UNIX-HATERS Handbook

I’m still reading the UNIX-HATERS Handbook. I must confess it is very fun to read and it’s pretty obvious that it was written circa 1994 [1] because it contains some (currently) irrelevant comments like:

Unix was developed in a research environment where systems rarely stayed up for several days. It was not designed to stay up for weeks at a time, let alone continuously.

Now, from one of my OpenBSD firewalls:

fw1~$ uptime
 1:24AM  up 216 days, 23:07, 1 user, load averages: 0.21, 0.11, 0.09

And yet another OpenBSD firewall:

fw2~$ uptime
 1:30AM  up 216 days, 11:57, 1 user, load averages: 0.47, 0.21, 0.13
 

And actually this uptime does not impress me at all. I used to have a very old Pentium at home running EnGarde Linux that yield more than 300 days of uptime and could not beat the 1-year mark because of some power failure at home.

But the book has also some good points that have changed little (or didn’t change at all) over time. For example, the fact that in systems like he LISP machine the debugger is triggered automatically whenever a program misbehaves while, in UNIX, such thing never happens making debugging harder (files are closed, network sockets are torn down, etc.).

[1] There are some references to SparcStation ELC machines with 16MB of RAM in the book. Modern Intel Core i7 processors sport up to 12MB of L2 cache on-die, so you get an idea how old this computer (and the book) is.

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2 thoughts on “UNIX-HATERS Handbook

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  2. OldAlfaGuy: Wow, I knew if I hung around here long enough I’d meet someone who actually came across the Autodelta drag GTV. I had only heard of it by hearsay and all the local Alfa guys look at me like I made the damn thing up. Any pics??

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