Jolitz Heritage symmetric

Jolitz Heritage Site - Chronicling the Legacies of the Jolitz Family of Silicon Valley, including the accomplishments of William Jolitz, Lynne Jolitz, Rebecca Jolitz, Ben Jolitz, and William Leonard Jolitz.

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Nr.DateTitle / Description
1 Symmetric Limited Funded

Symmetric started out as a limited partnership, funded by Technoloy Funding, Incorporated. Which is still run by its founder, the same who invested in Symmetric - Charles R. Kokesh. Charlie liked our push into systems and networking.

A networked BSD based systems company was built off a small investment.

2 William Jolitz and Symmetric

William Jolitz and two others founded Symmetric Computer Systems, Inc, a computer systems manufacturer and vendor. Symmetric designed, programmed, and build many products, the most famous of which was the Symmetric 375.

3 William Jolitz and Symmetric Computer Systems
On the current history of William Frederick (Bill) Jolitz.

Part of the Jolitz Heritage Site for the Jolitz Family of Silicon Valley.
4 The Symmetric 375 and Symmetrix Owner's Manual
The Symmetric 375 and Symmetrix Owner's Manual, Lynne Greer Jolitz . Publisher: Symmetric Computer Systems, San Jose, CA. (1984, 1987). 260 pp. Documents the ...
5 Before 386bsd: The Symmetric 375 Computer and Berkeley Unix
October 2003. Vintage Computer Faire 2003. Computer History Museum. Before 386BSD: The Symmetric 375 Computer and Berkeley Unix, . Symmetric Computer Systems, a venture-funded company fou ...
6 Before 386bsd: The Symmetric 375 Computer and Berkeley Unix
October 11, 2003. Vintage Computer Festival 2003. Computer History Museum. Before 386bsd: The Symmetric 375 Computer and Berkeley Unix,
7 Writing the Owner's Manual for the Symmetric 375 Computer system
On the formative history of Lynne Jolitz. Part of the Jolitz Heritage Site for the Jolitz Family of Silicon Valley.
8 Vintage Computer Faire 2002
October 26, 2002. "Looking for Symmetric 375", "met Mr. and Mrs. Jolitz, who did the first work on porting BSD Unix to the 386" at Vintage Computer Faire 2002. NASA Ames Research Center. Showed the original Symmetric Computer Systems operational running wire-wrap (20,000 connections, 25x22 inch board) Proto I computer (in the case) from 1983. Also showed a final production unit operational with 4.3BSD SYMMETRIX from 1987. Discussion and display board on “Funding a Systems Startup” about Symmetric Computer Systems, a venture-backed company founded by William Jolitz in 1982.
9 Origins of 386BSD

William and Lynne Jolitz were inspired to work on 386BSD by the experience with Symmetric Computer Systems (see "William Jolitz and Symmetric Computer Systems") and the uses of BSD on a ubiquitous platform it inspired. BSD needed to jum ...

10 Related
  • William Jolitz and Symmetric Computer Systems

    William Jolitz and two others founded Symmetric Computer Systems, Inc, a computer systems manufacturer and vendor. Symmetric designed, programmed, and build many products, the most famous of which was the Symmetric 375.


  • Lynne's Take on Tech - A Wandering through the Vintage Computer Faire

    The Vintage Computer Faire was held last weekend at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View last weekend. Sellam Ismail, VCF Coordinator and vintage computer collector, was kind enough to send me a couple of passes. Unlike the cozy NASA-Ames location of several years ago, the Vintage Computer Faire, typically home of games, small computers like t ...

  • Lynne's Take on Tech - Would You Like Your Disk Drive with Extra Aggregate?

    Matt Marshall mentioned an old defunct company that I was rather fond of - Miniscribe. Now, Miniscribe in the 1980's went from nothing to making and selling quite reliable 85 MByte drives (full size) at what was then a really great price (around $850 in quantity). It was the

  • Lynne's Take on Tech - Robotics and the Next Generation

    Went to the 2004 First Robotics Regional Competition in Silicon Valley, held at San Jose State University. And it was awesome to see all these kids running their "bots" through the paces. Got some great footage, even though Los Gatos High School's robot broke midway through competition.

