=> COFF since it's left Unix history behind.
On 2021-Feb-16 21:08:15 -0700, Grant Taylor via TUHS <tuhs(a)minnie.tuhs.org> wrote:
>I like SQLite and Berkeley DB in that they don't require a full RDBMS
>running. Instead, an application can load what it needs and access the
I also like SQLite and use it quite a lot. It is a full RDBMS, it
just runs inside the client instead of being a separate backend
server. (BDB is a straight key:value store).
>I don't remember how many files SQLite uses to store a DB.
One file. I often ship SQLite DB files between systems for various
reasons and agree that the "one file" is much easier that a typical RDBMS.
I've been maintaining a customer's application which uses C-ISAM as
database interface on SCOUNIX, TRU64 and HP-UX. Simple and above all
in 'C' ! As wiki says
"IBM still recommends the use of the Informix Standard Engine for
Mind you, the page hasn't seen significant changes since 2006 :-)
Of course not having C-ISAM as a shared library can make executables a
bit big unless included in a custom made shared library which I never
really tried on SCOUNIX, but did on the newer UNIXes. A diskette used
on SCOUNIX for certain offline salvage actions just isn't 'spacious'
>From: Grant Taylor <gtaylor(a)tnetconsulting.net>
>Date: Sat, 20 Feb 2021 10:23:35 -0700
>Subject: Re: [COFF] [TUHS] cut, paste, join, etc.
>On 2/18/21 12:32 AM, Peter Jeremy via COFF wrote:
>>I also like SQLite and use it quite a lot. It is a full RDBMS, it just runs inside the client >>instead of being a separate backend server. (BDB is a straight key:value store).
>I was referring to an external and independent daemon with it's own needs for care & >feeding.
>>One file. I often ship SQLite DB files between systems for various reasons and agree >>that the "one file" is much easier that a typical RDBMS.
>Grant. . . .
>unix || die
The more I learn the better I understand I know nothing.
The COFF folks may have a bead on this if no one on TUHS does.
---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: ron minnich <rminnich(a)gmail.com>
Date: Wed, Feb 10, 2021, 9:33 AM
Subject: [TUHS] nothing to do with unix, everything to do with history
To: TUHS main list <tuhs(a)minnie.tuhs.org>
There's so much experience here, I thought someone might know:
"Our goal is to develop an emulator for the Burroughs B6700 system. We
need help to find a complete release of MCP software for the Burroughs
If you have old magnetic tapes (magtapes) in any format, or computer
printer listings of software or micro-fiche, micro-film, punched-card
decks for any Burroughs B6000 or Burroughs B7000 systems we would like
to hear from you.
<moving to coff, less unix heritage content here>
On 2021-02-07 23:29, Doug McIntyre wrote:
> On Sun, Feb 07, 2021 at 04:32:56PM -0500, Nemo Nusquam wrote:
>> My Sun UNIX layout keyboards (and mice) work quite well with my Macs.
>> I share your sentiments.
> Most of the bespoke mechanical keyboard makers will offer a dipswitch
> for what happens to the left of the A, and with an option to print the
> right value there, my keyboards work quite well the right way.
I've been using the CODE keyboard with 'clear' switches for the past
few years and have been very happy with it. Has the dipswitches for
swapping around CTRL/CAPS and the meta/Alt, probably others as well.
When I don't have hardware solutions to this, most modern OSes let you
remap keys in software. Being a gnu screen user, CTRL & A being right
next too each other makes life easier.
I've used enough keyboards over the years that didn't even have an ESC
key (Mac Plus, the Commodore 64, the keyboard on my Samsung tablet,
probably a few others), that I got in the habit of using CTRL-[ to
generate an ESC and still do that most of the time rather than reaching
for the ESC up there in the corner.
> I did use the Sun Type5 USB Unix layout for quite some years, but I
> always found it a but mushy, and liked it better switching back to
> mechanical keyboards with the proper layout.
