[its-hackers] Fwd: [PDP-10/its] Use the CH11 Chaosnet address (#2038)

Lars Brinkhoff lars at nocrew.org
Thu Jun 24 09:31:47 CEST 2021


Jack Haverty wrote:
> - ENG probably meant ENGineering, which related to "system" stuff,
> e.g., ITS itself and perhaps major applications like Midas, DDT, Teco,
> etc.  Everything was in English back then.

That's what I thought too at first.  But then I learned back in the very
early PDP-1 and PDP-6 days at MIT, source code was called "English".  On
the AI PDP-10, there was the SYS directory for binaries and SYSENG for
source code.  It's not spelled out anywhere, but do think SYSENG means
"system english", i.e. system source code.  But "system engineering" is
another valid theory.  It's not spelled out clearly anywhere.  Using
English to mean source code was probably somewhat archaic already by
1969 since it's sometimes put inside quote marks, e.g.

  PRS 12/17/69 03:19:43 TEXT MAY NOW BE INCLUDED IN THE "ENGLISH"
  OF A PIECE OF MUSIC.

Tellingly, PRS is Peter Samson, one of the early MIT hackers.  The next
quote is from a TJ6 info file, maybe written by Richard Greeblatt?

   EOF -  unexpected end-of-file when loading program
   (you probably loaded an english, not binary file by mistake)
         
On the DM PDP-10 there was also SAENG and ITSENG.  I agree SA probably
means Stand-Alone, and ITSENG is the monitor source code.  This usage
wasn't picked up by the AI lab.  When ITS moved from SYSENG to a
separate directory it was called SYSTEM which also housed the stand-
alone tools.



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