    Seeing the excitement, the fun, and the high-tech hijinks reminded me of the days when we were putting together workstati ...

  • Lynne's Take on Tech - Sun Pats Rump SCO - Tarantella Cashes Out After Lots of Agony

    A teeny tiny acquisition announcement brought back a lot of memories today.

    Remember Santa Cruz Operation - no, not the SCO you read about fighting IBM and Novell, but the "old SCO"? Bob Greenberg and friends did a very brain-damaged version of Unix for the PC (originally derived from Version 7 and System 3) way back in the dark ages. Bob had done a Version 6 Unix derivative ...

  • Lynne's Take on Tech - When Video Kills Your Drive - Quicktime Waxes Track 0

    Alright! Yes, sometimes I do read slashdot when it's amusing, and the discussion of how you can create your own custom panic screen (or BSOD window) for OS/X via an API is amusing (my son Ben points this stuff out for me - he feels it's one of his sacred tasks). Joke panic screens have been around a long time, but the battle over "how much information to give people" has led to many not-so-amusing battles, especially when we were creating Lynne's Take on Tech - Sure We're Open Source - Not

    Alas, apparently that silly press release last week has totally confused the writing fraternity into thinking the 1990's were actually the 1980's (see Fun Friday - Homer's Illiad to be "Improved" for Silicon Valley). Aside from the fact that Clinton and Reagan were both absolutely adored by the American people, I don't think the 1980's were really enough like the 1990's to easily confuse the two decades, do you?

    In this < ...

  • Lynne's Take on Tech - Mompreneurs and Tech

    OK, most people think that startups are done by 20-something guys who sleep on the floor, talk really fast and don't use deoderent. Well, that was kind of true 20 years ago, and that is the type of guy who some VCs like to fund thinking "Wow, they'll work day and night and all I have to do is pay their parking tickets". But what about those "moms" who are also "entrepreneurs"? Well, according to Marianne Costantinou of the San Francisco Chronicle, a women who has kids and wants to run a busin ...

  • Lynne's Take on Tech - Free Culture and the Internet by Lynne Jolitz in Dr. Dobbs Journal

    Well, my book review Free Culture And the Internet discussing Larry Lessig's latest book is now on the newstand in Dr. Dobbs Journal. After I had Coffee with Larry Lessig back in April of this year, he kindly had a copy sent to me.

    My background in this area is most extensive - in fact, it predates Dr. Lessig's professional interest by a bit. ...

  • Lynne's Take on Tech - Remember when "design" meant "reliable"

    Dennis Rockstroh of ActionLine in the Merc attempted to handle the frustration of a Sony Vaio user recently. Turns out the poor man continually had the power just blit out on him while working on his laptop. Back and forth to the factory it went, never seeming to get any better. Dennis helped the gentleman get a replacement laptop from the factory, but no one seemed to understand why such a problem was occurring and why it required a complete replacement to rectify. Sony didn't wish to ...

  • Lynne's Take on Tech - Smarter is as Smarter Does

    The desperation for eyeballs on news websites has led to a lot of "People" styled columns, especially in the NY Times. But I just couldn't resist commenting on the "Who's Smarter: Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg?" column, if only because I know something of the players and their backers.

    I know journalists like to fancy that there's something special about succeeding in this field - after al ...

  • Lynne's Take on Tech - The Number You Have Dialed, "S U N" is No Longer in Service

    Sun Microsystems is gone. It is no more. It has met its maker. It is pushing up the daisies.

    Given Sun's long sad decline and incredible mismanagement, many are probably happy to dismiss it as a has-been that never actually did anything - grave dancing is a peculiar Silicon Valley tradition. But Sun's demise does matter. Sun was the annoying colleague that was occasionally brilliant and creative but also had some very irreligious and disreputable habits that were unforgivable but too o ...

