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* [TUHS] In Memoriam: J.F.Ossanna
@ 2019-11-27 20:53 Dave Horsfall
  2019-11-28  0:06 ` Warner Losh
                   ` (2 more replies)
  0 siblings, 3 replies; 23+ messages in thread
From: Dave Horsfall @ 2019-11-27 20:53 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: The Eunuchs Hysterical Society

We lost J.F. Ossanna on this day in 1977; he had a hand in developing Unix, and 
was responsible for "roff" and its descendants.  Remember him, the next time 
you see "jfo" in Unix documentation.

He also accomplished a lot more, too much to summarise here.

-- Dave

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 23+ messages in thread

* Re: [TUHS] In Memoriam: J.F.Ossanna
  2019-11-27 20:53 [TUHS] In Memoriam: J.F.Ossanna Dave Horsfall
@ 2019-11-28  0:06 ` Warner Losh
  2019-11-28  0:43   ` Finn O'Leary
  2019-11-28  0:46   ` David Arnold
  2019-11-28  3:43 ` Larry McVoy
  2019-11-28  9:19 ` Thomas Paulsen
  2 siblings, 2 replies; 23+ messages in thread
From: Warner Losh @ 2019-11-28  0:06 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: Dave Horsfall; +Cc: The Eunuchs Hysterical Society

[-- Attachment #1: Type: text/plain, Size: 395 bytes --]

What do the J and F stand for?

Warner

On Wed, Nov 27, 2019, 1:54 PM Dave Horsfall <dave@horsfall.org> wrote:

> We lost J.F. Ossanna on this day in 1977; he had a hand in developing
> Unix, and
> was responsible for "roff" and its descendants.  Remember him, the next
> time
> you see "jfo" in Unix documentation.
>
> He also accomplished a lot more, too much to summarise here.
>
> -- Dave
>

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<div dir="auto">What do the J and F stand for?<div dir="auto"><br></div><div dir="auto">Warner</div></div><br><div class="gmail_quote"><div dir="ltr" class="gmail_attr">On Wed, Nov 27, 2019, 1:54 PM Dave Horsfall &lt;<a href="mailto:dave@horsfall.org">dave@horsfall.org</a>&gt; wrote:<br></div><blockquote class="gmail_quote" style="margin:0 0 0 .8ex;border-left:1px #ccc solid;padding-left:1ex">We lost J.F. Ossanna on this day in 1977; he had a hand in developing Unix, and <br>
was responsible for &quot;roff&quot; and its descendants.  Remember him, the next time <br>
you see &quot;jfo&quot; in Unix documentation.<br>
<br>
He also accomplished a lot more, too much to summarise here.<br>
<br>
-- Dave<br>
</blockquote></div>

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 23+ messages in thread

* Re: [TUHS] In Memoriam: J.F.Ossanna
  2019-11-28  0:06 ` Warner Losh
@ 2019-11-28  0:43   ` Finn O'Leary
  2019-11-28 17:16     ` ron
  2019-11-28  0:46   ` David Arnold
  1 sibling, 1 reply; 23+ messages in thread
From: Finn O'Leary @ 2019-11-28  0:43 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: tuhs

Wikipedia[0] lists his name as Joseph F. Ossanna, so they don't seem to 
know either

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Ossanna

- finn

On 2019-11-28 00:06, Warner Losh wrote:
> What do the J and F stand for?
> 
> Warner
> 
> On Wed, Nov 27, 2019, 1:54 PM Dave Horsfall <dave@horsfall.org> wrote:
> 
>> We lost J.F. Ossanna on this day in 1977; he had a hand in developing
>> Unix, and
>> was responsible for "roff" and its descendants.  Remember him, the 
>> next
>> time
>> you see "jfo" in Unix documentation.
>> 
>> He also accomplished a lot more, too much to summarise here.
>> 
>> -- Dave
>> 

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 23+ messages in thread

* Re: [TUHS] In Memoriam: J.F.Ossanna
  2019-11-28  0:06 ` Warner Losh
  2019-11-28  0:43   ` Finn O'Leary
@ 2019-11-28  0:46   ` David Arnold
  1 sibling, 0 replies; 23+ messages in thread
From: David Arnold @ 2019-11-28  0:46 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: Warner Losh; +Cc: The Eunuchs Hysterical Society

> On 28 Nov 2019, at 11:06, Warner Losh <imp@bsdimp.com> wrote:
> 
> What do the J and F stand for?

The “J” is Jospeh (and Joe); I don’t know about the “F”.




d


^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 23+ messages in thread

* Re: [TUHS] In Memoriam: J.F.Ossanna
  2019-11-27 20:53 [TUHS] In Memoriam: J.F.Ossanna Dave Horsfall
  2019-11-28  0:06 ` Warner Losh
@ 2019-11-28  3:43 ` Larry McVoy
  2019-11-30 17:45   ` Finn O'Leary
  2019-11-28  9:19 ` Thomas Paulsen
  2 siblings, 1 reply; 23+ messages in thread
From: Larry McVoy @ 2019-11-28  3:43 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: Dave Horsfall; +Cc: The Eunuchs Hysterical Society

I'll say this every time his name comes up, it's one of the great regrets
of my life that I did not get to meet this guy.  I think troff is genius,
you can ask me why and I'll tell you, don't want to bore the list with
a ton of arcane, but useful if you care about it, stuff.  Troff was 
amazing, just look at what was built on it, eqn, pic, tbl, and more.

I so wish I could have met this guy and told him how much his work meant
to me.  I've used troff for everything, I have a perl script that took
troff -ms input and produced a web site.  I ran a company for 18 years,
our logo was done in troff.  I ran a conference that did most of the
papers in LaTex and I encouraged troff and the people who use troff came
to me and said "this was so much easier than LaTex".  Yep.

So he may not have the fame that Ken and Brian and Dennis and Doug and
others have but he's one of my heros.  Along with all of them and other
Bell Labs folks.

RIP Joseph Ossanna, you are missed.  I wish I had met you.

On Thu, Nov 28, 2019 at 07:53:54AM +1100, Dave Horsfall wrote:
> We lost J.F. Ossanna on this day in 1977; he had a hand in developing Unix,
> and was responsible for "roff" and its descendants.  Remember him, the next
> time you see "jfo" in Unix documentation.
> 
> He also accomplished a lot more, too much to summarise here.
> 
> -- Dave

-- 
---
Larry McVoy            	     lm at mcvoy.com             http://www.mcvoy.com/lm 

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 23+ messages in thread

* Re: [TUHS] In Memoriam: J.F.Ossanna
  2019-11-27 20:53 [TUHS] In Memoriam: J.F.Ossanna Dave Horsfall
  2019-11-28  0:06 ` Warner Losh
  2019-11-28  3:43 ` Larry McVoy
@ 2019-11-28  9:19 ` Thomas Paulsen
  2 siblings, 0 replies; 23+ messages in thread
From: Thomas Paulsen @ 2019-11-28  9:19 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: Dave Horsfall; +Cc: tuhs

>We lost J.F. Ossanna on this day in 1977; he had a hand in developing Unix,

without Joe there wouldn't be any *NIX (Remember  the Patent Department), and we all would be bored running Windows..



^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 23+ messages in thread

* Re: [TUHS] In Memoriam: J.F.Ossanna
  2019-11-28  0:43   ` Finn O'Leary
@ 2019-11-28 17:16     ` ron
  2019-11-28 17:18       ` ron
  0 siblings, 1 reply; 23+ messages in thread
From: ron @ 2019-11-28 17:16 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: Finn O'Leary, tuhs

I've done some searching through newspaper archives and various
Ancestry.com-indexed databases.     I haven't found any use of a middle name
spelled out, always F.    I even have an image of his draft card and it just
reads "Joseph F. Ossanna, Jr."

