[TUHS] Favorite unix design principles?

John Cowan cowan at ccil.org
Sun Jan 31 09:09:27 AEST 2021

On Sat, Jan 30, 2021 at 4:29 PM Clem Cole <clemc at ccc.com> wrote:

> These days, Apple no longer cares about Mac OS because iOS is where they
> now put their effort, although I'm not super impressed there either, but I
> also don't push it like I do Mac OS.  Sad really.   If I could get the
> day-2-day applications that I need to work on FreeBSD, I suspect I would be
> there in a heartbeat.

Decades ago I worked out the lifecycle of tech companies:

1) Engineering-driven: the goal is to make and sell high-quality products.
DEC and HP were like this for a long time.

2) Sales-driven: the goal is to sell products, high-quality or not.  Too
many examples to specify.

3) Finance-driven: the goal is to make money, whether you sell products or
not.  The classic case here is Carnegie Steel.  When Carnegie told his
direct reports they were going into the railroad business and they
protested that the company knew nothing about it, he said "Carnegie Steel
isn't about making steel, it's about making money, and anyone who forgets
that is fired."

4) Survival-driven: the goal is to keep the company going whether you make
money or not.  Auto companies just after bailouts are in this step.  In
particular, Chrysler was bailed out in 1979 and again in 2009: see Tom
Paxton's song "I'm Changing My Name To Chrysler" (covered by Arlo and Pete
on _Precious Friends_).

On Sat, Jan 30, 2021 at 4:43 PM Dave Horsfall <dave at horsfall.org> wrote:

You had *three* RK05s, an RK07, *and* a DH11?  We had just two, and a
> crappy DJ-11 on our /40s.  Pretty much stable; any bugs were fixed on the
> spot because we had the source code after all.

I cut my teeth on a PDP-8 with a single TU58 DECtape and a TD8/E controller
(no interrupts, no data break cycles; I/O was more or less analogous to
terminal I/O).  Uphill both ways in the snow.

John Cowan          http://vrici.lojban.org/~cowan        cowan at ccil.org
So they play that [tune] on their fascist banjos, eh?
        --Great-Souled Sam
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