[FoRK] Fwd: Where to put the frosh (... on a VAX!)

Joseph S. Barrera III joe at barrera.org
Wed Apr 3 22:07:15 PDT 2013

Remember when computers were expensive?

Remember when emacs had a primary value as an EDT emulator?

Remember when it mattered how many terminals you could connect to a 

Remember when 4MB was a luxurious amount of RAM for a multiuser computer?

Remember when you had to dedicate one of your serial lines to UUCP?

Remember when you would send email to recipients without @ signs?

Remember when you would send email to recipients using @, %, *and* ! 
signs? (not shown below)

- Joe

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: 	Where to put the frosh
Date: 	Sun, 16 Feb 86 14:41:17 pst
From: 	brian (Brian Zill)
To: 	david.joe.maria.mike, scgvaxd!mike.mueller.purves.rhall.rick

Hello Everyone,

The topic under discussion seems to be the following:
	All the frosh are going to get on some Unix machine for a little while
	(3-4 weeks?) in CS6 this year.  (Actual dates I don't know, sorry).

	muddcs is currently overloaded as it is, and the frosh would kill the
	system.  Such poor system response would not give the frosh a good
	impression of Unix, which is just the opposite of what we'd like.

	Engineering's HP9000 is currently sitting unplugged in the new
	machine room as the link-a-bit is dead in the water.  Maybe we should
	try to borrow the HP9000 for the frosh to use.  (Extremely remote
	possibility that we'd be able to keep it for ourselves).

Purve's comments (selected):
>	There may be some nuisance getting adequate terminals.  One
>	possibility is to move half or more of the frosh terminals to
>	the HP9000 during the relevant time period of 3-4 weeks.  We
>	would need to leave some on hmcvax though, for their word
>	processing and other purposes.

My comments:
	I'm all for putting the frosh somewhere other than muddcs as I
	agree the load would be terrible.  The only alternative I see
	that would allow the frosh to use muddcs would be for cs101 to not
	have any programmming homeworks during that time.

	However, there are serious problems with putting them on the HP9000
	as well.  A few that come to mind:
		The HP9000 has a current maximum capability of 6 terminal
		lines (not including the console).  No ethernet capabilty.
		UUCP unrealiable without a dedicated line (cutting lines
		down to 5). The disk isn't the largest thing in the world

		It has never been testing under a large load (i.e. more than
		2 or so users at a time).  Remember, we only have the single
		processor model.

		It runs System V, not 4.2bsd.  General preferences aside,
		the fact is that 4.2 has a bigger presence on this campus
		than System V and probably will for quite some time.  It
		would be better for the frosh to learn about 4.2.  Also,
		(and this is a biggie) our staff is not trained to support
		a system V machine.

		The HP9000 is not set up well.  Unless great advances have
		been made since the last time I logged in, things on the
		HP9000 filesystems are not all arranged nicely.  It took us
		all summer of '84 to arrange muddcs (and we're still not
		perfect).  There is no emacs on the HP9000 (and thus no
		EDT emulator).  I'm not even sure there is a Pascal compiler.

	So what to do?  Well, why think small?  Let's go for a VAX!  Depending
	upon when in the semester we need the extra machine we could go for
	one of the following scenarios:
		The 8600:
		(I know, we'd never get it, and it'd be over Andy's dead body,
		but it would be fun to try :-).  But actually, until it gets
		more memory it isn't much use to anybody anyway.  Frosh
		needing to use VMS could use the old FROSH 750 (which is
		also currently sitting  unplugged in the new machine room).

		The FROSH 750:
		It's currently a very expensive table in the new machine room.
		By my count, Andy should have a spare RA81 or RA80 lying
		around.  I doubt the administration is planning on taking
		possession in the near future by the looks of the thing.

		The NASA 750:
		In a post-memory arives for the 8600 timeframe, we could take
		the NASA 750 during the period of time between NASA's moving
		to the 8600 and 4CCVAX's moving to the 750.

	Advantages to a VAX are basically that it doesn't have all the
	disadvantages that the HP9000 has.  Plus we could rlogin, rcp, rsh,
	etc. over the ethernet between the machines!!!  Getting one to run
	Unix is simply a matter of wheeling a disk over to our machine,
	loading it up, and moving it back.  Or if Mike wants to do a demo
	for his operating systems class, they could load it from the boot
	tape...  Oh well, I suppose everyone gets the idea.  I hope people
	don't think I'm way out of line for suggesting this, but seeing the
	frosh machine sitting there unplugged got me thinking...


	P.S. We have loads of accounting stats collected that show increased
	usage on muddcs if anyone wants to use them to argue.

	P.P.S.  In my logic design class, Goldstein recommended that we all
	use muddcs to write a C program for his class because the HP9000
	wasn't up!!  Seems to me it should be up for engineering...

More information about the FoRK mailing list