[TUHS] 197[78] usenix conf. at columbia, magtapes "found in the street"?

ron minnich rminnich at gmail.com
Sun Nov 19 08:51:05 AEST 2017

ah, patch tape, now that makes way more sense. Thanks Clem!

On Sat, Nov 18, 2017 at 2:13 PM Clem Cole <clemc at ccc.com> wrote:

> This sounds like Ken's v6 patch tape; which was swapped around at USENIX
> meetings and 77-78 sound about right as the time frame.
> On Sat, Nov 18, 2017 at 5:05 PM, ron minnich <rminnich at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Random memories, possibly wrong.
>> In 1977/78 I was at udel and had done a fair amount of work on unix but
>> as a lowly undergrad did not get to go to the Columbia Usenix meeting. Ed
>> Szurkowski of udel went. Ed was the grad student who did hardware design
>> for 11s for Autotote (another story) but also stood up a lot of the early
>> unix 11s at udel starting in 1976, starting with an 11/70. Mike Muus used
>> to come up and visit us at udel and Mike and Ed would try to ask questions
>> the other could not answer. Mike always had a funny story or two.
>> Ed later went to Bell Labs and I lost track of him.
>> The directions for the MTA were fairly clear: it listed a stop that you
>> under no circumstances should get off at, and if you did get off at, you
>> should not go up to the street, lest you never return. This was no joke.
>> Some places in NY were pretty hazardous in those days.
>> I *think* this was the meeting where Ken showed up with a bunch of
>> magtapes, and Ed claimed that, in Ken's word, they were "... found in the
>> street."
>> This part I remember well: Ed returning with two magtapes and our desire
>> to upgrade. We at udel, like many places, had done lots of our own mods to
>> the kernel, which we wanted to keep. So we ran a diff between trees, and I
>> wrote a merge with TECO and ed which got it all put together. I later
>> realized this was a very early form of 'patch', as it used patterns, not
>> line numbers, to figure out how to paste things back together. I really got
>> to love regex in those years.
>> Except for one file: the tools just would not merge them. Ed later
>> realized there was one key difference that we had not noticed, a missing
>> comment, namely, the Western Electric copyright notice ...
>> I'm kinda sorry that our "udel Unix" is lost to the great /dev/null, it
>> would be interesting to see it now.
>> ron
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