[TUHS] [Uucp] utzoo

Noel Hunt noel.hunt at gmail.com
Thu Apr 6 09:27:07 AEST 2017

John was certainly...different.

Here is a file I found in his home directory after
he was no longer with us:

        A Short History
          John Mackin
How I Learned to Stop Worrying and
        Love the Machine

I was born in the dawn of computing, three
days after the first FORTRAN compiler became
operational.  My first words were "BALR R4".

My introduction to modern computing was on
a DECsystem-10 (which shall remain nameless).
Continuing down the track with Digital
hardware, I found out about PDP-11s and acquired
a reputation as the Man who could Answer Hard
Questions.  I became completely nocturnal in
order to get better system response and avoid
landlords.  I ate lots of pizzas, and knew the
octal encoding for any -10 or -11 instruction.

But there was something missing.

In 1977 I saw Level 6 UNIX (a trademark, of
course, of AT&T Bell Laboratories).  It was
queer, and it was very buggy, and it was
running on a very unstable 11/40.  But it
had that ``je ne sais quoi''.  From that
time on, it's been a never-ending progression:
through V7, system III, PWB, AUSAM and Berkeley
to System V, and now Release 2.0.  Sometimes
advocating and sometimes resisting creeping
featurism, I can still Answer Hard Questions
(and amazingly trivial ones too).  The secret
is to read the manuals -- but I long ago despaired
of getting others to do that.

My interests, apart from UNIX (you mean there IS
something apart from UNIX?), are -- well -- I'm
sure I USED to have some ... ...

On Thu, Apr 6, 2017 at 8:52 AM, Dave Horsfall <dave at horsfall.org> wrote:

> On Wed, 5 Apr 2017, Peter Jeremy wrote:
> > >And I still bear the scars from the aus.bizarre war...  And I'll bet
> > >that not many people remember that little episode :-)
> >
> > Who is going to take the roll of "Iron Bar"?
> Oh gawd...  It was a sad day when we lost him; I really missed him.
> --
> Dave Horsfall DTM (VK2KFU)  "Those who don't understand security will
> suffer."
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