  • Lynne's Take on Tech - Open Source - The Times They Are A Changing

    Three very interesting little open source stories passed my desk recently that I found shone facets on open source issues.

    Last week, the Industrial Commercial Bank of China has signed a deal with Unix-clone Turbolinux to run open-source software in all of the bank's operations. "Linux deployment is growing in China, with software makers targeting segments such as banking, insurance and wireless applications. Intel last year began a program to boost sales in China of desktop computers ...

  • Lynne's Take on Tech - Fun Friday - Homer's Illiad to be "Improved" for Silicon Valley

    Well, given the egos in Silicon Valley, it comes as no surprise that a press release like this would appear. It was so inaccurate that the Wall Street Journal got fooled and then had to reverse themselves and say Bill Joy is not a "venture partner" after all. Steve Lohr of the NY Times commen ...

  • Lynne's Take on Tech - Fun Friday: Google Test Positive, Laser Bits, Gender Blues

    While we were working on getting all those Jolix 386BSD fans their Porting Unix to the 386 articles (we have been swamped BTW - and yes, there's more coming), a few other items of interest this week...

    If you made money on Google (or if you wished you had made money on Google), you might try using The Google Test to eval ...

  • Lynne's Take on Tech - Fun Friday - Electric Sportscars and Commodity Chips

    From prototype electric sports cars to commodity chips, a few items of interest to round out the week.

    Yesterday the much-hyped Tesla Motors Roadster pro ...

  • Lynne's Take on Tech - Estrin on Innovation - A Change of Heart?

    Judy Estrin and I have both been around in Silicon Valley. I was at Symmetric Computer Systems soldering the first five motherboards for the 375 while she was at Zilog with Bill Carrico (who was the product manager for the Z80). Paul Baran, a great influence on my work in layer-4 switching using dataflow techniques (InterProphet patents) was a student of her father's at UCLA (where my son is off to in a couple weeks, but in physics, not computing).

  • Lynne's Take on Tech - Fun Friday: Happy Birthday 386BSD!

    Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds. - George Eliot.

    Today is a special day. Exactly 14 years ago today, after 15 monthly feature articles on Porting Unix to the 386 appeared in Dr. Dobbs Journal, 386BSD Release 0.0 went public.

    A number of 386BSD enthusiasts have noticed that we always favored holidays for releases. St. Patrick, as ...

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William Frederick (Bill) Jolitz was born in Michigan. He grew up in the midwest, east, and then finally western United States, as the family followed the aerospace business around the country. William Jolitz attended Lynbrook High School in San Jose, California, and worked at NASA Ames Research Center while a high school and college student. While attending the University of California, Berkeley he was part of the Homebrew Computer Club .

He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a degree in Computer Science and has been a member of the Berkeley Engineering Society.

Lynne Greer Jolitz , formerly Lynne Greer Messner, was born in Fremont, California. Lynne received a Bloss Scholarship for outstanding achievement to attend Berkeley upon graduation from Merced High School.

Lynne remembers one of her fond memories of high school - appearing in the local high school musical:

I was in "Oklahoma" in high school. I was the Gypsy Fortuneteller - a really really blond gypsy fortuneteller, mind you. They had to use about ten layers of base and I still looked very very pale. I was supposed to be married to the sheriff in the town, so I guess I didn't have to worry about nonconformist issues like reading tarot cards. I had one line, "And to your house, a dark club man." OK, that doesn't really mean anything, does it, but that was the line.

I was in most every scene, though, because I was one of their strongest singers, but I got so bruised up getting up and down dancing to the theme song that I bought a pair of basketball knee pads and wore them under my skirt. After that, several people asked me how I could be so "bouncy" and "smiling" all the time. I kept the knee pads a greenroom secret.

Musicals are a great way to lose weight, let me tell you. I lost about 10 pounds during rehearsals because the dance routines were so rigorous, so my low-cut dress got lower and lower. So the director moved me to the front of the stage for the run of the play.

