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* [TUHS] keyboards and command names
@ 2020-02-05 15:05 Rich Morin
  2020-02-05 15:30 ` Jaap Akkerhuis
  2020-02-05 21:03 ` Andrew Newman
  0 siblings, 2 replies; 9+ messages in thread
From: Rich Morin @ 2020-02-05 15:05 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: TUHS

I have always suspected that the brevity of the Unix command names was strongly
influenced by the clunky keyboards on the teletypes that were being used.  Can
anyone confirm, deny, and/or comment on this?

-r


^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 9+ messages in thread

* Re: [TUHS] keyboards and command names
  2020-02-05 15:05 [TUHS] keyboards and command names Rich Morin
@ 2020-02-05 15:30 ` Jaap Akkerhuis
  2020-02-05 15:47   ` John P. Linderman
  2020-02-05 21:03 ` Andrew Newman
  1 sibling, 1 reply; 9+ messages in thread
From: Jaap Akkerhuis @ 2020-02-05 15:30 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: Rich Morin; +Cc: TUHS



> I have always suspected that the brevity of the Unix command names was strongly
> influenced by the clunky keyboards on the teletypes that were being used.  Can
> anyone confirm, deny, and/or comment on this?

Peter Collinson made the same observation at the 25th year celebration
of UNIX (USENIX, Washington) and it was confirmed by dmr.

	jaap


^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 9+ messages in thread

* Re: [TUHS] keyboards and command names
  2020-02-05 15:30 ` Jaap Akkerhuis
@ 2020-02-05 15:47   ` John P. Linderman
  2020-02-05 16:18     ` Clem Cole
  0 siblings, 1 reply; 9+ messages in thread
From: John P. Linderman @ 2020-02-05 15:47 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: Jaap Akkerhuis; +Cc: TUHS

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I of course defer to dmr about the major influence, but I very much
appreciated the brevity when printing programs and shell scripts and lines
in ed at 110 baud, even with a terminal having a respectable keyboard.  I
printed much more than I entered.

On Wed, Feb 5, 2020 at 10:38 AM Jaap Akkerhuis <jaapna@xs4all.nl> wrote:

>
>
> > I have always suspected that the brevity of the Unix command names was
> strongly
> > influenced by the clunky keyboards on the teletypes that were being
> used.  Can
> > anyone confirm, deny, and/or comment on this?
>
> Peter Collinson made the same observation at the 25th year celebration
> of UNIX (USENIX, Washington) and it was confirmed by dmr.
>
>         jaap
>
>

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* Re: [TUHS] keyboards and command names
  2020-02-05 15:47   ` John P. Linderman
@ 2020-02-05 16:18     ` Clem Cole
  0 siblings, 0 replies; 9+ messages in thread
From: Clem Cole @ 2020-02-05 16:18 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: John P. Linderman; +Cc: TUHS

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even at 120 cps, i agree.

On Wed, Feb 5, 2020 at 10:47 AM John P. Linderman <jpl.jpl@gmail.com> wrote:

> I of course defer to dmr about the major influence, but I very much
> appreciated the brevity when printing programs and shell scripts and lines
> in ed at 110 baud, even with a terminal having a respectable keyboard.  I
> printed much more than I entered.
>
> On Wed, Feb 5, 2020 at 10:38 AM Jaap Akkerhuis <jaapna@xs4all.nl> wrote:
>
>>
>>
>> > I have always suspected that the brevity of the Unix command names was
>> strongly
>> > influenced by the clunky keyboards on the teletypes that were being
>> used.  Can
>> > anyone confirm, deny, and/or comment on this?
>>
>> Peter Collinson made the same observation at the 25th year celebration
>> of UNIX (USENIX, Washington) and it was confirmed by dmr.
>>
>>         jaap
>>
>>

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^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 9+ messages in thread

* Re: [TUHS] keyboards and command names
  2020-02-05 15:05 [TUHS] keyboards and command names Rich Morin
  2020-02-05 15:30 ` Jaap Akkerhuis
@ 2020-02-05 21:03 ` Andrew Newman
  2020-02-05 21:59   ` Harald Arnesen
  1 sibling, 1 reply; 9+ messages in thread
From: Andrew Newman @ 2020-02-05 21:03 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: TUHS

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> On 6 Feb 2020, at 2:05 am, Rich Morin <rdm@cfcl.com> wrote:
> 
> I have always suspected that the brevity of the Unix command names was strongly
> influenced by the clunky keyboards on the teletypes that were being used.  Can
> anyone confirm, deny, and/or comment on this?

(other replies seen, nice to hear dmr’s confirmation)

Somewhat related.  My first “real” job after university, and introduction to UNIX
et al, was using IBM machines running VM/370 and the CMS single-user OS for user
accounts.  CMS used long command names but, like some other OSes of its ilk, allowed
you to define what it called “abbreviations" via a count of the minimum number of
unique, leading, characters from which it could determine the actual command name.
The CMS file copy program was “copyfile” but the abbreviation length, at least at
our “shop", was 2 and everyone used “co”.  Similarly the editor “xedit” was “x”.
I always found that amusing considering complaints about cryptic UNIX names.

(apologies if this appears twice, first attempt used the wrong From: address).


