[TUHS] Early Unix Spider network

Paul Ruizendaal pnr at planet.nl
Sat May 27 05:08:23 AEST 2017

Progressed a little further:

[1] The 'ufs' command was a variation on the 'nfs' command. The man page
that Noel provided for nfs includes the paragraph:

"There is a command /usr/usg/tom/ufs which transfers files to
the USG Unix systems.  The option letter 7 for the 11/70 or
4 for the 11/45 should be used.  Otherwise 'ufs' is similar to

This means there must have been a Unix based File Store (server).
Does anybody have a suggestion who 'tom' at USG might have been?

[2] The V5 man pages in the archive have a man page for 'npr',
in section VI. It says:

	npr - print file on Spider line-printer

	npr file …

	Npr prints files on the line, printer in the Spider room,
	sending them over the Spider loop. If there are no arguments,
	the standard input is read and submitted. Thus npr may be used
	as a filter.

	/dev/tiu/d2 tiu to loop

It suggests that the printer was hooked up to the Spider switch and that
channel 2 was hardcoded to it.

[3] Upon closer inspection, the tiu.c driver is a character mode device,
the use of disk buffers and a strategy() routine had me confused.
It is just a reflection of the fact that it uses DMA hardware.

The code for tiu.c in NSYS/V4 is rather different from the code in
the SRI-NOSC tree: thinking on how to select channels seems to have
changed in between these two versions.

[4] Also I found the below post that mentions the snstat() call:
The object code for snstat() is in libc.a in the dmr's V5 image.
Reconstructed, the source code is here:

In short, snstat() is a modified stty call, an evolution in the direction of
the later ioctl() system call.

No progress as yet on the early history of 'alarm()'.


More information about the TUHS mailing list