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The Daemon, the GNU and the Penguin - Excursus: Hardware & Ch. 9 - by Dr. Peter H. Salus
Thursday, May 19 2005 @ 09:33 AM EDT

Here is "Excursus: Hardware" and Chapter 9 of Dr. Peter H. Salus' book, "The Daemon, the GNU and the Penguin," which he is publishing in installments on Groklaw under the Creative Commons license, 2.0, attribution, noncommercial, noderivatives.

Here are the earlier chapters:


The Daemon, the GNU and the Penguin

~ by Peter H. Salus

Excursus: Hardware

J. C. R. Licklider wrote that computers were communication devices, not calculating devices. Tomlinson's creation of email (1970) was a step demonstrating that. The continued expansion of the Internet provided the medium. UUCP and Usenet provided further impetus.

In January 1976, there were 63 hosts on the Internet. Five years later, there were just over 200. In August 1982, there were 235. For nearly 20 years thereafter, the number of Internet host sites doubled yearly: 562 in August 1983; 1024 in October 1984; 2308 in February 1986; 28,174 in December 1987; 727,000 in January 1992. But the slope of that curve has flattened. We no longer talk about hosts; we talk about users. But that's hard to estimate. How many people own a domain ... or several domains? And how many users are "on" some major domains? And what's the average? So it's largely guesswork. Around 2002, there appeared to be about 300 to 500 million users of the Internet. Right now, perhaps a sixth of mankind has access.

Two factors drove this (in my opinion): the development of the modem and the affordable personal computer. [This Excursus is not intended to be a complete history; my aim is to provide background so that subsequent chapters will be more intelligible.]

A modem (modulator-demodulator) sends and receives data between two computers. The first commercial modem, the Bell 103, was built by AT&T in 1962. It had full duplex transmission, frequency-shift keying and operated at 300 bits per second. Things got a bit speedier over time: 1200 bps, 9600 bps, 14,400bps. Robert Lucky invented the "automatic adaptive equalizer" at Bell Labs in 1965. Brent Townshend, a Quebec inventor, created the 56K pulse-code-modulated modem in 1996. Things had gotten a lot better.

Personal workstations and personal computers are not new, either. I can recall the LINC of 1963, for example. But these machines, as well as others, though of historical importance, had little impact on where we are now.

But we do need to look back at the 1976 Apple 1, running at 1MHz with 8kB RAM (max. 32KB); the Apple ][ (1977), the ][e (1983), and the Macintosh SE (1987). And they had their beginnings in the Altair. (Aspects of all these were developed a decade earlier, many by Doug Engelbart.)

In 1973 and 1974 a small company in Albuquerque, NM, called MITS (Micro Instrumentation Telemetry Systems), which had been producing inexpensive calculators, was seeking a new product. Texas Instruments had just taken over its calculator market. Ed Roberts, with the help of Les Solomon, decided to build a computer kit. Assisted by two hardware engineers, William Yates and Jim Bybee, they developed the MITS Altair 8800, which was featured on the cover of the January 1975 Popular Electronics. 1 The magazine called the Altair the "World's First Minicomputer Kit to Rival Commercial Models." It shipped for $400, but the purchaser had to assemble it, get it to work, and write the necessary software. It wasn't all fun, but it sold.

Among others, it sold to a Harvard freshman, Bill Gates, and his friend Paul Allen. They compiled a version of BASIC to run on the Altair. (Roberts offered Allen the post of Director of Software at MITS -- he was the only person in the department. Gates joined him upon leaving Harvard.)

The Apple ][e ran on a SynerTek 6502 board. The SE was 8MHz, 256kB, ran on the Motorola 68000, and had a serial port into which a modem could be plugged. It sold for just under $3000. (While I was Executive Director of USENIX in 1987, Telebit gave me a QBlazer and I connected the SE from home to the office using Red Rider.) Real power. And there were nearly 300 groups on Usenet.

But in 1975, IBM had tried to enter the "small machine" market with its 5100 -- a 50-pound "portable" computer, priced at $9000 to $20,000. It was a dismal flop. ("There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home," Ken Olsen, founder of DEC, said in 1977.)

IBM then contemplated buying up Atari, but instead set up an "independent business unit" in Boca Raton, FL, to build the "Acorn." 2 The team of a dozen engineers was headed by William C. Lowe. They made a number of unusual decisions, the most notable of which was that the PC would have open, rather than proprietary architecture. They also decided to save time by purchasing an operating system, as well as making hardware components open to competitive bids. Finally, the PCs were to be sold through retail channels.

