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Thread: 40 Years of Unix

  1. #11
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
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    gore old chap,how could you?

    That used punch cards though didn't it?
    This is from a paper published November 1967:
    Abstract : An interface which connects a small special-purpose digital computer to a large general-purpose digital data processing system is described in this report. The small computer is the Digital Equipment Corporation PDP-8 which itself is a component of a data collection and distribution system called the Data Concentrator. The large data processing system is the IBM System/360 Model 67, which is the principal computing element at The University of Michigan Computing Center. The interface is designed to be attached to the multiplexor channel of the Model 67 along with other input-output components such as card readers, line printers, and communications equipment, and satisfies all IBM standards and interface conventions established for this type of attachment. The interface provides a bidirectional data transfer between the two machines of up to 80 thousand bytes (characters) per second using cycle-steal techniques in which data are transferred directly between the Model 67 multiplexor channel and the PDP-8 core memory without explicit program intervention.
    So, your State University was using a DEC PDP-8 as a direct data entry link to an IBM S/360 (for which OS/360 was written) back in 1967.

    I used an IBM S360 Model 60 from 1969 to 1972, and yes, my data entry was via 80 column punched cards. However (IIRC) data entry could also be via punched paper tape, disk drives, magnetic tapes, and directly through a teleprinter-like device. I would guess that 8" floppy disks were supported as these were an IBM invention?

    I believe that the possibilities and limitations were down to the peripherals technology of the day, and not a function of the operating system.

    I came across this in the IBM history files:

    http://www-03.ibm.com/ibm/history/ex...me_PP2044.html

    The S/360/M44 is in the left foreground and the nearest guy is leaning over the operator's console, it is one of those teleprinter thingies I mentioned

    In the centre background you can see 4 magnetic tape drives.

    In the centre between the two guys is a magnetic disk drive. Front right is a card reader and behind it is a dot matrix line printer.

    The second guy is sitting at a console looking at what appears to be a VDU. I don't recognise the exact bit of kit, but it looks like a punched card machine.

    I am not sure what the thing against the back wall is...........possibly a plotter?

    Incidentally, back then you could have any colour you liked as long as it was mushroom, so someone has been busy with the vinyl covering.

    EDIT:

    Where is system360 used today? No Air traffic control doesn't count.
    It isn't................ATC still uses S/370 architecture hardware, but that runs a variety of OSes, not OS/360. Our ATC still uses IBM43xx machines, but I am not sure what OS. I guess these are around 1990 vintage?

    By the same token, early versions of UNIX aren't used anywhere either, or DOS, for that matter. Things evolve, and I believe that the S/360 evolution continued through to 2000. [S/360 -> S/370 -> S/390]

    OS/360 is a different matter; as it was written to support a specific hardware platform, it became extinct with it, although its legacy carried on.
    Last edited by nihil; September 5th, 2009 at 10:57 AM.

  2. #12
    Senior Member gore's Avatar
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    Nihil:

    The reason I thought it was paper cards was that in "20 years of Berkeley Unix" Marshall says that Multics was the first time you could use a computer with something other than a piece of paper or directly interact with your computer.

    Also, VMS hasn't been around 40 years, it was started a year after The Ramones. (1975).

    October 25, 1977 V1.0 Initial commercial release
    April, 1980 V2.0 VAX-11/750

    ^Vax. It was started a few years earlier but wasn't actually released until 1977, when The Misfits came out. That's almost 10 years after Unix was done.
    Last edited by gore; September 5th, 2009 at 07:55 PM.

  3. #13
    Junior Member rotoR*46's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gore View Post
    ATMs here run either Windows or Linux. Depending of course where the thing is. (I've seen an ATM Blue Screen once.)
    Yeah the BlueScreen of Death!.. well I too have seen one dispensing account notices blank!

    but for all UNIX rocks!
    files have places but the processes have life!

  4. #14
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
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    The reason I thought it was paper cards was that in "20 years of Berkeley Unix" Marshall says that Multics was the first time you could use a computer with something other than a piece of paper or directly interact with your computer.
    Either Marshall is wrong or you are misunderstanding him my friend.

    If you take "piece of paper" in its broader sense of "external media" and "directly interact" as "realtime input" then I don't see any alternative method other than telepathy........................

    We are talking a hardware issue here..............UNIX has nothing to do with it......please remember that software is written for hardware ..........not the other way round

    By "directly interact" I am guessing that you are thinking of the old analogue boxes............where you had to physically move plugs and switches rather than use a command language?

    Now, if we change
    or directly interact
    to "and directly interact" it would make more sense?

    gore old buddy, please remember that we are "two nations divided by a common language" [Winston Churchill] Only binary tells the truth...........