However, digging a little deeper finds that his father went by the name
"Joseph FRANK Ossanna" so it's quite likely that this was the son's middle
name (since he was a "junior").    I suspect he might have avoided spelling
out Frank because people would have difficulty undersding it wasn't short
for Francis or something.




^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 23+ messages in thread

* Re: [TUHS] In Memoriam: J.F.Ossanna
  2019-11-28 17:16     ` ron
@ 2019-11-28 17:18       ` ron
  0 siblings, 0 replies; 23+ messages in thread
From: ron @ 2019-11-28 17:18 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: Finn O'Leary, tuhs

Just to follow up, I found JF in the 1940 census records.   He indeed was
Joseph Frank Ossanna, Jr.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: TUHS <tuhs-bounces@minnie.tuhs.org> On Behalf Of
> ron@ronnatalie.com
> Sent: Thursday, November 28, 2019 12:16 PM
> To: 'Finn O'Leary' <finnoleary@inventati.org>; tuhs@minnie.tuhs.org
> Subject: Re: [TUHS] In Memoriam: J.F.Ossanna
> 
> I've done some searching through newspaper archives and various
> Ancestry.com-indexed databases.     I haven't found any use of a middle
> name
> spelled out, always F.    I even have an image of his draft card and it
just
> reads "Joseph F. Ossanna, Jr."
> 
> However, digging a little deeper finds that his father went by the name
> "Joseph FRANK Ossanna" so it's quite likely that this was the son's middle
> name (since he was a "junior").    I suspect he might have avoided
spelling
> out Frank because people would have difficulty undersding it wasn't short
for
> Francis or something.
> 
> 



^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 23+ messages in thread

* Re: [TUHS] In Memoriam: J.F.Ossanna
  2019-11-28  3:43 ` Larry McVoy
@ 2019-11-30 17:45   ` Finn O'Leary
  0 siblings, 0 replies; 23+ messages in thread
From: Finn O'Leary @ 2019-11-30 17:45 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: tuhs

On 2019-11-28 03:43, Larry McVoy wrote:
> I think troff is genius, you can ask me why and I'll tell
> you, don't want to bore the list with a ton of arcane,
> but useful if you care about it, stuff.

Wait, is that not what the list is for? :)

I think I speak for more than a few people here when I say
that I would love to hear what you have to say about troff

thanks

-- 
- Finn

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 23+ messages in thread

* Re: [TUHS] In Memoriam: J.F.Ossanna
  2018-11-27 21:47 Dave Horsfall
  2018-11-27 23:08 ` Ken Thompson via TUHS
  2018-11-28  9:20 ` Donald ODona
@ 2018-11-29  3:54 ` Dave Horsfall
  2 siblings, 0 replies; 23+ messages in thread
From: Dave Horsfall @ 2018-11-29  3:54 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: The Eunuchs Hysterical Society

Blimey!  I never thought that I would get such a huge response; there's no 
way that I can summarise everything in a single paragraph next year, but 
I'll see what I can do.

Thanks, JFO, for everything.

-- Dave

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 23+ messages in thread

* Re: [TUHS] In Memoriam: J.F.Ossanna
  2018-11-28 17:08       ` Paul Winalski
  2018-11-28 19:03         ` WIlliam Cheswick
@ 2018-11-28 19:04         ` WIlliam Cheswick
  1 sibling, 0 replies; 23+ messages in thread
From: WIlliam Cheswick @ 2018-11-28 19:04 UTC (permalink / raw)
  Cc: The Eunuchs Hysterical Society

>Just curious, was that voice synthesizer a votrax or some other thing?

Doug, tell the Disney story!

ches


^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 23+ messages in thread

* Re: [TUHS] In Memoriam: J.F.Ossanna
  2018-11-28 17:08       ` Paul Winalski
@ 2018-11-28 19:03         ` WIlliam Cheswick
  2018-11-28 19:04         ` WIlliam Cheswick
  1 sibling, 0 replies; 23+ messages in thread
From: WIlliam Cheswick @ 2018-11-28 19:03 UTC (permalink / raw)
  Cc: The Eunuchs Hysterical Society

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> On Nov 28, 2018, at 12:08 PM, Paul Winalski <paul.winalski@gmail.com> wrote:
> 
>> a version of azel was maintained all the time
>> i was at bell labs. we used it to predict
>> eclipses, transits, occultations etc. when
>> we first got a voice synthesizer, the day's
>> predictions were spoken at 5pm in case
>> there was anything interesting.

Was this the source or inspiration for astro(1)?  Ken’s astro was run daily to announce
things in the Unix room, and in my home up until recently to time turning on the lights in the
evening.  (My home still does the Unix-room style astro announcements, but in the morning
at 8:05).

It is available in the Plan 9 for Unix stuff (https://codeload.github.com/9fans/plan9port/zip/master <https://codeload.github.com/9fans/plan9port/zip/master>)


ches


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<html><head><meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8"></head><body style="word-wrap: break-word; -webkit-nbsp-mode: space; line-break: after-white-space;" class=""><br class=""><div><blockquote type="cite" class=""><div class="">On Nov 28, 2018, at 12:08 PM, Paul Winalski &lt;<a href="mailto:paul.winalski@gmail.com" class="">paul.winalski@gmail.com</a>&gt; wrote:</div><br class="Apple-interchange-newline"><div class=""><blockquote type="cite" style="font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 12px; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust: auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration: none;" class="">a version of azel was maintained all the time<br class="">i was at bell labs. we used it to predict<br class="">eclipses, transits, occultations etc. when<br class="">we first got a voice synthesizer, the day's<br class="">predictions were spoken at 5pm in case<br class="">there was anything interesting.<br class=""></blockquote></div></blockquote></div><br class=""><div class="">Was this the source or inspiration for astro(1)? &nbsp;Ken’s astro was run daily to announce</div><div class="">things in the Unix room, and in my home up until recently to time turning on the lights in the</div><div class="">evening. &nbsp;(My home still does the Unix-room style astro announcements, but in the morning</div><div class="">at 8:05).</div><div class=""><br class=""></div><div class="">It is available in the Plan 9 for Unix stuff (<span style="font-family: Menlo;" class=""><a href="https://codeload.github.com/9fans/plan9port/zip/master" class="">https://codeload.github.com/9fans/plan9port/zip/master</a>)</span></div><div class=""><span style="font-family: Menlo;" class=""><br class=""></span></div><div class=""><span style="font-family: Menlo;" class=""><br class=""></span></div><div class=""><span style="font-family: Menlo;" class="">ches</span></div><div class=""><span style="font-family: Menlo;" class=""><br class=""></span></div></body></html>

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 23+ messages in thread

* Re: [TUHS] In Memoriam: J.F.Ossanna
  2018-11-28  4:48     ` Ken Thompson via TUHS
                         ` (2 preceding siblings ...)
  2018-11-28 17:57       ` Earl Baugh
@ 2018-11-28 18:23       ` ron minnich
  3 siblings, 0 replies; 23+ messages in thread
From: ron minnich @ 2018-11-28 18:23 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: Ken Thompson; +Cc: The Eunuchs Hysterical Society

Just curious, was that voice synthesizer a votrax or some other thing?

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 23+ messages in thread

* Re: [TUHS] In Memoriam: J.F.Ossanna
  2018-11-28  4:48     ` Ken Thompson via TUHS
  2018-11-28 14:44       ` Dan Cross
  2018-11-28 17:08       ` Paul Winalski
@ 2018-11-28 17:57       ` Earl Baugh
  2018-11-28 18:23       ` ron minnich
  3 siblings, 0 replies; 23+ messages in thread
From: Earl Baugh @ 2018-11-28 17:57 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: ken; +Cc: tuhs

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I don't know if this was just me, but the inner geek in me first thought
was  "How did the pictures turn out"? :-)
(the second thought was "Joe is now a hero to me" even thought I didn't
meet him... and this sounds sooo much like what
I've done with other geeky friends in college,  etc... ).

