strangest systems I've sent email from

Jon Elson elson at
Fri Apr 29 21:23:40 CDT 2016

On 04/29/2016 01:51 PM, ben wrote:
> Did Unix have
> any other languages with it?
I evaluated UNIX FORTRAN for my research group in 1976 or 
so.  It was not pretty.  We found it took about 750 ms to 
format a single floating point number and print it out.  
This was probably before we got out 11/45, so it wasn't on a 
high performance PDP-11 CPU, but it was WAY worse than any 
other language.  We also found the computed goto worked 
backwards.  The order of the less than and greater than 
branches was reversed.  This made it pretty clear that 
practically NOBODY was using it.  Not a good sign.  I 
suspect Pascal must have existed as people were doing TeX 
documents, but we didn't have it then.

This was on Bell Systems UNIX.  After discovering these 
issues, we went with RSX-11M, and were happy as clams.  That 
was also a great way to develop a bunch of code before the 
VAX came out.


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