> If a pathname begins with two successive <slash> characters, the first component following the leading <slash> characters may be interpreted in an implementation-defined manner, although more than two leading <slash> characters shall be treated as a single <slash> character.
and NFS originally started in 1984
They were pretty heavily used in my company for CAE work, designing printed circuit boards, schematics and later VLSI design. We moved from software called "Racal Redac Visula" to Mentor Graphics at some point.
They were indeed well ahead of their time. I could open a "pad" in the window manager from any machine in the network. The pad was like a infinite text shell, but it was quite elaborate. You could also open up a UNIX shell within the same environment. At the time, I don't think there were many other graphics-rich workstations which were as comprehensive and focussed on computer-aided engineering.
Apollo was acquired by HP after I stopped using them, and ultimately Mentor Graphics software was likely ported to other systems like commodity PC's and Sun Workstations.
Each flavor had some bin directories with a text oriented symlink like /usr/$OS_FLAVOR/bin (I forget the path) but the interesting thing is that symbolic links were always resolved per process, every access, using the environment.
Oh and they also were waging the windowing wars at the time, so they tried to support all of X10 and maybe X11, as well as that Pad arrangement.
Apollo's downfall was that they clung to their proprietary OS long after everyone else had switched to Unix. They kept putting more lipstick (compatibility layers) on the pig (Domain/OS) but it wasn't enough. To be fair, at the time Apollo was founded commercial Unix wasn't possible because of licensing issues. By the time Sun was founded just a couple years later Unix was the way to go.
Furthermore, I didn't find out that Samba inter-operated at all with any version of DOS or Windows until nearly two years after I did that first release. The earliest versions of Samba were aimed at being compatible with clients for the Digital Equipment Corporation "Pathworks" product suite, which was an early implementation of the SMB protocol that was quite popular at the time, and that ran on Ultrix and VMS systems. My initial motivation was to implement the same protocol on SunOS, so that I could use my desktop system to access the departmental Unix server. -- Andrew Tridgell
(Weird - my hospital also has those IBM Type-1 token ring jacks.)