Alright, following up as I've received what is hopefully only the first shipment of
documents. Sadly the specific binder in the eBay pictures was not in the box...so
I've reached out to the seller to figure out where that one might have gone to, the
4BSD one was what I was interested in from their auction.
That said, what they did send me is also pretty interesting. Lots of info here, so grep
for your subject of interest if so desired.
I received nearly complete copies of the V6 and V7 manuals, including the paper sets. The
V6 manual itself appears to be complete, but the papers set is missing:
Setting Up UNIX, UNIX Assembler Reference Manual, A Tutorial Introduction to the ED
UNIX for Beginners, On the Security of UNIX, A System For Typesetting Mathematics
DC - An Interactive Desk Calculator, and BC - An Arbitrary Precision Desk Calculator
Worth mentioning, the TMG and M6 documents don't appear to be in the same typesetting
as the others, rather, they look more ROFF-ish than TROFF-ish.
As for the V7 manual, that one is a tad bit more interesting in that it does appear to be
a modified version. From the best I can tell this is a V7 with a bunch of ARPA stuff
thrown in, so it has stuff like ftp and telnet as well. The full list of non-standard
pages is here: https://pastebin.com/S38c9rtX
In this situation, non-standard meaning
visibly different typesetting, as some of those pages do represent stuff that was in V7,
but the pages in this copy are noticeably not the original Bell typeset versions.
The V7 paper set is complete as far as Bell components, but then also includes (two copies
between a couple binders) a number of extra "sections". These are:
- DATACOPY - Has programs for handling waveform and seismic data, I saw several USGS
references in disparate papers shuffled in with the non manual stuff (which I'll
mention a little further down)
- SEISMIC - Documentation for C and Fortran "Seismic" libraries, looks like
seismic data interpretation stuff.
- "Mod 1" - On MIT Lincoln Laboratory letterhead, Manual Updates from Dan
Bach to "Mod 1 Team" indicating manual updates for the "second release of
- SDP - Signal Display Package, these are analysis programs for visualizing waveform
and seismic data
- GRAPHICS - Quote, "This document describes our UNIX graphics system."
Perusing a few pages, I can't find anywhere that "our" is qualified, so
can't really say whose this is, but I think all of these are part of the same
package, their typesetting is all comparable.
So that's the manual stuff, with the most interesting thing amongst the manuals being
the USGS stuff, there's some sort of MIT involvement there, and there's some
sort of RAND involvement as well as one of the added manpages, ned(I), is a text editor
from RAND with quite a detailed manpage.
On to the "rest". In addition to some binders of UNIX manuals, the seller also
threw in a plastic wrapped bundle of miscellaneous stuff. There are a few emails
concerning VMS/UNIX performance comparisons on the VAX, with one paper coming from Bill
Joy, another from "Quam at SRI-KL", forwarded around a bit, ultimately landing
in the BBN-UNIX group at the forwarding of "Nemeth". The original text dates to
Feb 6th, 1980. Looks like the original author was David L. Kashtan at SRI International.
What's really cool is it looks like the benchmark code is present here too.
There's also a second email tacked on to the end from Steve Shafer at CMU discussing
ongoing preference for UNIX and some thoughts on how to deal with the shortcomings.
There is a conference report from a "Software Tools and UNIX Users Group"
conference at the University of Toronto, dated June 26 1979 and authored by a David M.
Phillips. The report goes on to note the various topics discussed which include UNIX V7,
much language development at Berkeley. Included are a few promotions for T-shirts, among
them the famous artwork with a PDP-11 being attended to by a series of little daemons
getting into all sorts of mischief. At the time the shirts could be purchased for $6.50
plus $0.50 shipping from "TRI-J Color Print Co" in Arlington Heights, IL. A
little further on, there's also "Adventure" T-shirts for sale, presumably
pertinent to the famous game. Described as "Has picture of dragon and related stuff.
Says something about computer gaming". Not sure if that was how it was actually
described or someone was getting tired by the end of transcription.