Released in August 1981, the original PC ran on a 4.77MHz Intel 8088. It had 16kB of memory, expandable to 256kB. It was priced at $1565 and launched through a brilliant advertising campaign featuring a Charlie Chaplin look-alike. By 1985, IBM's sales had overtaken Apple's and IBM had 40% PC market share.

However, the same open architecture that made the IBM PC a success, led to its decline. Open architecture meant that others could clone it, and the first of these was Compaq, coming out with an 80386-based machine in 1986. Others followed. By 1995, IBM's market share had dropped to 7.3% and in 2003 it was 6%.

In 1981, the Osborne 1, the first true portable had been released. It had 64K RAM; twin 5.25", 91K drives; and ran on a Zilog Z80 at 4MHz. Though the company eventually failed, the machines were definite landmarks. 3

Smaller size; lower price; access via the ubiquitous telephone. That did it.

Chapter 9. MINIX

Like Richard Stallman, Andy Tanenbaum was born in New York. After graduating from high school in White Plains (just north of New York City), he went to MIT, and subsequently received his doctorate from Berkeley. Since 1971 he has lived in the Netherlands (his wife is Dutch) where he's Professor of Computer Science at the Vrije Universiteit [Free University, VU].

After AT&T's 1979 announcement of the V7 licensing restrictions, precluding the use of the code in classrooms, Andy decided that the solution lay in his "helping himself."

Together with Sape Mullender, of the CWI [Center for Mathematics and Computer Science], Andy had originated the Amoeba project. Amoeba was one of the earliest attempts at a distributed operating system, contemporary with Roger Needham's work in Cambridge, and preceeding LOCUS, CHORUS, V, and Mach. [Tanenbaum & Mullender, in Operating Systems Review 13(2): 26-32 (1981)] That same year, Andy's valuable Computer Networks (Prentice-Hall) appeared.

And, while doing research, teaching classes, supervising graduate students, and writing, Andy worked on his own system. "It took about two years," he told me. He called it MINIX.

MINIX was a micro-kernel UNIX clone. While it emulated UNIX, it contained no AT&T code -- not in the kernel, not in the compiler, not in the utilities. It was 1986. The next year, 1987, Operating Systems: Design and Implementation came out, the book's title reflecting the VU course that Andy was teaching. At first, the code (v1.1) was only available on diskettes from Prentice-Hall. Soon it was available without the book.

MINIX 1.3 was on five 1.2M floppies and cost $60; MINIX 1.5 (1991) came on 12 720K diskettes at $169. 1.5 contained the accumulated bug fixes; it was V7 system call compatible; it would run on the IBM PC, PC AT, PC XT, PS/2, and 286/386 as well being "available" for the Atari ST, the Macintosh, the Amiga, and the Sun SparcStation 1, 1+, or IPC. 1.5 had a K&R compatible C compiler, a Bourne-like shell, five editors (ed, ex, an Emacs subset, a vi clone, and "a simple screen editor"), and a great deal of other goodies.

MINIX was intended as a teaching tool, and it was far from freely redistributable. It was under copyright by Prentice-Hall, but with rather liberal copy and revise/extend restrictions. However, it was certainly not free. As I understand it, the Prentice-Hall lawyers were to blame here, not Andy. MINIX now is free: the license has been redone and made retroactive. MINIX 2 is freely redistributable software.

1The Altair was named by Solomon's 12-year-old daughter, after a Star Trek episode.

2 See Pugh, Building IBM, pp. 313f., and P.E. Ceruzzi, A History of Modern Computing, 2nd Ed. (MIT Press, 2003), pp. 268-273.

3Adam Osborne (1939-2003) was a fascinating individual, but a poor businessman. See his Hypergrowth: The Rise and Fall of the Osborne Computer Corporation (1984).

Dr. Salus is the author of "A Quarter Century of UNIX" and 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.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License. To view a copy of this license, visit or send a letter to Creative Commons, 559 Nathan Abbott Way, Stanford, California 94305, USA.


The Daemon, the GNU and the Penguin - Excursus: Hardware & Ch. 9 - by Dr. Peter H. Salus | 286 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Factual error.
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 19 2005 @ 09:45 AM EDT
Oh my! The Macintosh SE had an astounding ONE WHOLE MEGABYTE not 256 kB RAM.

