[TUHS] Unix Circuit Design System [and FOSS]

Clem Cole clemc at ccc.com
Sun Jan 3 07:30:41 AEST 2016

You are absolutely correct, they sharing culture was around throughout the
50s and 60s.  In fact the IBM "DECUS" equivalent was (is) called Share.
When I say, dop really was creating the idea of  FOSS, it was different
from the sharing that had occurred previously.

Lots of places, such as my own undergraduate institution - CMU and other
places like MIT and Standard, were notorious for "selling" its research.
Pederson had a real epiphany with his "industrial liaison program."  He
wanted ERL  to "know" what was going on in the "real world."   He very much
felt that cost of fabrication machines were prohibitive for a research team
and yet he wanted to be able to work those that had them.  So his idea was,
he would supply the students, and code - free - and then get back room
access.  In fact if you look at my thesis, you will see reference to a
"proprietary digital circuit."   I knew what it was, but was not allowed to
identify it at the time (its the ALU from the Vax 750 -- a very, very cute

ERL had a lot of things like that that most companies guarded.  But dop and
newton were trusted.   It was once said, there was not a secret in Silicon
Valley that Richard or Don did not know.  They were consulting for all the
majors players.

As an example, BTL was researching the FET, came up with the first model
for it.   What was the first program to have that model in it?  Ellis put
it in SPICE2 for the Bell guys.   Same with the MESFET which Tom added for
Tektronix at one point that I remember.

Anyway, the idea really was more than just what SHARE, DECUS or even the
shared code from places like CERN, LANL et al.


