[TUHS] Old screen editors

Lawrence Stewart stewart at serissa.com
Tue Mar 29 10:31:14 AEST 2022

At the Stanford Information Systems Lab while I was there 1976-81, we had a series of PDP-11s. The first one I remember was an 11/34 running V6 and later V7.  It was later upgraded to, I think a /45 and finally a /70.

At first everyone used ed, then Prof. John Gill hacked it to add a command, I think ‘%’ that was the equivalent of .-10,.+10p which on our 9600 baud Hazeltine’s was a glimpse of the future.

At some point we got ex/vi, but before that we got the “Rand Editor” re, which was a perfectly
functional screen editor, if you squinted a bit.

Does anyone here know the place of re in the history?

Later, Gill went off for a sabbatical at Yorktown Heights and came back to complain about having
to use SOS on the mainframe.  He reported, however, that global search and replace was very fast.


Also a few years later I got Dave Conroy’s version of microemacs.  I complained about the key bindings and he told me to use the “change configuration” command, or cc.

More information about the TUHS mailing list