200(0) Ancient UNIX Licenses

Tim Shoppa SHOPPA at trailing-edge.com
Wed Jan 5 23:23:18 AEST 2000

Greg wrote:
>On Tuesday,  4 January 2000 at  7:08:51 -0500, norman at nose.cita.utoronto.ca wrote:
>> Warren's note reminds me of a few other Y2K bugs I've spotted that affect
>> ancient UNIX:
>> - date: no way to set the date past 1999 unless in the present year,
>> because two-digit input.
>I didn't have any problem with 2.11BSD.  I just supplied 00 for the
>year.  Which release were you using?

That's because I did the fix for 2.11BSD back when I was Y2K-ing all
my PDP-11 sources a few years ago, and Steven incorporated it into the
distribution.  The fix was quick and dirty, but works fine because
Unix effectively has an expiration date of 2038 when the signed 32-bit time
word goes negative, so it's easy enough to window the centuries.

This brings up a question: should fixes (and I mean fundamental fixes
like Y2K ones) be incorporated back into the boot images in the archive, or
should they be left in their "pristine" state?  (Yes, i know, some of
those boot images aren't quite so pristine.)

As long as we're on the topic, which versions of Unix had the C
compiler recognize when it was recompiling the kernel and put a back
door in for the developers?  And of course the C compiler recognized
when it was recompiling itself and made sure that the this recognition
code was also inserted.  As I understand it, the distributed sources
never had this security hole in them, only the binaries, but of course
the binaries self-perpetuated the security hole even if you recompiled them.

 Tim Shoppa                        Email: shoppa at trailing-edge.com
 Trailing Edge Technology          WWW:   http://www.trailing-edge.com/
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