There are a few license agreements with Berkeley, an older one only listing a need for a
32V license and a couple later ones with text pertinent to having a V7, System III, or
System V license. The earlier license, issued June 20th, 1980, appears to be for 3BSD for
a single VAX 11/780 at MIT at a "duplication charge" of $200. Among these
various materials is also a letter from WECos Patent Licensing Director E.G. Baldwin to
Lincoln Laboratory at MIT concerning their adding a new PDP-11 to their fleet. The letter
is dated July 31, 1980, and indicates the cost to add this single "DESIGNATED
CPU" as it is termed is $9,400. Included too is the packing slip indicating the
shipment of a magnetic tape of UNIX/32V and 3 volumes of documentation. Not on the
packing slip but mentioned in an attached letter is mention of the BSTJ 1978 volume as
well, aligning with the ;login: bit I read a little while back about them shipping these
out with UNIX copies.
There are also some papers paperclipped together suggesting whoever originally held these
was working on getting a 2.9BSD license, as there is a copy of the release summary, an
order form, checklist, and two copies of the license agreement, likewise $200 dollars but
this time implying the need for a V7, System III, or System V license, not just 32V,
presumably since this is PDP not VAX. These documents are dated June 1983 at the
There is a "Guide to the UNIX Fortran System" by J.N. Rottman of Princeton,
dated September 1975. Doesn't look related to Bell Fortran efforts but I'll
admit to being a bit green on anything Fortran related. There's also a paper ROFF
manual, which is pretty cool. I wasn't aware one was actually produced, I thought
the documentation just amounted to the request summary present in the man pages.
There's a Mitre Corporation memo on a UNIX User's Group meeting October 1-3,
1976 at Harvard including a summary of discussed topics and a PWB Synopsis of Facilities.
There is also a printout of "The tmac.l Text Macro Library" along with
typesetter source to the same document and what I believe is a printout of the macro
package itself. There is a "UNIX Command Reference" that looks similar to the
content presented in both the "Command Reference" section 9 of the trade book
versions of the UNIX Programmer's Manual Seventh Edition as well as the "UNIX
Reference Guide" here
Finally there are a few non-UNIX items the seller included as well, among them is a big
stack of Motorola technical and marketing materials concerning the 68000 and some embedded
systems and the VMC 68/2 Microcomputer. There are a couple of slides that appear to be
from an iAPX 286 marketing demonstration. There is an article on "Tiny Hi" by
Martin Buchanan which appeared in Dr. Dobb's Journal of Computer Calistheincs &
Orthodontia, October 1976. Finally, there is a single amusing page amongst the lot
labeled "Newest DEC Opcodes" with opcodes such as "EIO - Execute Invalid
Opcode, LTS - Loop Til Smokes, RTP - Reduce Throughput". Seems to be the same paper
being described here: https://groups.google.com/g/alt.folklore.computers/c/kH0eKq2LRd8
Whew, marathon typing over. Lots of goodies here, if you feel a particular item warrants
a discussion thread, feel free to snip it as a quote to start a new message, otherwise
email just me if you have questions about anything in particular. Otherwise, I'm
going to be going over this all with a finer toothed comb once I get the other shipment
(which as I was typing this novel I did get confirmation is also on the way, they
didn't ship both the same day.)
- Matt G.
P.S. Sorry if the later bits are less descriptive, found out 3/4th of the way through I
have somewhere to be pretty soon.
------- Original Message -------
On Sunday, May 14th, 2023 at 11:17 AM, segaloco <segaloco(a)protonmail.com> wrote:
Hello, I've just today secured purchase of an
original 4BSD manual and papers set and a copy of what I believe is the V6 papers set as
well. Of note amongst the tabs I could read from the pictures of the Berkeley binder was a
section of fonts that I don't think I've seen before named the Berkeley Font
Catalog. I did a bit of searching around and didn't find anything matching that on
first inspection re: scanned and source-available BSD doc collections. Anyone got the
scoop on this?
Either way, once these arrive in the mail in I'll try and see what the delta might
be between these and the current sources in V6 and 4BSD stuff on the archive. They're
from the collection of an emeritus professor on the east coast, and I'm not sure if
they represent unmodified docs shipped from Bell and Berkeley or have local modifications.
In any case, his son said they'll be going through more material soon and are liable
to turn up more UNIX stuff, so I'll keep folks posted if I come into possession of
anything else particularly spiffy.
- Matt G.