Daily Static

Technology, Dynamic Programming and Entrepreneurship

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Wednesday, January 14, 2004
 
Lisp Machines

Lambda the Ultimate has a link to this Lisp Machine page.
This is a great reference site. It is basically a
catalog of all known information on the web relating to Lisp
Machines.

I think Lisp machines are a fascinating topic. They are
probably the most legendary machine I've ever heard of. When I
was at the ILC, Gerry Sussman talked about their Lisp Machine at
MIT. Even with full access to the operating system code, and
even though they wanted people to hack it, no one ever
successfully hacked the Lisp machine. That's an amazing feat,
that not a single person that went through MIT, even with full
access to the source code, could ever hack it. I think there is
a market for un-hackable web servers out there.

I've heard quite few stories about how powerful, and secure
these machines were. The Unix Haters Handbook is often said to
be written by Microsoft apologists. While one of the writers
does work for Microsoft, thre primary reason he hated Unix was
because of how inferior they were to the Lisp Machines.


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