he was generous with his time
interest in Unix history; and also with sharing the
Dennis was very clever, though. He would bring out a new artifact
well, here's what I still have of X. Pity it will
I'm sure he knew that I would take that as a challenge. Mind you,
which is why we now have the first Unix kernel in C,
the first two C compilers, in executable format.
Any other good anecdotes?