"G. Branden Robinson" <g.branden.robinson(a)gmail.com> writes:
[migrating to COFF]
>> In that time frame there was a number of microkernel designs. One
>> that has not been mentioned was OS-9 for the 6809/68000 processor. I
>> used it pretty extensively. OS-9 was very unix like from the userland
>> POV, when you consider something like V5 unix, however it didn't share
>> any of the same command names, just many of the same concepts.
> This is emphatically true. I used this system as a kid on a 64KiB
> machine, and I don't remember even a mention of Unix in the doorstop of
> a manual by Dale Puckett and Peter Dibble (who gave you something like 6
> chapters of architectural background before introducing the shell
> prompt). Maybe they did mention Unix , but since it had no meaning to
> me at the time, it didn't sink in. I think it is also possible they
> avoided any names that they thought might draw legal ire from AT&T.
That is more or less me too... However, in later years when I was
familiar with Unix I looked at some of the OS-9 books and the block
diagrams in the books about the OS-9 OS could have described early Unix
>> It was close enough that if you had the C compiler, a very basic K&R
>> compiler, you could get some of the unix command to compile without
>> too much trouble.
> Years later I went to college, landed on Sun IPC workstations, and
> quickly recognized OS-9's "T/S Edit" as a vi clone, and its "T/S Word"
> as a version of nroff. There was also a "T/S Spell" product but I don't
> recall it clearly enough to venture whether it was a clone of ispell.
Ya, I think I even had a patch that turned T/S Edit into a much closer
vi clone. But, I think by then I had another vi clone already on hand.
One of the other things I did with OS-9/6809 was worked on UUCP. I
didn't write the original OS-9 UUCP code, but I did modify it quite a
bit and had it talking UUCP g protocol to UUnet via a phone line. I did
write a 'rn' Usenet news reader clone and was pulling down a few news
groups as well as email every day. In the last days of that system, I
also logged into the system via a serial port complete with Username and
password prompts. This was all on a Color Computer 3 with 512K.
>> and nothing like Mach or even Minix.
> With the source of all three available, a technical paper analyzing and
> contrasting them would be a worthwhile thing to have. (It's unclear to
> me if even a historical version of QNX is available for study.)
The source to OS-9/6809 would have been released by Microware a long
time ago had it not been for a particular person in the user community.
Got mucked up. I fell out of following it after the BSD Unixs became
>> It was also very much positioned to real time OS needs of the time and
>> was not really marketed generally and unless you happened to have a
>> Color Computer from Radio Shack
> Lucky me! How I yearned for a 128KiB Color Computer 3 so I could
> upgrade to OS-9 Level 2 and the windowing system. (512KiB was
> preferred, but there had been a spike in RAM prices right about the time
> the machine was released. Not that greater market success would have
> kept Tandy from under-promoting and eventually killing the machine.)
Level II was nice. It was able to use bank switching and would allow a
set of random 8k memory blocks out of the 128k or 512k present in the
CC3 system to be mapped into the 6809 64k address space. The Color
Computer didn't support memory protection, so no paging or any real
process protection, but this banking allowed for a lot of possibilities.
I know that there was other OS-9 systems around that ran Level II but I
don't really know how they managed memory. I would suspect it to be
simular to the CC3, but that is just a guess on my part.
>  Here's a story you may have to sit down for from Frank Durda IV (now
> deceased) about how the same company knifed their m68k-based
> line--which ran XENIX--in the gut repeatedly. It's hard to find
> this story via Web search so I've made a Facebook post
> temporarily(?) public. I'd simply include it, but it's pretty long.
>  https://www.cnn.com/2000/TECH/computing/03/21/os9.suit.idg/index.html
>  https://appleinsider.com/articles/10/06/08/cisco_licenses_ios_name_to_apple…
>  https://sourceforge.net/projects/nitros9/
Brad Spencer - brad(a)anduin.eldar.org - KC8VKS - http://anduin.eldar.org
> I hate Python because there is no printf in the base language.
There's print() with the format-string part being promoted into the
language as the ‘%’ operator when the left operand is a string.
It returns a string.
>>> '%10d' % (6*7)
>>> '%s %s!\n' % ('hello', 'world')
>>> '%10d' % 6*7
' 6 6 6 6 6 6 6'
>>> print('%.3s' % 'barxyzzy')
So similar to AWK or Perl's sprintf() and Go's fmt.Sprintf() in that it
returns a dynamically-allocated string.
Sharing because I can't justify this sort of purchase but perhaps someone is in with or knows someone who works at a museum or well-funded research outfit that might be keen on this sort of thing:
Many books from OSU, lots of Digital literature for various PDPs, NBS reports, some Tektronix stuff, and a host of OSU-produced computing literature, plus more. This came up while I was searching for UNIX docs but I don't actually see anything UNIX there besides a mention that the PDP-11 ran it.
There is no explicit mention of no cherry picking, so via contact the seller may be amenable to working on a subset. Either way, figured this would pique the interest of a few folks around.
