This is a collection of texts that I found interesting. Most of them are about programming, computer networks and computer architecture, with a strong historical bent.
All these texts are, to the best of my knowledge, freely distributable. Please tell me at mc at this domain if you find something that should not be distributed.
Multics Security Evaluation: Vulnerability Analysis. Karger and Schell's original paper from 1974 that inspired Ken Thompson's "Trusting Trust".
Thirty Years Later: Lessons from the Multics Security Evaluation. Karger and Schell revisit their paper on Multics Security with a view on modern operating systems.
A Device Independent Troff (Postscript in Gzip):
Brian Kernighan's paper on the ditroff typesetting system.
The Holy Discordian texts that didn't make it into the Principia.
Authors: C Gottbrath, J Bailin, C Meakin, T Thompson, J.J. Charfman
In the context of Moore's Law, overall productivity can be increased for large enough computations by `slacking' or waiting for some period of time before purchasing a computer and beginning the calculation. Very funny, but probably true.
Saltzer and Clark's paper, first published in 1981, on the "end to end" principle in distributed computer systems. This principle has been a leading star in the formation of the Internet.
Lampson's and Sturgis' unpublished paper on reliable distributed data storage.
Joel F. Bartlett's 1981 text on the Tandem Nonstop operating system. The Tandem company is now part of Hewlett-Packard and the Nonstop systems are still in use.
MIT AI Memo 239 from 1972. The seminal collection of scientific (or hackerish?) tidbits introduced as "Here is some little known data which may be of interest to computer hackers." HTMLized by Henry Baker.
Manuscrict Preparation (PDF):
Vonda N. McIntyre's hints for manuscript preparations for fiction writers.
James Gosling, the designer of the NeWS and the Andrew window systems (and now most famous for Java), rethinks the design of a window system. He basically argues for a device driver like window system with all rendering done in libraries.
A text by Peter Norvig and Kent Pitman on how to write Lisp code.
Henry Spencer's annotated edition of some really good advice for C programmers.
En essä av Hans "The Pink Unicorn" Persson om kulturen i mötet Inlägg }t mig i konferenssystemen KOM på LINUS vid LiU och datorföreningen Lysators nuvarande LysKOM.
Richard P. Gabriel's classical Worse is better text.
Unicode Data (bzipped text file):
A large file describing all defined Unicode characters in Latin 1.
Unicode Data 2 (bzipped text file):
The same thing again, but encoded in UTF-8. Your chance to see what Unicode characters you can actually see in your favourite editor.
AXE-koder för Telia (TXT):
En kort guide till hur man nyttjar AXE-funktionerna från en telefon.
A guide to the Aztec deities. Perfect for computer hostnames! For
instance: I once called the News server I was instaling for an ISP
tlazolteol.their.domain after the Aztec goddess of filth. Very
appropriate, don't you think?
ISO C99 Standard (draft) (Postscript):
The draft version of the ISO C99 Standard. Refer to the real ISO standard for real work.
ISO C99 Standard (draft) (TXT):
Same thing, but as plain text.
John Perry's text on the Core Wars 'game'.
Dr. Jenny Sundén's essay on cyber cultures and text-based communications.
The ANS Forth Standard (Postscript in tar.gz):
The draft standard for the Forth programming language. For the real stuff, I refer to ANSI.
Future Culture FAQ (TXT):
The last list of Frequently Asked Questions from the Future Culture mailing list back in the old days when Andy Hawks was still among us on the list. Lots of cyber stuff and references in here.
The Commons of Information (TXT):
Lee Felsenstein's theory on the the modern day 'agora', electronic communities.
Matt Dillon's description of the virtual memory system of the FreeBSD operating system.
Dave's College Dropout Note (TXT):
My friend Dave's insane note to the dean when dropping out of college. Hilarious.
He's a Sysadmin (TXT):
A wonderful hackerish filk song based on Monty Python's He's a Lumberjack. I don't know who wrote this. Anyone?
Tips and tricks of the trade when it comes to posting to Usenet.
Coding Inspiration (TXT):
Some suggestions on how to be inspired while hacking. *grin*
Kent Engströms roliga recension om denna hemska bok.
Klingon Programmers Unite! (TXT):
A list of things likely to be overheard if you have a Klingon for a programmer.
An interview with Professor Knuth.
Collected information on about 2350 computer languages, past and present.
Humorous account on what goes on in a mailing list.
A hackerish spoof on Star Wars.
Nikolai Bezroukov's text on hacking free software as researh.
