[TUHS] long lived programs

Doug McIlroy doug at cs.dartmouth.edu
Sat Apr 7 08:33:17 AEST 2018

> Shortly after I arrived, the comp center announced a
brand-new feature -- permanent disc storage!  (actually, I think it
was a drum...)

Irrelevant to the story (or Unix), but it was indeed a disc drive--much
more storage per unit volume than drums, which date to the 1940s, if
not before. Exact opposite of current technology: super heavy and
rigid combs banged in and out of the disk stack. The washing-machine
sized machine could be driven to walk across the floor. It would not
be nice to be caught in its path. (Fortunately ordinary work loads
did not have such an effect.) Vic Vyssotsky calculated that with only
10 times its 10MB capacity, we could have kept the entire printed
output since the advent of computers at the Labs on line.


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