On Sat, Jan 2, 2016 at 1:35 PM, Nelson H. F. Beebe <beebe at math.utah.edu>

> Clem cole <clemc at ccc.com> writes on Thu, 31 Dec 2015 23:04:04 -0500
> about SPICE:
> >> ...
> >> Anyway SPICE1 was actually started in the late 1960's by dop [Don
> >> Pederson]. Ellis Cohen wrote SPICE2 for the CDC 6400 in the mid 70's,
> >> added some new device models and created really novel bit of self
> >> modifying Fortran the compiled the inner loop.
> >>
> >> You are correct it was really the first widely available FOSS code -
> >> an idea that you correctly note dop created.
> >> ...
> SPICE wasn't the only such package, or even the earliest!  Still, I'll
> be grateful to list readers for pointers off-list (or on) to early
> publications about SPICE that I can add to the bibliography archives.
> The EISPACK system, which predated LINPACK, and both of which led to
> the current LAPACK, and descendants like CLAPACK and ScaLAPACK, has an
> older vintage.  It began with Algol routines published in the
> German/English journal Numerische Mathematik
>         http://www.math.utah.edu/pub/tex/bib/nummath.bib
>         http://www.math.utah.edu/pub/tex/bib/nummath2000.bib
>         http://www.math.utah.edu/pub/tex/bib/nummath2010.bib
> [change .bib to .html for a similar view with live hyperlinks]
> The first such routine may have been that in entry Martin:1965:SDPa in
> nummath.bib, which appeared in Num. Math. 79(5) 355--361 (October
> 1965) doi:10.1007/BF01436248.  That journal did not then record
> "received" dates, so the best that I can do for now is to claim
> "October 1965" as the start of published code for free and open source
> software in the area of numerical analysis.
> Publication of related algorithms continued for 6 years, and then they
> were collected in the famous HACLA (Handbook for Automatic
> Computation: Linear Algebra) volume in 1971 (ISBN 0-387-05414-6).
> Because Algol was little used in the USA, a project was begun in that
> country to translate the Algol code to Fortran.  That project was
> called NATS, which originally stood for the groups at (read their
> names vertically)
>         Northwestern University
>         Argonne National Laboratory
>         Texas, University of (at Austin)
>         Stanford
> but as more groups joined in the effort, and EISPACK begat LINPACK,
> NATS was changed to mean National Activity to Test Software.
> The EISPACK book appeared in two editions in 1976 (ISBN 0-387-06710-8)
> and 1977 (0-387-08254-9), volumes 6 and 51, respectively of Springer's
> Lecture Notes in Computer Science (now around 9000 published volumes).
> The LINPACK book appeared in 1979 (ISBN 0-89871-172-X).
> The LAPACK book has three editions, in 1992 (ISBN 0-89871-294-7), 1995
> (ISBN 0-89871-345-5), and 1999 (ISBN 0-89871-447-8).  In between them,
> the ScaLAPACK book appeared in 1997 (ISBN 0-89871-400-1).
> There were several other packages described in the 1984 book
>         Sources and Development of Mathematical Software
>         ISBN 0-13-823501-5
> (entry Cowell:1984:SDM), including FUNPACK, MINPACK, IMSL, SLATEC,
> Boeing, AT&T PORT, and NAG.  Some are free, and others are commercial.
> The Algol code from Numerische Mathematik, like the ACM Collected
> Algorithms, the Applied Statistics algorithms, and the Transactions on
> Mathematical Software algorithms, was intended to be freely available
> to anyone for any purpose, and no license of any kind was claimed for
> it.  That tradition continues with all of its descendants in the *PACK
> family.
> I have old archives of source code for EISPACK and LINPACK, but
> comment documentation in EISPACK does not include revision dates, just
> references to page numbers in the HACLA volume from 1971, and rarely,
> to journal articles from 1968, 1970 and 1973.  My filesystem dates,
> alas, only reflect the copying from distribution tape to disk, and my
> oldest file date for EISPACK is 20-Apr-1981.
> The LINPACK comments appear be almost entirely without dates: I found
> only one:
>         snrm2.for:11:C           C.L.LAWSON, 1978 JAN 08
> The bibliography on the GNU Project at
>         http://www.math.utah.edu/pub/tex/bib/gnu.bib
> records most of the books mentioned above, and it also contains as its
> first entry, Galler:1960:LEC, a letter published in the April 1960
> issue of Communications of the ACM from Bernie Galler, with this
> field:
>   remark =       "From the letter: ``\ldots{} it is clear that what is
>                  being charged for is the development of the program,
>                  and while I am particularly unhappy that it comes from
>                  a university, I believe it is damaging to the whole
>                  profession. There isn't a 704 installation that hasn't
>                  directly benefited from the free exchange of programs
>                  made possible by the distribution facilities of
>                  SHARE. If we start to sell our programs, this will set
>                  very undesirable precedents.''",
> That is so far the earliest reference that I have found for the notion
> that software should be free, long before Richard Stallman, Eric
> Raymond, Linus Torvalds, and others became such well-known proponents
> of that idea, and we had large and profitable companies like Red Hat
> and SUSE devoted to supporting, for a fee, such software.
> I was a graduate student in quantum chemistry at the Quantum Theory
> Project (QTP) at the University of Florida in Gainesville in the late
> 1960s and early 1970s, and we had a general practice of sharing of
> code among various university research groups, most notably through
