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21 Jul 1998

The Developer's Wail

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Dave Vinograd

Multics was in its early days. Roger Schell was developing dynamic CPU and SCU reconfiguration as part of his Doctoral thesis. I was responsible for dump analysis of system failures and resided in a large room on the fifth floor of 545 Tech Square. Also in the room were a complete set of system listings.

On this day Roger was desperately trying to figure out what had caused the latest failure. As he needed multiple CPUs and SCUs to test, his test time was very limited (he needed all the Multics hardware on the 9th floor) and any failure was a real set back.

Multiple listing books were spread about and Roger flitted from one to the other. Suddenly he looked up and exclaimed in a very loud and pained voice

"MASTER MODE, INTERRUPT INHIBITED, IMPURE !!!!!"

and left the room to find the author of the offending module, system_meter, who was ...

John Gintell.

Last modified: 9/17/98