[TUHS] Fun with early troff.

Ron Natalie ron at ronnatalie.com
Wed May 9 04:02:32 AEST 2018

My first job after graduation was to work on a uber-classified project at
Martin Marietta.   These guys had just come up with the idea of using the
PWB tools to manage government projects (this was 1981) so since I had some
time to kill waiting for my security clearance to come through, I helped
them set up the UNIX machines that were to be the source archives, etc.

One of things we needed was some stuff to handle classification markings
both for regular line printer (code) output and also for nroff.    I knew
Dennis Mumaugh at the NSA had written such so I wrote to him and he says
"sure, send me a blank tape."     Well several months later a double wrapped
package comes to my HOUSE (not the office).   Great.    I take it back to
the SCIF and open it up.    Turns out it's just my blank tape (I guess the
NSA can't send anything out if not double wrapped).    So I set forth to add
a field to all the .H directives in -mm to include the security
classification.   Then at the page break I gathered the highest markings and
all the code words and printed them at the top and bottom of page (this
required the "col" filter to be used for nroff output going to our
printers).      I then also buggered the lpr command to look for
classification markigns in the what strings  and print the appropriate
banners there.

When later doing some contract work for IBM, I re-stylized the -mm package
to make the output look just like IBM's UNIX manuals.   I'm not sure what
they actually used internally.

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