Porting GCC for Dunces (PDF):
Hans-Peter Nilsson's Master's thesis on porting the GNU Compiler Collection.
The wonderful Philosopher's Song as performed by the beer drinking Bruce, Bruce and Bruce from the Philosophy Department.
Jon Postel: In Memoriam (TXT):
A weird haiku collection in memoriam of computer scientist and Internet pioneer Jon Postel who died in 1998. Written by an anonymous poet and sent, for some unknown reason, to me in my role as the postmaster of hack.org.
Lutz Prechelt's paper on the pros and cons of using different programming languages for a certain task.
Pete Fenelon's humorous list of different types of academic programmers.
The Psychedelic Experience (TXT):
Leary et al's classic work based on The Tibetan Book of the Dead.
Jon Holdsworth's old proposal of an underground decentralised computer network.
RMA om GPL (TXT):
Från ett inlägg i Lysators KOM: RMA diskuterar GPL-licensen.
RTX32 Instructions (TXT):
A list of all the instructions of the RTX32 Forth CPU.
SC32 Instructions (TXT):
A list of all the instructions of the SC32 Forth CPU.
The Scheme Song (TXT):
As posted to comp.lang.scheme on January 17, 1996, for Scheme's twentieth birthday, by Shriram Krishnamurthi.
SPARC Architecture Manual Version 8 (Postscript in Bzip2):
The SPARC v8 manual.
SPARC Architecture Manual Version 9 (Postscript in Bzip2):
The SPARC v9 (UltraSPARC) manual.
The NVRAM in Sun workstations may lose all its content in event of battery failure. To be able to boot at all, the workstation needs a host ID.
This document is for people who want to accomplish one of the following tasks:
Install a new NVRAM chip in a Sun 3/80, sun4c, or sun4m machine. Usually this will be due to NVRAM failure or loss of the NVRAM password in full security mode.
Change the hostid/ethernet address of a Sun 3/80, sun4c, sun4m, sun4u or sun4d machine.
Restore a machine with a corrupted NVRAM chip in a Sun 3/80, sun4c, sun4u, sun4m machine to working order.
The Parable of Mushin (TXT):
From "Everyday Zen" by Charlotte Joko Beck.
The Tao of Programming (TXT):
Geoffrey James version of Daodejing for programmers.
The Gospel of Thomas (TXT):
The gospel according to the disciple Thomas. One of the more believable versions of the gospel.
MIT AI Lab Tourist Policy (TXT):
It has been a long standing tradition at both the Laboratory for Computer Science and the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT to allow non-laboratory people to use the laboratories' computers during off hours. These people were called "tourists". This is the policy document from the days of the Incompatible Timesharing System.
UNIX-HATERS' Handbook (PDF):
The wonderfully funny //UNIX-HATERS' Handbook// with descriptions of, for instance, the X Window System as a way to make a modern Unix workstation behave like an 4.77 MHz IBM PC from anno 1981.
Usenet: The Flaming v 1.1 (TXT):
A collectible trading card game of Usenet. Politics and global domination!
Calle Dybedahl's immensely funny posting on a.s.r with the subject Userology: On Different Kinds of Users and How to Spot Them.
War story on the different cultures of the VAX world and mainframe worlds.
Suns boot fast (TXT):
A classic text, also included in Unix Haters' Handbook, on how a Sun workstation compares to a Lisp Machine.
X Window System Protocol (PDF):
The documentation on the raw X11R7 protocol.
X.509 Style Guide (TXT):
Peter Gutmann's classical text on how to work with the X.509 abomination's certificates.
The X Virus (TXT):
This "notice" on the X Window System as a dangerous virus was widely circulated at the 1989 SIGGRAPH conference in Boston.
A humorous list on what's it like to be a programmer.
Query types and responses in the Domain Name System (DNS).
DNS Resource Records (TXT):
András Salamon's list of resource records of the Domain Name system and references to the RFCs where they are defined.
Unix Text Processing (Postscript in Bzip2):
Dale Dougherty and Tim O'Reilly's classic book Unix Text Processing about troff typesetting.
Common Lisp the Language, 2nd ed (Postscript in Bzip2):
Guy L. Steele's reference on the Common Lisp programming language. I am very grateful to Butterworth-Heinemann, owners of Digital Press, for allowing the CMU AI Repository to make the full text of this important reference work widely available in electronic format. The paperbound version is of course readily available at fine bookstores, or contact them directly:
Digital Press, 225 Wildwood St., Woburn, MA 01801, USA.
Det nya hacket (TXT):
En filksång postad i Lysators KOM 1995-01-13 av Lars Aronsson.
