[TUHS] Another Find: UNIX Release 5.0 BTL Administrators Manual

segaloco via TUHS tuhs at tuhs.org
Wed Oct 11 09:53:21 AEST 2023

Just got this one today, UNIX Release 5.0 Administrator's Manual, BTL version: https://i.imgur.com/hZW1C01.jpg (the one on the right, companion to the one on the left I've documented a bit already).

First, an amusing anecdote of how I happened across this one. I hate Amazon. Like despise Amazon. I could go on for hours on the why, but the point is, I do not like Amazon. As such, I rarely, if ever, find myself looking at anything for sale on their site. At some point the past few years I did happen across an auction for the WECo equivalent of this manual on Amazon and nearly broke my anti-Amazon-ness to register and purchase it, but I resisted. It stuck in my mind but wasn't enough to change my opinion. Well, fast-forward to a few weeks ago, I'm recanting this tale to a friend of mine as we're loitering in the lobby of our music space.

He's on his laptop so decides to search up UNIX manuals on Amazon to be like see all this stuff you could be getting, you should just get an Amazon account. We look through auctions for a while and it's mostly a chorus of "I have that already" or "That's not relevant" or "I could buy that for pennies on the dollar elsewhere" but then he comes across an auction with no picture saying UNIX 5.0 Manual or something pretty generic like that. No pictures on the main posting, but there is a link saying two copies available. That was the first I learned that a pictureless Amazon posting can then lead​ to specific auctions or sales that do have pictures, that stuff just apparently doesn't always show up in the search results? In any case, he clicks down into them and this baby pops up. Luckily I was able to avoid registering as he offered to just buy it for me and I hand him the cash. So the result is this document is in my hands due to a deal with Amazon a brokered through a friend so I didn't have to join their site. I still feel like I've done a deal with the devil but hey, uncovered one more obscure thing in the process.

Now for some analysis:

Only difference on the cover page, like the BTL User's Manual, is additional text indicating "Including BTL Computer Center Standard and Local Commands". Like the User's Manual (and the Release 3.0 manual and other internal/pre-commercial manuals) there is an acknowledgements and preface page prior to the introduction.

Added commands compared with a standard issue WECo 5.0 Administrator's Manual include:

Section 1:
archadmin - archlist, archsched, archque, archinit, archshut - archive administrative commands

Indian Hill:
bsnap - bsnap - snap baud rate usage

findi - findi - find file names corresponding to inode numbers
linesnap - linesnap - monitor activity on DH11 or DZ11 lines
newids - newids - descend a directory changing owner and group id on files
pisnap - pisnap - monitor performance of the operating system
snap - snap - monitor activity within the operating system
tabsnap - tabsnap - snap system tables
vault - vault - save/restore a file system to/from tape

archsys - archsys - archive system
ds - ds - directory scanner
filesave.py - filesave - perform daily filesave procedure
fsea - fsea - file system entropy analyzer
fss - fss - file system scanner
fwall - fwall - write to all users by pathname
lacctcms - lacctcms - command summary from per-process accounting records
xchng - xchng - exchanges ownership of files

Section 8:
Div 452 STD:
atd - atd - a batch monitor
atf - atf - make a job file
atr - atr - run a batch job
att - att - parse time specification

The TOC additionally lists a "trouble.div" page, presumably Div 452-specific trouble reporting stuff, but the manual contains no such page. Based on front-back pages available it doesn't look like the page would've been ripped out or anything, so probably just not actually in the print run. The trouble(8) page in this manual matches one from a standard 5.0 manual.

So takeaways here, looks like Holmdel, Indian Hill, and PIscataway may have all had their own backup/archival systems between archadmin(1M)(HO), archsys(1M)(PY), and vault(1M)(IH). There were quite a few enhanced performance snapshot tools in Indian Hill while Piscataway appeared to have some particular filesystem analysis tools. The section 8 at administration tools are interesting in that at(1) itself is also Div 452 as of 5.0, is not in the System V manuals at all. While at(1) then pops up in standard SVR2 manuals, these administrative pieces do not (at least what I've got on hand, they're neither in the comb bound red covered AT&T UNIX User's Manual nor the 5 volume set with the metallic looking alphabet blocks on the cover.) I don't have any SVR3 manuals to check, and my blue wall of SVR4 books I already moved to my new place, so I can't look in those right this second. I can't seem to find either Administrators Manual volume on bitsavers either, so can't check to see if these exist in later versions yet. Anywho, as usual, reach out if there's something in particular you'd like to know about one of these pages, otherwise this is going on the pile I plan on starting work on again once this move is out of the way (and hopefully the last one for a few years at least...)

- Matt G.
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