Before I got this keyboard, I used a Sun Type 7 keyboard (USB with the
UNIX layout). It had the CTRL and ESC keys in the "right" places (as
noted above, ESC location doesn't bother me as much), but yeah, they're
mushy, and big. Much happier with the mechanical keyboard for my daily
I've been eyeballing the TEX Shinobi, a mechanical keyboard with the
ThinkPad type TrackPoint, cut down on reasons for my fingers to leave
the keyboard even more.
I have to agree with Clem here. Mind you I still mourn the demise of
Alpha and even Itanium but then I never had to pay for those systems.
I only make sure they run properly so the customer can enjoy their
My 32-1/2 cents (inflation adjusted).
Take care and stay as healthy as some of my 25 year old servers :-)
>From: Clem Cole <clemc(a)ccc.com>
>To: Larry McVoy <lm(a)mcvoy.com>
>Cc: COFF <coff(a)minnie.tuhs.org>
>Date: Fri, 5 Feb 2021 09:36:20 -0500
>Subject: Re: [COFF] Architectures -- was [TUHS] 68k prototypes & microcode
>BTW: Once again we 100% agree on the architecture part of the discussion. And frankly >pre-386 days, I could not think how anyone would come up with it. As computer >architecture it is terrible, how did so many smart people come up with such? It defies >everything we are taught about 'good' computer architectural design. But .... after all of >the issues with the ISA's of Vax and the x86/INTEL*64 vs. Alpha --- is how I came to the >conclusion, architecture does not matter nearly as much as economics and we need to >get over it and stop whining. Or in Christensen's view, a new growing market is often >made from a product that has technically not as good as the one in the original >mainstream market but has some value to the new group of people.
The more I learn the better I understand I know nothing.
Moved to COFF - and I should prefix this note with a strongly worded --
these are my own views and do not necessarily follow my employers (and
often have not, as some of you know that have worked with me in the past).
On Wed, Feb 3, 2021 at 8:34 PM Larry McVoy <lm(a)mcvoy.com> wrote:
> The x86 stuff is about as far away from PDP-11 as you can get. Required
> to know it, but so unpleasant.
BTW: Once again we 100% agree *on the architecture part of* *the discussion*.
And frankly pre-386 days, I could not think how anyone would come up with
it. As computer architecture it is terrible, how did so many smart people
come up with such? It defies everything we are taught about 'good'
computer architectural design. But .... after all of the issues with the
ISA's of Vax and the x86/INTEL*64 *vs.* Alpha --- is how I came to the
conclusion, *architecture does not matter nearly as much as economics and
we need to get over it and stop whining. * Or in Christensen's view, a new
growing market is often made from a product that has technically not as
good as the one in the original mainstream market but has some value to the
new group of people.
x86 (and in particular once the 386 added linear 32 bit addressing), even
though DOS/Windows sucked compared to SunOS (or whatever), the job (work)
that the users needed to do was performed to the customer's satisfaction *and
for a lot less.* The ISVs could run their codes there and >>they<< sell
more copies of their code which is what they care about. The end-users,
really just care about getting a job done.
What was worse was at the time, it was the ISV's keep their own prices
higher on the 'high-value platform' - which makes the cost of those
platforms ever higher. During the Unix wars, this fact was a huge issue.
The same piece of SW for a Masscomp would cause 5-10 more than a Sun -- why
we were considered a minicomputer and Sun was a workstation. Same 10MHz
68000 inside (we had a better compiler so we ran 20% faster). This was
because the ISV's classified Masscomp's competition was considered the Vax
8600; not Sun and Apollo -- sigh.
In the end, the combination of x86 and MSFT did it to Sun. For example,
my college roommates (who were trained on the first $100K
architecture/drawing 3D systems developed at CMU on PDP-11/Unix and Triple
Drip Graphic's Wonder) Wintel running a 'boxed' AutoCAD was way more
economical than a Sun box with a custom architecture package -- economics
won, even though the solution was technically not as good. Another form
of the same issue did you ever try to write a technical >>publication<<
with Word (not a letter or a memo) -- it sucks -- The pro's liked FrameMaker
and other 'authoring tools' (hey I think even Latex and Troff are -- much '
better' for the author) -- but Frame costs way more and Word, so what do
the publishers want -- ugh Word DOC format [ask Steinhart about this issue,
he lived it a year ago].
