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[ih] What is the origin of the root account?

On Apr 11, 2013, at 9:58 PM, Noel Chiappa <jnc at mercury.lcs.mit.edu> wrote:

> Pretty soon after (I'm talking circa 1978 or so here), more PDP-11's showed
> up: Dave Mills' Fuzzballs. Somewhere in there Bob Braden did a TCP for an IBM
> mainframe at UCLA, 

Some of this stuff is before my time but there is a lot of good reading particularly on MULTICS development and its influences.  The IBM products which evolved going back to the Project MAC era are significant.  

Definitely read the Multicians site:  http://multicians.org

One of the fascinating parts of the story involves MIT's needs for Project MAC, and how IBM actually lost the project.  But instead of just giving up, CP-40 evolved out of that effort, which later became the IBM VM operating system (also known as CP/CMS).  And the IBM folks worked right in MIT's Tech Square while MAC development was going on, just a few floors away from what would later become MULTICS. 

The best paper on VM development is Melinda Varian's "VM and the VM Community":

1997 version: http://leeandmelindavarian.com/Melinda/25paper.pdf

The 1991 version has photos and more detail: http://leeandmelindavarian.com/Melinda/neuvm.pdf

It wasn't until 1989 (and the early days of the "Internet" era) that IBM officially sold a TCP/IP implementation for their mainframes.  The actual device was the 8232 LAN channel station, which was a microchannel architecture PC in a washing machine size frame.  It ran some microcode to drive a IBM channel adapter (bus/tag) to talk to the host, with a (3com?) Ethernet card in the PC.  List price was $40k for the hardware. 

The host software was written by Barry Appelman's group at IBM Yorktown (product number 5798-FAL).  Jeff Kravitz wrote the 8232 code.   It wasn't until a few years later that TCP was available for MVS, with 3745 communication controllers getting appropriate support.   Also, around 1990, a competitor piece of hardware to the 8232 was developed and sold by Bus-Tech, Inc ("BTI")... widely known as "the BTI box".  It used the same IBM software on the host, but the BTI hardware was significantly cheaper, and faster, too!  David Lippke, then at UT Dallas, wrote a device driver for that unit which became the standard.