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Re: A working PDP-11 (almost ... )

At 10:14 PM 6/17/98 -0400, Gary Luckenbaugh wrote:
>What does the software on the ATEX system do?  Is it basically a fancy word
>processing system?  Is the user interface graphical?  What kind of terminals
>do you use to access the system?  I wonder if it basically just assigns one
>CPU to each user that is connected.

You may be right. Plain-vanilla ATEX is essentially a big word-processing
and typesetting system that uses dumb, hardwired terminals straight out of
the '70s. When your port goes down, they physically move a cable to connect
you to another one. It's full-screen text editing with a command line
interface at the top that you can use to write pretty fancy TECO-like macros.

The Times's ATEX installation is fancier; instead of dumb terminals, it uses
PCs that are connected to the system through a TCP/IP network (but, for
ATEX's purposes, the PCs pretend to be dumb hardwired terminals). We've also
got a pagination system made by ATEX that runs on modern server hardware
(made by IBM, but I couldn't tell you what models) and interfaces with the
typesetting system.

There certainly seem to be about as many CPUs as ports, so that's a
possibility. On the other hand, it seems to behave like any standard
timesharing system: when usage is heavy, everyone slows down even if they're
not doing anything obviously disk-I/O-bound.