[multicians] Emacs humor

Bruce Ray Bruce at Wild-Hare.com
Tue Dec 1 20:35:28 CST 2015

(Pssssst - Henry Burkhardt III based Data General's original program 
editor on DEC's 1967 version incarnation of "TECO", and it is still 
still alive today...)

On 12/1/2015 7:13 PM, Rich Alderson wrote:
> From: Johnny Billquist
> Sent: Tuesday, December 01, 2015 5:44 PM
> Thanks for chiming in, Johnny!  Keeps me from having to do it. :-)
>> But, of course, Emacs was not developed on Lisp machines. TECO was a DEC
>> edtior/language, and Emacs came about on PDP-10 machines. I think
>> originally with ITS, but it could also be ran on TOPS-20.
> Well, technically, the original TECO was developed on the PDP-1 at MIT,
> taken up by DEC, and ported to most of their subsequent systems.
> The version of TECO in which EMACS was developed was an MIT-AI Lab local
> creation with no DEC input, for ITS; that version of TECO, and therefore
> EMACS, was ported to TENEX and TOPS-20.
>> About the cokebottle reference, here's the quote from JARGON.TXT:
>> COKEBOTTLE n. Any very unusual character.  MIT people complain about
>>      the "control-meta-cokebottle" commands at SAIL, and SAIL people
>>      complain about the "altmode-altmode-cokebottle" commands at MIT.
>> So that really did not have anything to do with Emacs. But this is all
>> ancient history by now, and I'm not surprised history has twisted some
>> facts... :-)
> The history of "bucky bits" goes back even further than most people know.
> Before the PDP-6 came into existence, SAIL ran a computer-assisted lab
> using a PDP-1 with specially modified terminals.  These were designed by
> a Swiss computer scientist later known for creating a paedogogical Algol
> derivative, a gentleman whom the SAIL graduate students did not like and
> called (referring to a malocclusion) "Bucky Beaver".[1]  The extra 2 bits
> on the terminals became "bucky bits".
> With the PDP-6 came a design for special terminals which included not 2
> but 5 bucky bits (though 2 were unnamed on the Stanford keyboard), in a
> 14-bit character set[2] where Control was the 200 bit, Meta was the 400
> bit, and Top was the 4000 bit.  Top referred to non-Latin characters on
> the keys, above the usual typewriter characters we all know and love.
> Internally, Top+character was translated to a value in the range 0-37,
> which were graphical rather than ASCII control characters.
> I used to use one of these terminals from time to time, to read mailing
> lists hosted on SU-AI (AKA Sail.Stanford.EDU in a more modern era), and
> to SUPDUP to my account on MIT-AI, where I could use EMACS with real
> bucky bits just as $DEITY intended.
> Up next here is to modify a terminal emulation program to provide SUPDUP
> and the Stanford character set in order to talk to our WAITS[3] system
> on the net.
>                                                                  Rich
> [1] The name of an animated spokescreature for Ipana toothpaste.
> [2] Hey, if RMS can do that in the EMACS manual...
> [3] The OS, descended from the PDP-6 monitor and thus related to Tops-10
>      which SAIL ran on the PDP-6, the PDP-10/PDP-6 dual processor, the
>      KL-10/PDP-10/PDP-6 triprocessor, and KL-10/PDP-10 dual processor and
>      the KL-10 uniprocessor between 1964 and 1990.  Also ran on a Foonly
>      at CCRMA and a KL-10 at Lawrence Livermore Labs, but retired earlier.
> Rich Alderson
> Vintage Computing Sr. Systems Engineer
> Living Computer Museum
> 2245 1st Avenue S
> Seattle, WA 98134
> mailto:RichA at LivingComputerMuseum.org
> http://www.LivingComputerMuseum.org/

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