It was announced with the Mac II, my dream machine at the time.

[ Reply to This | # ]

The Daemon, the GNU and the Penguin - Excursus: Hardware & Ch. 9 - by Dr. Peter H. Salus
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 19 2005 @ 09:47 AM EDT
Nice! You might consider mentioning the TRS-80 and the PET that came out about
the same time as the Apple ][. They got many of us into personal computing, as

Larry N.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: JScarry on Thursday, May 19 2005 @ 10:23 AM EDT
Corrections and differing recollections go here.

[ Reply to This | # ]

The Daemon, the GNU and the Penguin - Excursus: Hardware & Ch. 9 - by Dr. Peter H. Salus
Authored by: frk3 on Thursday, May 19 2005 @ 10:49 AM EDT

I remember setting up my first personally owned computer early 1988.

It was a 286 with MS-DOS 2 (I believe, it's been a while) and a monochrome (black screen, glowing green characters) monitor.

Working to get it connected via modem to CompuServe was interesting. Pull out the paper click and adjusting the dip switches to set the COM port (1 or 2).

Checked out some bulletin boards in my free time, but mainly used the system for work (small contact management software package) and faxes and letters for my sales contacts.

I came from a main frame and specialized computer back ground from my five years in the U.S. Navy, so poured over as much documentation as I could find and learn from in my off hours. Learning and writing batch files for specialized use of the computer to maximize resources for specific tasks.

I remember using products from a company Quarterdeck, QEMM (memory management) and Desqview (psuedo-windowing package). Good products for what I needed at the time.

The blinding speed of 300 bps, hehe, now if I have to work with anything less than ADSL speed, my annoyance level rises to verbal criticism using "color metaphores" (see the movie "Star Trek 3").

Had my hands on some UNIX or Unix-flavored boxes since 1981, for brief periods of time. Linux box for learning and experimenting on more recently.

I also remember trying to learn to type on a Dvorak keyboard about that same time. However, after 14 years of using a QWERTY keyboard, it was very very difficult to alter the ingrained patterns I had learned and was very proficient at by that time (80 plus WPM with 0 errors on QWERTY keyboard by that time).

Was an interesting time for me, anyway. Got more interesting as with more-better-faster CPUs, larger more reliable hard disks, faster modems, CGA and higher tech monitors came out as the years progressed from there.

[ Reply to This | # ]

My Baby!
Authored by: pscottdv on Thursday, May 19 2005 @ 11:23 AM EDT

He doesn't mention my baby, the 1979 Radio Shack TRS-80 Model I!

Radio Shack, back then, was a store for hobbyists and you could learn everything you wanted to know about this machine. The Hardware Reference guide had complete schematics along with a description of the theory of operation.

Almost everything (except the Z80 processor) was done with 7400 ttl logic gates. I was only 13, but everything was so well-explained that I was able to design and build my own hardware modifications.

And how could he miss the Commodore 64? It was the best-selling computer in the world in 1984 and the best-selling computer for the home for five years in a row.

Almost everyone my age (at least in my home-town) was introduced to home computers via the commodore 64

[ Reply to This | # ]

Tanenbaum and RMS
Authored by: macrorodent on Thursday, May 19 2005 @ 11:24 AM EDT

This account of Minix reminds me of something Richard Stallman said when he gave a talk in 1990 (or maybe 1989 or 1991, not quite sure) at the Helsinki University of Technology (this is not the same university Torvalds studied at, but the other major one in Helsinki). Stallman appeared very jet-lagged and nearly had to be carried to the podium, but was very fun to listen to when he got going.

Anyway, what he said at one point, when recounting the early history of the GNU project, is he contacted Andrew Tanenbaum about the possibility of being able to use the Amsterdam Compiler Kit (ACK) as the basis of the C compiler for the GNU operating system. At that time ACK was not free software (it now is), and according to Stallman, Tanenbaum considered the whole idea of an entire free operating system and free software in general unrealistic, did not permit the freeing ACK, and even sought to dissuade Stallman from wasting his time on the project. Stallman obviously disagreed and told Tanenbaum in return that his next project is definitely going to be a free C compiler.

At least that is what I remember from the talk. Possibly wrong in details. Clearly Tanenbaum has moderated his opinions about free software since then, judging by the fact that both Minix and ACK are free software these days. By the way, the Minix system C compiler was derived from ACK (or "shoehorned" from it as Tanenbaum wrote in some text). ACK has a home page here: n/cs/ack.html.

