[TUHS] Non-US Unix Activities

Alec Muffett alec.muffett at gmail.com
Fri Apr 7 18:44:32 AEST 2017

On 7 April 2017 at 00:09, Warren Toomey <wkt at tuhs.org> wrote:

> So if you're on this list and outside of the US, now is the time to
> speak up with anecotes etc. Oh, and if you have anything worth adding
> to the Unix Archive, please let me know!

So: you're looking for European geeks?  I think I know where to find some...

Hello, my name is Alec, and I have been a Unix addict for around 30 years
now. :-)

I'm based in the UK, specifically near Farnborough; formerly University of
Aberystwyth (3yr), then Sun Microsystems (17yr), various, then Facebook

First encounter with Unix: as an undergrad in 1987 using 4.2BSD on the Sun
3/50 and 3/160, and first job was porting them to "SunOS".

Story to add to the collective zeitgeist? I have all the versions of Crack
- because I wrote it - but it also led to an interesting tale, told at
length in a video*, but which I can recap as "I was appointed
'cryptographic moderator' of comp.sources.misc because Kent Landfield, the
actual moderator, was dragged into a USG attempt to prosecute Phil
Zimmerman for publishing PGP, and US-based moderation of crypto publication
became an issue."

If I have anything to contribute it's likely paper-based or war-stories;
I'm pretty sure I have old MACRO-11 manuals, and maybe a few copies of the
old unix programmer docs, but there was too much to keep the whole thing.
If anyone is interested in multi-user games, I have the original source of
AberMUD, printed on fanfold, implemented in B for GCOS3 on a Honeywell L-66
(a machine which was literally advertised as being able to withstand
grenade detonations within N feet)

Unixes I have hacked on:

4.1-4.3 BSD on Vaxes and Suns

Gould UTX/32 on a "NP-1" - a bizarre machine which used 2 Coherent PCs, one
as a sort of bootloader (?) and the other as a master console which was so
deeply integrated into the system that simply pressing "Return" on the
console was enough to time-out all X.25 Ethernet sessions on the machine

Dynix/PTX on a Sequent; odd, but fun.

MIPS/Ultrix on DEC 5820, later 5830 when the performance was underwhelming;
then we found that the DECStation5000/200 which served as an ops-console
was at least as performant as the servers, and we put _that_ into
user-service, too.; various DESstations

Mostly every SunOS/Solaris from 1987-2009

$modern_stuff.  Loving having a farm of Raspberry Pi at home.  One of them
is now labelled "vaxa" and running an 11/780 SIMH with 4.2BSD on it, though
I would love to upgrade that to Tahoe/Reno and get it talking to the net
via NAT.  I've found the source of the DEC ethernet driver and am racking
my brains trying to remember how to rebuild the kernel...

    - alec

* video: https://video.adm.ntnu.no/pres/5494065ba6b9f

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