An example today, I got a Bluetooth water bottle (as part of a reward for
something at work)
and when I set it up it needed a firmware update, which I thought was cool
(and my wife just rolled her eyes...). :-)

Earl

On Tue, Nov 27, 2018 at 11:50 PM Ken Thompson via TUHS <tuhs@minnie.tuhs.org>
wrote:

> another joe:
>
> echo 1 was a 100 foot balloon that was
> launched into space  in the early 60s. this
> was the first satellite that was easily visible
> to the naked eye.
>
> joe wrote a set of fortran programs that
> tracked the orbit of echo and calculated
> the direction to look from a point on earth.
> to do this, he had to learn fortran and
> orbital dynamics.
>
> the programs were used to point antennas
> to send emf from california. bouncing off
> echo and received at bell labs in
> new jersey. thus, thanks to joe, echo was
> the first communications satellite.
>
> by the time i came to bell labs (1966) the
> program, azel, for azimuth/elevation, was
> expanded to track planets, moons, satellites,
> etc. moreover, it tracked the shadow of the
> earth cast by the sun (night). it could predict
> within a few seconds when echo would wink
> on or off as it passed through the shadow.
>
> a version of azel was maintained all the time
> i was at bell labs. we used it to predict
> eclipses, transits, occultations etc. when
> we first got a voice synthesizer, the day's
> predictions were spoken at 5pm in case
> there was anything interesting.
>
> anyway, at 5pm on june 8, 1983 the voice
> announced an "occultation of mercury"
> for early the next morning.
>
> no one had heard of such a thing. it was
> extremely rare. mercury had to be at
> about its max elongation; the moon had
> to be only a few hours old (or young);
> it had to be dark; the moon and mercury
> had to be above the horizon; and lastly,
> the moon had to occult mercury.
>
> we all (me, lee mcmahon, dennis ritchie,
> rob pike, and bob morris) frantically tried
> to verify that it was real. it was, but it
> would only be about 5 degrees above
> the horizon facing right into new york city.
> not a chance. we all went home.
>
> later that night we were writing to each
> other and calculating that in an airplane
> at 10,000 feet, the event moved up to 10
> or 15 degrees above the horizon. also,
> in an airplane, we could avoid nyc.
>
> so at 3am, we (me, rob pike, rae mclellan)
> went to the airport equipped with cameras
> and binoculars. we flew north as high as the
> plane would go. we might be the only
> people in the world who have seen an
> occultation of mercury. thank you joe.
>
>
> On Tue, Nov 27, 2018 at 6:57 PM, Larry McVoy <lm@mcvoy.com> wrote:
> > As a long time roff fan (I still use it, yes, I've learned LaTex, I much
> > prefer roff), I'm hugely bummed that Joe left us so early.  I feel like
> > there would be more fun stories, like Ken's story.
> >
> > If I remember correctly, he wrote the first (Unix *) version of roff in
> > PDP-11 assembly, right?  Granted, PDP-11 assembly is perhaps the most
> > pleasant assembly ever, but it is still assembly.  Roff is a non-trivial
> > program, I can't say that I've every written anything remotely that big
> > in assembly (the only thing I'm proud of is writing swtch() in VAX, 68K,
> > and some other CPU that I can't remember, but that was tiny, hard to get
> > right, but tiny).  I've got mad respect for what he did, I feel like the
> > whole roff thing doesn't get enough respect.  It wasn't just roff, though
> > that started it, it was pic (I *love* pic), eqn, all the other filters
> > that go down to roff.  For lmbench I wrote my own grap like tools
> > because grap wasn't open source.
> >
> > I was talking to Marc Donner, a Morgan Stanley techy (since moved on
> > to google and who knows where) about why I liked roff.  At the time
> > I had built webroff which took roff -ms input and made websites.
> > Marc pointed out that the reason I liked roff was, for the most part,
> > it didn't say how to do something (that was buried in the macros),
> > it said what you wanted to do.
> >
> > Ken, if you have more Joe stories I'd love to hear them, I feel like
> > I missed out on a cool person.
> >
> > (*) I know that nroff was "new run off" and it came from somewhere,
> > MIT?  Some old system, but it wasn't invented in Unix.  That said,
> > I've never seen docs for the previous system and I kinda think Joe
> > took it to the next level.  If you haven't studied the docs and
> > written macros, you should.  It's a pretty neat system.
> >
> > On Tue, Nov 27, 2018 at 03:08:36PM -0800, Ken Thompson via TUHS wrote:
> >> joe was much more than that. he knew how
> >> to play the system. example:
> >> out of whole cloth, he invented a form to
> >> order a teletype and opx (bell labs extension)
> >> installed in the home. he then filled out the
> >> form for each of the unix-room dennisons.
> >> there was a phone call from a confused
> >> clerk, and then we all got teletypes and
> >> data sets at home. as an aside, the opx
> >> came with free watts (long distance which
> >> was very expensive in those days.)
> >>
> >>
> >> On Tue, Nov 27, 2018 at 1:47 PM, Dave Horsfall <dave@horsfall.org>
> wrote:
> >> > We lost J.F. Ossanna on this day in 1977; he had a hand in developing
> Unix,
> >> > and was responsible for "roff" and its descendants.  Remember him,
> the next
> >> > time you see "jfo" in Unix documentation.
> >> >
> >> > -- Dave
> >
> > --
> > ---
> > Larry McVoy                  lm at mcvoy.com
> http://www.mcvoy.com/lm
>