In the case of the Arm, Intel #$%^'ed 101-15 yrs ago up when Jobs said he
wanted a $20 processor for what would become the iPhone and our execs told
him to take a hike (we were making too much money with high margin
Window's) boxes. At the time, Arm was 'not as good' - but it had two
properties Jobs cared about (better power - although at the time Arm was
actually not much better than the laptop x86s, but Apple got Samsung to
make/sell parts at less than $20 -- i.e. economics).
Again, I'm not a college professor. I'm an engineer that builds real
computer systems that sometimes people (even ones like the folks that read
this list) want to/have wanted buy. As much as I like to use sold
architecture principle to guide things, the difference is I know be
careful. Economics is really the higher bit. What the VAX engineers at
DEC or the current INTEL*64 folks (like myself) was/is not what some of the
same engineers did with Alpha -- today, we have to try to figure out how to
make the current product continue to be economically attractive [hence the
bazillion new instructions that folks like Paul W in the compiler team
figure out how to exploit, so the ISV's codes run better and can sell more
copies and we sell more chips to our customers to sell to end users].
But like Jobs's, DEC management got caught up in the high margin game, and
ignored the low end (I left Compaq after I managed to build the $1K Alpha
which management blew off -- it could be sold at 45% margins like the Alpha
TurboLaser or 4x00 series). Funny, one of the last things I had proposed
at Masscomp in the early 80s before I went to Stellar, was a low-end system
(also < $1K) and Masscomp management wanted to part of it -- it would have
meant competing with Sun and eventually the PC.
FWIW: Intel >>does<< know how to make a $20 SOC, but the margins will
suck. The question is what will management want to? I really don't
know. So far, we have liked the server chip margins (don't forget Intel
made more $s last year than it ever has - even in the pandemic).
I feel a little like Dr Seuss' 'Onceler' in the Lorax story ... if Arm can
go upscale from the phone platform who knows what will happen - Bell's Law
predicts Arm displaces INTEL*64:
“Approximately every decade a new computer class forms as a new “minimal”
computer either through using fewer components or use of a small fractional
part of the state-of-the-art chips.”
FWIW: Bell basically has claimed a technical point, based on Christenson's
observation; the 'lessor' technology will displace the 'better one.' Or
as I say it, sophisticated architecture always losses to better economics.
On 2021-Feb-03 09:58:37 -0500, Clem Cole <clemc(a)ccc.com> wrote:
>but the original released (distributed - MC68000) part was binned at 8 and
There was also a 4MHz version. I had one in my MEX68KECB but I'm not
sure if they were ever sold separately. ISTR I got the impression
that it was a different (early) mask or microcode variant because some
of the interface timings weren't consistent with the 8/10 MHz versions
(something like one of the bus timings was a clock-cycle slower).
>as were the later versions with the updated paging microcode called the
>MC68010 a year later. When the 68020 was released Moto got the speeds up
>to 16Mhz and later 20. By the '040 I think they were running at 50MHz
I also really liked the M68k architecture. Unfortunately, as with the
M6800, Motorola lost out to Intel's inferior excuse for an architecture.
Moving more off-topic, M68k got RISC-ified as the ColdFire MCF5206.
That seemed (to me) to combine the feel of the M68k with the
clock/power gains from RISC. Unfortunately, it didn't take off.
On 2021-Feb-03 17:33:56 -0800, Larry McVoy <lm(a)mcvoy.com> wrote:
>The x86 stuff is about as far away from PDP-11 as you can get. Required
>to know it, but so unpleasant.
Warts upon warts upon warts. The complete opposite of orthogonal.
>I have to admit that I haven't looked at ARM assembler, the M1 is making
>me rethink that. Anyone have an opinion on where ARM lies in the pleasant
>to unpleasant scale?
I haven't spent enough time with ARM assembler to form an opinion but
there are a number of interesting interviews with the designers on YT:
* A set of videos by Sophie Wilson (original designer) starting at
* A history of ARM by Dave Jaggar (redesigner) at
If you don't want to pony up for a M1, there are a wide range of ARM
SBCs that you could experiment with.