[TUHS] IBM Unix source licenses - Series/1 NUXI

Ronald Natalie ron at ronnatalie.com
Fri Sep 13 07:09:35 AEST 2019

Indeed, I remember this.  It was either at the UDEL or UToronto meeting if I recall

I also remember a talk from a fledgling Microsoft group (when all Microsoft was known for at the time was BASIC).

It was also at the UDel conference where MIke Muuss got booed for announcing he was from the Army’s lead laboratory in Vulnerability and Lethality analysis.

I also remember this guy getting booed off the stage for making a commercial sales pitch.    Years later I’m having dinner with Mark Krieger (then of UniPress) and it dawned on me:
You were the one who got booed at UDel.   He said he had been half of Whitesmiths.   I laughed.    I recounted when I saw their VMS C compiler came with a license “stamp” you were supposed to stick on your machine.
I wanted to know if that was so when the Whitesmith’s police came by they’d know we were licensed.  He said he was gone by that point and that was how he knew Plauger had gone over the edge.

I was working at Rutgers at the time and on a visit to a site on the Newark canvas I found someone actually stuck one of these stamps on the CPU there.   I carefully peeled it off and gave it to Mark for sentimental reasons.

> On Sep 12, 2019, at 4:59 PM, Clem Cole <clemc at ccc.com> wrote:
> Kevin/Charlie:
> On Thu, Sep 12, 2019 at 3:31 PM Kevin Bowling <kevin.bowling at kev009.com <mailto:kevin.bowling at kev009.com>> wrote:
> Charlie, there is some interesting history of the pre-RS/6000 AIX
> stuff here (you give a quote :)).  Particularly page 41 gives a
> chronology of UNIX at IBM:
> https://amaus.net/static/S100/IBM/RTPC/AIX%20Family%20Definition%201989.pdf <https://amaus.net/static/S100/IBM/RTPC/AIX%20Family%20Definition%201989.pdf>
> Awesome - thank you,
> Prior to AIX the Series/1 had a UNIX port in the early '80s.  I think
> that work happened in Boca Raton.
> FYI: the original S/1 port was done at Cleveland State with the Seventh Edition - the name of the Prof that led it I can not say I remember nor his HW configuration, but I do remember his presentation.  It is where the term 'NUXI' was coined.  I want to say in 1979 or 1980, they gave a wonderful talk about it.   They had some help from folks at Case as they did not have a PDP-11 of their own and never seen UNIX before (i.e. they arranged to borrowed time on a PDP-11 at the EE Dept at Case.  They wrote a new back end for the Ritchie C compiler, and recompiled everything, wrote new drivers for the S/1 HW and rewrote m40.s as needed.  Then they wrote the disks, then drove the packs back to Cleveland State.  IIRC it took a summer of work to complete).  
> FWIW: The PDP-11 has an interesting way it does byte-swapping and when they first booted the system, the first message was NUXI which was how the S/1 saw the strings.  The term was used from then on in the community to describe byte-swapping issues.
> I remember all of us in the audience howling with laughter when they described their work.    Unfortunately, this was before USENIX kept conference proceedings so I'm not sure if the talk and paper were archived.
> And the truth is, I wish we had that port in the TUHS archives. 

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