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<div dir="ltr"><div>I don&#39;t know if this was just me, but the inner geek in me first thought was  &quot;How did the pictures turn out&quot;? :-)</div><div>(the second thought was &quot;Joe is now a hero to me&quot; even thought I didn&#39;t meet him... and this sounds sooo much like what <br></div><div>I&#39;ve done with other geeky friends in college,  etc... ).  <br></div><div><br></div><div>An example today, I got a Bluetooth water bottle (as part of a reward for something at work)</div><div>and when I set it up it needed a firmware update, which I thought was cool (and my wife just rolled her eyes...). :-)</div><div><br></div><div>Earl<br></div><div><br><div class="gmail_quote"><div dir="ltr">On Tue, Nov 27, 2018 at 11:50 PM Ken Thompson via TUHS &lt;<a href="mailto:tuhs@minnie.tuhs.org">tuhs@minnie.tuhs.org</a>&gt; wrote:<br></div><blockquote class="gmail_quote" style="margin:0 0 0 .8ex;border-left:1px #ccc solid;padding-left:1ex">another joe:<br>
<br>
echo 1 was a 100 foot balloon that was<br>
launched into space  in the early 60s. this<br>
was the first satellite that was easily visible<br>
to the naked eye.<br>
<br>
joe wrote a set of fortran programs that<br>
tracked the orbit of echo and calculated<br>
the direction to look from a point on earth.<br>
to do this, he had to learn fortran and<br>
orbital dynamics.<br>
<br>
the programs were used to point antennas<br>
to send emf from california. bouncing off<br>
echo and received at bell labs in<br>
new jersey. thus, thanks to joe, echo was<br>
the first communications satellite.<br>
<br>
by the time i came to bell labs (1966) the<br>
program, azel, for azimuth/elevation, was<br>
expanded to track planets, moons, satellites,<br>
etc. moreover, it tracked the shadow of the<br>
earth cast by the sun (night). it could predict<br>
within a few seconds when echo would wink<br>
on or off as it passed through the shadow.<br>
<br>
a version of azel was maintained all the time<br>
i was at bell labs. we used it to predict<br>
eclipses, transits, occultations etc. when<br>
we first got a voice synthesizer, the day&#39;s<br>
predictions were spoken at 5pm in case<br>
there was anything interesting.<br>
<br>
anyway, at 5pm on june 8, 1983 the voice<br>
announced an &quot;occultation of mercury&quot;<br>
for early the next morning.<br>
<br>
no one had heard of such a thing. it was<br>
extremely rare. mercury had to be at<br>
about its max elongation; the moon had<br>
to be only a few hours old (or young);<br>
it had to be dark; the moon and mercury<br>
had to be above the horizon; and lastly,<br>
the moon had to occult mercury.<br>
<br>
we all (me, lee mcmahon, dennis ritchie,<br>
rob pike, and bob morris) frantically tried<br>
to verify that it was real. it was, but it<br>
would only be about 5 degrees above<br>
the horizon facing right into new york city.<br>
not a chance. we all went home.<br>
<br>
later that night we were writing to each<br>
other and calculating that in an airplane<br>
at 10,000 feet, the event moved up to 10<br>
or 15 degrees above the horizon. also,<br>
in an airplane, we could avoid nyc.<br>
<br>
so at 3am, we (me, rob pike, rae mclellan)<br>
went to the airport equipped with cameras<br>
and binoculars. we flew north as high as the<br>
plane would go. we might be the only<br>
people in the world who have seen an<br>
occultation of mercury. thank you joe.<br>
<br>
<br>
On Tue, Nov 27, 2018 at 6:57 PM, Larry McVoy &lt;<a href="mailto:lm@mcvoy.com" target="_blank">lm@mcvoy.com</a>&gt; wrote:<br>
&gt; As a long time roff fan (I still use it, yes, I&#39;ve learned LaTex, I much<br>
&gt; prefer roff), I&#39;m hugely bummed that Joe left us so early.  I feel like<br>
&gt; there would be more fun stories, like Ken&#39;s story.<br>
&gt;<br>
&gt; If I remember correctly, he wrote the first (Unix *) version of roff in<br>
&gt; PDP-11 assembly, right?  Granted, PDP-11 assembly is perhaps the most<br>
&gt; pleasant assembly ever, but it is still assembly.  Roff is a non-trivial<br>
&gt; program, I can&#39;t say that I&#39;ve every written anything remotely that big<br>
&gt; in assembly (the only thing I&#39;m proud of is writing swtch() in VAX, 68K,<br>
&gt; and some other CPU that I can&#39;t remember, but that was tiny, hard to get<br>
&gt; right, but tiny).  I&#39;ve got mad respect for what he did, I feel like the<br>
&gt; whole roff thing doesn&#39;t get enough respect.  It wasn&#39;t just roff, though<br>
&gt; that started it, it was pic (I *love* pic), eqn, all the other filters<br>
&gt; that go down to roff.  For lmbench I wrote my own grap like tools<br>
&gt; because grap wasn&#39;t open source.<br>
&gt;<br>
&gt; I was talking to Marc Donner, a Morgan Stanley techy (since moved on<br>
&gt; to google and who knows where) about why I liked roff.  At the time<br>
&gt; I had built webroff which took roff -ms input and made websites.<br>
&gt; Marc pointed out that the reason I liked roff was, for the most part,<br>
&gt; it didn&#39;t say how to do something (that was buried in the macros),<br>
&gt; it said what you wanted to do.<br>
&gt;<br>
&gt; Ken, if you have more Joe stories I&#39;d love to hear them, I feel like<br>
&gt; I missed out on a cool person.<br>
&gt;<br>
&gt; (*) I know that nroff was &quot;new run off&quot; and it came from somewhere,<br>
&gt; MIT?  Some old system, but it wasn&#39;t invented in Unix.  That said,<br>
&gt; I&#39;ve never seen docs for the previous system and I kinda think Joe<br>
&gt; took it to the next level.  If you haven&#39;t studied the docs and<br>
&gt; written macros, you should.  It&#39;s a pretty neat system.<br>
&gt;<br>
&gt; On Tue, Nov 27, 2018 at 03:08:36PM -0800, Ken Thompson via TUHS wrote:<br>
&gt;&gt; joe was much more than that. he knew how<br>
&gt;&gt; to play the system. example:<br>
&gt;&gt; out of whole cloth, he invented a form to<br>
&gt;&gt; order a teletype and opx (bell labs extension)<br>
&gt;&gt; installed in the home. he then filled out the<br>
&gt;&gt; form for each of the unix-room dennisons.<br>
&gt;&gt; there was a phone call from a confused<br>
&gt;&gt; clerk, and then we all got teletypes and<br>
&gt;&gt; data sets at home. as an aside, the opx<br>
&gt;&gt; came with free watts (long distance which<br>
&gt;&gt; was very expensive in those days.)<br>
&gt;&gt;<br>
&gt;&gt;<br>
&gt;&gt; On Tue, Nov 27, 2018 at 1:47 PM, Dave Horsfall &lt;<a href="mailto:dave@horsfall.org" target="_blank">dave@horsfall.org</a>&gt; wrote:<br>
&gt;&gt; &gt; We lost J.F. Ossanna on this day in 1977; he had a hand in developing Unix,<br>
&gt;&gt; &gt; and was responsible for &quot;roff&quot; and its descendants.  Remember him, the next<br>
&gt;&gt; &gt; time you see &quot;jfo&quot; in Unix documentation.<br>
&gt;&gt; &gt;<br>
&gt;&gt; &gt; -- Dave<br>
&gt;<br>
&gt; --<br>
&gt; ---<br>
&gt; Larry McVoy                  lm at <a href="http://mcvoy.com" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">mcvoy.com</a>             <a href="http://www.mcvoy.com/lm" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">http://www.mcvoy.com/lm</a><br>
</blockquote></div></div></div>

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 23+ messages in thread

* Re: [TUHS] In Memoriam: J.F.Ossanna
  2018-11-28  4:48     ` Ken Thompson via TUHS
  2018-11-28 14:44       ` Dan Cross
@ 2018-11-28 17:08       ` Paul Winalski
  2018-11-28 19:03         ` WIlliam Cheswick
  2018-11-28 19:04         ` WIlliam Cheswick
  2018-11-28 17:57       ` Earl Baugh
  2018-11-28 18:23       ` ron minnich
  3 siblings, 2 replies; 23+ messages in thread
From: Paul Winalski @ 2018-11-28 17:08 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: Ken Thompson; +Cc: The Eunuchs Hysterical Society

On 11/27/18, Ken Thompson via TUHS <tuhs@minnie.tuhs.org> wrote:
> another joe:
>
> echo 1 was a 100 foot balloon that was
> launched into space  in the early 60s. this
> was the first satellite that was easily visible
> to the naked eye.
>
> joe wrote a set of fortran programs that
> tracked the orbit of echo and calculated
> the direction to look from a point on earth.
> to do this, he had to learn fortran and
> orbital dynamics.
>
> by the time i came to bell labs (1966) the
> program, azel, for azimuth/elevation, was
> expanded to track planets, moons, satellites,
> etc. moreover, it tracked the shadow of the
> earth cast by the sun (night). it could predict
> within a few seconds when echo would wink
> on or off as it passed through the shadow.
>
> a version of azel was maintained all the time
> i was at bell labs. we used it to predict
> eclipses, transits, occultations etc. when
> we first got a voice synthesizer, the day's
> predictions were spoken at 5pm in case
> there was anything interesting.
>
What a great story.  There is today a website (heavens-above.com) that
does the same thing as Joe's azel.  Amateur Astronomers visit it
regularly to get the night's predictions for visible satellite
transits, visible passes of the International Space Station, etc.  I
had no idea the idea went back that far.

-Paul W.

