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Re: Free PDF download: "The Poettering Bible"

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  • thad_floryan
    ... Hmmm, there is so much ignorance in that document that I m very surprised DATAMATION printed it. I realize DATAMATION is/was a rag for the so-called data
    Message 1 of 5 , Mar 13 5:00 AM
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      --- In linux@yahoogroups.com, "thad_floryan" <thad@...> wrote:
      > [...]
      > More goodstuff. I was just [re-]reading the "FOREWARD" to the book
      > by Donald Norman in which he wrote the following:
      >
      > When this particular rock-throwing rabble invited me to join
      > them, I thought back to my own classic paper on the subject, so
      > classic it even got reprinted in a book of readings. But it
      > isn't even referenced in this one. Well, I'll fix that:
      >
      > Norman, D. A. The Trouble with Unix: The User Interface is
      > Horrid. Datamation, 27 (12) 1981, November. pp. 139-150.
      > Reprinted in Pylyshyn, Z. W., & Bannon, L. J., eds.
      > Perspectives on the Computer Revolution,
      > 2nd revised edition, Hillsdale, NJ, Ablex, 1989.
      >
      > I just found a PDF of that DATAMATION article which is 10 pages and
      > only 113kB here:
      >
      > http://www.ceri.memphis.edu/people/smalley/ESCI7205F2009/misc_files/The_truth_about_Unix_cleaned.pdf
      > [...]

      Hmmm, there is so much ignorance in that document that I'm very
      surprised DATAMATION printed it. I realize DATAMATION is/was a rag
      for the so-called "data professionals" of the 1980s and is NOT a
      peer-reviewed publication like what we have for the true sciences,
      but, still, a DATAMATION editor should have round-filed the document
      and chewed Norman out over the phone and slammed it down.

      One really blatant problem with that document is Norman didn't seem
      to realize that PDP-8 and PDP-11 memory was EXTREMELY EXPENSIVE back
      then and UNIX commands were as short as they are due to economics
      which would lead to storing a command name in, say, two bytes instead
      of more, e.g., 'ed' instead of 'editor' -- the 'itor' would probably
      have cost $2,000 worth of core memory which itself was astronomically
      priced and there would only be 4kB in a refrigerator-sized cabinet.

      He doesn't even comprehend the name of the 'grep' (Get Regular
      Expression and Print) program which is clear prima facie evidence he
      shouldn't be writing anything about computers especially when his
      premises defy all logic.

      I'm not going to write any more because if I did it'd be larger than
      his flawed essay and I don't want to raise my blood pressure which
      is 'textbook perfect' per the nurse at 120/60 every time I'm tested.

      Thad
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