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Peter H. Salus & Eric Levenez Correct SCO's UNIX Chart
Sunday, June 20 2004 @ 11:30 AM EDT

Talks_to_birds wrote to me, telling me about a project he's been working on, comparing the Eric Levenez chart with SCO's version and then each against UNIX historian Peter H. Salus' book, "A Quarter Century of UNIX."[1] He believed he'd found an error on SCO's chart.

That did not surprise me, because of my work on the Grokline project. I knew there were errors. But what he told me next, made me sit straight up. The error he spotted has to do with Minix, the very operating system the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution made such a fuss over (cf. here and here). SCO's UNIX chart seems to show a connection between Xenix/Sinix and Minix and Linux.

I immediately sent his email to Peter Salus and asked for his comment. He confirmed that talks_to-birds was right -- SCO's chart is not accurate in indicating such a connection.

Meanwhile, talks-to-birds wrote to Eric Levenez to ask him for his comment. Levenez also confirms that whatever SCO's chart may be trying to indicate, there is no connection at all between Sinix and Minix, and that the line from UNIX V7 to Minix on Levenez' chart is not because there is any V7 code in Minix, but merely because Minix was designed to be compatible with V7. There is a note beneath his chart, which reads: "Note 1 : an arrow indicates an inheritance like a compatibility, it is not only a matter of source code."

I now suspect AdTI's false accusation that Linus probably stole Minix code (which has been thoroughly repudiated and disproven) was no accident. Either they were fishing for information SCO could use at trial or they were misled by the chart into imagining such a connection and tried to "prove" it. Because others might be misled as well, here is the correction from Peter H. Salus and then Eric Levenez.


SCOG Goes Off the Graph
~ by Peter H. Salus

The Levenez UNIX timeline is a well-known resource about the evolution of UNIX operating system variants. Talks_to_Birds has pointed out what he calls "an interesting error" in a version of Levenez' timeline created by SCO:

TSCOG's error is found in one page of their version of the timeline, covering the period 1984-1986, at:

TSCOG has created a trail representing its "Linux" to "SCO Linux Pedigree" (green dots to a green solid line) that originates where "XENIX OS" forks downward off from UNIX Time Sharing System V7, and continues forward along the UNIX TSS lineage to a second downward fork at the origin of Siemen's Sinix, joined there by an upward fork from XENIX 3.0.

Continuing along, the green-dot-Linux pedigree folllows Sinix until it bends downward and joins a fork which descends to Minix.

And here is where the error lies: if one is to look at TSCOG's own graphics and compare it with Levenez', one can clearly see that the thin black line descending to Minix does *not* originate from the XENIX lineage at all, but rather starts one line upward, from the UNIX Time Sharing System continuation.

TSCOG apparently mistakes, or deliberately misinterprets, the fact that the crossing of two lines on Levenez' timeline does not represent a connection, but merely a graphic necessity.

It's as though TSCOG is attempting to use XENIX' relationship to Sinix to then incorrectly "climb on board" the connection from the UNIX TSS to Minix, and by doing so fabricating a relationship between XENIX and Minix/Linux that simply does not exist.

And, interestingly, TSCOG makes a very similar "mistake" on a Power Point slide for their SCOsource presentation, on page 4, titled "The SCO Group Pedigree of Intellectual Property". Here the lines that TSCOG has drawn are so wide as to hide much of the detail, but if one compares this slide with Levenez' work, it's easy to see that again TSCOG is just "climbing on" to a fork that is not connected to the XENIX lineage but merely crossing it, albeit here without even bothering to include the Sinix relationship.

Of course, one can't be sure of TSCOG's actual intentions, but the graphic record that TSCOG has publicly available in two separate instances is clearly in error, however the error may have happened.

Talks_to_Birds is right. However, I don't think this is an innocent error at all: any more than I think that our friends at AdTI are innocent in their statements about the origins of UNIX, Minix or Linux.

By placing XENIX into the path leading to Minix, SCOG is fabricating an historical link. This fabrication then ties Linux (which is not a descendant of Minix) to XENIX and enables SCOG and AdTI to falsely manufacture a lineage.