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 23+ messages in thread

* Re: [TUHS] In Memoriam: J.F.Ossanna
  2018-11-28  4:48     ` Ken Thompson via TUHS
@ 2018-11-28 14:44       ` Dan Cross
  2018-11-28 17:08       ` Paul Winalski
                         ` (2 subsequent siblings)
  3 siblings, 0 replies; 23+ messages in thread
From: Dan Cross @ 2018-11-28 14:44 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: ken; +Cc: The Eunuchs Hysterical Society

[-- Attachment #1: Type: text/plain, Size: 6045 bytes --]

On Tue, Nov 27, 2018 at 11:50 PM Ken Thompson via TUHS <tuhs@minnie.tuhs.org>
wrote:

> another joe:
>
> echo 1 was a 100 foot balloon that was
> launched into space  in the early 60s. this
> was the first satellite that was easily visible
> to the naked eye.
>
> joe wrote a set of fortran programs that
> tracked the orbit of echo and calculated
> the direction to look from a point on earth.
> to do this, he had to learn fortran and
> orbital dynamics.
>
> the programs were used to point antennas
> to send emf from california. bouncing off
> echo and received at bell labs in
> new jersey. thus, thanks to joe, echo was
> the first communications satellite.
>
> by the time i came to bell labs (1966) the
> program, azel, for azimuth/elevation, was
> expanded to track planets, moons, satellites,
> etc. moreover, it tracked the shadow of the
> earth cast by the sun (night). it could predict
> within a few seconds when echo would wink
> on or off as it passed through the shadow.
>

This is an amazing story; thanks for sharing, Ken.

There is an interesting film about project ECHO on youtube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sY8MeZ6lpwI

While it doesn't mention Joe Ossanna directly, there is a small part in the
film where the satellite is located after being launched. Given your story,
one might reasonably assume that that part of the narrative refers
to Ossanna's program, albeit indirectly.

Btw: I've heard that interference detected through the horn antenna at the
Holmdel site lead was explained by cosmic background radiation that was
attributed to the Big Bang; this apparently provided critical observational
evidence that led to the acceptance of the Big Bang theory.

a version of azel was maintained all the time
> i was at bell labs. we used it to predict
> eclipses, transits, occultations etc. when
> we first got a voice synthesizer, the day's
> predictions were spoken at 5pm in case
> there was anything interesting.
>
> anyway, at 5pm on june 8, 1983 the voice
> announced an "occultation of mercury"
> for early the next morning.
>
> no one had heard of such a thing. it was
> extremely rare. mercury had to be at
> about its max elongation; the moon had
> to be only a few hours old (or young);
> it had to be dark; the moon and mercury
> had to be above the horizon; and lastly,
> the moon had to occult mercury.
>
> we all (me, lee mcmahon, dennis ritchie,
> rob pike, and bob morris) frantically tried
> to verify that it was real. it was, but it
> would only be about 5 degrees above
> the horizon facing right into new york city.
> not a chance. we all went home.
>
> later that night we were writing to each
> other and calculating that in an airplane
> at 10,000 feet, the event moved up to 10
> or 15 degrees above the horizon. also,
> in an airplane, we could avoid nyc.
>
> so at 3am, we (me, rob pike, rae mclellan)
> went to the airport equipped with cameras
> and binoculars. we flew north as high as the
> plane would go. we might be the only
> people in the world who have seen an
> occultation of mercury. thank you joe.
>

!! That's neat.

        - Dan C.

On Tue, Nov 27, 2018 at 6:57 PM, Larry McVoy <lm@mcvoy.com> wrote:
> > As a long time roff fan (I still use it, yes, I've learned LaTex, I much
> > prefer roff), I'm hugely bummed that Joe left us so early.  I feel like
> > there would be more fun stories, like Ken's story.
> >
> > If I remember correctly, he wrote the first (Unix *) version of roff in
> > PDP-11 assembly, right?  Granted, PDP-11 assembly is perhaps the most
> > pleasant assembly ever, but it is still assembly.  Roff is a non-trivial
> > program, I can't say that I've every written anything remotely that big
> > in assembly (the only thing I'm proud of is writing swtch() in VAX, 68K,
> > and some other CPU that I can't remember, but that was tiny, hard to get
> > right, but tiny).  I've got mad respect for what he did, I feel like the
> > whole roff thing doesn't get enough respect.  It wasn't just roff, though
> > that started it, it was pic (I *love* pic), eqn, all the other filters
> > that go down to roff.  For lmbench I wrote my own grap like tools
> > because grap wasn't open source.
> >
> > I was talking to Marc Donner, a Morgan Stanley techy (since moved on
> > to google and who knows where) about why I liked roff.  At the time
> > I had built webroff which took roff -ms input and made websites.
> > Marc pointed out that the reason I liked roff was, for the most part,
> > it didn't say how to do something (that was buried in the macros),
> > it said what you wanted to do.
> >
> > Ken, if you have more Joe stories I'd love to hear them, I feel like
> > I missed out on a cool person.
> >
> > (*) I know that nroff was "new run off" and it came from somewhere,
> > MIT?  Some old system, but it wasn't invented in Unix.  That said,
> > I've never seen docs for the previous system and I kinda think Joe
> > took it to the next level.  If you haven't studied the docs and
> > written macros, you should.  It's a pretty neat system.
> >
> > On Tue, Nov 27, 2018 at 03:08:36PM -0800, Ken Thompson via TUHS wrote:
> >> joe was much more than that. he knew how
> >> to play the system. example:
> >> out of whole cloth, he invented a form to
> >> order a teletype and opx (bell labs extension)
> >> installed in the home. he then filled out the
> >> form for each of the unix-room dennisons.
> >> there was a phone call from a confused
> >> clerk, and then we all got teletypes and
> >> data sets at home. as an aside, the opx
> >> came with free watts (long distance which
> >> was very expensive in those days.)
> >>
> >>
> >> On Tue, Nov 27, 2018 at 1:47 PM, Dave Horsfall <dave@horsfall.org>
> wrote:
> >> > We lost J.F. Ossanna on this day in 1977; he had a hand in developing
> Unix,
> >> > and was responsible for "roff" and its descendants.  Remember him,
> the next
> >> > time you see "jfo" in Unix documentation.
> >> >
> >> > -- Dave
> >
> > --
> > ---
> > Larry McVoy                  lm at mcvoy.com
> http://www.mcvoy.com/lm
>

[-- Attachment #2: Type: text/html, Size: 7892 bytes --]

