When you connected to one of the ITs machines (even over the net) and wanted to log in, ECC suggests checking to see if anyone is logged in with the name you wanted and if not, login in with that name. Not create an account. “Logging in” in those days mainly set your home directory. No accounts, no passwords
The command interpreter (shell in modern parlance) was the debugger, DDT. If any program crashed you could debug in in situ rather (with all connections open, files open etc) rather than sifting through a core dump. It’s ass if /bin/sh was gdb.
Those were great days in a more civilised age. You can see here where the mutability of the Lisp Machines came from.
I was there a few years later in the early 80s, and I wouldn't romanticize ITS. There were reasons it didn't live on.
However, one of the more hilarious inventions in the system: It used to be a pastime to try and crash a system. This was of course a huge PITA for anyone else on the system, but for whatever reason of target fixation, you couldn't stop people from trying.
So ITS had an explicit command to crash the system (KILL SYSTEM iirc), and it was well published. By removing the challenge, the system stayed up. There's some deep statement about hacker psychology in there somewhere.
Edit: Just saw your username. You weren't by any chance the same gumby from the 80s?
Eddie Murphy on SNL? ;-)
Apparently you have a pretty memorable username, because I don't think we ever interacted. I was a mere UROP. (I worked on a robot named TARDIS (tea and ravioli delivery service) for Jon Taft (tfat) and John [can't remember his last name], ultimately under tk. Nobody would remember me, being just a peon and then leaving to do hardware, but it was a great environment to cut your teeth, and a real privilege to have delved into LMs at that time.)
Hope things went well for you and the rest of that bunch, it was an incredible place.
I've been playing far too much with Hercules.
If anyone wants a running VM/370 in a couple seconds, https://hub.docker.com/r/rbanffy/vm370/ is your friend.
That is essentially also Linus' argument against debuggers.
Java and .NET IDEs environments as approximation of the former, yes.
Linux kernel, not really.
So I'm not sure about this second coming :)
I always think it's a shame the only OS options we use these days are flavors of UNIX, a distant descendant of MVS, and the bastard child of VMS with a confusing GUI bolted on top of it.
Today we don't worry as much about incompatibility, largely because we have widely accepted and used standards that we lacked back then. One could build a whole new personal computing machine and/or environment and as long as it implemented many of these standards it would be entirely usable (things like JSON, XML, etc).
In fact, the only "application" one would need in such a system is a web browser (no small task, I know). That goes a long way for "bringing people in." There is lots of room for creativity at present but unfortunately little in the way of imagination or will.
There is no good reason that personal computing systems shouldn't or can't be in the large end user programmable systems.
I'd love to play with a Symbolics/Tektronix/TI machine but it's a lot of work to set everything up.
As a note, you can get Oberon on the Mac App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/ao/app/oberon-core/id1057155516?mt=...
Many of that trick does not have a purpose anymore but many still have, and not only for terminal usage but also for speed and comfort.
The bad part IMO is the dichotomy between "younger" and "older" users, the former would benefit a lot from many "semi-forgotten techs" but the letter need to modernize and explain things a bit or at least advertise with proper demos.
In Emacs world many things happen in this direction with newly precooked configs, new packages etc, same happen in shell land with zsh/fish and the recent "epidemic" new tool set that mostly add sugar to classic unix utilities, that's good but we need more and more.
I dream a GuixSD with Emacs as a login shell on terminal and as default desktop with EXWM and a good looking default theme, a small org-based intro vitutor style at first startup, perhaps with few video demo and many, many more users may be enlightened :-)
You’re right, but the way I like to put it is: I often use text rather than moving a mouse & clicking for the same reason that human beings often use speech rather than pointing & grunting (indeed, using a mouse is a lot like pointing & grunting at one’s computer).
Using a smartphone & tablet really drive home how powerful it is to have a full-featured input device (i.e., a real keyboard), rather than just a mouse-driven UI.
On power I often leave some new colleagues astonished when they see how quick I am with Emacs vs with their "modern" solutions :-)
However I think anyone have used both keyboard centric environment, at any level, and "modern mouse usage" can say that mouse sometimes is needed (like for image editing) but for plain UI is far less needed and often not really comfortable nor efficient at all...
My only consideration is that our knowledge is mostly text, we have added video/images in the game but still text is by far predominant and mostly without any viable other option... So having a text-centric environment, without, of course, dropping graphics&c capabilities it's the most logic way of work...
It's been around a while:
Vim is a powerful and lightweight editor, Emacs is an operating systems people who do not know call it an editor. My demos are not about coding but MUA, slides (live in Emacs & exported in reveal.js/pdf with beamer), file management etc so not thing (n)vim do...