Thanks, Talks_to_Birds. Our eyes are, indeed, everywhere.

Peter H. Salus

Email from Eric Levenez to talks_to_birds:

>SCO attempts to show a connection between the lineage of XENIX/Sinix
>and Minix by "climbing on board" a diagonal fork that is actually
>descending from the UNIX TSS lineage down to Minix, and does not
>originate with the Sinix lineage at all.

>In SCO's graphics this is depicted as a train of green dots that fork
>downward from the Sinix lineage along the line that is really
>descending from UNIX TSS.

I don't understand what SCO wants to say and how to interpret their
green line. For me there is no link at all between Sinix and Minix.

>I do not believe that this would correct: I am interpreting your
>graphic style, again, to *not* represent a connection at every
>crossing point.

>Am I correct in this interpretation?

Yes, of course. Only the end of a line, the triangle, is important.

For Minix, I have an arrow from V7 not because there is source code of
V7 in Minix, but because Tanenbaum writes in his book "Operating
Systems, Design and implementation" : "MINIX has been designed for
compatibility with Version 7 (V7) UNIX."


1. Dr. Salus, in addition to being the author of "A Quarter Century of UNIX", is also the author of several other books, including "HPL: Little Languages and Tools", "Big Book of Ipv6 Addressing Rfcs", "Handbook of Programming Languages (HPL): Imperative Programming Languages", "Casting the Net: From ARPANET to INTERNET and Beyond", and "The Handbook of Programming Languages (HPL): Functional, Concurrent and Logic Programming Languages". There is an interview with him, audio and video, "codebytes: A History of UNIX and UNIX Licences" which was done in 2001 at a USENIX conference. Dr. Salus has served as Executive Director of the USENIX Association. He is also technical and historical adviser to the Grokline project, which is tracing ownership of UNIX with the goal of preparing an update to the Eric Levenez chart, one which will accurately reflect the ownership history of UNIX.


Peter H. Salus & Eric Levenez Correct SCO's UNIX Chart | 400 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Corrections Here Please
Authored by: PJ on Sunday, June 20 2004 @ 11:45 AM EDT
Please put corrections in this thread, so I can find them quickly. Thank you.

[ Reply to This | # ]

OT and Misc. Here Please
Authored by: brian on Sunday, June 20 2004 @ 11:52 AM EDT

#ifndef IANAL
#define IANAL

[ Reply to This | # ]

Peter H. Salus & Eric Levenez Correct SCO's UNIX Chart
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, June 20 2004 @ 11:52 AM EDT
Is fabrication of evidence punishable in this instance?

[ Reply to This | # ]

We're dealing with crooks
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, June 20 2004 @ 11:55 AM EDT

We know the kind of people we're dealing with.

I hope PJ's color coding is extended to the Unix charts. Members of Congress
will need this kind of visual aid to help them through the maze.

[ Reply to This | # ]

An awful big leap don't you think PJ?
Authored by: brian on Sunday, June 20 2004 @ 11:58 AM EDT
"I now suspect AdTI's false accusation that Linus probably
stole Minix code (which has been thoroughly repudiated and
disproven) was no accident. Either they were fishing for
information SCO could use at trial or they were misled by
the chart into imagining such a connection and tried to
"prove" it."

Don't you think it is an awful big leap of logic to
assume AdTI used SCO's timeline at all? Is there anything
in the disproven text that says this? I'm not trying to
support AdTI's position but this sort of thing falls into
the "tinhat" category as far as I'm concerned.


#ifndef IANAL
#define IANAL

[ Reply to This | # ]

Peter H. Salus & Eric Levenez Correct SCO's UNIX Chart
Authored by: inode_buddha on Sunday, June 20 2004 @ 12:00 PM EDT
I have to claim "mea culpa" for missing this myself - Thanks to Peter
H. Salus, Eric Levenz, and talks_to_birds.

"When we speak of free software, we are referring to freedom, not price." --
Richard M. Stallman

[ Reply to This | # ]

Peter H. Salus & Eric Levenez Correct SCO's UNIX Chart
Authored by: shayne on Sunday, June 20 2004 @ 12:12 PM EDT
I remember seeing this on the SCO chart ages ago and sorta
thinking "huh?". But I guess I figured that maybe AST had
worked on xenix or something I didnt know about. I'm
kinda surprised that folks didnt pick this up earlier!

