[TUHS] Who used *ROFF?

Bakul Shah bakul at bitblocks.com
Wed May 16 06:49:26 AEST 2018

On Mon, 14 May 2018 19:22:58 -0700 Jon Steinhart <jon at fourwinds.com> wrote:
Jon Steinhart writes:
> Bakul Shah writes:
> > On Tue, 15 May 2018 11:21:22 +1000 Dave Horsfall <dave at horsfall.org> wrote:
> > Dave Horsfall writes:
> > > On Sat, 12 May 2018, Noel Chiappa wrote:
> > > 
> > > > I'm pretty sure 'ed' was the only editor available at that point.
> > > 
> > > I boss I used to work for insisted that we all learn "ed", because one day
> > > it might be the only editor available to you; well, one day he was right,
> > > when /usr on a client's box got creamed after a head crash...
> >
> > Your boss must've been an optimist.
> >
> > I once had to rescue a system where the root dir block was
> > lost.  No ed.  Luckily our bootrom had commands for peek/poke
> > & disk block IO.  The v7 filesystem layout was simple enough
> > and I remembered enough of it that I was able to patch it
> > enough to bring it up and run fsck.
> If we're gonna get into "when I was young" stories we need to get
> back to repairing filesystems from the front panel switches.


My point was when Murphy's Law  strikes, you can't rely having
even "ed".  And it did strike us at a bad time -- 24 hours
before our flight to Las Vegas (for Comdex) where we wanted to
show off our *only* working prototype computer.

As for entering stuff from the front panel switches, my first
boss in Silicon Valley had told me that as a postdoc he had
entered an experimental *compiler* through the front panel
switches on a Minsk-2!  I never got around to asking him for
the details though.

[Minsk-2 was a discrete transistor Russian computer, with 4K
of 37 bit words. I/O via paper tape.]

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