[ Reply to This | # ]

The Daemon, the GNU and the Penguin - Excursus: Hardware & Ch. 9 - by Dr. Peter H. Salus
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 19 2005 @ 11:27 AM EDT
> and the first of these was Compaq,
> coming out with an 80386-based machine in 1986.

Yes, but the clone market was well established long before the 80386 shipped. I
think Compaq were shipping boxes from about '83/84.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Consent Decree
Authored by: joef on Thursday, May 19 2005 @ 12:00 PM EDT
My recollection is that IBM had to publish specs, drawings, etc., for all its
commercial products under the terms of the 1956 consent decree, which was mostly
terminated in 1996 (an additional 5-year phaseout for some product lines.) I
believe that this was more pertinent to the "openess" than any
altruism. And it was the specific intent of the 1956 decree: to break up the
monopoly power that IBM had in '56.

Too bad the DoJ and courts blinked when faced with the Microsoft momopoly

[ Reply to This | # ]

Off topic Here Please...
Authored by: Acrow Nimh on Thursday, May 19 2005 @ 12:03 PM EDT
...and please make links clickable, ta.

Supporting Open Sauce since 1947 ;¬)

[ Reply to This | # ]

ZX Spectrum 1983 babe here
Authored by: Nick_UK on Thursday, May 19 2005 @ 01:11 PM EDT
I missed the PC revolution by Sincliar breaking all barriers and offering the excellent (for it's time) ZX Spectrum in 1983 (cost me £175.00).

Anyway, as an interesting off-shoot here, ever wonder why text line ends are - Unix LINE FEED, Apple/Mac uses RETURN and Microsoft RETURN LINE FEED.

Taken from 'Practical C Programming by Steve Oualline' (O'Reilly books, ISBN1-56592-306-5):

The End of Line Puzzle

Back in the dark ages BC (Before Computers), there existed a magical device called a Teletype Model 33. This amazing machine contained a shift register made out of a motor and a rotor as well as a keyboard ROM consisting solely of levers and springs.

It contained a keyboard, a printer and a paper tape reader/punch. It could transmit messages over the phones using a modem at the blazing rate of 10 characters a second.

The Teletype had a problem. It took 2/10 second to move the printhead from the right side to the left. 2/10 second is two character times. If a second character came while the printhead was in the middle of a return, it was lost.

The Teletype people solved this problem by making end of line two characters: <carriage return> to position the printhead at the left margin, and <line feed> to move the paper up one line. That way the <line feed> "printed" while the printhead was racing back to the left margin.

When the early computers came out, some designers realized that using two characters for end of line wasted storage (at this time storage was very expensive). Some picked <line feed> for their end of line, some &LTcarriage return>. Some of the die hards stayed with the two-character sequence.

UNIX uses <line feed< for end of line. The newline character 'n' is code 0xA (LF or <line feed>).

MS-DOS/Windows uses the two characters: <line feed><carriage return>. Compiler designers had a problem; what to do about the old C programs which thought that newline was just <line feed>? The solution was to add code to the I/O library that stripped out the <carriage return> characters from ASCII input files and changed <line feed> to <line feed> <carriage return> on output.


[ Reply to This | # ]

See what they looked like
Authored by: SteveS on Thursday, May 19 2005 @ 01:58 PM EDT
For those of you who would like to see them but are too lazy to search, here you go...

IBM 5100
Apple I
Apple IIe
Mac SE
MITS Altair 8800
Imsai 8800 I put this one in just for your enjoyment..
IBM PC (5150)
Osborne 1
Compaq Portable


[ Reply to This | # ]

Ahh, Apple ][e memories...
Authored by: frk3 on Thursday, May 19 2005 @ 02:08 PM EDT

Near the end of my active duty tour in the U.S. Navy (circa 1985), I was assigned as a clerk to work with our Operations Officer on our ship (USS Wichita, AOR-1), while it was in the ship yards.

The Operations Officer had a personal computer, Apple IIe in his office, it was fun to work with a graphical interface for a change (up until then it had been teletype and command line interfaces for all my computer use).

