38

FILES-11 on DEC minicomputers was a versioned file system -- RSX-11M, IAS (on PDP-11), VMS (on VAX, Alpha). Version numbers are very user-visible; they are part of the syntax for specifying a file. And programs are designed to behave appropriately for a versioned file system. When creating a file, the normal way was to not specify a version number, and the ...


37

UCSD Pascal was a product of UCSD - The University of California at San Diego. It was not a product of Apple. UCSD Pascal was available on a number of machines, including the PDP-11, TI99/4, the BBC Micro and the IBM PC. It was a noble attempt to produce a fully cross-platform language. UCSD Pascal used a disk filing system that was intended to be ...


36

Colon was inherited from SOS for the Apple III Unlike one may assume, MacOS (1984/01) did not inherited the colon (:) from Lisa OS (1983/01), which used a hyphen (-) as path separator, but from Apple III's SOS (1980/10), created for the Apple III to manage the huge data pile of a 5 MiB Profile. Staircase wit: On colon vs. slash, Apple went not once but ...


35

I remember CDD as a 4DOS command, which would have been available in the Norton Utilities as NDOS. JP Software’s other shells also implement CDD, so 4OS2 and 4NT users would probably recognise it too. There are several external implementations of CDD too, both as batch files and binary executables. One was developed by Gary Mays in 1996, and provided as part ...


34

You should be able to use the Amiga hard drive directly on your Linux computer (provided it still has IDE support). Linux also understands AFFS (Amiga Fast File systems), at least once AFFS support is compiled into the kernel (from your "self customized" wording I would assume you know how to do that). Apparently, some Linux tools don't seem to understand ...


31

CTSS, a timesharing system for the IBM 7090, was putting dates on files as early as 1962. Timestamps is another story. Wikipedia


30

It simply makes sense to have a symbol that stands for the current directory. It makes sense for the symbol to be easy to type and to stand out from ordinary directory names. Dot is a pretty good choice. It makes learning a lot easier if the same symbol means the same thing in multiple contexts. consider the following: chdir .\subdir copy c:\test\*.* . ...


30

In 1986 (and for a few years after that still), /dev wasn’t handled by a special file system. It was generally a directory on the root file system, and its contents were largely static: a series of device nodes, created by mknod. Many systems had some way of creating the “standard” nodes, for example a Makefile in V7 or MAKEDEV. Each device node has a type, ...


26

There are quite a few differences between the MS-DOS CHKDSK and ScanDisk, beyond the latter’s friendlier interface. ScanDisk can “repair” cross-linked files, i.e. files which end up pointing (entirely or partially) at the same cluster chain — this always involves data loss, but it’s better than CHKDSK which would only tell the user about the problem (users ...


25

The original Macintosh File System did not support directories. But the Mac did support multiple floppy drives from the start, and colon : was used in fairly standard fashion as a drive prefix analogous to VMS, MS-DOS and elsewhere – Disk:File. This is only an educated guess, but I suspect they generalized : to a path separator later with HFS as it was ...


24

UCSD Pascal was developed prior to the Apple II, during the 70's in San Diego, using PDP-11 class machines with a 512-byte block disk structure. In the process of porting it to microcomputers, often (not always) the file system also got ported. UCSD Pascal was seen as a closed environment offering everything in one place. Today we might call this an IDE ...


24

There were quite a few operating systems that had file versioning in the same era as unix. Many file systems that we are familiar with today just have some components of a file name, such as: Name.type They might have a path: \folder\folder\Name.type They might have a server (UNC as an example): \\server.domain\folder\folder\name.type In many current ...


23

I think the colon deserves to be considered the original, the one true separator character. All others are mere imitators ;-) My rationale for this is the seminal paper A General-Purpose File System For Secondary Storage which first laid out the conceptual design of a tree-structured file system. It used ":" to separate components in path names (...


20

I am not personally aware of any operating system in the entire history of computing ever having had this feature. Siemens BS2000 of the early 1970s may be an example here (*1) with a feature they called file generations. A new file could be marked in the catalogue as having generations, setting a base generation number and how many generations are to be ...


20

I know that a Real Time Clock was not implemented and that the first computer to integrate the RTC was the IBM PC/AT in 1984. There where many more before that. All the way back in the 60s. When did files start to be dated, on what computer or which version of which operating system? Well, the earliest I know would be tape based storage on 729 tapes on ...


