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[ih] BBN C-series computers

I was not close to the C/70 project so I don't know.  
We can find the right person to answer questions with a question to the ex-BBN list.  In the meantime, I will look in the list of BBN reports.

On October 23, 2017, at 9:17 PM, Bernie Cosell <bernie at fantasyfarm.com> wrote:

> - Can you confirm that the C/70 indeed ran the TCP/IP stack?

I don't know.  I expect it did

> - The advert says the C/60 was running V7 Unix, I assume this was true
> of the C/70 as well? Before now, I did not realise that the TCP/IP stack
> integrated with V7 as well.

That was the version of unix we had the sources for.  There was no 
floating point!  After we got the system up and running I left the 
project.  I understand the next thing to be done was to add 'float' to 
the compiler -- but this was all done locally on the C/70.

> - Would you at this remove still remember the main features of the C/70
> MMU? This detail is relevant to me as it has a connection to the
> evolution of network buffer management in Unix, and also to the
> organisation of network code in the kernel.

I have no idea -- Probably someone like Carl Howe would know that.  I had 
little to do with the kernel or the machinery.  

> - How should I understand "There was never an assembler for the
> MBB-Unix?? If I read your notes correctly the compiler did not
> generate microcode, but instructions on a traditional instruction set
> architecture level.

Mostly it generated binary!  There was a sort of 'traditional' 
instruction set but it wasn't available outside the compiler.  As I 
mentioned, it was very irregular and wasn't designed to be "user 
friendly" [or even "user comprehensible"]

> .. In that context, wouldn?t the last phase of the
> (native) compiler be an assembler of sorts? Wouldn?t you need some
> sort of assembler to write libraries for system calls, signal handling,
> making longjmp's, etc.?

Not really -- I don't remember how we managed that, but there was no 
direct "assembly" code.  In fact, the "instruction set" changed from time 
to time as we hacked new things in.  I expect some BBN report documented 
the actual final MMB machinery but it wasn't publicized and other than 
making a binary, basically, by hand there wasn't any way to code for the 
machine other than in 'C'.

I don't remember how we handled user processes, memory handling, system 
calls, etc.  Dave: did we ever do a BBN report on the insides of the 
C/70?  I don't remember doing one.


Bernie Cosell                     Fantasy Farm Fibers
mailto:bernie at fantasyfarm.com     Pearisburg, VA
    -->  Too many people, too few sheep  <--       

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