[TUHS] My EuroBSDcon talk (preview for commentary)

Warner Losh imp at bsdimp.com
Mon Sep 16 11:42:23 AEST 2019

On Mon, Sep 16, 2019, 12:25 AM Bakul Shah <bakul at bitblocks.com> wrote:

> On Sun, 15 Sep 2019 17:46:42 -0400 Clem Cole <clemc at ccc.com> wrote:
> >
> > The first UNIX clone that I know about was a V6 version by Whitesmiths,
> > called Idris, I want to say in 1977/78.   I believe that Michel's Gien's
> > Pascal clone that he talked about a year later started out as V6, but
> > morphed to V7 before he was done (and then later morphed again to become
> > Chorus in a C++ rewrote).  Mike Malcolm's Thoth (which "Thucks" by the
> way,
> > my wife threw out my tee-shirt years ago;-) was a pseudo V6 clone.   I
> Acc. to a paper[1] by Cheriton, Malcom and Melen did the
> original small run time executive called Thoth. Cheriton
> rewrote it to form the kernel of the system described in the
> Feb 1979 CACM article. It used memory mapping, swapping. etc.
> They also added a filesystem.

Cataloguing all the clones was out of scope for my talk... there are a huge
number that are known, and many more that aren't...

I likely could do a whole talk on just that...


Thoth could not have been a clone of v6.  It used message
> passing. More RPC than pipes. And it had "teams", where a
> "team" is roughly the same as a Unix process (separate address
> space) and a Thoth "process" was a thread in that address
> space.  root was "*" (instead of "/") and current dir was "@"
> (instead ".").  A bigger difference was that it had *nodes* or
> files and any file can have sub nodes.  There was no
> separation between files and directories.
> It was an interesting system and a lot of different things
> were tried in it. In 1980-81 timeframe AMD forked off a
> separate company called AMC to build microcomputers. They
> chose Thoth.  I almost worked there but in the end decided I'd
> rather do unix and joined Fortune and soon after AMD came to
> its senses and shut AMC down.
> [1] https://cs.uwaterloo.ca/research/tr/1979/CS-79-19.pdf
> > As I mentioned before the first commercial user of UNIX was Rand
> > Corporation in LA.  Al Arms of AT&T legal wrote the original $15K/CPU
> > license for them.   I don't know how many of those licenses were made
> > available, but I've always been under the impression it was under 10.
> Like
> > a lot of people at the time, this was when the 'glass tty' was just
> showing
> > up in force and Rand updated/wrote a version of ed(1) called the rand(1)
> > editor [IIRC, its still available as the 'grand editor' from Dave Yost].
> The Rand editor e had nothing in common with ed(1).  e
> descended from NED, a 2D editor, invented by Ned Irons in 1967
> and described in "A CRT editing system" CACM Jan 1972.
> The "Grand editor", derived from e19 is long gone. Even Dave
> gave up on it long ago.  Though you can find a separate
> version on the 'Net, also derived from e19.  e with its
> multiple windows was a joy to use on a 60 line Ann Arbor
> Ambassador terminal. I use acme because it too is a tiling
> editor like e. It has some goodies not in e but overall e
> was a better experience.
> http://www.bitsavers.org/pdf/rand/R-2176-ARPA_The_CRT_Text_Editor_NED_Dec77.pdf
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