Either way, good spotting. I wrote off my observation as
just "hmm, wierd", when perhaps its significant.

“Two things fill me with wonder, the starry sky above and the moral law within.”
- Immanual Kant.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Peter H. Salus & Eric Levenez Correct SCO's UNIX Chart
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, June 20 2004 @ 12:18 PM EDT
At some point UNIX needs to be declared an open standard anyone can implement.
Add to this the requirement of meeting standard criteria to claim to be UNIX to
prevent illegitimate claims confusing the market and you'll have a proper
preservation of "UNIX" without the threat of spurious lawsuits from
future would-be-SCOs.

Oh, yeah, I forgot -- Novell already did this when it split the UNIX
specification from a specific codebase and formed the Open Group. Why then the
fury over making "functional equivelents" to old-style UNIX? Obviously
someone thinks they can sneak past thr truth to gouge wallets and bank

Hopefully this mismash of license litigation dies with the death of CALD/SCOX.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Alexis de Tocqueville Institution - feedback form is not operational anymore
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, June 20 2004 @ 01:05 PM EDT
I sent a number of messages to Alexis de Tocqueville Institution (
on their feedback form, and I wanted to send tehm this link too (just in case,
since the former president is investigating the "report") but their
feed back form is not operational anymore (403 - Forbiden)

It seems that they are cutting themselves off from reality completely from now

[ Reply to This | # ]

A simple formatting change...
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, June 20 2004 @ 01:27 PM EDT

... might have help avoid this.

Note: 20/20 hindsight follows: :-)

If a small dot had been used where a true connection existed, perhaps some confusion would have been eliminated. In electronic circuit diagrams, lines cross all the time and those dots are critical to understand how the circuit components are supposed to be interconnected. The only alternative to this would have been to use those little loops when ``jumping'' across other lines. (Ugh!) If that graph was done using graphvis (gvis) a way to make those connection dots with that package would be to kludgily introduce very tiny nodes to act as a connect point. But E.L. says he doesn't like the output he gets from gvis. (I have to wonder what gvis's output would look like, though.)

Making note in a footnote (and it's not even on the graph itself) that certain lines do not imply a source code connection was probably a bad choice. Obviously our favorite think tank couldn't be bothered to read the footnotes. Announcing the meaning of the lines (solid/dotted/dashed/etc.) on the graph itself might have helped. Unfortunately, E.L. assumed that everyone could and would read the footnotes. AdTI is evidence that this was not such a good assumption. :-)

Very interesting graph, though. I still recall printing that thing out a few years ago and taping the pages together.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Y is this important?
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, June 20 2004 @ 01:57 PM EDT
(I'm probably being stupid, so be gentle)...

Accurately, Minix doesn't come from Sinix, but it still "comes" from
Unix TSS, right?

So SCO move the line up a bit and still claim their derivation for Linux?

Why is the little move to Sinix so important?


[ Reply to This | # ]

ADTI's Research Source:
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, June 20 2004 @ 05:10 PM EDT
In particular, the article Is Your Son a Computer Hacker?

A choice excerpt:

8. Is your son obsessed with "Lunix"?

BSD, Lunix, Debian and Mandrake are all versions of an illegal hacker operation system, invented by a Soviet computer hacker named Linyos Torovoltos, before the Russians lost the Cold War. It is based on a program called "xenix", which was written by Microsoft for the US government. These programs are used by hackers to break into other people's computer systems to steal credit card numbers. They may also be used to break into people's stereos to steal their music, using the "mp3" program. Torovoltos is a notorious hacker, responsible for writing many hacker programs, such as "telnet", which is used by hackers to connect to machines on the internet without using a telephone.

Your son may try to install "lunix" on your hard drive. If he is careful, you may not notice its presence, however, lunix is a capricious beast, and if handled incorrectly, your son may damage your computer, and even break it completely by deleting Windows, at which point you will have to have your computer repaired by a professional.

