[lug] Old Unix, was Re: SGI Onyx 2

Jeffrey Haemer jeffrey.haemer at gmail.com
Thu Apr 1 00:12:26 MDT 2010


I think you'd have to get a 32V modded to do paging (the original didn't).
vi's too big otherwise.  Bill Joy developed it on a BSD system, which had
virtual memory.

Ned Irons built quite an interesting, RAND-family, screen editor for PC/IX
by inventing remote procedure calls.  (Before they appeared in BSD -- an
independent, parallel invention.)  It fit in memory, and was extensible,
because it was multiple processes communicating via RPCs.  The development
work was all done in ISC's R&D office, in Estes Park. across the street from
Dieter's Donut Haus.

Academics, trained on BSD & VAXes, would come poke PC/IX (pronounced
"puck-icks," say,"What?  It doesn't have vi?" shake their heads, and walk

But, in case it helps, if you're comfy with "set -o vi" in bash, you won't
have any trouble editing with ex -- they're really the same mindset.   I may
be better with a line editor now than I was when that's all I had. :-)

On Wed, Mar 31, 2010 at 10:44 PM, Carl Wagner
<Carl.Wagner at verbalworld.com>wrote:

> Or you could get UNIX v32, with source, for the VAX and run it under SIMH!
> It would probably be similar (as lame as) PC/IX.
> My notes about this:
>    running unix 32v under Linux using simh
>       get simh and build it (for some reason the Ubuntu package did not
> install the binaries).
>       get the zip file from
> http://zazie.tom-yam.or.jp/starunix/starunix.tar.gz
>       (He has some sparse instructions for getting it running under SIMH.)
> I played with it for a little while, but it did not have vi and I didn't
> feel like learning ed.
> It does have a compiler (K&R) and a lot of the standard utilities (but
> not vi, less, and many of the things I use).
> But it boots in less than one second!!
> Anyone know were to get an old version of vi that will compile under 32V?
> Carl.
> Jeffrey Haemer wrote:
> > Maxwell,
> >
> > Happy to loan out my disks.   I haven't looked at them in years, but
> > I'm sure they're five-and-a-quarter-inch floppies.  PC/IX will drive a
> > color monitor -- not a trivial statement, since most monitors back
> > then were B&W-only.
> >
> >
> >     You couldn't do a lot with Unix back then (no X, no 3D, no easy ipv4)
> >     but you could do things.. right?
> >
> >
> > Does "make a living" count?   And that was even before everyone
> > switched to nfs4. :-)
> >
> > INTERACTIVE Systems Corporation was the first commercial UNIX vendor
> > (1977).  Our first customer was a law firm that wanted our
> > word-processing facilities, which included the INed screen editor (a
> > technology invented, independently, by Edgar T. Irons and Bill Joy),
> > and a formatter (nroff/troff with Ted Dolotta's -mm macro package).
> >  The two, along with tools like a spell-checker (spell(1)) were
> > marketed as INtext.   Both Irons and Dolotta were VPs of ISC.
> >
> > We also had a block-mode terminal (INterm), designed by Charles
> > Minter, a student of Carver Mead's, which had a bunch of INed in
> > firmware, which let our systems support a lot more users doing
> > text-processing than they could have otherwise.
> >
> > Another early customer was Wells Fargo Bank, I suspect for the same
> > reason.
> >
> > Plus, Ken Thompson made it possible to run Spacewar if you got bored,
> > though I don't think our distro came with a port.
> >
> > By 1983, when I joined them, someone at IBM had decided to provide
> > Unix on their exciting, new powerhouse, the PC/XT -- the first
> > mass-market personal computer with a Winchester (hard) disk.    (I
> > think the XT was as powerful as a PDP-11/20, FWIW.)
> >
> > They hired ISC to do the work, since they didn't have anyone who knew
> > anything about UNIX.  For that matter, neither did anyone else.
> >
> > As an aside, the same piece of hardware motivated a major change in
> > their flagship microcomputer operating system, PC-DOS (MS-DOS):
> > subdirectories (folders).  Ten megabytes was so much storage that it
> > no longer made sense to try to keep all your files in the same directory.
> >
> > --
> > Jeffrey Haemer <jeffrey.haemer at gmail.com
> > <mailto:jeffrey.haemer at gmail.com>>
> > 720-837-8908 [cell],  @goyishekop [twitter]
> > http://seejeffrun.blogspot.com [blog],
> > http://www.youtube.com/user/goyishekop [vlog]
> >
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >
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Jeffrey Haemer <jeffrey.haemer at gmail.com>
720-837-8908 [cell],  @goyishekop [twitter]
http://seejeffrun.blogspot.com [blog],
http://www.youtube.com/user/goyishekop [vlog]
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