[TUHS] Documents for UNIX Collections

segaloco via TUHS tuhs at tuhs.org
Tue Aug 9 09:52:00 AEST 2022

I didn't expect to have more documents to share this soon, but I've just secured a trove of early System V/5.0 documents, as listed:

System V User's Manual
System V Administrator's Manual
System V Error Message Manual
System V Transition Aids
System V Release Description

User's Guide
Operator's Guide
Administrator's Guide
Programming Guide
Graphics Guide
Support Tools Guide
Document Processing Guide

The System V-prefixed ones are very specifically labeled System V, although I know at least of the User's and Administrator's Manuals with "Release 5.0" branding out in the wild as well.  I've got two of the User's Manuals exhibiting this difference.  I believe I've seen a scan of the Admin's Manual with 5.0 as well, but I would have to go searching for it, it's on bitsavers perhaps?  In any case, this is the documentation series for the initial releases of System V, the ones with "UNIX System" in big letters with grid patterns fading out into the background.  I don't know if the second set is considered part of the Release 5.0 or System V version of the document package, or if they made that distinction, but as of present I can positively identify the first 5 as being specifically for the System V version of this release.  What is particularly curious is there are documents displaying "System V" but with a Western Electric logo on the front.  I've seen a scan of a System V gold User's Manual with the logo removed and a disclaimer on the front page explaining that they can't use the Bell logo anymore due to the divestiture, likewise on bitsavers I'm pretty sure, so this may establish that there were at least three revisions: Release 5.0, System V pre-divestiture, and System V post-divestiture.

Now for a little plug, just because she's been so incredibly helpful, I bought these from Leslie (last name unknown) known as "oldmaddogshop" on eBay.  We got chatting for a little while and her husband was a computing professor at the University of Portland for some time as it sounds, and they're currently starting to go through the decades of literature and hardware he's picked up over the years for sale on eBay and perhaps other avenues.  She very specifically mentioned a PDP-8 that he happens to have that he's hoping they can coordinate to donate to a museum or some other way to get it into a relatively publicly accessible space rather than winding up in the closet of a private collector.  I told her I'd drop a brief mention in letting folks know about the documents in case they'd want the option of perusing some of what they're going to be offloading.  She made mention of a stack of USENIX manuals as well, I have a smattering of 4.2 and 4.3 manuals already, so someone may be lucky enough to snag those soon enough.  Up currently are an early SVID and some OSF/Motif stuff, but she said they've got plenty of boxes of books to go through.

Anywho, once I receive these documents, I plan on starting the scanning process much like with the UNIX/TS 4.0 stuff, and will be in touch with Warren concerning hosting and a release as time goes on.  One bit of input if anyone knows, does the above list represent (aside from Release 5.0 variants) the complete documentation package for System V gold?  I can't say I've come across any other titles, and most certainly haven't seen PDFs of anything that isn't included here, but I see plenty of titles I've never seen scanned.  If nothing else, I'm hoping that "Release Description" document may have a brief flyover of the published materials, akin to the list of books at the beginning of the SVR4 manuals or the documentation roadmaps of earlier UNIX/TS and PWB releases.

- Matt G.

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