[CentOS] Re: Ole Fossils [ was Re: ls and rm: "argument list too long"]

Steven Vishoot sir_funzone at yahoo.com
Sat Oct 25 22:03:14 UTC 2008





----- Original Message ----
> From: David G. Mackay <mackay_d at bellsouth.net>
> To: CentOS mailing list <centos at centos.org>
> Sent: Saturday, October 25, 2008 4:18:01 PM
> Subject: Re: [CentOS] Re: Ole Fossils [ was Re: ls and rm: "argument list too long"]
> 
> 
> On Sat, 2008-10-25 at 12:10 -0700, Bill Campbell wrote:
> 
> > My first Burroughs experience was on the B-5500, and it had some
> > ``interesting'' quirks.  Using Burroughs extended ALGOL, one could do what
> > they called array row writes to very efficiently write large chunks of
> > memory with a single hardware command.  The hitch was that if one tried to
> > write more than 1024 48bit words, it would crash the entire system, with a
> > side effect of losing the accounting information for all running programs,
> > which could be useful when paying $750/hour for time sharing :-).
> 
> I'm surprised that the bug lasted very long, or did it just go
> unreported? ;)
> 
> > Are you retired Air Farce?  A fair number of Burroughs field engineers had
> > learned the Burroughs equipment in the AF (and could afford to work at BGH
> > low pay because of their retirement pay).
> 
> No, I was just young and foolish.  Then someone explained that Burroughs
> wanted to get their techs hired away by the customers.  They'd most
> likely continue to support Burroughs equipment, but on someone else's
> nickel.
> 
> > One might say that I worked for Burroughs too as I debugged their Remote
> > Job Entry (RJE) software for Medium systems, including patching MCP,
> > because the company I worked for needed it to work.  I talked Burroughs out
> > of the source code for RJE and the current version of MCP so that I could
> > fix things.  After I sent them the fixes, I never had any problem getting
> > anything I asked for.
> 
> It's impressive that you managed to talk them out of the source, and
> that you fixed it.
> 
> > FWIW, the entire source code listing for MCP fit in a single file drawer.
> > Reading the comments in the code, it was obvious that a very small group of
> > people worked on it which resulted in quite nice integration and
> > consistency.
> 
> Legend had it that the medium systems MCP was mostly written by one guy
> who lived in a beach house in California with two women.
> 
> > Can you imagine`Microsoft making the source code for Windows available to a
> > small customer for free, and with no NDA so the customer could fix a
> > problem that was critical to them?  Even if they supplied the source, do
> > you think anybody could figure it out?
> 
> Well, I did have a go at their Device Driver kit at one point.
> Convoluted is the first printable word that comes to mind.
> 
> > One of the most important features of open source software is the
> > availability of the source code so people can quickly fix bugs critical to
> > them or add features they need.  As an example, in January 2000, groff had
> > a y2k problem with dates which I found printing a letter that needed to go
> > out.  It took me about 15 minutes to find the problem in the code, fix it,
> > and send that patch back to the maintainers.  Imagine how long it would
> > take to get a similar problem fixed in M$-Word.
> 
> Yes.  Trying to support a black box (It took YEARS before they released
> the source code to the B1xx systems to their support employees outside
> of the plant) made me a firm believer in open source.
> 
> Dave
> 
> 
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Gees i feel like i am at an ole farts convention, with this thread. :-D



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