I also have to wonder if this bears any relation to my acquisition of the UNIX System V literature set this past year. That was likewise sourced from OSU. A professor who was retiring and mentioned oodles of old tech materials they were going to be auctioning off over the next few years, this very well could be from that same stash.
- Matt G.
> the amount of space in the instruction for encoding registers seems to
> me to have played a major role in the design of the RV32I/E and C
> (compressed) extension instruction formats of RISC-V.
Before RISC-V, the need for code density caused ARM to move away from
the original, highly regular instruction format of one 32-bit word per
instruction to Thumb and then Thumb-2 encoding. IIRC, Thumb moved to
16-bit per instruction which was expanded by Thumb-2 to also have some
32-bit instructions. The mobile market was getting going and the
storage options and their financial and power costs meant code density
The original ARM instructions had the top four bits hold the ‘condition
code’ which decided if the instruction was executed, thus the top hex
nibble was readable.
eq ne cs cc mi pl vs vc hi ls ge lt gt le al nv
Data processing instructions, like
and rd, rn, rm ; d = n & m
aligned each of the four-bits to identify which of the sixteen registers
were used on nibble boundaries so again it was readable as hex.
xxxx000a aaaSnnnn ddddcccc ctttmmmm
The ‘a aaa’ above wasn't aligned, but still neatly picked which of the
sixteen data-processing instructions was used.
and eor sub rsb add adc sbc rsc tst teq cmp cmn orr mov bic mvn
And so it went on. A SoftWare Interrupt had an aligned 1111 to select
it and the low twenty-four bits as the interrupt number.
xxxx1111 yyyyyyyy yyyyyyyy yyyyyyyy
I assume this neat arrangement helped keep the decoding circuitry small
leading to a simpler design and lower power consumption. The latter was
important because Acorn, the ARM chip's designer, wanted a cheaper
plastic case rather than ceramic so they set a design limit of 1 W. Due
to the poor tooling available, it came in at 0.1 W after allowing for a
margin of error. This was so low that Acorn were surprised when an
early board ran without power connected to the ARM; they found it was
clocking just from the leakage of the surrounding support chips.
Also, Acorn's Roger Wilson who designed the ARM's instruction set was an
expert assembly programmer, e.g. he wrote the 16 KiB BASIC ROM for 6502,
so he approached it from the programmer's viewpoint as well as the chip
designer he became.
Thumb and Thumb-2 naturally had to destroy all this so instructions are
now not orthogonal. Having coded swtch() in assembler for various ARM
Cortex M-..., it's a pain to have to keep checking what instructions are
available on this model and what registers can it access. On ARM 2,
there were few rules to remember and writing assembler was fun.
I’m wondering if anyone here is able to assist …
tvtwm is Tom LaStrange’s modified version of the twm window manager: Tom’s Virtual TWM. Somewhat unusually, tvtwm modelled the screen as a single large window and the display was a viewport that could be shifted around it, rather than the now-standard model of distinct virtual desktops.
I’m trying to rebuild the history of its releases. I have the initial release, and the first 6 patches Tom published via comp.sources.x, the 7th patch from the X11R5 contrib tape, the 10th patch from the X11R6 contrib tape, the widely available patch 11, and an incomplete patch 12 via personal email from Chris Ross, who took over maintenance from Tom at some point.
So, I’m looking for patch 8 and/or patch 9 (either one would do, since I can reconstruct the other from what I have plus one).
I’ve failed to find either of them. I’m not sure how they were distributed, and my searches have proven fruitless so far.
Does anyone here happen to have a trove of X11 window manager source code tucked away?
Thanks in advance,
Forwarded separately as original bounced due to use of old 'minnie'
address. Sorry :-(
---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Rudi Blom <rudi.j.blom(a)gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 15 Dec 2022 at 10:18
Subject: [COFF] Re: DevOps/SRE [was Re: [TUHS] Re: LOC [was Re: Re: Re.:
Princeton's "Unix: An Oral History": who was in the team in "The Attic"?]
Cc: coff <coff(a)minnie.tuhs.org>
Our basic tooling is github enterprise for source and saltstack is our
config management/automation framework.
Their work-flow is supposed to basically be:
Makes me wonder how current twitter deadlines are affecting 'quality', of
the code that is. Twits and tweets are a different matter :-)
The more I learn the better I understand I know nothing.
The more I learn the better I understand I know nothing.
On 14 Dec 2022 06:54 -0500, from brad(a)anduin.eldar.org (Brad Spencer):
> [...] but you needed to know 6809 or 68000 assembly to create anything
> new for the OS itself,
Wasn't that the norm at the time, though? As I recall one of the
things that really set UNIX apart from other operating systems up
until about the early 1990s was precisely how machine-independent it
was by virtue of (with the exception of the early versions) having
been written in something other than assembler.
✍ Michael Kjörling 🏡 https://michael.kjorling.se
“Remember when, on the Internet, nobody cared that you were a dog?”