I used to hang out in Berkeley, CA on my off-duty hours, lots of movie theatres, decent book stores and coffee shops and lots of ladies at some decent clubs. I stopped in a Radio Shack or some other computer related store and found a game for the Apple IIe "Nine Princes in Amber", based on the Roger Zelazny book series. I bought it (was like $20.00) and played it on the Apple. It was a basically a spiffed up command line type game, showed a sort of card (most of the screen) with some verbage at the bottom and prompt for an answer or multiple choice answer. It was kind of fun and if you knew the book(s) pretty well, you progressed pretty rapidly through the game.

Compared to role playing games of more modern times (EverQuest, WoW, SWG, EverQuest2) it was not close, but was new and fun for it's time.

That was the only time I have ever used an Apple or Macintosh computer. I have seen some being used by a friend or two with MAC OS9 and X, and was fairly impressed. Things have really changed in 20 years. :)

[ Reply to This | # ]

The Altair and the "S-100" bus
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 19 2005 @ 02:35 PM EDT
One of the significant design elements of the Altair was the backplane or bus
that it used, that became known as the S-100 bus (it had 100 contacts).
Although not the best electrically, it was adopted by the Altair
"clone", the Imsai (which had nicer PDP-8 style paddle switches rather
than the Altair's toggles), the SOL-PC, and others.

The significance of this was that it lead to the 3rd party market in S-100
compatible boards by the likes of Cromemco and others, and was the beginnings of
the "open architecture" that really got the PC industry rolling.
(CP/M eventually became the ubiquitous operating system on these systems.)


[ Reply to This | # ]

Interesting hardware
Authored by: Neurophys on Thursday, May 19 2005 @ 02:54 PM EDT
I think there are a few more systems that deserve being mentioned:
Cromenco (?) (S-100 based)
Apple Lisa

There were lots of other systems around, but in addition to the systems already
mentioned, I think these did bring the personal computing a significant step


[ Reply to This | # ]

Amiga contribs
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 19 2005 @ 02:54 PM EDT
The Amiga 1000 prototype was shown at Comdex in 1984 (famous Byte Magazine front

More to topic: I believe the Amiga 3000-UX was the first system based on
AT&T Sys Vr4 ever shipped, beating out its nearest competitor for that honor
by several weeks (AT&T 3B2?). I think I picked up mine back around 1989.

[ Reply to This | # ]

What About Star Raiders and the Atari 800
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 19 2005 @ 04:42 PM EDT
I can remember when my dad, a physics prof at RIT, bought
the family an Atari 800. One of the first purchases was
Star Raiders and a joystick.

The Basic cartridge came with the machine, and I learned
programming via its use.

That computer was what set my career path in motion.

Gotta love the first 3D shooter ...

(not logged in)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Once again Ohio Scientific is forgotten
Authored by: dyfet on Thursday, May 19 2005 @ 05:07 PM EDT
Even before the Apple I was available from Wozniac, often in a wood case, Ohio Scientific was already making machines that had characteristics that would later define future "Personal Computers". They also were an early pioneer of "disk" storage (rather than audio tape), were among the first to introduce the idea of bit mapped color graphics, and even early "business computers" built into towers, including their ever odd triple processor 6800/z-80/6502 machine. Like Wozniac would later do, they liked building their machines from common "everyday" IC components already in the market rather, than depending on creating specialized or custom chips, and finding clever ways to reduce chip counts through the use of "side effects".

[ Reply to This | # ]

Ken Olsen
Authored by: Jude on Thursday, May 19 2005 @ 07:43 PM EDT
Just about the time Ken Olsen made his famous quote about nobody wanting home
computers, I had a home computer - A DEC PDP 8/e, built out of parts I bought
for a few bucks per board from DEC's own salvage department.

Of course, salvage didn't have any grade-A #1 prime boards for sale, but in
those days you didn't need an exotic oscilloscope to see what was going on in a
typical computer.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 19 2005 @ 07:51 PM EDT
The Telebit Trailblazer - 19200 baud (when talking to another Trailblazer).
Luxury! I can't remember where I got mine but it kept me connected to ACSnet via
Melbourne Uni for a few years.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Remember LAPLINK?,
Authored by: dmarker on Thursday, May 19 2005 @ 09:21 PM EDT

Laplink was one of those great little utilities for link PCs via their comms
ports or printer ports.

It grew into an industry. Made a lot of money for the inventor. It was at this
time I 1st came acroos Kermit. It was popula in Unixland but then was ported to
the IBM PC. The advantage of LapLink was that it could use the parallel port for
very fast transfers.

