[TUHS] finding help in v7 in 1980

Larry McVoy lm at mcvoy.com
Sat Nov 11 04:06:41 AEST 2017

On Fri, Nov 10, 2017 at 12:00:15PM -0600, Will Senn wrote:
> My question for you citizens of that long-ago era :), is this - what was it
> like to sit down and learn unix V7 on a PDP? Not from a hardware or
> ergonomics perspective, but from a human information processing perspective.
> What resources did you consult in your early days and what did the workflow
> look like in practical terms.

I learned on the VAX, did some PDP-11 assembly but I dunno if I ever 
ran on one.  Definitely spent a lot of time on 11/750, 11/780 and the 8600.

The hardest part, for me, was learning command names.  Where is dir?
Oh, it's ls.  Etc.

I believe the 4BSD manuals (those ones with red/yellow/green plastic
binders) had listings of the commands with the synopsis, either they
did or someone gave such a thing.  That was a big jump start.

The next thing was someone gave me an account on ..!uwvax!slovax which
was an 11/750 that had the 4.2BSD source on it.  Many, many hours reading
the source and having my eyes opened.


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