Alternate futures

[A message from God, in braille.  Goodricke Snackbar ceiling, 1994]

Jorvick IV

At some point in February 1992, shortly before I was promoted to DP, Magic instigated a complete rewrite of the entire board. The plan was to introduce new features, tidy up old inconsistencies and bugs, and generally produce a brand new, stable, and altogether better version of the board. This project never really got off the ground, for a variety of reasons, not least of which was the announcement that the central VAX/VMS service was to be replaced with a collection of (Silicon Graphics) Unix systems.

Jorvick V

Mike Brudenell and Laurence Tyler, of the Computing Service, kindly arranged for the provision of an account on tower, the central Unix compute server, and work on Jorvick V gradually started. Unfortunately, due to various other pressures (my finals, ERiK's DPhil, Magic's job) this didn't progress much further than its VMS-based predecessor.

Jorvick 95

The demise of the VAX fast approaching, and realising that having even a hastily-cobbled-together, hacked, unstable version of Jorvick available on the Unix systems was preferable to none at all, I ported the existing Jorvick II code, ripping out any subsystem which relied too heavily on low-level VMS functionality. Talker went out the window straight away - all the interprocess communication was done by means of VMS mailboxes, rendering it highly non-portable.

Unfortunately, insurmountable file-locking issues rendered this version unstable in a highly unpredictable manner, so the plug was pulled after a few days. No alternative version of the software having been produced, Jorvick went down with the sinking VAX.

Date: 2003/09/04 17:03:17