> the Quantum Chemistry Program Exchange (QCPE) hosted at the University
> of Indiana in Bloomington, IN.
> A search through my bibliography archives found my earliest recording,
> a 6-Apr-1971 publication (by me), with mention of QCPE.  Library
> searches found a catalog entry for QCPE Catalog volume 19 (1987), so
> perhaps volume 1 appeared in 1968.  But no --- I just found in its
> home institution's library catalog
> http://www.iucat.iu.edu/?utf8=%E2%9C%93&search_field=all_fields&q=QCPE&highlight=n
> an entry dated 1963, with details
>         Publishing history: 1 (Apr. 1963)- Ceased with 71 (Nov. 1980).
> Other widely-distributed programs of that time included Enrico
> Clementi's IBM Research group's IBMOL (about 1965), and others named
> MOLECULE (pre-1975), POLYATOM (1963), and Gaussian (1970).
> The POLYATOM year appears to be the earliest of those: see the paper
> by Michael Barnett at
>         http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/RevModPhys.35.571
> It appears in a July 1963 journal issue, again without a "received"
> date.  It begins:
>         A system of programs is being written by Dr.  Malcolm
>         C. Harrison, Dr. Jules W. Moskowitz, Dr. Brian T. Sutcliffe,
>         D. E. Ellis, and R. S. Pitzer, to perform nonempirical
>         calculations for small molecules.
> I have met, or been in the same group as (Don Ellis), most of those,
> and it is worth noting their affiliations to emphasize the broad
> character of that work:
>         Malcolm         Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New
> York University, NY
>         Jules           New York University, NY
>         Brian           York University, York, UK
>         Don             University of Florida (later, Northwestern
> University)
>         Russ            Harvard, Cambridge, MA (later, Ohio State
> University)
>         Michael         MIT, Cambridge, MA and various UK sites in
> academia and industry
>                         (see
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_P._Barnett)
> On the subject of the Gaussian program, developed at Carnegie-Mellon
> University, see the two sites
>         https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaussian_%28software%29
>         http://www.bannedbygaussian.org/
> The second decries the loss of openness of Gaussian, which remains a
> widely-used commercial product.
> There is also a book on the subject of mathematics whose use is
> encumbered by patents and copyrights:
>         Ben Klemens
>         Ma$+$h you can't use: patents, copyright, and software
>         ISBN 0-8157-4942-2
> (entry Klemens:2006:MYC in http://www.math.utah.edu/pub/tex/bib/master.bib
> )
> ----------------------------------------
> P.S. A final sad personal note on computing history:
> When our DEC-20/60 (Arpanet node UTAH-SCIENCE, later science.utah.edu
> and still later, math.utah.edu) was retired on 31-Oct-1990 (its
> predecessor, a DEC-20/40 began operating in March 1978) we were faced
> with several cabinets full of 9-track tapes (about 25MB each), several
> RP06 (200MB) removable disks (for a picture and description, see
>          http://www.columbia.edu/cu/computinghistory/rp06.html
> ) and the contents of three washing-machine sized RP07 (600MB) disks,
> and were moving to a new machine room in an adjacent building.
> We were able to copy over the RP0[67] disk contents, and I still have
> them online on my desktop, but the tapes were financially infeasible
> for us to copy to disk on the new VAX 8600 server, and we were leaving
> 9-track tape technology behind.  There were probably 500 to 1000 of
> those tapes, and all that we could do was fill a dumpster with them,
> because we had no place to store the physical volumes at the new site,
> and no money for their bits.  I have deeply regretted that loss of 25
> years of my, and our, early computing history ever since.
> Computers were for far too long crippled by too little memory and too
> little permanent storage, and only post-2000 has that situation been
> alleviated with radical reductions in storage costs per byte of data.
> My new desktop 8TB drive is 3.6 million times cheaper per byte than an
> RP06 drive was.  Had we been able to foresee that dramatic growth in
> capacity, we could have archived those tapes in an off-campus
> warehouse for later (attempted) data retrieval.
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> P.P.S. Besides VAX VMS, our migration path from TOPS-20 was primarily
> to Unix, first on the Wollongong distribution of BSD (3.x, I think)
> running on VAX 750 machines in the early 1980s, then on Sun 3
> MC68000-based workstations in 1988 that ultimately evolved to an
> eclectic mixture of CPUs and vendors.  My software test lab now has
> about 70 flavors of Unix on assorted physical and virtual machines,
> with ARM, MIPS, PowerPC, SPARC, x86, and x86-64 processors.  Our last
> DEC Alpha CPU died with its power supply 16 months ago, and a
> colleague still has a runnable MC68020 box (an old NeXT desktop).
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> - Nelson H. F. Beebe                    Tel: +1 801 581 5254
>     -
> - University of Utah                    FAX: +1 801 581 4148
>     -
> - Department of Mathematics, 110 LCB    Internet e-mail:
> beebe at math.utah.edu  -
> - 155 S 1400 E RM 233                       beebe at acm.org
> beebe at computer.org -
> - Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0090, USA    URL:
> http://www.math.utah.edu/~beebe/ -
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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