If you see the word "LILO" during your windows startup (just after you turn the machine on), your son has installed lunix. In order to get rid of it, you will have to send your computer back to the manufacturer, and have them fit a new hard drive. Lunix is extremely dangerous software, and cannot be removed without destroying part of your hard disk surface.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Peter H. Salus & Eric Levenez Correct SCO's UNIX Chart
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, June 20 2004 @ 07:51 PM EDT
Just one footnote to this article.

In his book on OSs, Andrew Tanenbaum describes Unix v7 as the highpoint in the
development of that OS - since then things got bloated and went downhill, if I
remember correctly (I'm at work, and haven't got my copy handy).This book always
left me with the notion that v7 was *the* best version of Unix.

It is no surprise then, that AST would base the interface of Minix on Unix v7.
This requires no actual AT&T code, however. Nor does it require a similar
design - as the heated discussions over monolithic kernels versus messaging
mini-kernels prove. Two cars can have the same dashboard - but one has a diesel
engine and the other a rotary engine. The accelerator and speedometer in the two
cars may look the same, but how they get their speed (the mechanics of the
engine) is rather different.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Handy SCO Chart - Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, June 20 2004 @ 11:19 PM EDT
    • Handy SCO Chart - Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, June 20 2004 @ 11:24 PM EDT
    • Handy SCO Chart - Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, June 21 2004 @ 06:34 AM EDT
Is too much stock being put in the SCO chart
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, June 20 2004 @ 08:08 PM EDT
I don't doubt the errors in the SCO graph have been correctly identified, by
people who know far more about this stuff than me

However I wonder if we are overinterpreting the significance of the SCO's chart

What I mean by this is any chart is only useful as evidence if it in someway
represents or illustrates underlying reality/data. But, as far as anybody can
tell, SCO's chart doesn't represent any underlying reality/data, and is purely a
work of fiction. What I mean by this, is there doesn't seem to be an iota of
evidence in SCO's court filings that they have done any real analysis, let alone
an analysis which would result in the SCO chart.

Furthermore, even if SCO had done this analysis (I don't think that they have),
they themselves have chosen not to offer it to the court. I refer to Mark
Heise's letter of 4 Feb 2004, in which he says that SCO's claimed analysis from
2003 would not be presented to IBM as they didn't intend to use it at trial.

Furthermore, anybody could create any fictional chart they like. For example, I
could create a chart in which Darl McBride is descended from the King Edward
VIII of England, but that wouldn't he was, or that I could use that chart as
evidence in a putative paternity suit of McBride v the British crown.

In short, if there is no evidence/data/reality underlying the chart, it's just

As far as the SCO chart is concerned, if it is purely a work of fiction (as I
suspect, and I assume most others also suspect) with no evidence/data/reality
underlying it, then it seems a massive leap to assume that they hope to use it
at trial - and instead it just seems to be more evidence of them deceiving
investors and engaging in Lanham Act violations

[ Reply to This | # ]

Dad Gummit PJ feed us more!
Authored by: jkondis on Sunday, June 20 2004 @ 09:41 PM EDT
We want more stuff!

Where is the transcript of monsieur Blepp's comedy performance? Where are those
AT&T depositions? Where's the stuff I can't even think of now?

Please feed the animals, some of them are beginning to feel withdrawal symptoms!
Of course, you can wait until after Father's Day, but it better be prompt and
it better be good! :-D

I hope everyone is having a great Father's Day!

Don't steal. Microsoft hates competition.

[ Reply to This | # ]

OT: SCO supporting GCC on Unixware 6/15/2004
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, June 20 2004 @ 10:31 PM EDT
It has been reported that SCO is dropping GCC from Unixware 7.1.4

And it has been speculated that this may be related to their claims of copyright
infringement in FSF software (see Exhibit G to Hatch's letter cited in IBM's
partial summary judgement motion for these claims)

As of 15/6/2004, at least one SCO employee (?) seems to be giving active support
to GCC on Unixware

One J. L. Schilling (AKA Jonathan Schilling) who I believe is probably the same
SCO employee (?) who spoke at SCOforum 2003.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Anyone wanna be a SCO Senior Software Engineer (Linux)?
Authored by: eddsouza on Sunday, June 20 2004 @ 10:50 PM EDT
Apparently, SCO is seeking to hire a Senior Software Engineer to "Design and develop systems-level software for Linux and provide systems support [...]"

