> It was said that ‘‘you really can’t appreciate troff (and runoff and scribe) unless you do all of your document preparation on a fixed width font 24 line by 80 column terminal’’. ‘‘Challenge accepted’’ I said to myself.
But the title is a misleading: this was a modern v7 port with some extra amenities. It's hard to appreciate just how primitive these early systems were without using them in their original form.
Speaking of which, here's some people attempting to get the original PDP-7 unix (i.e. pre-v1) running agin. There aren't scans for all of the source code though. Most importantly the shell is missing. So they had to rewrite one themselves.
A story full of "I didn't realize it was impossible, so I went ahead and did it" moments.
A bit like a a very compressed "Soul of a New Machine". I've been reading a lot of old timesharing papers, most of them are dreadfully boring even for me. (Don't ask why I've been reading that stuff...) But this particular kind of personal story of the creation of influential but totally forgotten technology is like catnip.
Designing a timeout system for a Python IO API. (Feels like a very Common Lisp-y solution to me, with the hidden global state with enforced dynamic extent).