[Beowulf] A press release

Geoff Jacobs gdjacobs at gmail.com
Thu Jul 10 06:19:08 PDT 2008

Gerry Creager wrote:
> Robert G. Brown wrote:
>> On Thu, 10 Jul 2008, Tony Travis wrote:
>>> Chris Samuel wrote:
>>>> [...]
>>>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Yorkshiremen_sketch
>>>> I remember when I could bring the complete kernel sources
>>>> home on a single 3.5" floppy disk.  Compressed, mind you,
>>>> not this new fangled gzip!  Then came 0.9.15, 1.8MB compressed..
>>> Hello, Chris.
>>> 3.5" floppy - you were lucky!
>>> I 'ad t' run th'entire Minix on half a broken low-density 5.25"
>>> floppy, and father would beat me wi a stick for wastin' precious disk
>>> space...
>>> ...and he'd complain that there's nowt wrong wi' th'old 8" floppies!
>>> Eee, by gum them were probably th'happiest days of mi life...
>>> [I'm from Lancashire, not Yorkshire, BTW]
>>>     Tony.
>> OK, in a minute you'll have me reminiscing about booting from paper tape
>> and havin' to drill me own 'oles wit' me teeth...
>> ;-)
> Glad you smiled with that.  Seems I find myself teaching an OS class all
> of a sudden this summer.  I recounted my experience with an old HP
> system where the boot-loader was toggled in on front panel switches and
> the OS was loaded with paper tape.  The kids (whose language experience
> ranges from Java to PHP, with C# thrown in for good measure) looked at
> me like I was reciting either fiction or lore.

I seem to recall that Seymour Cray toggled in the operating system code
on the CDC 7600 by hand, from memory. Perhaps that's just an urban legend.

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