[FoRK] What do you think of my http://techcrunch.com/2013/07/24/google-chromecast/

Ken Meltsner meltsner at alum.mit.edu
Thu Jul 25 09:57:10 PDT 2013

On Thu, Jul 25, 2013 at 11:37 AM, Stephen Williams <sdw at lig.net> wrote:

> On 7/24/13 11:05 PM, Joseph S. Barrera III wrote:
>> On 7/24/2013 10:54 PM, Ken Meltsner wrote:
>>> didn't miss the boat.  Everything was a byte-stream file so you didn't
>>> need
>>> to force extensions.
>> Well then, they should have enforced a app mapping based on the first
>> four bytes. Shebang was a weak implementation of that.
>> Not casting blame -- hindsight is very cheap. But if only...
> I used VaxOS, some embedded DEC OS (RSTos etc.?), CPM and MPM8/16, DOS,
> Win1, and Version 7 Unix all at once.  (Nobody from that era seems to exist
> anymore, or they are hiding from the Internet.  It is very strange.  It was
> only 29 years ago.)  Then a short time later SysV5.2.  The VAX was awful in
> just about every way.  Super slow to start a process, terrible scripting
> language (terrible subshell support, etc.), the file
> format/typing/conversion thing was a pain all the time, etc.  The verbose
> command arguments were incomplete, not well thought out, and a terrible
> pain.
> Unix was immediately recognizable as a consistent, simple, powerful, fast,
> fun environment.  There was no comparison.  Everything was instant.  You
> could figure things out by experimenting, looking around, and reading a few
> online man pages.  Pretty much the definition of an ideal environment, even
> then.

Roughly that vintage myself.  VMS, Ultrix, Tops-20, CP/M.  All of the cool
kids at MIT wanted to use LispMs, though -- VMS was for the folks down in
Mechanical Engineering who wanted to compute thing, and no one wanted toys
like CP/M.

And there were random rumors about NU machines -- Network Units? -- that
were being cloned by some intrepid engineers at Stanford U (Stanford Univ.
NU or Sun?).  And further afield, so not worthy of attention were the dandy
Perq workstations from a CMU spinoff.  But LispMs were the *only* systems
for serious CS types.

Amazing how much of the microcomputer revolution we managed to miss at MIT.


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