Still Looking For AT&T 3B2 Internals Docs

Seth Morabito lists at
Mon Mar 6 13:06:18 CST 2017

* On Sun, Mar 05, 2017 at 03:50:36AM -0600, Jerry Kemp via cctalk <cctalk at> wrote:
> Hello Seth,
> Fingers crossed that you already have what you need.
> Given the possibility that you don't, my comment here is that your request
> for internal documents are somewhat vague.  Can you be somewhat more
> specifics?

I have done some additional digging, so I think I can be much more
specific now about what documents would be helpful to me. None of
these seem to be online, and I've done some exhaustive searching of
library archives and the used book market to see if I can find them,
but they haven't turned up any hits yet.

Anyway, the documents that I think would be most useful are all listed
in the 1987 and 1993 editions of the Bell Labs catalog "The AT&T
Documentation Guide", both of which are posted online.

1. "3B2 Computer Technical Reference Manual" (305-490)
2. "3B2/3B5 Computer Driver Design Guide" (305-495)
3. "Unix System V/VME OEM Porting Manual" (307-780)
4. "AT&T 3B2 Computer Feature Card Interface Design Manual" (305-492)
5. "AT&T 3B2 Computer Debug Monitor Guide" (305-442)

The numbers in parentheses are document numbers used by AT&T.

> The reason specifically I'm asking, is I was reviewing an old Unix
> book/document earlier, "Life with Unix" by Don Libes & Sandy Ressler.  The
> document makes a lot of comments about both Berkeley/BSD and AT&T, and how
> AT&T was using Unix internally all over the place.

It definitely pays to look at outside resources. One of the most
useful books for this project has been Maurice Bach's "The Design of
the UNIX Operating System", which describes System V Release 3 in
great detail. This, combined with the SVR3 source code, have been
invaluable to me. The 3B2 was the main porting platform for SVR3, so
there are lots of tidbits and details about the hardware in it. In
fact, without the SVR3 source code, I would be absolutely nowhere in
this project.

> And to be more specific, I'm wondering out loud here if possibly, the
> documentation you might need may not be directly accessible, but that
> information might be available in a round about way, possibly thru the telco
> side of things.

Indeed, there's a lot of documentation about the 3B20 thanks to the
telco side of things. I haven't found any 3B2 documentation down that
path, but it remains interesting to me.

> Wishing you luck,

Many thanks and best wishes!

> Jerry


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