19

PC/MS-DOS 1 used the slash (/) as the command line switch indicator (like DEC's RSX11 and DG's RTOS before), so when DOS 2.0 introduced subdirectories, they did need a new one. Backslash (\) came somewhat natural - at least on US keyboards. With 2.0 IBM/Microsoft also tried to reverse that decision and introduce a syscall (INT 21h function 3700h and 3701h) ...


18

Just a supplement to what Stephen Kitt already said: The entries in any directory in a classic Unix file system are hard links that map names to inodes —small fixed-size records in the file system. There were several different kinds of inode; A "regular file" inode contained information that the OS could use to find the pages of a file. A "directory" ...


18

My second guess is CTSS. It was operational in 1961, but at that time had only tapes for user file storage. I suppose that tape name records don't constitute 'metadata' in the sense required by this question. A disk was added somewhere around 1962 to 1963. The CTSS Programmer's Guide from 1963 mentions the installation of the IBM 1301 disk file; and 5) ...


17

The whole CP/M family of operating systems, until Concurrent DOS, had both a limited number of files per drive and no hierarchy except for user areas. From the Wikipedia article: CP/M 2.2 had no subdirectories in the file structure, but provided 16 numbered user areas to organize files on a disk. To change user one had to simply type "User X" at the ...


17

Most early microcomputer operating systems were single-level - Apple DOS, CP/M, MS-DOS/PC-DOS prior to version 2.0, UCSD P-System, whatever Commodore called their DOS for the PET/CBM and C64. With the exception of UCSD P-System, which had a maximum of 77 files in the directory, I don't believe any of them had an inherent limit to the number of files, but ...


14

Documents such as this expand slightly on the attribution of 19h to Willowtech Photon COS with: Code 19H is Claimed for Willowtech Photon COS by Willow Schlanger. So Willowtech was either an individual or a company named after its founder. Willow Schlanger is named as a contributor to Ralf Brown's Interrupt List in 1997, which is the oldest source that ...


14

Original all three have different meanings and are (in part) based on different implementations. But, as you already assume in your answer, people may have taken the name and used it with differend (usualy simpler) implementations Is there a backstory to the catalog command The term "Catalog(ue)" goes quite in line how IBM's terminology is based on ...


14

Yes, this is possible. The file utility can recognise many disk partition layouts and file systems. If you connect your drives to your Pentium III system, running a version of Linux, they should appear as /dev/sd? devices. To simplify further analysis, you should copy their contents to a file: sudo ddrescue /dev/sdX backup.img backup.map (replacing X as ...


13

CHDIR . is a bit confusing since CHDIR produces the exact same result and both in fact are pretty much a no-op. Not really, not even at first sight, as (under MS-DOS) chdir prints out the current directory, while chdir . does not. Of course, this may vary depending on the OS in use. For example under Unix, neither cd . nor cd produce anything but a linefeed....


13

It's not completely accurate to focus on slashes as the established solution — . was also in the mix, being DEC's choice for both TOPS and VMS. That said, I'm going to speculate wildly that it comes down to: Apple's Macintosh filing systems were already fairly non-standard — supporting forked files, for example — in support of simplifying the user ...


12

In addition to what others wrote: ITS, TENEX, TOPS-20. In ITS, files are named by two strings each at most six characters. The second file name can be a number to specify a version. If you open a file for reading, > will access the latest version. When writing, it creates a new version. < refers to the oldest version. Moby edit. Let's make a ...


12

The V1 Unix B manpage uses .s as the extension for intermediate assembly files used during the build. This is the earliest use of .s that I can find, and would correspond to November 1971 at the latest. There were assemblers on systems with file systems before Unix, but none that I’m aware of used .s. Some like DECsys don’t appear to have extensions; other ...


11

Why did Commodore files not include metadata to say where in memory to load it? They are there. Every saved memory content starts with two bytes noting the address it's taken from. No matter if disk or tape, if BASIC or machine code. But since it doesn't really make sense to save a file in one way and load it again the other way, then the user needs to ...


11

In addition to the examples already given a couple more used a flat data structure with an absolute limit on the number of files but one property assigned to each file was its directory. So the real storage was single level — a single data structure, with file names being required to be unique across the entire disk — but it was presented as if a single ...


11

Another use of the dot that I think has not been mentioned is that it allows you to specify what executable to use and tells the OS to not search the PATH. If I type (DOS or Unix) pdflatex then the OS will search for an executable named like that, starting with the current directory and then those listed in the PATH variable. But if you type (in DOS; ...


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