[AUUG-Talk]: [Auugps] Last call: dealing with two boxes of AUUG documents and photos from Christopher Vance

Dave Horsfall dave at horsfall.org
Thu Sep 17 11:13:24 AEST 2020

On Wed, 16 Sep 2020, Greg Rose wrote:

> For those of you who were associated with UNSW, I'm sorry to pass on 
> that Ken Robinson died recently. It's a little known fact that it was 
> Ken, not John Lions, who wrote to Bell Labs to get the first Unix 
> license outside North America. (John, at roughly the same time, wrote to 
> Niklaus Wirth, to get Pascal! What a role reversal.)

Damn!  He was the best lecturer that I ever had, and he taught me much. 
And yes, I knew that it was Ken who ordered the tape when discussing the 
CACM article with Ian Hayes (and I have a vague recollection that it was 
Power Engineering who actually paid for it).

One of our assignments was to write a compiler called SYMPL (?), loosely 
based on ALGOL.  Now, semicolons are required, but I wrote the parser in 
such a way that it recognised the missing symbol (from the state of the 
parser etc), inserted it, and kept on compiling; I submitted a program 
with no semicolons whatsoever, it was faithfully corrected, and produced 
the correct output.

I think he also designed FLUB - First Language Under Bootstrap - which as 
you can guess had to bootstrap itself; I vaguely recall that punched cards 
were involved to define the character set or something (corrections 

Vale, Ken.

-- Dave

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