4.2BSD steering committee members

Paul Ruizendaal pnr at planet.nl
Sun Oct 8 22:42:02 AEST 2017

According to the Unix Tree web pages, the development of 4.2BSD was at the request of DARPA guided by a steering committee consisting of:

Bob Fabry, Bill Joy and Sam Leffler from UCB
Alan Nemeth and Rob Gurwitz from BBN
Dennis Ritchie from Bell Labs
Keith Lantz from Stanford
Rick Rashid from Carnegie-Mellon
Bert Halstead from MIT
Dan Lynch from ISI
Gerald J. Popek of UCLA

Although I can place most people on the list, for some names I’m in the dark:

* Alan Nemeth - apparently the designer of the BBN C-series mini’s (I think the C30 was designed to replace the 316/516 as IMP). It is hard to find any info on the C-series, but I understand it to be a mini with 10 bit bytes, 20 bit words and 20 bit address space, more or less modeled after the PDP11 and an instruction set optimised to be an easy target for the C compilers of the day. Any other links to Unix?

* Keith Lantz - apparently specialised in distributed computing. No clear links to Unix that I can find.

* Rick Rashid - driving force behind message passing micro-kernels and the Accent operating systems. Evolved into Mach. Link to Unix seems to be that Accent was an influential design around 81/82

* Bert Halstead - seems to have built a shared memory multiprocessor around that time, “Concert”.

* Dan Lynch - ISI program manager for TCP/IP and the switch-over from NCP on Arpanet.

* Gerald Popek - worked on a secure version of (Arpanet enabled) Unix and on distributed systems (LOCUS) at the time.

Next to networking, the link between these people seems to have been distributed computing — yet I don’t think 4.2BSD had a goal of being multiprocessor ready.

All recollections about the steering committee, its goals and its members welcome.


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