4.2BSD steering committee members

Noel Chiappa jnc at mercury.lcs.mit.edu
Mon Oct 9 01:16:30 AEST 2017

    > From: Paul Ruizendaal

    > * Alan Nemeth - apparently the designer of the BBN C-series mini's

ISTR him from some other context at BBN; don't recall off the top of my
head, though.

    > (I think the C30 was designed to replace the 316/516 as IMP).

They _did_ replace the Honeywell's. At MIT, they eventually came and took away
the 516 (I offered it to the MIT Museum, but they didn't want it, as the work
on it hadn't been done by MIT - idiots!), and replaced it with a
C/30. (Actually, we had a couple of C/30 IMPs - the start was adding a C/30,
to which the MIT Internet IP gateway was connected - the other two IMPs were
full, and the only way to get another port for the gateway was to get another
IMP - something which caused a very long delay in getting MIT connected to the
Internet, to my intense frustration. I seem to recall DARPA/DCVA had stopped
buying Honeywell machines, and the C/30 was late, or something like that.)
    > 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.

Yes and no. It was a general microprogrammed machine, but supported a
daughter-board on the CPU to help with instruction decoding, etc; so the C/30
and C/70 had different daughter-boards, specific to their function.

There's a paper on the C/70, I don't recall if I have a copy - let me look.

    > Any other links to Unix?

I think the C/70 was intended to run Unix, as a general-purpose timesharing
resource at BBN (and did).

    > * Bert Halstead - seems to have built a shared memory multiprocessor
    > around that time

He was, as a grad student, a member of Steve Ward's group at MIT, the ones who
did the Nu machine Unix 68K port. (He wrote the Unix V6/PWB1 driver for the
Diva controller for the CalChomps they had on their -11/70, the former of
which I eventually inherited.)  After he got his PhD (I forget the topic; I
know he did a language called 'D', the origin of the name should be obvious),
he became a faculty member at MIT.

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

He was actually their facilities manager (or some title to that effect; he was
in charge of all their TENEX/TWENEX machines, too). He was part of the early
Internet crowd - I vividly remember him at a bar with Phill Gross and I in the
DC suburbs, at a _very_ early IETF meeting, discussing how this Internet thing
was going to reallly take off, and the IETF had got to get itself organized to
be ready for that.

    > Next to networking, the link between these people seems to have been
    > distributed computing

That wasn't really the tie - the tie was they were all part of the
DARPA-funded circle. Now, as to why whomever at DARPA picked them - I think
they probably looked for people with recognized competence, who had a need for
a good VAX Unix for their research/organization.


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