[TUHS] /dev/drum

Dave Horsfall dave at horsfall.org
Tue Apr 24 09:01:39 AEST 2018

On Mon, 23 Apr 2018, Noel Chiappa wrote:

> Speaking of fixed-head disks, one of the Bell systems used (IIRC) an 
> RS04 fixed-head disk for the root. DEC apparently only used that disk 
> for swapping in their OS's... So the DEC diagnsotics felt free to 
> scribble on the disk. So, Field Circus comes in to work on the 
> machine... Ooops!

Giggle...  We were probably the only site in Oz with two tape drives on 
our 11/40 at UNSW; the X-ray crystallographers (or was it the molecular 
biologists?  They're all the same to me) used to produce a tape of their 
results on the 360/50, to be read under RSX-11 to go to another tape, 
thence to be plotted on our LV-11 Versatec (and probably the only one in 
the country).

Well, this would never do, of course, as it required us to take down our 
Unix box (one of the first in Oz) to run RSX, so my then-boss wrote a 
program (in FORTRAN) so we could do it under Unix; said LV-11 actually 
spent most of its time plotting biorhythm charts with a program written by 
said boss (who also gave me my first taste of grass, and I hated it).


Elec Eng (our foe for some weird reason, as the CSU was regarded as "The 
Man") left a "valuable" tape online, after using our plotter for some 
unrelated reason.

DEC Field Circus then took the box, as they were waiting for the monthly 

Can you guess the rest?

Let's just say that Elec Eng quickly learned what the "write ring" did...

Hey, is Peter Ivanov on this list?  He was the one who moaned to me about 
us writing over an unlabelled write-enabled tape...

Dave Horsfall DTM (VK2KFU)  "Those who don't understand security will suffer."

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