[TUHS] Access to Unix

David david at kdbarto.org
Sat Feb 25 02:30:56 AEST 2017

(somewhat long story)

After reading all the stories about how Unix source was protected and hard to access to I’ve got to say that my experience was a little different.

I was at UCSD from 76-80 when UCSD got a VAX and I think it was running 32V at the time. Well being a CS student didn’t get you access to that machine, it was for the grad students and others doing all the real work.

I became friends with the admin of the system (sdcsvax) and he mentioned one day that the thing he wanted more than anything else was more disks. He had a bunch of the removable disk packs and wanted a couple more to swap out to do things like change the OS quickly etc.

My dad worked for CDC at the time, and he was making removable media of the same type that the VAX was using. My luck. I asked him about getting a disk pack, or two. He said that these things cost thousands and he couldn’t just pick them up and bring them home.

Then one day a couple of them ‘fell off a truck’ and my Dad just happened to be there to pick them up and bring them home. You know, so the kids could see what he did for a job.

I took them into the lab and gave them to the admin who looked the disks, then at me, and asked what I wanted in exchange. I asked for a seat at the VAX, with full access.

Since then I’ve had a ucsd email account, and been a dyed in the wool Unix guy.


More information about the TUHS mailing list