On Thu, Jan 1, 2015 at 11:11 AM, Johnny Billquist <> wrote:

True. Not sure how much changed though. Do you have any list of things that differs, and things that AA or Heathkit did better?
​I've forgotten the specifics. MaryAnn may remember - having lived much of the brain-damage with so many manufactures.  IIRC: Erase and line operations was one of them.  Tom implemented the regions stuff which again, if I remember could be dorked into doing some of the stuff that was missing/different.   Unfortunately, they deviated it as hard to come back to what the rest of the world did.   Plus Tom left DEC for Masscomp around the time of 102 FW and I suspect that sort of sealed it a little.

I've lost track of him, but I heard at a party a week before Christmas that he is still knocking around the area, so if I can dig him up, I'll try to remember to ask him.


 Always Emacs. (Proper Emacs, that is, not the GNU stuff... :-) )
​Fair enough.   FYI: I learned Emacs on the 10s before I ever saw UNIX. Gosling would not come to CMU for another couple of years, so we used ed and later "Fred" which was the first screen editor for UNIX I saw.  By the time CMU and MIT Emacs made it to UNIX I was at Berkeley and vi was burned into the roms.

Possible. But people in general seems to have preferred the VT100 to most other stuff on Unix as well, judging by history.
​I'm not so sure.  My experience is otherwise.  There were two vectors at the time - cheap/simple (think ADM3A and later Wyse) and smart/expensive (think HP & Tek and later AA).  The VT-100 family fell in-between.   You are right, it was incredibly successful and the fact is there were lots of clones​ of the VT-100 - so you did see them on UNIX boxes sometimes. 

But as Horton mentioned on the termcap/terminfo thread - there were a ton of players in the cheap/simple side.   I think more UNIX sites tended to play out the cheap and simple over anything else, so most sites would get a deal on a one or another.   CMU went with PK's Fox with smattering of ADMs.   UCB was ADMs or something very high end.  I saw most of the smart HP & Tek terminals at the BTL sites.

My experience was that VMS/RSX, and to some extent, Twinex, shops tended to migrate to the VT-100s or clones - probably because the native DEC SW were well intregrated, but Unix folks either wanted cheap or as much functionality as possible.   Curses(3) really allowed that occur.   I think "cheap and simple" came first, but once termcap existed, it really allowed the UNIX folks to use what ever they wanted.   But as Erik mentioned, we all had to hack termcap entries (usually by hacking on an existing one).

xterm is my savior. It actually do things pretty might right all the time.
​Twas for me too for a long time.   iterm2 on the Mac is that pretty much my standard these days.

Let me guess - the missing escape key? :-)
(That one drove almost everyone bonkers...)
​Just one of many :-)  Control and Caps were in wrong place.

BTW: Tek had a layout was worse - it had the 0 next to 1 which caused me to make a painful screw up.  I've forgotten which terminal it was, but we had one of them as console on the Teklab 11/60 and I typo-ed and wiped out a bunch of Fred Park's life work.​
​   Thus creating the infamous "guts in the bucket/​ball on a platter" comment in the bugs section of the RT-PIP man page that got me in trouble a few years later.