I say this as a former Vimmer who now mostly uses Emacs, mostly because of Org-mode. (Though I wouldn't use Emacs without Evil.) I did a lot of work on an Org-mode clone in Vim many years ago, which copied quite a few features and worked surprisingly well. Yes, it was somewhat hindered by limitations of Vim and VimScript. But the main problem was Org-mode had many years of head-start, and already had a large and active community of users, developers, and continual development, and there was simply no way for a resource-scarce, single-person project to catch up.
We can compare editing capabilities of both and I think they are essentially on par, but we can't compare a car with a speedometer...
I don't care if Emacs was born as a lisp machine, the fact is that the modern Vim-garden has as many add-on plugins and apps written for Vim as exist in Emacs' garden, possibly more. And in many cases the Vim extensions are better, despite being hobbled by an inferior extension language.
An example Emacs is my WM with EXWM (and few people use it even as a terminal login shell): can Vim act as a WM? It's also my MUA, and I do not know any Vim MUA, only few hacks mostly to compose a message (while some MUAs and many different apps offer Vim-like keybindings being effective, comfortable). It's also my personal finance manager, my pdf reader, it feature a built-in CAS not at the level of Maxima (supported by iMaxima as a wrapper-UI) but not marginal that can do symbolic, numeric, times, unit conversion, astronomical calculations, it have a shell that's a built-in REPL, ...
Without the intention of fuel a potential flame Emacs can be even a Vim emulator with Evil&c and it's existence and popularity clearly prize Vim as an editor.
As editors for me they are substantially on par, nvim offer also few nice non-editor things like a terminal-emulator that works better than sane-term/ansi-term on Emacs, it's startup time is super quick compared to Emacs but common ground end here. Of course Emacs is a text-centric UI so you may say that "being an editor" can also means being a full featured operating environment, that's true, but no Vim devs nor user I know have tried to do so with Vim while many do it with Emacs not only today but even many, many years ago. One of the nicest old post I found is http://www.sxemacs.org/ from the early 2000's just as an example.
Perhaps sometime in the future Vim or a Vim fork will try and do even a better job than Emacs, but that's only an hypothesis, not something that can be compared now.
I kind of like it.
Vim is just an editor.
Emacs is an environment, a Lisp Machine. I'm running a web browser, mail client, irc client, news client, twitter client, RSS reader and aggregator, file manager, music player, ebook reader on Emacs. 24/7. At the same time. These are all applications written in Emacs Lisp. Do people use Vim in this way? No.
Look at some Symbolics Genera videos on Youtube. Emacs is the closest (but still inferior) application we have to that.
Imagine if musicians did the same as computer scientists: all the keys, strings and holes in all the instruments would be labelled wit the note that they play. Difficult instruments like the clarinet would be rejected and deemed "obsolete" and non user-friendly. Young musicians would rally against the old musical notation, and would switch to a colored animated markup that only works inside new versions of ipads. That would be laughable, wouldn't it? Don't try to do the same with computers please. Learn the tools of your trade and master them. Do not fight against powerful tools because they need some training to use. Do not require "discoverability" for professional tools.
You’re assuming that you’re always hunched over the computer with your hands on the keyboard.
Often I’m in a relaxed position looking at the screen. We all agree that we spend more time reading code in writing? So, do you really want to be sitting at the computer with your hands on the keyboard at all times?
You’re also assuming that you have a physical keyboard. In the 21st century billions of people use tablets and phones.
Finally, I didn’t say you had to give up the keyboard. I said I would like to have the other option. You can still use AceJump.
I have a smartphone, so I casually use touch input but mostly as a personal navigation device, a on-the-go mail reading device (I do not normally write mails on the go), a mobile phone for actually call or answer call GSM or VoIP and an org-mode limited display (Orgzly) for "to buy" grocery lists. Essentially no more. People who try to use such devices for more, like banking etc I simply call them poor, unfortunate and ignorant slaves.
I do not find such devices as an innovation but as an involution and a failure, an involution because of their absurd limit, a failure because we are still unable to have a "computer on the go" when needed...
It's not a matter of being "geek" but a matter of control our personal datas and environments and being able to produce contents, not only consume it. With mobile crap we can consume easily but we can't produce essentially nothing and we can't control our data. So they are absurd devices.
BTW yes, I can still use my physical keyboard, unfortunately they are more and more bad, the sole acceptable remaining are super-expensive and still bad... I would love having again my beloved SUN type6 or ancient ones with many keys I can use with single key binding on Emacs. I would love to have programmable keyboard that are not immense amount of crap that demand super-buggy software only to register custom keys or macros and even with them they can't really be customized.