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^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 9+ messages in thread

* Re: [TUHS] keyboards and command names
  2020-02-05 21:03 ` Andrew Newman
@ 2020-02-05 21:59   ` Harald Arnesen
  2020-02-05 22:20     ` Dave Horsfall
  0 siblings, 1 reply; 9+ messages in thread
From: Harald Arnesen @ 2020-02-05 21:59 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: tuhs

Andrew Newman [05/02/2020 22.03]:

> Somewhat related.  My first “real” job after university, and
> introduction to UNIX
> et al, was using IBM machines running VM/370 and the CMS single-user OS
> for user
> accounts.  CMS used long command names but, like some other OSes of its
> ilk, allowed
> you to define what it called “abbreviations" via a count of the minimum
> number of
> unique, leading, characters from which it could determine the actual
> command name.
> The CMS file copy program was “copyfile” but the abbreviation length, at
> least at
> our “shop", was 2 and everyone used “co”.  Similarly the editor “xedit”
> was “x”.
> I always found that amusing considering complaints about cryptic UNIX names.

Norsk Data's OS Sintran was the same, except that "COLD-START" (reboot
the OS) was defined twice, so you had to spell it out in full.
-- 
Hilsen Harald


^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 9+ messages in thread

* Re: [TUHS] keyboards and command names
  2020-02-05 21:59   ` Harald Arnesen
@ 2020-02-05 22:20     ` Dave Horsfall
  2020-02-05 23:40       ` Arthur Krewat
  0 siblings, 1 reply; 9+ messages in thread
From: Dave Horsfall @ 2020-02-05 22:20 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: The Eunuchs Hysterical Society

On Wed, 5 Feb 2020, Harald Arnesen wrote:

> Norsk Data's OS Sintran was the same, except that "COLD-START" (reboot 
> the OS) was defined twice, so you had to spell it out in full.

CDC's KRONOS also allowed abbreviated commands; I grew quite fond of 
typing "COMMO" for "COMMON" (attach to the system's common area) and "POO" 
for "POOL" (can't remember what that does, and my books are long gone).

Cough cough...  The above sequence was how you broke into KRONOS:

     COMMON SYSTEM
     POOL SYSTEM
     (quickly interrupt it)

Get the timing right, and you were in supervisor mode (or whatever it was 
called).  I remember when I was in the terminal room happily hacking away,
when the shift supervisor and the centre manager happened to walk in,
exclaiming "Security is pffft!".  Terrified, I casually leaned over the
Duckwriter pretending to look for something, to obscure just what I'd been 
typing...

I dimly recall that you could log off other users by (somehow) sending
a ^D to their terminal, but I could be confusing that with something
else (this was decades ago).

-- Dave

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 9+ messages in thread

* Re: [TUHS] keyboards and command names
  2020-02-05 22:20     ` Dave Horsfall
@ 2020-02-05 23:40       ` Arthur Krewat
  2020-02-10 17:11         ` Paul Winalski
  0 siblings, 1 reply; 9+ messages in thread
From: Arthur Krewat @ 2020-02-05 23:40 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: tuhs

Have't seen mention of TOPS-10, or TOPS-20 for that matter... shortening 
commands was a great time saver. Problem was, next time they added a 
command, muscle memory had to relearn.



On 2/5/2020 5:20 PM, Dave Horsfall wrote:
> On Wed, 5 Feb 2020, Harald Arnesen wrote:
>
>> Norsk Data's OS Sintran was the same, except that "COLD-START" 
>> (reboot the OS) was defined twice, so you had to spell it out in full.
>
> CDC's KRONOS also allowed abbreviated commands; I grew quite fond of 
> typing "COMMO" for "COMMON" (attach to the system's common area) and 
> "POO" for "POOL" (can't remember what that does, and my books are long 
> gone).
>
> Cough cough...  The above sequence was how you broke into KRONOS:
>
>     COMMON SYSTEM
>     POOL SYSTEM
>     (quickly interrupt it)
>
> Get the timing right, and you were in supervisor mode (or whatever it 
> was called).  I remember when I was in the terminal room happily 
> hacking away,
> when the shift supervisor and the centre manager happened to walk in,
> exclaiming "Security is pffft!".  Terrified, I casually leaned over the
> Duckwriter pretending to look for something, to obscure just what I'd 
> been typing...
>
> I dimly recall that you could log off other users by (somehow) sending
> a ^D to their terminal, but I could be confusing that with something
> else (this was decades ago).
>
> -- Dave
>


^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 9+ messages in thread

* Re: [TUHS] keyboards and command names
  2020-02-05 23:40       ` Arthur Krewat
@ 2020-02-10 17:11         ` Paul Winalski
  0 siblings, 0 replies; 9+ messages in thread
From: Paul Winalski @ 2020-02-10 17:11 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: Arthur Krewat; +Cc: tuhs

On 2/5/20, Arthur Krewat <krewat@kilonet.net> wrote:
> Have't seen mention of TOPS-10, or TOPS-20 for that matter... shortening
> commands was a great time saver. Problem was, next time they added a
> command, muscle memory had to relearn.
>
DEC's DCL (Digital Command Language) was used on TOPS-20 and VMS.  It
required that all commands be unique in the first three characters,
and allowed abbreviation.

-Paul W.

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 9+ messages in thread

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Thread overview: 9+ messages (download: mbox.gz / follow: Atom feed)
-- links below jump to the message on this page --
2020-02-05 15:05 [TUHS] keyboards and command names Rich Morin
2020-02-05 15:30 ` Jaap Akkerhuis
2020-02-05 15:47   ` John P. Linderman
2020-02-05 16:18     ` Clem Cole
2020-02-05 21:03 ` Andrew Newman
2020-02-05 21:59   ` Harald Arnesen
2020-02-05 22:20     ` Dave Horsfall
2020-02-05 23:40       ` Arthur Krewat
2020-02-10 17:11         ` Paul Winalski

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