The job's located in India, though...
It's apparently been up there since 13 Jan 2004.
Job Responsibilities:
"Apply generally accepted programming standards and techniques to assure efficient program logic and data manipulation"
Hmmm.. shouldn't that be "indulge in literal and non-literal copyright infringement because we say it's OK, we own everything" ??

[ Reply to This | # ]

Doc on SCO server admits Linux is not derived from Unix source code
Authored by: eddsouza on Sunday, June 20 2004 @ 11:06 PM EDT
Part of the Secure Programming for Linux and Unix HOWTO, Chapter 2. "Background"
Since it's on SCO servers, can it be construed as an admission/statement of fact by them? :-)

Wonder if SCO will hire an Orwellian Ministry of Truth to cleanse its site of all truth that conflicts with the gouts of lies they are spouting..

See 2.1.5. Comparing Linux and Unix, para 2
in History of Unix, Linux, and Open Source / Free Software


[ Reply to This | # ]

Noticed that too
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, June 21 2004 @ 03:39 AM EDT
>but merely because Minix was designed to be compatible with V7. There is a
note beneath his chart, which reads: "Note 1 : an arrow indicates an
inheritance like a compatibility, it is not only a matter of source code."

I've wondered about the line too, and saw the note then.
I can assure it's been there for months.

Btw: my own project, MirOS (MirBSD) is listed there, too ;-)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Peter H. Salus & Eric Levenez Correct SCO's UNIX Chart
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, June 21 2004 @ 04:47 AM EDT
The reason Ken Brown states that Linux is derived from Minix because ESR wrote
that is his Cathedral and the Bazar book.

[ Reply to This | # ]

OT - The Ins and Outs of Open-Source Licensing
Authored by: SilverWave on Monday, June 21 2004 @ 08:38 AM EDT

Hey guys & girls can you please help me out with this...

The Ins and Outs of Open-Source Licensing

The GPL, first released in 1989, has become one of the best-known licenses because of its association with the Linux operating system. A distinguishing feature is that it requires derivative works to be distributed under the GPL, thus ensuring that once software is released under the GPL, it will remain open source permanently. In addition, works that contain GPL software must be themselves released under the license; if Microsoft wished to include a GPL-licensed utility in Windows, the entire OS would need to be made open source. "If you want to avoid having your software picked up and used in commercial products, then pick the GPL," said Bill Claybrook, president of research firm New River Linux & Grid Computing.

The bit emphasised is *WRONG* right?

Linux used ideas from MINIX
In science, all work is based on what came before it.
Andy Tanenbaum, 6June04

[ Reply to This | # ]

Xenix - The Microsoft Connection
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, June 21 2004 @ 08:58 AM EDT
Yikes! - There it is! - Microsoft wants to indirectly connect Linux to Xenix!
Microsoft wants to use Linux exclusively to capture the Linux market for itself
and run the Win32 API on Linux like Apple does Carbon on BSD.

Another Microsoft rip-off attempt!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Is Levenez's chart a database?
Authored by: micheal on Monday, June 21 2004 @ 09:00 AM EDT
Not an (evil) troll.

The discussion of SCO copying and modifying Levenez's chart sounds much like the
"copyrighting a collection (database)" of facts debate. That is, the
chart is a collection of facts assembled into a database (the chart). Just
because it is pictorial does not mean it is not a database. The lines are just
the database relations between the facts. If true, all SCO has to do is change
the colors and styles of the lines and the positions of the OSs.

My point is - Facts and collections of facts can not be copyrighted. (There is
currently a debate (proposed laws) in the USA about copyrighting a collection. I
don't remember if it has been enacted, yet.) So can SCO validly claim that
copying the chart is not a copyright violation.

