[pups] Two matters, two questions

Bill Gunshannon bill at cs.uofs.edu
Thu May 10 23:13:13 AEST 2007

> I've just finished reading Peter Salus' "A Quarter Century of Unix", and
> this
> time round, I was brought up short by the comments on Prime, Primos and
> The
> Software Tools.
> Has anyone done a simulator/emulator of the Prime?  (I must confess, a
> hardware architecture that's described as a cross between a GE-645 and the
> Intel 80286, not only intrigues me, it also makes my toes curl. ;)

Yes, take a look at the past couple of months in comp.sys.prime.
There is an emulator running on, pf all things, a Sony Playstation 3.
Apparently it is running a pretty complete version of Primos.
telnet to prirun.dyndns.org
(Note:  I have not had the time to actually try it yet myslef but
others seem to be having fun with it.)

> Has anyone attempted to get a copy of PrimOS for such a
> simulator/emulator?
> And if one was to attempt such a feat, where would one go?

See the discussion mentioned above.  There are, apparently, a
lot of copies floating around.  I used to have one but gave it
to someone who still works extensively maintaining Primes as
I figured he had more use of it.  I also gave him my last Prime
from my private computer collection.

> And Spafford says, commenting on Prime's version of Software Tools, that
> the
> final release was into the public domain.  Is it still extant?  Has anyone
> seen hair or hide of the creature?

If what youe mean is "The Software Tools Virtual Operating System" as
opposed to the source from the Kernighan & Plauger book, I have been
looking for over two years for any copy of it.  I have even been in
contact with Deborah K. Scherrer who was one of the originators of the
project and a co-author of the paper from Communications of the ACM.
No luck.  It is like every copy has been lost even though there were
thousands of copies for over 50 different systems.  (not unlike my
search for Tiny Pascal sources, which also seem to have been lost
except for printed copies in the few remaining copies of The Byte
Book of Pascal, but that's another story.)


Bill Gunshannon          |  de-moc-ra-cy (di mok' ra see) n.  Three wolves
bill at cs.scranton.edu     |  and a sheep voting on what's for dinner.
University of Scranton   |
Scranton, Pennsylvania   |         #include <std.disclaimer.h>

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