Re: "Super Cali makes a fix-it law come into focus"
Well, um-tiddle-iddle-iddle, um-tiddle-eye
109 posts • joined 17 Jan 2008
George 3 ran on 1900 machine, the 2900s ran VME/B (and wasn't there a smaller VME/K?)
The ICL people visited the Multics people during the design phase, but IIRC the Multics people couldn't understand why the ICL people felt that 32 rings were needed. Multics had originally had 64 on the GE-645, but this was reduced to 8 on the 6180 - and only rings 0,1, 4 and 5 were actually used initially although later on something (was it forum?) ran in ring 2 and some of the UK Rainbow book networking software ran in ring 3 (I know this for certain, as I wrote a call gate for the latter). Rings 6 and 7 were sometimes referred to as "outer darkness" as the standard software was not accessible in those rings.
Of course, the 2900 could emulate the 1900. Indeed, in the early 1980s my wife encountered, at BT in South Wales, the "orange Leos" which were ICL 2900s running the 1900 emulator running the System-4 emulator running the LEO emulator running LEO programs for which they no longer had source code.
There were also two non-academic systems: STC (Standard Telephones and Cables) and the RAE (Royal Aircraft Establishment).
The RAE site was the first MLS (Multi-Level Secure) computer system in the UK, as Multics had just been certified to Orange Book B2 level. I constructed the security trials which we conducted for the RAE as part of the acceptance testing.
If I told you any more, I'd have to kill you...
In fact the hardware story is somewhat more complex.
GE originally produced the 635 and its OS GECOS-3 in the early 1960s. When MIT were looking to create their new OS they looked around for hardware and GE were prepared to custom-build a processor with segmentation and paging hardware as required; IBM were not.
Hence the GE-645, which was the first Multics CPU.
Later, GE developed the 6000 series to run GECOS: several models including 6050, 6060, 6070 and 6080 AIR; the "even numbered" ones having an extended instruction set - EIS - for commercial programming: it had instructions like MVNE (Move Numeric Edited) which could take a binary value and format as ASCII, complete with currency symbol, commas for thousands, decimal places and check suppression characters - RISC it was not.
But the 6000 series did not have the segmentation and paging hardware necessary for Multics; moreoever, among other recommendations of the USAF Tiger Team looking at Multics security, was that the rings should be implemented in hardware, rather than in software as on the 645.
Enter the 6180, which had the segmentation and paging hardware AND hardware rings (8 as opposed to the 64 on the 645) and fixed-size pages.
GE sold their computer business to Honeywell around 1971, later Multics processors were the Level 68 and DPS-8/70M.
It was only internal politics within Honeywell which killed Multics; by 1984 they had also acquired Xerox's computer business, so now found themselves with 3 mainframe OS's: GCOS (the E was dropped as part of the agreement with GE, although much of the documentation kept it for some time), Multics and CP-6 (originally CP-V when owned by Xerox).
I'm not sure about the 70s, but by 1980, when I began working on Multics there certainly was a COBOL compiler (I wrote an emacs programming mode for it for a UK customer) and quite a bit of commercial software, including one of the first relational database systems, MRDS.
I still miss Multics.
"MS first started pissing me off when they introduced the Ribbon UI."
It took you that long?
MS first pissed me off when I had to reinstall Windows 3.something (0? 1?) over 20 times. Started running linux in my office in 1993 and have never looked back. Now every system in my house - including the router, video and music streamers and my wife's destop and laptop machines, runs some version of linux.
Thought I might give MS another chance back in 2007 when the college I taught at supplied me with a new HP laptop with Vista preinstalled.
Firstly I thought I'd dual boot in case I needed to show my students anything windows-ish.
Fortunately (!?) Vista was the first version of Windows which could resize its partitions, so...let the program calculate the minimum size it could resize to then feed in that number.
Only to be told it wasn't big enough....
Last straw was the fact the Vista absolutely refused to see my USB mouse. Even tried rebooting with it connected. Zip. I mean USB was only about a decade old at that point.
Bye bye Vista...
BTW I turned 65 last year and yes, I have a beard...
It's probably been a decade since I last used/taught C++, but as I recall the *only* difference between a struct and a class (apart from spelling) is that the default visibility for class members is private and for struct members it's public.
C++, I don't miss it at all...
1. Define "still not quite there".
2. The buttons are in different places in different desktops (KDE, XFCE, Unity and the rest). And most DEs allow you to decide where to place them.
3. Flash is still available for linux.
4. You clearly don't know what you're talking about or
5. You work for MS.
It was Reich who used two very-slightly-out-of-sync tape loops in his 1965 piece "It's Gonna Rain".
Eno claims to have been involved with the Scratch Orchestra (I don't ever remember him performing, but it was over 40 year ago) in which case he would *definitely* haveknow about Riley, Reich and, with a bit of work back then, Glass.
I am unaware of any Cage work using tape loops.
The article seemed to focus on the wiring and cooling of the CDC6600.
What still makes that machine so important is the architectural features - it was the first superscalar machine and in order to support multiple in-execution instructions he invented scoreboarding, techniques still in use today.
Oh, but they are NOTHING compared to the comments made by US visitors to Canada.
I live in Victoria, 1.5 hour ferry ride from Washington State. We are, of course, used to Americans thinking it's OK to bring RVs full of guns up here - "I haven't broken any American laws" one would-be importer remarked - but overall, well...
In front of our parliament buildings is a statue with the legend "Captain George Vancouver, RN".
"Gee, I didn't know he was a registered nurse" one American was heard to observe.
You have to explain to them that, no, that can't use US stamps on their postcards home.
But my favourites are the ones who ask for directions to the bridge back to the mainland.
"There isn't one"
"Yes there is, we drove over it".
"No, that must have been the ferry"
And so it goes.
A nation with a collective IQ in single digits.
"My impression at the moment is that the Liberals are the equivalent of the left, NDP the center and the Conservatives are the right."
The NDP are less rightwing than the Liberals, I wouldn't call either of them particularly left, although the NDP is more so than the Liberals.
Harper's Conservatives are, as the old saying goes, somewhere to the right of Genghis Khan.
My problem with this is that GPS systems are still not 100% accurate. Like the one which insisted - although I had put the correct street address in - in sending me to the back of Exeter Hospital, where there was no public parking. I had to drive for several minutes to find the actual entrance. How would the self-driving car cope with this?
Actually, linux hardware support is much better than windows. And older hardware is far more likely to be supported.
Even newer hardware: back in the days of Vista my college leased a whole bunch of HP laptops with it installed.
Vista would not even see a USB mouse. USB in 2008?????
Linux has had the edge over windows in terms of hardware support for several years now.
"He’s a VB programmer (be gentle, he’s only 10), which is part of the problem schools face in teaching coding; they are supposed to teaching coding before the idea of a variable has appeared in maths. "
Given that many people coming to programming from a mathematical background have considerable difficulty with the concept of variables, as they are quite different (in mathematics X = X + 1 is meaningless for example) I'm not totally convinced this is such a big deal.
However, primary teachers teaching coding worries me...
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