En artikel om hackers från Kultursidan i tidningen Expressen 1982-06-20. Är detta månne första gången ordet "hacker" nämns i populärpress i Sverige?
Windows-NT vs. CP/M (TXT):
A funny comparison between WNT and CP/M. I don't know who wrote this, but it's great.
Tony in RH20 Land (TXT):
PDP-10 system hacker Anthony Wachs tries the job of a playwright and writes a drama in four acts where he encounters the RH20 controller.
Soft Wares (TXT):
Another hackerish spoof on Star Wars. Written in 1994 by Paul Duncanson.
Software Wars (TXT):
By far the best spoof on Star Wars. Written by legendary hacker Mark "MRC" Crispin in 1978.
Net.Legends FAQ (TXT):
This FAQ gives information on some of the more noticeable or notable people, places, and/or things occuring on Usenet. Not to be taken internally. This is the version last modified 1994-09-13. Somewhat out of date, but a few of these people are still around in some newsgroups.
The Hacker Test (TXT):
A compendium of fact and folklore about computer hackerdom, cunningly disguised as a test. This is version 1.0 from 1989-06-16. It was conceived and written by Felix Lee, John Hayes and Angela Thomas at the end of the spring semester, 1989.
My own score on this test is 0x103, but that was many years ago. Undoubtedly, a lot of questions in this test, especially the questions about owning hardware, are now much easier to answer in affirmative than in 1989.
DEC Wars (TXT):
Yet another spoof on Star Wars, posted on Usenet in the early 1980s by Alan Hastings and Steve Tarr.
Achtung! This is the original blinkenlights sign that should be in every serious computer room.
TOAD-1 System Architecture Reference Manual (Postscript in Bzip2):
A document describing the processor architecture of the XKL-1 CPU as well as earlier CPUs in the PDP-10 family.
The influential work from 1988 of Boggs, Mogul & Kent at DEC Western Research Laboratory (now, I guess, part of Hewlett-Packard) on the behaviour of an Ethernet. Still interesting today.
Frank da Cruz' and Chris Ryland's introduction to assembly language programming on DEC-20s under TOPS-20.
CHAOS FILE protocol (TXT):
Remote file system used on CHAOSNET as used at MIT between LispMs and ITS.
ITS Calls (TXT):
ITS operating system calls.
MIDAS Manual (TXT/info):
Manual for the MIDAS assembler as used under ITS on PDP-10s.
Usenet post from Dan Murphy about the Minnow Project, a deskside PDP-10!
Dartmouth Timesharing System (PDF):
A description of the early timesharing operating system DTSS.
Fortran 77 ANSI Standard (TXT):
ANSI Standard for the Fortran 77 programming language.
Alan Bawden's paper on how the ITS operating system made system calls restartable.
ITS 1.5 Reference Manual (TXT):
The Incompatible Timesharing System was an influential operating system for the PDP-10 architecture from MIT. A few years ago, I found a listing of a memo in the MIT AI Lab Library catalogue and asked the librarians to scan it. To my surprise, they did, and subsequently published AI Memo 161A online as scanned EPS images. Now, Dave Carter has typed it all in again and I provide it here as text.
A tutorial on how to use the Incompatible Timesharing System mentioned above.
The scanned (and therefore huge!) reference manual for the very nice Algol dialect used on Burroughs B5500 machines and, as I've been told, still used on the Unisys mainframes running MCP.
Sagan om AMIS (TXT):
Detta är berättelsen om sju hackers som ville göra en editor, den kända EMACS-klonen AMIS. Skriven av Per Lindberg.
The description of the Algol 60 programming language. This is the final Modified Report from 1976, the follow on from the earlier Revised Report and the original Report on the Algorithmic Language Algol 60.
Bernard S. Greenberg's text on the history of the first Emacs implemented in and extensible using the Lisp programming language.
RFC1 Host Software (TXT):
The very first RFC ever.
RMS at KTH (TXT):
A transcript from RMS's visit at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1986.
A paper by Allan B. Wilson and James M. Flemming (JMF) on PDP-10 SMP as used by the TOPS-10 operating system.
RMS' text describing the development, background and future of the original EMACS.
A humourous form letter that was suggested to be used when people complained about the ITS installation known as OZ (there was an ITS installation in Australia!?). Probably from 1983. I don't know who wrote it, but I like its BOFHiness.
CP/M 2.2 Operating System Manual (Postscript in Bzip2):
The manual for the CP/M operating system from Digital Research.
Last updated: <2018-04-18 07:58:43 MEST>