[FoRK] DEC in the past; was Re: What do you think of my

Stephen D. Williams sdw at lig.net
Sat Jul 27 09:53:30 PDT 2013

On 7/26/13 7:10 AM, Joseph S. Barrera III wrote:
> On 7/26/2013 1:35 AM, Stephen D. Williams wrote:
> > He [Dave] was apparently good at OS algorithms, but most of the most obvious OS architecture choices were wrong for both VMS and 
> Windows.
> Which architectural choices do you have a problem with?

Format typed files, at the OS level.
No obvious (that I can remember) equivalent to /dev.
No obvious-to-a-user structure of the operation system.
Scripting language that didn't really support a subshell capability, so scripts ran in the current shell with all kinds of 
limitations that I hit right away.
Overly verbose arguments to most programs, with lack of flexibility and power as I remember it.
Nothing like piping commands at a shell.
There was something I didn't like about volumes or filesystems, but that's too foggy now.

Starting processes was extremely slow.  Since I didn't know how to do the equivalent to ps, I'm not sure how loaded the system was, 
but my impression was that it was idle much of the time.  Yet still extremely slow to start processes.

I also installed and ran MicroVaxes at the time, but still found it a poor experience compared to early Unix that I was using at the 
same time.

> BTW keep in mind that VMS supported tens of users with only 1 (one) MB of RAM. In retrospect that is just fucking amazing.
> - Joe 


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