    EDIT:

    When people talk about paper input, please don't forget the punched tape............typically using octal notation plus a parity bit.............

    Now you have got me going, and I will have to scour all the junk in my loft to find my two single hole punches............yeah, we really used to do that sort of thing!!!!!
    Last edited by nihil; September 6th, 2009 at 07:07 PM.

  5. #15
    Senior Member gore's Avatar
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    A direct quote from the DVD "20 Years of Berkelet Unix" :

    "All the people working in the labs (After Multics) had to return to GCOS, which was a bit of a let down, after you'd been used to the concept that you could actually directly interact with your computer through something other than little pieces of paper with holes punched".

    That's what he said, that Multics was through and basically people like being able to interact with their computer with something other than paper. This was before Unix.

    EDIT:

    I've been looking everywhere for something online to show this, but can't find a thing. I can find a part fo this like half way through, but nothing showing this part of the video.

    MKM is a highly respected person in computing, and when he said that before Multics, there was nothing that let you actually interact with the computer other than with paper, I took it as truth. And also, IBM 360 was in 1967 I think? Unix was already being made at that time.
    Last edited by gore; September 6th, 2009 at 11:19 PM.

  6. #16
    AO's Filibustier Cheap Scotch Ron's Avatar
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    And also, IBM 360 was in 1967 I think? Unix was already being made at that time.
    The 360 project started in 1965. First customer shipped was 1967. In 1965 IBM released the 2741 terminal. It was basically a selectric typewriter that directly (and digitally) interfaced with mainframes.

    I believe unix dev was started after Bell Labs pulled out of the MIT PDP-8 dev project in 1969.
    Last edited by Cheap Scotch Ron; September 7th, 2009 at 12:17 AM.
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  7. #17
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    Originally posted by gore
    ATMs here run either Windows or Linux. Depending of course where the thing is. (I've seen an ATM Blue Screen once.)
    You're probably right about the actual ATMs - I should have specified. I believe that the underlying processing architecture (the "interbank" stuff) is OS/400-based (now iSeries), or at least used to be - definitely in Europe, not sure about the US.

  8. #18
    Senior Member gore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Negative View Post
    You're probably right about the actual ATMs - I should have specified. I believe that the underlying processing architecture (the "interbank" stuff) is OS/400-based (now iSeries), or at least used to be - definitely in Europe, not sure about the US.
    I think you're correct on the iSeries. The bank I use is fairly open with what they're using (And it seems IBM is pretty high on that list even though all the computers the people inside are using, are Dells).

    I think now it depends on the Bank, because even though my Bank uses a standard ATM system, I've seen a few around Michigan that are either REALLY old ones still in use where you don't have that nice touch screen that breaks and needs re-inforced covers and are mostly plain text, because people push on them in a way that would break most touch screens, or a few here and there that are like brand new with bright colors and graphics and I think they run XP, but I'm not sure. I know the ones located in one of the movie places here run on RedHat, but it's strange to see so many different ATMs in like a 15 block radius.

    The ones you see in Gas Stations here are what appear to be some form of low end ATM that might or might not have a touch screen depending on where you are, and they have small SMALL printers inside that always seem to garble messages on the paper.

    CSR:

    From what I've been reading today, Unix was started right after MULTICS ended and they had a working version by 1968 or so, but didn't have any shipped anywhere but inside AT&T until a few years alter.

    I have no real know how of 360 since I'm not a company, and haven't ever actually seen one in person. The only thing I had to go on was basically the net where a lot of pics showed paper punch.

  9. #19
    AO's Filibustier Cheap Scotch Ron's Avatar
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    Originally posted by gore
    they had a working version by 1968
    here's what Thompson and Ritchie say...
    http://www.princeton.edu/~mike/expotape.htm
    http://www.bell-labs.com/history/unix/
    In God We Trust....Everything else we backup.

  10. #20
    Senior Member gore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheap Scotch Ron View Post
    I've seen the Bell one before, but the Princeton one I don't think I have. I always thought they had already started before 1969 because of it being usable in the same year. Does anyone else have the DVD "Twenty Years of Berkeley Unix" ? It's really good. It's not like Revolution OS where you've got interviews an things, it's just Marshal Kirk on a stage speaking about Unix at the beginning and Multi User systems in general (The Manchester Project) and then he talks about Berkeley after he gets done with how it started. It's really funny too. Like in one part he says how Termcap entries were just horrible because Terminal companies could do any bizarre screen things they wanted knowing they could just always write a term-cap entry. He then says "Term-Cap DWARFED Sendmail configuration files" and of course everyone laughs.

    I got it from the FreeBSD Mall, and I think you can get it from MKM's site too.

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