A student of natural history and anthropology, Lynne made a shift into "hard science" and following high school went to the University of California at Berkeley in the Physics department. Surrounded by Nobel prize winners, Lynne Jolitz graduated from Berkeley and applied her skills in business and technology pursuits, eventually finding a home in understanding how technology and people fit together.

William and Lynne Jolitz were inspired to work on 386BSD by the experience with Symmetric Computer Systems (see "William Jolitz and Symmetric Computer Systems") and the uses of BSD on a ubiquitous platform it inspired. BSD needed to jump to the 386. According to the website (see the_past() - name_origin):

Origin of the 386BSD name was with the first 16Mhz release by Intel, starting the architecture family. Most software vendors call all in this family, which includes strangely enough the AMD 64-bit version, the "386" architecture.
  * There has only been one architecture, no matter how refined or redefined by others to suit peculiar needs.
  * 386BSD is BSD on the 386.

In looking for the good, the simplest spanning name to grab mindshare was chosen. Just as Windows and UNIX have been named the same all along, saw no need in any different name. Others, in attempting to look for the bad, chose to narrowly view the name as applying to a specific chip to force an unearned claim of obsolescence. Inside all of them, the machine dependant names are all "386".

Benjamin Torsten Jolitz is into robotics, science fiction, computers, and telescopes. Ben rebuilt a 30 year old telescope and hand-ground mirror from his Grandpa (see "Where Ben's Scope came from ... ") and used it to win a second place in earth / space science at the 2004 Synopsys science fair with a study of collimation techniques (see "Benjamin Jolitz Wins Science Fair Award "). Ben likes hanging around the SJAA ATM guys talking shop and grinding his own mirror. Ben also likes showing off his scope at star parties - especially to pretty girls who like science (see "Tech Trek 2003 Star Party").

Ben is an accomplished Berkeley Unix 386BSD system administrator, and also handles video production technical and support issues. Ben collaborates on short subject films and participates in film festivals - his latest work "Bots" (see "Jolitz Family Video - Bots" for web video and "Bots DVD by Benjamin Jolitz and Rebecca Jolitz" for a DVD) is a comedic exploration of the roles of robots in popular films. Ben says BSD is technically better than Linux, but thinks conflicting shared libraries, incompatible threading, and inconsistent program development makes BSD "run like crap". He thinks the Linux community is much more together because the BSD side is "too old, full of it, and doesn't want to learn python".

Rebecca Dawn Jolitz loved science fiction, filmmaking, and astronomy from her earliest years. At star parties for the public, Rebecca showed people the planets and stars (her favorite double is Alberio, the blue and gold "Cal star") with her Celestron C-5 telescope. Rebecca had even taken her telescope to Stanford Tech Trek (see "Rebecca Jolitz Demos Telescope Techniques at Stanford Tech Trek") to demonstrate how SCT telescopes work, even though she wants to major in astrophysics at Cal. She went to Cal Day every year, especially to see Professor Shugart do his "Fun with Physics" lecture.

Rebecca accomplished much as a video editor and producer, and created movies for film festivals (see "Rebecca Jolitz Debuts Movie in Kids Film Fest"). She currently works on a research project on video serving for educational use using a modern version of Berkeley Unix 386BSD (Jolix).

Rebecca spent much of her youth on basketball, needlework, playing the guitar, and collecting Breyer horses.

Archive of published works of various kinds by Jolitz. An essential part of the Jolitz Heritage has been widespread publication, commentary, and opinion. Literally hundreds of these items that are slowly being assembled into this site. Check back soon both for missing older items and new ones as well!

William Leonard (Bill) Jolitz, a native of Duluth Minnesota, made the transition from a boy from the "wrong side of the track" to esteemed chemical engineer, inventor, and aerospace engineer in Silicon Valley. Like so many other men of the time, he was recruited and served in the European theater of World War II, most notably at the Battle of the Bulge. After returning from the war and completing his engineering studies at the University of Minnesota, he wisely convinced Norma I. Westman, a Duluth Swedish beauty, to marry him. They had four children (Brenda, Marsha (dec.), William Frederick, and Kimberly), and remained happily married until his death in 1994.

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