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  Election Results

The results of the elections for Board of Directors of the USENIX Association for the 2000—2002 term are as follows:

Daniel Geer 1,263
96 abstentions

Andrew Hume 1,262
94 abstentions

Michael B. Jones 1,139
208 abstentions

Peter Honeyman 1,243
109 abstentions

Jon "maddog" Hall 915
John Gilmore 892
Avi Rubin 853
Marshall Kirk McKusick 792

Not elected for Director:
Marcus Ranum
Dirk Hohndel
Darrell Long

Total number of ballots cast: 1,385

Total number of invalid ballots: 1

Newly elected directors will take office at the conclusion of the next regularly scheduled Board meeting, which will be held June 20, 2000, in San Diego, California.

Ellie Young
Executive Director, USENIX Association

So long, and thanks for all the fish

hume_andrew by Andrew Hume

President, USENIX Association

By about the time you read this, I will have finished my thralldom as President of USENIX. After four years as President, I will become Vice President, supporting our new President, Dan Geer.

I have quite enjoyed my role as President. In many ways, watching the organisation evolve and grow is similiar to watching my twins grow: astonishment at how fast they grow, pride at their achievements, and most of all, finding out how much fun they are. You, too, should be proud, and here are a few examples why:

* Membership continues to grow at an impressive 15% annually (our sister societies, such as ACM and IEEE/CS, have essentially static membership

* We are renowned for the quality and diversity of our conferences and workshops, and the exemplary work of our staff, in particular Judy DesHarnais, in running these events.

* We have a large and effective program for funding undergraduate and postgraduate research programs.

* We are achieving recognition as a major technical society; at a recent Computing Research Association meeting, I kept hearing phrases like "when associations like ACM, USENIX, and IEEE/CS."

The most important ingredient in all of this is, of course, you, the members. You keep paying your dues, coming to conferences, and sharing your experiences. In particular, I salute those of you who volunteer for running for the Board, being Program Chairs, and just helping out at conferences.

A close second, though, are the USENIX staff. Make no mistake, you elect officers and directors and they guide the organisation. But the staff runs it, and in USENIX's case, runs it extremely well. I, and the rest of the Board, rely heavily on Ellie Young, our Executive Director; I cannot overstate how well she does her job. Ellie is ably supported by Gale Berkowitz (Deputy Executive Director), Jane-Ellen Long (Production/IS Director) and Monica Ortiz (Marketing Manager).

And the whole organisation depends on Judy DesHarnais for her superb work in planning and running our various events. The rest of the staff are Bleu Castañeda, Moun Chau, Peter Collinson, Vanessa Fonseca, Dana Geffner, Dan Klein, Jim Lawson, Jennifer Radtke, Becca Sibrack, and Toni Veglia.

A final thanks goes to my family. My work with USENIX has involved a lot of travel; this used to be just inconvenient, but nowadays it means my wife has to look after Nicole and Jason, our 15-month-old twins, on her own. Many of you will understand what a load that is. So thank you very much, Karen.

twins karen

The twins, Nicole and Jason



  20 Years Ago in UNIX

by Peter H. Salus

USENIX Historian

Last column I quoted Ted Dolotta on System IV and on the 7"x9" manuals. Here are a few more notes from Ted to keep you all amused.

When INTERACTIVE Systems was porting UNIX to the PC AT (PC/IX) and to VM/360 (VM/IX) under contract with IBM, we ran into IBM's "standard practices" folks.

They started to review the UNIX System III documentation and went ballistic — you know, parent processes that kill and/or abort their children, master-slave relationships, etc., etc.

They also objected to touch as . . . you guessed it: too intimate. They wanted to replace every occurrence of "touch" with "press." One day we were sitting discussing this weighty topic with IBM, and one of our secretaries, Joyce Yoshihata, overheard the discussion and said — to no one in particular — "Gee, I did not know that I have been a press-typist for over 25 years." IBM capitulated on the spot.

They were more adamant about other words: demons, aborts, etc. I finally threw down the challenge: "You want UNIX, or you want to be the laughing stock of the UNIX user community?" They gave up, and I even kept them from censoring the BUGS section of one troff macro package manual page (which I had authored at Bell Labs) that said something like, "If you do thus and such, there will be bird-dropping-like things on your typeset output."

There was a subsequent development:

When we started doing AIX for the PC RT, IBM took over the documentation task: they sorted all the commands into the EBCDIC collating sequence, alphabetized all the flags on each manual entry (so some secondary flags were described before the primary ones which they modified, and the manual entries got very hard to follow), removed all the BUGS sections (IBM-sold code has no bugs, right?), and replaced all the words they did not like, including "touch."

And because the PC RT was a workstation, not a terminal, they did a global replace of the word "terminal" by "workstation," ending up, on the yacc(1) manual page, with sentences such as "The parser stops as soon as it encounters a workstation symbol," and other such gems.

One thing that I was rather pleased with is that we created the entire documentation set for VM/IX by taking the PC/IX documentation and globally replacing PC/IX with VM/IX, and then modifying a dozen manual pages and a few paragraphs in the administration guide to account for the fact that VM/IX was a multi-user system while PC/IX was single-user. But 99%+ of the documentation was identical. And it had all those "nasty" words in it, like real UNIX . . .

But I did — on my own — make one deletion: I read the entire list of fortune cookies — fortune(6) — and deleted the following fortune: "Question: How is Thomas J. Watson buried? Answer: 9-edge in, face down." I doubt that anyone who has not grown up with punched cards will even understand this, but it was funny — if somewhat offensive — in those days.

Thanks, Ted.

Note: In 1985 the USENIX Association held its 10th Anniversary blast in Portland, OR, with a salmon roast sponsored by Tektronix. It is not at all clear to me how this number was arrived at. If we're memorializing the first meeting of the UNIX Users' Group, that was May 1974. If it's the meeting at which the name was changed to USENIX, that was July 1977. If it's the organizational meeting to consider the bylaws for the new Association, that was November 1978. A few years ago, Evi Nemeth suggested to me that 1974 was year 0 and thus 1995 was 20. It works for me.

Notice of Annual Meeting

The USENIX Association's Annual Meeting with the membership and the Board of Directors will be held during the 2000 USENIX Annual Technical Conference in San Diego. The meeting will be held on Thursday, June 22, from 4 to 5:30 PM, in a room to be announced on-site.

Everyone is welcome!


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