[TUHS] Why did PDPs become so popular?

Henry Bent henry.r.bent at gmail.com
Sun Dec 31 13:00:18 AEST 2017

On 29 December 2017 at 21:30, Paul Winalski <paul.winalski at gmail.com> wrote:

> On 12/29/17, Ron Natalie <ron at ronnatalie.com> wrote:
> > The Alpha was hot
> > stuff for about nine months.   Ran OSF/1 formerly DigitalUnix formerly
> > OSF/1.
> Digital UNIX for the VAX was indeed derived from OSF/1.  The port to
> Alpha was called Tru64 UNIX.
> Tru64 UNIX was initially a pure 64-bit system, with no provision for
> building or running 32-bit program images.  This turned out to be a
> mistake .  DEC found out that a lot of ISVs had code that implicitly
> "knew" that sizeof() a pointer was the same as sizeof(int) was the
> same as 4 bytes.  Tru64 was forced to implement a 32-bit compatibility
> mode.
> There was also a problem with the C compiler initially developed at
> DECwest in Seattle.  It supported ONLY ANSI standard C and issued
> fatal errors for violations/extensions of the standard.  We (DEC
> mainstream compiler group) called it the Rush Limbaugh
> compiler--extremely conservative, and you can't argue with it.

I'm curious about this.  As far as I know the development of the released
OS for the Alpha went this way:
(OSF/1 reference) -> (OSF/1 for MIPS) -> OSF/1 V[1.2, 2, 3.0] -> Digital
UNIX [3.2, 4] -> Tru64[5].  Was there ever a branch of this for the VAX?

And was the frontend for the compiler for the Alpha not the same as for the
DECstations?  That had the -std options to switch between K&R,
"compatibility," and pure ANSI.  My DECstation isn't up right now but I
believe its compiler under OSF/1 could even take the Sun compiler options,
-Xc, -Xa, etc.

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