The Just Plain Strange Section, Plan 9 - When The Twisted Minds of Geeks & Film Directors Meet.



The Just Plain Strange Section, Plan 9 - When The Twisted Minds of Geeks & Film Directors Meet.
What on earth am i talking about,.. well not allot of people know this but Brian Kernigan and Dennis Ritche & the Bell Labs team that created UNIX did not just go into retirement when Bell stoped the development of UNIX. No they did something special, they decided to start again with another operating system, one that was quite incorperated all the advanced consepts they could think off, and better than that they named it after what has been judged the worst film ever made "Plan 9 From Outer Space".


Glenda, the most famous operating systems angora rabbit and Plan 9 Mascott.

The 1958 film Plan 9 From Outer Space was (and is) considered one of the worst films ever made. Its polt such that there is one is based around aliens who's first 8 attempts at world domination failed. As allways http://us.imdb.com/Title?0052077 the IMDB has more info. Like a number of 50's American Si-Fi movies it was done on a zero budget, the sets the props and the acting were all appaling, Bela Lagosti (the original drackular) died during the shot and was replaced by a nobody, but who had to cover his face all the movie because head shoots had allready been made.


Orignal promotion poster


When i was doing some more research into this page i came across some other websites with are totaly devoted to the film, it neuences and generaly have far more detail then i could be bothered to go into, so if you want to know more (and you really should) then try these;
  1. http://www.badmovies.org/movies/plannine/
  2. http://www.expage.com/page/plan9

The film about the film Ed Wood was made in late 80's about the career of Edward Wood (the creator of Plan9 From Outer Space), it features some well known names, sarah jessica parker / bill murry / johny depp / patricia Arquette, amoungst them if your interested in that kind of thing. But its also a cracking film, i think its really good. For a load more info the IMDB is king http://us.imdb.com/Title?0109707.


Poster from Ed Wood.

The Operating System Plan 9 http://www.cs.bell-labs.com/plan9dist/ was quite revolutionry in many ways, it extended UNIX's idea that everything is a file, to really everyhting this a file, including memory, processor register information, DMA buffer allocations and anything else you can think of. This taken by other unixes (linux & bsd's) and implmented as the /proc filesystem.

For example if you want to findout what filesystems are currently in use on your system ?, try [mfletcher@kickass proc]$ cat /proc/filesystems and look what i got

        nodev   rootfs
        nodev   bdev
        nodev   proc
        nodev   sockfs
        nodev   tmpfs
        nodev   shm
        nodev   pipefs
                    ext3
                    ext2
        nodev   devfs
        nodev   devpts
                    reiserfs
                    vfat
                    xfs
        nodev   usbdevfs
        nodev   autofs
        
look and weep non linux users, im currently using ext3,reiserfs,vfat,xfs (thats 4 diffrent filesystems), just beacuse i can, (smug), and there are about 10 more supported as off 2.4.17.


Plan9 In action, in the early 90's


There is very little information around, most of it exits within technical documentation, written reports, university research projects etc, there are not a whole load of websites devoted to Plan 9, but i did find some so here they are;
  1. http://www.cs.bell-labs.com/wiki/plan9/1/
  2. http://www.cs.usyd.edu.au/Plan9/

Fluffy Bunny Rabits, ok so i think its about time i explained what the hell this page is about. We have obscure research operating systems, poor 50's Si - Fi and films about the making of films. Its all fiarly simple really, Ed Wood (creator of Plan 9 from outer space), was a little strange, the stress of his very poor movie carieer, caused a split with his long time girlfried (played by sarah jessica parker), before this he had started to ware womens clothes (they were just so soft), in particular an angora jumper. Note that glenda (the name of Ed Woods, long time girlfried) eventaully left him for this reason. The guys who started programming Plan 9 (obviously allready fans of the movie), decided that there previous 8 attempts at operating systems had failed (like the aliens in Plan 9 from outer space had allready failed 8 times to take over earth), they also deced that there mascot should be a very sunny looking fluffy bunny rabbit.

So there we have it, its a tale of fluffy bunny rabbits, its fun and not allot of people know about it - and no i dont think its all that sad.

FIN