<div dir="ltr"><div dir="ltr"><div dir="ltr"><div dir="ltr"><div class="gmail_quote"><div dir="ltr">On Tue, Nov 27, 2018 at 11:50 PM Ken Thompson via TUHS &lt;<a href="mailto:tuhs@minnie.tuhs.org">tuhs@minnie.tuhs.org</a>&gt; wrote:<br></div><blockquote class="gmail_quote" style="margin:0px 0px 0px 0.8ex;border-left:1px solid rgb(204,204,204);padding-left:1ex">another joe:<br>
<br>
echo 1 was a 100 foot balloon that was<br>
launched into space  in the early 60s. this<br>
was the first satellite that was easily visible<br>
to the naked eye.<br>
<br>
joe wrote a set of fortran programs that<br>
tracked the orbit of echo and calculated<br>
the direction to look from a point on earth.<br>
to do this, he had to learn fortran and<br>
orbital dynamics.<br>
<br>
the programs were used to point antennas<br>
to send emf from california. bouncing off<br>
echo and received at bell labs in<br>
new jersey. thus, thanks to joe, echo was<br>
the first communications satellite.<br>
<br>
by the time i came to bell labs (1966) the<br>
program, azel, for azimuth/elevation, was<br>
expanded to track planets, moons, satellites,<br>
etc. moreover, it tracked the shadow of the<br>
earth cast by the sun (night). it could predict<br>
within a few seconds when echo would wink<br>
on or off as it passed through the shadow.<br></blockquote><div><br></div><div>This is an amazing story; thanks for sharing, Ken.</div><div><br></div><div>There is an interesting film about project ECHO on youtube: <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sY8MeZ6lpwI">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sY8MeZ6lpwI</a></div><div><br></div><div>While it doesn&#39;t mention Joe Ossanna directly, there is a small part in the film where the satellite is located after being launched. Given your story, one might reasonably assume that that part of the narrative refers to Ossanna&#39;s program, albeit indirectly.</div><div><br></div><div>Btw: I&#39;ve heard that interference detected through the horn antenna at the Holmdel site lead was explained by cosmic background radiation that was attributed to the Big Bang; this apparently provided critical observational evidence that led to the acceptance of the Big Bang theory.</div><div><br></div><blockquote class="gmail_quote" style="margin:0px 0px 0px 0.8ex;border-left:1px solid rgb(204,204,204);padding-left:1ex">
a version of azel was maintained all the time<br>
i was at bell labs. we used it to predict<br>
eclipses, transits, occultations etc. when<br>
we first got a voice synthesizer, the day&#39;s<br>
predictions were spoken at 5pm in case<br>
there was anything interesting.<br>
<br>
anyway, at 5pm on june 8, 1983 the voice<br>
announced an &quot;occultation of mercury&quot;<br>
for early the next morning.<br>
<br>
no one had heard of such a thing. it was<br>
extremely rare. mercury had to be at<br>
about its max elongation; the moon had<br>
to be only a few hours old (or young);<br>
it had to be dark; the moon and mercury<br>
had to be above the horizon; and lastly,<br>
the moon had to occult mercury.<br>
<br>
we all (me, lee mcmahon, dennis ritchie,<br>
rob pike, and bob morris) frantically tried<br>
to verify that it was real. it was, but it<br>
would only be about 5 degrees above<br>
the horizon facing right into new york city.<br>
not a chance. we all went home.<br>
<br>
later that night we were writing to each<br>
other and calculating that in an airplane<br>
at 10,000 feet, the event moved up to 10<br>
or 15 degrees above the horizon. also,<br>
in an airplane, we could avoid nyc.<br>
<br>
so at 3am, we (me, rob pike, rae mclellan)<br>
went to the airport equipped with cameras<br>
and binoculars. we flew north as high as the<br>
plane would go. we might be the only<br>
people in the world who have seen an<br>
occultation of mercury. thank you joe.<br></blockquote><div><br></div><div>!! That&#39;s neat.</div><div><br></div><div>        - Dan C.</div><div><br></div><blockquote class="gmail_quote" style="margin:0px 0px 0px 0.8ex;border-left:1px solid rgb(204,204,204);padding-left:1ex">On Tue, Nov 27, 2018 at 6:57 PM, Larry McVoy &lt;<a href="mailto:lm@mcvoy.com" target="_blank">lm@mcvoy.com</a>&gt; wrote:<br>
&gt; As a long time roff fan (I still use it, yes, I&#39;ve learned LaTex, I much<br>
&gt; prefer roff), I&#39;m hugely bummed that Joe left us so early.  I feel like<br>
&gt; there would be more fun stories, like Ken&#39;s story.<br>
&gt;<br>
&gt; If I remember correctly, he wrote the first (Unix *) version of roff in<br>
&gt; PDP-11 assembly, right?  Granted, PDP-11 assembly is perhaps the most<br>
&gt; pleasant assembly ever, but it is still assembly.  Roff is a non-trivial<br>
&gt; program, I can&#39;t say that I&#39;ve every written anything remotely that big<br>
&gt; in assembly (the only thing I&#39;m proud of is writing swtch() in VAX, 68K,<br>
&gt; and some other CPU that I can&#39;t remember, but that was tiny, hard to get<br>
&gt; right, but tiny).  I&#39;ve got mad respect for what he did, I feel like the<br>
&gt; whole roff thing doesn&#39;t get enough respect.  It wasn&#39;t just roff, though<br>
&gt; that started it, it was pic (I *love* pic), eqn, all the other filters<br>
&gt; that go down to roff.  For lmbench I wrote my own grap like tools<br>
&gt; because grap wasn&#39;t open source.<br>
&gt;<br>
&gt; I was talking to Marc Donner, a Morgan Stanley techy (since moved on<br>
&gt; to google and who knows where) about why I liked roff.  At the time<br>
&gt; I had built webroff which took roff -ms input and made websites.<br>
&gt; Marc pointed out that the reason I liked roff was, for the most part,<br>
&gt; it didn&#39;t say how to do something (that was buried in the macros),<br>
&gt; it said what you wanted to do.<br>
&gt;<br>
&gt; Ken, if you have more Joe stories I&#39;d love to hear them, I feel like<br>
&gt; I missed out on a cool person.<br>
&gt;<br>
&gt; (*) I know that nroff was &quot;new run off&quot; and it came from somewhere,<br>
&gt; MIT?  Some old system, but it wasn&#39;t invented in Unix.  That said,<br>
&gt; I&#39;ve never seen docs for the previous system and I kinda think Joe<br>
&gt; took it to the next level.  If you haven&#39;t studied the docs and<br>
&gt; written macros, you should.  It&#39;s a pretty neat system.<br>
&gt;<br>
&gt; On Tue, Nov 27, 2018 at 03:08:36PM -0800, Ken Thompson via TUHS wrote:<br>
&gt;&gt; joe was much more than that. he knew how<br>
&gt;&gt; to play the system. example:<br>
&gt;&gt; out of whole cloth, he invented a form to<br>
&gt;&gt; order a teletype and opx (bell labs extension)<br>
&gt;&gt; installed in the home. he then filled out the<br>
&gt;&gt; form for each of the unix-room dennisons.<br>
&gt;&gt; there was a phone call from a confused<br>
&gt;&gt; clerk, and then we all got teletypes and<br>
&gt;&gt; data sets at home. as an aside, the opx<br>
&gt;&gt; came with free watts (long distance which<br>
&gt;&gt; was very expensive in those days.)<br>
&gt;&gt;<br>
&gt;&gt;<br>
&gt;&gt; On Tue, Nov 27, 2018 at 1:47 PM, Dave Horsfall &lt;<a href="mailto:dave@horsfall.org" target="_blank">dave@horsfall.org</a>&gt; wrote:<br>
&gt;&gt; &gt; We lost J.F. Ossanna on this day in 1977; he had a hand in developing Unix,<br>
&gt;&gt; &gt; and was responsible for &quot;roff&quot; and its descendants.  Remember him, the next<br>
&gt;&gt; &gt; time you see &quot;jfo&quot; in Unix documentation.<br>
&gt;&gt; &gt;<br>
&gt;&gt; &gt; -- Dave<br>
&gt;<br>
&gt; --<br>
&gt; ---<br>
&gt; Larry McVoy                  lm at <a href="http://mcvoy.com" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">mcvoy.com</a>             <a href="http://www.mcvoy.com/lm" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">http://www.mcvoy.com/lm</a><br>
</blockquote></div></div></div></div></div>

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 23+ messages in thread

* Re: [TUHS] In Memoriam: J.F.Ossanna
@ 2018-11-28 13:09 jnc
  0 siblings, 0 replies; 23+ messages in thread
From: jnc @ 2018-11-28 13:09 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: tuhs; +Cc: jnc

    > From: Larry McVoy

    > (*) I know that nroff was "new run off" and it came from somewhere, MIT?
    > Some old system ... I've never seen docs for the previous system and I
    > kinda think Joe took it to the next level.

Definitely!

