[TUHS] [COFF] Unix and SW Releases (was V7 et al from Will)

Clem Cole clemc at ccc.com
Sat Aug 8 07:07:52 AEST 2020

On Fri, Aug 7, 2020 at 4:23 PM Warner Losh <imp at bsdimp.com> wrote:

> 2.8BSD was supposed to be the last PDP-11 release: A final wrapup of
> everything, according to the release notes.
Yeah, that sounds right.  Bostic had moved into CSRG and I think he was
hacking on it less and less.  Also Ultrix/PDP-11 was out by then and Fred
Cantor had sort of displaced Keith as the PDP-11/UNIX wizard.

> However, there were a lot of PDP-11s in specialized niches that weren't
> easily replaced by more modern hardware, so 2.9, 2.10 and 2.11 happened as
> well.
You tell me from looking at the sources, do you know if there was any back
population to these releases from DEC?  The Ultrix team (aps et al) had fed
CRSG drivers and some stuff for the Vax.  Fred had a goal (took some pride)
in trying to make the PDP-11/Ultrix release very much plug and play, but I
had personally lost interest in the PDP-11 by then so I was not watching it
directly, only socially knowing many of the players.

> The formality of the release seemed to diminish a bit at each step (though
> that may just be my perceptions).
Well, the formality of anything before that was happenstance.  Because CSRG
was getting more formal, I think Keith and company were trying to
parrot the same schemes.  As I said, 4.1 and before like, Research was sort
of the state of the world when Joy made the tape.

To be fair, disk space was expensive.  So keeping a big hunk of space
dedicated to the 'release bits' was not really reasonable much less
imaginable.  It was only with CRSG that for the Vax there was 'enough'
hardware to have test machines and dedicated distribution.

> By the time we arrive at 2.11BSD, the tapes were produced by USENIX where
> you had to send proof of license to get the tape... These releases were
> driven by Seismo, and the USGS and/or military deployments from everything
> I've read...
That sounds right.   By the time of later 2.X versions UCB folks were much
less involved and I think you might be that USENIX took over some
distribution work (I was not on the board then, Steve might have been).

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