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From: mu...@MITRE-BEDFORD.ARPA
Newsgroups: net.unix
Subject: Least We Forget:  MULTICS
Message-ID: <1608@sri-arpa.UUCP>
Date: Thu, 5-Jul-84 15:38:00 EDT
Article-I.D.: sri-arpa.1608
Posted: Thu Jul  5 15:38:00 1984
Date-Received: Sat, 7-Jul-84 01:35:32 EDT
Lines: 26

----------------
All,

   In all of the discussions of the virtues and vices of UNIX, comparisons
with VMS and CMS, and arguments about its use with/as a programming support
environment, I think that we should acknowledge occasionally the fact that
it was inspired by and named for MULTICS. Many, if not most, of the highly-
touted features of UNIX were actually developed by the innovative and very
competent people who worked on the MULTICS project at MIT in the Sixties.

   My MULTICS experience is at least a dozen years old, and blurred by the
many file systems and command languages I've collided with since; I can't
begin to describe its rich set of features off the top of my head. However,
given that the UNIX designers essentially "cut down MULTICS to fit"
smaller, more available machines, there may be many valuable concepts that
didn't make it into UNIX and that could be of use to us now.  Anyone have a
dusty old MPM or MSPM lying around?

   It has been suggested that UNIX owes much of its acceptance to the fact
that it was the first and for a long time the only OS that was fairly
machine-independent and for which the source code was available outside the
developing organization.  It's interesting to speculate where we'd be now
if MULTICS had been done on a smaller, less exotic machine; all the C fans
would probably be using PL/I and just as vociferous as they are now.

                 /* Bob Munck, the MITRE Corporation */

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From: bar...@mit-eddie.UUCP (Barry Margolin)
Newsgroups: net.unix
Subject: Re: Least We Forget:  Multics
Message-ID: <2336@mit-eddie.UUCP>
Date: Mon, 9-Jul-84 23:18:48 EDT
Article-I.D.: mit-eddi.2336
Posted: Mon Jul  9 23:18:48 1984
Date-Received: Wed, 11-Jul-84 00:20:16 EDT
References: <1611@sri-arpa.UUCP>
Reply-To: bar...@mit-eddie.UUCP (Barry Margolin)
Organization: MIT, Cambridge, MA
Lines: 24


Hey, stop talking like Multics* is dead!  There are some of us who still
believe in it.  Me, I work for Honeywell doing Multics systems
programming.  It was the first *real* computer I had ever used; I
learned computing on a PDP-8 in HS, and then hung around the Radio Shack
playing with Trash-80's for a while.  When I came to MIT I learned what
a computer is supposed to do.

I might consider Multics dead when everyone's desktop Unix(tm) has
demand-paging, a tera-word per process segmented virtual memory
file-system, dynamic linking, and hardware support for three orthogonal
access control mechanisms.  Yes, Unix has a number of important features
that Multics lacks.  You might be interested to know that I don't
consider pipes to be one of them; pipes are a kludge to get around the
fact that dynamic linking was hard to implement, so instead of making it
easy to call lots of subroutines, you start up a process and read its
output.

--------------------
*Multics is a registered trademark of Honeywell Information Systems.
-- 
    Barry Margolin
    ARPA: barmar@MIT-Multics
    UUCP: ..!genrad!mit-eddie!barmar