The original 'runoff' was on CTSS, written by Jerry Saltzer. It had a
companion program, 'typset', which was an editor for preparing runoff input. A
memo describing them is available here:

  http://web.mit.edu/Saltzer/www/publications/ctss/AH.9.01.html

From the look of things, it didn't have any macro capability.

Runoff was moved to Multics fairly early: here's its entry from the Multics
glossary:

  A Multics BCPL version of runoff was written by Doug McIlroy and Bob
  Morris. A version of runoff in PL/I was written by Dennis Capps in
  1974.
  ...
  Multics documentation was transitioned from the Flexowriters to use of
  runoff when the system became self-hosting about 1968. runoff was used for
  manuals, release bulletins, internal memos and other documentation for most
  of the 70s. To support this use, Multics runoff had many features such as
  multi-pass execution and variable definition and expansion that went far
  beyond the CTSS version. Multics manuals were formatted with complex macros,
  included by the document source, that handled tables of contents and
  standard formatting, and supported the single sourcing of the commands
  manual and the info files for commands.

So the BCPL version would have been before Bell exited the project. I'm not
sure if the 'macros' comment refers to the BCPL version, or the PL/I. Here's
the Multics 'info' segment about runoff:

  http://web.mit.edu/multics-history/source/Multics/doc/info_segments/runoff.info

which doesn't mention macros, but lists a few things that might be used for
macros. It refers to "the runoff command in the MPM Commands" volume (a
reference to "Multics Programmer's manual: Commands and Active Functions") for
details; this is available on bitsavers, see page 3-619 in "AG92-03A",
February 1980 edition.

	Noel

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 23+ messages in thread

* Re: [TUHS] In Memoriam: J.F.Ossanna
  2018-11-27 21:47 Dave Horsfall
  2018-11-27 23:08 ` Ken Thompson via TUHS
@ 2018-11-28  9:20 ` Donald ODona
  2018-11-29  3:54 ` Dave Horsfall
  2 siblings, 0 replies; 23+ messages in thread
From: Donald ODona @ 2018-11-28  9:20 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: The Eunuchs Hysterical Society, dave

Joe sold the (not really existent) UNIX system to the patent department of AT&T, which in turn bought the urgently needed PDP11. Without that there would be no UNIX. Without Joe there would be no UNIX. 

At 27 Nov 2018 21:48:51 +0000 (+00:00) from Dave Horsfall <dave@horsfall.org>:
> We lost J.F. Ossanna on this day in 1977; he had a hand in developing 
> Unix, and was responsible for "roff" and its descendants.  Remember him, 
> the next time you see "jfo" in Unix documentation.
> 
> -- Dave

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 23+ messages in thread

* Re: [TUHS] In Memoriam: J.F.Ossanna
  2018-11-28  2:57   ` Larry McVoy
  2018-11-28  4:48     ` Ken Thompson via TUHS
@ 2018-11-28  5:22     ` Fabio Scotoni
  1 sibling, 0 replies; 23+ messages in thread
From: Fabio Scotoni @ 2018-11-28  5:22 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: Larry McVoy; +Cc: tuhs

On 11/28/18 3:57 AM, Larry McVoy wrote:
> (*) I know that nroff was "new run off" and it came from somewhere,
> MIT?  Some old system, but it wasn't invented in Unix.  That said,
> I've never seen docs for the previous system and I kinda think Joe
> took it to the next level.  If you haven't studied the docs and
> written macros, you should.  It's a pretty neat system.

Kristaps Dzonsons actually went digging for that as part of his "History 
of UNIX Manpages" essay[1].  The abridged version is that roff goes back 
to a number of rewrites, the original being apparently RUNOFF on CTSS at 
MIT.  Source code for RUNOFF and documentation for various parts of 
troff history have been preserved on that page.  It looks 
well-researched, though I have no knowledge first hand.

[1] https://manpages.bsd.lv/history.html

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 23+ messages in thread

* Re: [TUHS] In Memoriam: J.F.Ossanna
  2018-11-28  2:57   ` Larry McVoy
@ 2018-11-28  4:48     ` Ken Thompson via TUHS
  2018-11-28 14:44       ` Dan Cross
                         ` (3 more replies)
  2018-11-28  5:22     ` Fabio Scotoni
  1 sibling, 4 replies; 23+ messages in thread
From: Ken Thompson via TUHS @ 2018-11-28  4:48 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: Larry McVoy; +Cc: The Eunuchs Hysterical Society

another joe:

echo 1 was a 100 foot balloon that was
launched into space  in the early 60s. this
was the first satellite that was easily visible
to the naked eye.

joe wrote a set of fortran programs that
tracked the orbit of echo and calculated
the direction to look from a point on earth.
to do this, he had to learn fortran and
orbital dynamics.

the programs were used to point antennas
to send emf from california. bouncing off
echo and received at bell labs in
new jersey. thus, thanks to joe, echo was
the first communications satellite.

by the time i came to bell labs (1966) the
program, azel, for azimuth/elevation, was
expanded to track planets, moons, satellites,
etc. moreover, it tracked the shadow of the
earth cast by the sun (night). it could predict
within a few seconds when echo would wink
on or off as it passed through the shadow.

a version of azel was maintained all the time
i was at bell labs. we used it to predict
eclipses, transits, occultations etc. when
we first got a voice synthesizer, the day's
predictions were spoken at 5pm in case
there was anything interesting.

anyway, at 5pm on june 8, 1983 the voice
announced an "occultation of mercury"
for early the next morning.

no one had heard of such a thing. it was
extremely rare. mercury had to be at
about its max elongation; the moon had
to be only a few hours old (or young);
it had to be dark; the moon and mercury
had to be above the horizon; and lastly,
the moon had to occult mercury.

we all (me, lee mcmahon, dennis ritchie,
rob pike, and bob morris) frantically tried
to verify that it was real. it was, but it
would only be about 5 degrees above
the horizon facing right into new york city.
not a chance. we all went home.

later that night we were writing to each
other and calculating that in an airplane
at 10,000 feet, the event moved up to 10
or 15 degrees above the horizon. also,
in an airplane, we could avoid nyc.

so at 3am, we (me, rob pike, rae mclellan)
went to the airport equipped with cameras
and binoculars. we flew north as high as the
plane would go. we might be the only
people in the world who have seen an
occultation of mercury. thank you joe.


On Tue, Nov 27, 2018 at 6:57 PM, Larry McVoy <lm@mcvoy.com> wrote:
> As a long time roff fan (I still use it, yes, I've learned LaTex, I much
> prefer roff), I'm hugely bummed that Joe left us so early.  I feel like
> there would be more fun stories, like Ken's story.
>
> If I remember correctly, he wrote the first (Unix *) version of roff in
> PDP-11 assembly, right?  Granted, PDP-11 assembly is perhaps the most
> pleasant assembly ever, but it is still assembly.  Roff is a non-trivial
> program, I can't say that I've every written anything remotely that big
> in assembly (the only thing I'm proud of is writing swtch() in VAX, 68K,
> and some other CPU that I can't remember, but that was tiny, hard to get
> right, but tiny).  I've got mad respect for what he did, I feel like the
> whole roff thing doesn't get enough respect.  It wasn't just roff, though
> that started it, it was pic (I *love* pic), eqn, all the other filters
> that go down to roff.  For lmbench I wrote my own grap like tools
> because grap wasn't open source.
>
> I was talking to Marc Donner, a Morgan Stanley techy (since moved on
> to google and who knows where) about why I liked roff.  At the time
> I had built webroff which took roff -ms input and made websites.
> Marc pointed out that the reason I liked roff was, for the most part,
> it didn't say how to do something (that was buried in the macros),
> it said what you wanted to do.
>
> Ken, if you have more Joe stories I'd love to hear them, I feel like
> I missed out on a cool person.
>
> (*) I know that nroff was "new run off" and it came from somewhere,
> MIT?  Some old system, but it wasn't invented in Unix.  That said,
> I've never seen docs for the previous system and I kinda think Joe
> took it to the next level.  If you haven't studied the docs and
> written macros, you should.  It's a pretty neat system.
>
> On Tue, Nov 27, 2018 at 03:08:36PM -0800, Ken Thompson via TUHS wrote:
>> joe was much more than that. he knew how
>> to play the system. example:
>> out of whole cloth, he invented a form to
>> order a teletype and opx (bell labs extension)
>> installed in the home. he then filled out the
>> form for each of the unix-room dennisons.
>> there was a phone call from a confused
>> clerk, and then we all got teletypes and
>> data sets at home. as an aside, the opx
>> came with free watts (long distance which
>> was very expensive in those days.)
>>
>>
>> On Tue, Nov 27, 2018 at 1:47 PM, Dave Horsfall <dave@horsfall.org> wrote:
>> > We lost J.F. Ossanna on this day in 1977; he had a hand in developing Unix,
>> > and was responsible for "roff" and its descendants.  Remember him, the next
>> > time you see "jfo" in Unix documentation.
>> >
>> > -- Dave
>
> --
> ---
> Larry McVoy                  lm at mcvoy.com             http://www.mcvoy.com/lm

