[TUHS] Troff to ps

Clem Cole clemc at ccc.com
Thu Jan 28 22:58:56 AEST 2021

Ditroff per cpu was cheap. I was part of all those negotiation.    There
was a buy in that way high and John points out.  Actually there were two -
one to get the sources for your first internal cpu and another for the
redistribution rights.

My memory of the first license for the original ditroff 1.0 typesetter was
5k (which included the new C compiler) although it did drop later when it
went into the toolchest.  But There was also redistribution fee also which
iirc you worked off / creditted against like license fees.

The entire v7 OS redistribution fee was on the 50-100k range (I've
forgotten but am likely to have that in my att files somewhete) - which was
after the 25k single cpu source license. The original binary per cpu
redistribution license started at 1.5k.  Which when a minicomputer was
selling at 150k was not terrible.  The problem was a PC at 5k.

I was in the room at Riki's Hyatt in Palo Alti when that was all
negotiated.  This would lead to the Sys III license. It was at that MTG
Gates famous looked at the rest of us and said "you guys don't get it.  The
only thing that matters is volume".  He wanted to pay $50/copy max.

Anyway troff was much cheaper than the whole OS license.   The per cpu
charge was very small as I said my memory is it was $5 over the base OS

On Wed, Jan 27, 2021 at 8:25 PM Clem Cole <clemc at ccc.com> wrote:

> Actually  It was very cheap. $5 a copy if I remember correctly   Masscomp
> and Stellar just ate the cost.  The adobe transcript license was also
> nominal.  In both cases we realized it was cheaper than trying to keep two
> separate streams and figure out which systems we shipped it too.
> On Wed, Jan 27, 2021 at 7:26 PM John Gilmore <gnu at toad.com> wrote:
>> Greg A. Woods <woods at robohack.ca> wrote:
>> > As I recall even some of the bigger vendors such as Sun and IBM didn't
>> > offer ditroff in their base OS, but they did offer old troff.  Those
>> > were the days of insane AT&T licensing and all the games competitors
>> > played around it.
>> As I recall, AT&T wanted about the same amount of money for ditroff as
>> for the entire UNIX release.  So, of course no UNIX vendor was going to
>> double the royalty they paid to AT&T for every customer, for a small
>> improvement in a utility that most customers didn't even use (troff).
>>         John
>> --
> Sent from a handheld expect more typos than usual
Sent from a handheld expect more typos than usual
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