Doug M

[ Reply to This | # ]

Olsen Quote in Context
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 19 2005 @ 09:42 PM EDT
It's all explained here. He was not talking about a personal computer as we know it today, but rather the kind of thing that might be found in the Jetsons' apartment. Or Bill Gates' mansion.

A more rational explanation of the IBM 5100's failure might be the price. Recall that at the time you could get a really nice car for $5,000. Even $9,000 is a whole stinkin' lot of money for something no one had a real practical necessity for.

[ Reply to This | # ]

open ttach did NOT kill IBM's market share.
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, May 19 2005 @ 09:50 PM EDT
open technology did NOT kill ibm's market share. IBM's abandonement of the open
tech with the Excremental ps1-ps2 and micro-channel proprietary hardware did

[ Reply to This | # ]

This brings back memories.
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, May 20 2005 @ 12:54 AM EDT
The first computer I worked with was an Osborne II, which my father purchased in
large part to run payroll, accounts payable and accounts receivable for his
construction business.

Those programs came as a set, in a commercial package, but the programs were
written in BASIC, so the source code was obviously available.

This was relevant when my dad complained about a bug in the accounting program.
I'd been teaching myself basic, and I was able to fix the bug for him. I was

With this background, open source has always felt perfectly natural to me.
Nothing else makes any sense.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • CHL - Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, May 20 2005 @ 01:19 AM EDT
    • You Know? - Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, May 20 2005 @ 01:44 AM EDT
The Daemon, the GNU and the Penguin - Excursus: Hardware & Ch. 9 - by Dr. Peter H. Salus
Authored by: bventer on Friday, May 20 2005 @ 04:18 AM EDT
First Machine I ever touched in 81/82 was an Bondwell Portable. I think it was
made under some license(s) from SpectraVideo and it ran CPM 2.2, Still have it,
Can still read/write the original disks ;-).


[ Reply to This | # ]

The *other* Acorn
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, May 20 2005 @ 08:04 AM EDT
I think that the fact that Acorn is mentioned as the name
of the IBM PC development project, but there is no
clarification to disambiguate between it and an actual
Acorn line of computers (1979 to the late 90s) produced by
Acorn Computers.

Additionally, I think jumping from the original IBM PC to
the Compaq 80386 will confuse readers.

[ Reply to This | # ]

The Daemon, the GNU and the Penguin - Excursus: Hardware & Ch. 9 - by Dr. Peter H. Salus
Authored by: deList on Friday, May 20 2005 @ 08:22 AM EDT
I remember using a Compaq "luggable" circa 1988 for a client. It was
an 8088, 4.77 machine with something like a 4 inch screen.

At the first chance you get... Don't resist, deList!

[ Reply to This | # ]

OT: A little piece of computer history for sale
Authored by: heretic on Friday, May 20 2005 @ 11:18 AM EDT
A little piece of technology history is up for sale at Jason Braverman, the IT director at HYC Logistics in Memphis, Tenn., is selling his vintage Matchbox handheld PC at a fraction of its original cost. Braverman put the starting bid at $300 for the five-cubic-inch computer, which runs Linux and operates as a fully functional Web server.

From this article

[ Reply to This | # ]

OT: Censorship
Authored by: vadim on Friday, May 20 2005 @ 12:53 PM EDT
Lecturer censored in Spanish University (UPV) for defending P2P networks

[ Reply to This | # ]

Correction on email history
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, May 20 2005 @ 03:25 PM EDT
The 1970 event was the invention of NETWORK email.

Email was in widespread use for years prior to that date on time sharing
systems. The only difference was that back then, the user to whom you were
sending the email had to be a user of that same time sharing system.

[ Reply to This | # ]

First home PC
Authored by: Sparhawk on Sunday, May 22 2005 @ 07:07 PM EDT
Your bound to start a flame war about which was the first home PC.
In Australia, what bought computers into the home was Commodore (mainly 64 &
Amiga). They were the first real retail computers in Australia (you could buy
them in K-Mart, as well as all the hardware/software you needed), there were
heaps of games (important in our house), heaps of media types (tapes, floppies,
cartridge), lots of programming books availiable, lots of peripherals (we had a
midi adaptor for a electronic organ), a good word processing package (GEOS).

If Bill Gates had a cent for every time Windows crashed... Oh wait, he does.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, May 30 2005 @ 02:13 PM EDT
Chapter 10. SUN and gcc is available.

[ Reply to This | # ]

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