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 23+ messages in thread

* Re: [TUHS] In Memoriam: J.F.Ossanna
  2018-11-27 23:08 ` Ken Thompson via TUHS
@ 2018-11-28  2:57   ` Larry McVoy
  2018-11-28  4:48     ` Ken Thompson via TUHS
  2018-11-28  5:22     ` Fabio Scotoni
  0 siblings, 2 replies; 23+ messages in thread
From: Larry McVoy @ 2018-11-28  2:57 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: Ken Thompson; +Cc: The Eunuchs Hysterical Society

As a long time roff fan (I still use it, yes, I've learned LaTex, I much
prefer roff), I'm hugely bummed that Joe left us so early.  I feel like
there would be more fun stories, like Ken's story.

If I remember correctly, he wrote the first (Unix *) version of roff in
PDP-11 assembly, right?  Granted, PDP-11 assembly is perhaps the most 
pleasant assembly ever, but it is still assembly.  Roff is a non-trivial
program, I can't say that I've every written anything remotely that big
in assembly (the only thing I'm proud of is writing swtch() in VAX, 68K,
and some other CPU that I can't remember, but that was tiny, hard to get
right, but tiny).  I've got mad respect for what he did, I feel like the
whole roff thing doesn't get enough respect.  It wasn't just roff, though
that started it, it was pic (I *love* pic), eqn, all the other filters
that go down to roff.  For lmbench I wrote my own grap like tools 
because grap wasn't open source.

I was talking to Marc Donner, a Morgan Stanley techy (since moved on
to google and who knows where) about why I liked roff.  At the time
I had built webroff which took roff -ms input and made websites.
Marc pointed out that the reason I liked roff was, for the most part,
it didn't say how to do something (that was buried in the macros),
it said what you wanted to do.

Ken, if you have more Joe stories I'd love to hear them, I feel like
I missed out on a cool person.

(*) I know that nroff was "new run off" and it came from somewhere,
MIT?  Some old system, but it wasn't invented in Unix.  That said,
I've never seen docs for the previous system and I kinda think Joe
took it to the next level.  If you haven't studied the docs and
written macros, you should.  It's a pretty neat system.

On Tue, Nov 27, 2018 at 03:08:36PM -0800, Ken Thompson via TUHS wrote:
> joe was much more than that. he knew how
> to play the system. example:
> out of whole cloth, he invented a form to
> order a teletype and opx (bell labs extension)
> installed in the home. he then filled out the
> form for each of the unix-room dennisons.
> there was a phone call from a confused
> clerk, and then we all got teletypes and
> data sets at home. as an aside, the opx
> came with free watts (long distance which
> was very expensive in those days.)
> 
> 
> On Tue, Nov 27, 2018 at 1:47 PM, Dave Horsfall <dave@horsfall.org> wrote:
> > We lost J.F. Ossanna on this day in 1977; he had a hand in developing Unix,
> > and was responsible for "roff" and its descendants.  Remember him, the next
> > time you see "jfo" in Unix documentation.
> >
> > -- Dave

-- 
---
Larry McVoy            	     lm at mcvoy.com             http://www.mcvoy.com/lm 

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 23+ messages in thread

* Re: [TUHS] In Memoriam: J.F.Ossanna
  2018-11-27 21:47 Dave Horsfall
@ 2018-11-27 23:08 ` Ken Thompson via TUHS
  2018-11-28  2:57   ` Larry McVoy
  2018-11-28  9:20 ` Donald ODona
  2018-11-29  3:54 ` Dave Horsfall
  2 siblings, 1 reply; 23+ messages in thread
From: Ken Thompson via TUHS @ 2018-11-27 23:08 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: Dave Horsfall; +Cc: The Eunuchs Hysterical Society

joe was much more than that. he knew how
to play the system. example:
out of whole cloth, he invented a form to
order a teletype and opx (bell labs extension)
installed in the home. he then filled out the
form for each of the unix-room dennisons.
there was a phone call from a confused
clerk, and then we all got teletypes and
data sets at home. as an aside, the opx
came with free watts (long distance which
was very expensive in those days.)


On Tue, Nov 27, 2018 at 1:47 PM, Dave Horsfall <dave@horsfall.org> wrote:
> We lost J.F. Ossanna on this day in 1977; he had a hand in developing Unix,
> and was responsible for "roff" and its descendants.  Remember him, the next
> time you see "jfo" in Unix documentation.
>
> -- Dave

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 23+ messages in thread

* [TUHS] In Memoriam: J.F.Ossanna
@ 2018-11-27 21:47 Dave Horsfall
  2018-11-27 23:08 ` Ken Thompson via TUHS
                   ` (2 more replies)
  0 siblings, 3 replies; 23+ messages in thread
From: Dave Horsfall @ 2018-11-27 21:47 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: The Eunuchs Hysterical Society

We lost J.F. Ossanna on this day in 1977; he had a hand in developing 
Unix, and was responsible for "roff" and its descendants.  Remember him, 
the next time you see "jfo" in Unix documentation.

-- Dave

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 23+ messages in thread

end of thread, back to index

Thread overview: 23+ messages (download: mbox.gz / follow: Atom feed)
-- links below jump to the message on this page --
2019-11-27 20:53 [TUHS] In Memoriam: J.F.Ossanna Dave Horsfall
2019-11-28  0:06 ` Warner Losh
2019-11-28  0:43   ` Finn O'Leary
2019-11-28 17:16     ` ron
2019-11-28 17:18       ` ron
2019-11-28  0:46   ` David Arnold
2019-11-28  3:43 ` Larry McVoy
2019-11-30 17:45   ` Finn O'Leary
2019-11-28  9:19 ` Thomas Paulsen
  -- strict thread matches above, loose matches on Subject: below --
2018-11-28 13:09 jnc
2018-11-27 21:47 Dave Horsfall
2018-11-27 23:08 ` Ken Thompson via TUHS
2018-11-28  2:57   ` Larry McVoy
2018-11-28  4:48     ` Ken Thompson via TUHS
2018-11-28 14:44       ` Dan Cross
2018-11-28 17:08       ` Paul Winalski
2018-11-28 19:03         ` WIlliam Cheswick
2018-11-28 19:04         ` WIlliam Cheswick
2018-11-28 17:57       ` Earl Baugh
2018-11-28 18:23       ` ron minnich
2018-11-28  5:22     ` Fabio Scotoni
2018-11-28  9:20 ` Donald ODona
2018-11-29  3:54 ` Dave Horsfall

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