[TUHS] Mach for i386 / Mt Xinu or other

Larry McVoy lm at mcvoy.com
Wed Feb 22 14:17:34 AEST 2017


On Tue, Feb 21, 2017 at 11:07:20PM -0500, Dan Cross wrote:
> I can say from first-hand experience that it was NOT easy to get access to
> Unix source code there. The cadre of university system administrators that
> formed something of a cabal did not hand it out lightly, and it took
> significant time to gain the sort of trust that would result in you getting
> access to it. I strongly suspect that if a random CS student had written to
> UCB asking for access to the BSD source code, and that had gotten back to
> the aforementioned cabal, it would not have gone well for the student. Lots
> of intrusive questions would have been asked; angry letters written and
> placed into files. Uncomfortable meetings with academic advisors and the
> university computer security officer would have taken place. Questions of
> academic malfeasance or expulsion may have come up, etc.

My experience at UWisc-Madison, during the time they were working on
4.3-Uwisc, matches Dan's pretty well.  Yup, source was there.  Access
was restricted, you had to get a login on slovax, and you had to be
"somebody" to get that login.  I don't remember how I got access, 
I just knew I wanted it.  So I probably just begged and eventually
one of the admins took pity on me?  Dunno.

I don't think it was like what Clem says for most people.  Clem went
to CMU if I remember correctly, that puts him in a pretty elite class
right there.  I can easily imagine that the CMU CS department let all
their students have access to the source if they wanted it.  I don't
think that was anywhere near as common as Clem thinks it was.  My guess
is that Clem interacted with a bunch of people who were his peers (aka
pretty elite people) and all those guys had source access.  Us unwashed
masses had to work a lot harder to get it.

Once 386BSD came out, yeah, source was easy.  Not before.

Even when I was at Sun the historic source was there, v7, 32v, etc., but
you had to get past Shannon to get at it.


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