LeRoy -
What a wonderful day.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Peter H. Salus & Eric Levenez Correct SCO's UNIX Chart
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, June 21 2004 @ 09:38 AM EDT
SCO Group had to use an altered timeline otherwise the idea of a lawsuit and the
licensing program would have blowup in their face last year. Their lawyers
would have LOL in SCO Group's face.

The problem is that SCO Group is not the only company or person that has the
timeline. With these other charted timeline it will be shown that SCO Group is
the one that is in error. Which should, I hope stop the concept of the licensing
program and Insurance for Linux

[ Reply to This | # ]

Evidence tampering and Fraud?
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, June 21 2004 @ 10:20 AM EDT
Can this be used to demonstrate evidence tampering? This document was given to the court, was it not? Could it also be evidence of fraud? Adti, for example, used the diagram and associated misrepresentation as the basis of their slander and libel against Linus and the community. If SCO knowingly tampered with the graph, that would seem enough. If they tampered with the graph AT THE BEHEST OF MICROSOFT, in a false attempt to link Linux to Xenix, and did so for financial gain ("investments", and "license"), it sounds like the connection to Microsoft and charge of fraud would be complete.

And the probable typo:

"Here the lines that TSCOG has drawn are so wide as to hide much of the detail..."

I think "lines" should have been "lies". Reads much more accurately that way.

[ Reply to This | # ]

NPR is slandering us now too
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, June 21 2004 @ 12:08 PM EDT
Listening to "On the Media" yesterday. They had a piece on Arabic
terrorist groups, and how they use the web. The "reporter", Daniel
Kimminch (sp. ?), who works for Radio Free Europe (a propaganda arm of the US
governement if ever there was one), stated these sites, with graphic pictures of
beheadings, etc., are like "open source terrorism sites" that share
ideas and information. Shortly after that he said "Think of it as Linux
for terrorists."

Needless to say, NPR is getting a HOT nasty-gram from me. This is
irresponsible. It's like equating the terrorist attacks on NYC to the American
Revolution of 1776. NPR should be ashamed. But now we know that Microsoft's
reach probably extends to RFE and the propagandists there.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Levinez, Minix and Linux
Authored by: fmouse on Monday, June 21 2004 @ 12:17 PM EDT
Interestingly, the Levinez chart shows Linux as branching from Minix on Aug. 1,
1991. This supports Ken Brown's assertion and is in contradiction to
Tanenbaum's recent statement, which I assume to be correct, that Linus's
original work was entirely his own and din't borrow from Minix, other than to
support general features supported by all POSIX and/or Unix-like OSes.

There's no legend with the Levinez chart which might indicate exactly what a
branch of this sort means or implies.

[ Reply to This | # ]

History and in retrospect.
Authored by: Nick_UK on Monday, June 21 2004 @ 12:55 PM EDT

Do you think, 13 years ago, a student would state that his 'pet' project contained no Minix code because he could foresee the ugly [SCO] future, or that he really means there is no Minix code used?

"Full kernel source is provided, as no minix code has been used."

I am sure this has been published before here on Groklaw, but anyway from the comp.os.minix archives, ©1991

Free minix-like kernel sources for 386-AT


[ Reply to This | # ]

The Book.
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, June 21 2004 @ 01:27 PM EDT
Hasn't anyone else here read "Operating Systems: Design and Implementation" by Tanenbaum?

Right in the introduction, apart from stating, as quoted that Minix is intended to be Unix V7-compatible, Tanenbaum also says, on no uncertain terms (and he repated that recently) that it contains NO AT&T code whatsoever.

And there is no reason to suppose it did, because that would completely ruin the point, which was to have a Unix system he could use to teach with, without having to pay any license fees.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Modified after SCO Forum 2003?
Authored by: tintak on Monday, June 21 2004 @ 02:13 PM EDT
I have been looking at the images of the timeline McBride was holding up at last years SCO Forum. link

I t seems to me that the creative additions do not appear in this image and so they must have been added after this event. I do not suppose this matters at all, but it does not hurt to be thorough in our investigations.

Darl's folly.
"Somebody said it couldn't be done, and he knew it. So he tackled this thing that couldn't be done,... and he found that he couldn't do it!"

[ Reply to This | # ]

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