Have you thought about it this way: maybe you're the one that can't create on these new devices? Just like my parents can't create things on a desktop, because they haven't mastered keyboard and mouse usage and desktop UI conventions. Kids can create quite impressive things on mobile devices. Maybe not things you'd like or prefer, but mobile devices can definitely be used for creating things. For some things they're even better than desktops, because of the more intuitive touch based interface.
Yes, mobile devices are more limited from certain points of view, but as photographers say: "the best camera is the one you have with you". Availability trumps flexibility and power for most people.
And regarding the consumption/creation dichotomy: it's not entirely false, but it's not very important either. Most people in most moments of their lives are not creators. I make things but I'm also passive at least 50% of my time. On top of that, many people don't even have a desire to be "creators". Maybe they want to help other people as doctors, lawyers, teachers, etc., and digital content creation doesn't interest them.
You may state that even on my computer I act only through software, but there is a difference: first of all is software I can write, read and deploy myself (try to develop on Android for Android and deploy the code), so I can know and program my own environment on itself. Second it's something I can examine with simple tools, no need for jtag, soldering, or potentially destructive operation to see my bits, I can even open my raw disc with an editor.
Of course not all people want to create stuff but for me having designed devices that are more powerful than many ancient computer and that they can do far, far, far less, only adding things that we can already do with dedicated devices it a failure for me.
We talk about recycling to reduce the damage we do to our environment and we design expensive devices that can barely last few years (two/three max in mean), that are super-hard to repair and normally repaired device is not "as new" like my own desktop is "as new" when I change mobo or disk. We talk about being flexible in a changing world and we create devices that are substantially not upgradable nor modifiable by the user and often even by the OEM. We say that it's forbidden that a landlord enter in it's rented apartment and then we allow systems that after being formally bought are normally configured and modified/monitored by tons of different subjects. I can go far longer...
Only for comfort (and maybe ease of mind), not for speed. It was shown again and again that mousing s faster.
I know it is a very different beast than what I use today. Still amazing to see that some core ideas have managed to keep it ticking all of these years.
I looked through the section for "Basic Buffer Editing Info" and every one of the key commands mentioned there would work in a modern emacs!
You can now use fancy cursor keys rather than CTRL-P, CTRL-N but if an emacs user from 1978 was stuck in front of an emacs today then they could get straight to work :-)
The meta keys look a bit different though. You type two alt-modes (whatever they are) to get into the mini-buffer and then enter "MM-commands". In modern emacs you type Meta-x (Alt-x on most keyboards) to get into the same mode.
altmode was a special key on the TK TV displays we used. On an ASCII terminal the escape key would also send an altmode, which was printed as a dollar sign.
I sometimes absentmindedly try to press meta-escape to do something in Emacs.
It says a manual for Macsyma exists there.
"...one of the oldest general-purpose computer algebra systems which is still widely used. It was originally developed from 1968 to 1982 at MIT's Project MAC."
Is this a real room at MIT? Can someone at MIT check to see if the manual is still there? I'd like to borrow it.
Tech square was an office complex built in anticipation of the space program. Then JFK was assassinated and LBJ moved mission control and all that stuff to Texas. NE43 was the name of 545 Main st. MIT had a bunch of floors, first 8&9, then 3 (CIA had the other half for a long time), then 7. I think Honeywell had an office there too, perhaps in one of the other buildings, because of the Multics project.
Tecos current mark thing was pretty good actually.
I love these old restricted programs.
Roll forward 10-15 years. Former compiler writers out of work. Gcc and llvm killed the market. On the other hand we have really good competing duopoly of compilers and lots of upper language support and diverse languages. So.. win some lose some. And it's not like rust and go and Java have to use llvm and gcc. Rust does. Go doesn't always.
We have a few AIX machines and I’ve never heard anyone refer to xlC as a good compiler. It’s an aging compiler with idiosyncratic linker flags/behaviour and no support for modern standards.
It produces better code than gcc in many cases. Which is exactly what you would expect for a compiler written specifically for IBM by IBM. Lots of fine-tuning options for the Power architectures.
You say you have a few AIX machines - which one, and which OS version, and which compiler versions? I'm on Power7 and Power8, with AIX 7.1
Don't look at AIX 4/5.
As for killing the market, there are still plenty of commercial compilers around, specially when one looks beyond the PC market.
But, yeah, being born in right time and place would be wonderful.
''Dark liquid with negative mass'' sort of papers is what it all came to.
Old School things, like ML, MIT Scheme, T3 Scheme, Common Lisps and Haskell are unattainable to modern narcissistic idiots.
These were places where old-school (with classical understanding, if we follow Robert M. Pirsig) people tried to reduce grounded in reality concepts to optimal (as humanly possible) implementations, as opposed to the modern tendency to pile up more and more crap.