Classic X Windows

Some hams collect tube rigs, I'm fiddling with relatively primitive versions of X Windows, or at least primitive tookits like Athena and Motif. Well, OK, maybe they aren't primitive but they have roots going back to about 1992 or earlier, 20 years as of this writing.

Back around then I got my first exposure to a Macintosh. The earliest Unix machine I worked on was a telnet connection to a Data General something or other for Pine, Gopher and ftp. Microsoft Windows was at Windows for Workgroups 3.11 and just as plagued by viruses then as now. We'd heard of X Windows, but I don't think I ever saw it until about 1995.

This is a collection of books of the era from O'Reilly that I've got. Not mildewy smelly paper copies but PDF and DJVU files. They range from 150 to 1200 pages. I tracked them all down by Googling for the exact titles in quotes, then downloaded them over a modem and it only took about a week.

I don't have the actual books online because they take up about 70 megs and this is just a free website. I didn't even save URLs for where I got them, but most weren't that hard to find. There are a few at I don't have volume 0: X Protocol Reference Manual because it's still being sold. I didn't pay anything for my copies of any of them. I do have a PDF called proto.pdf from the X Consortium, latest copyright 2004. The title is X Window System Protocol by Robert W. Scheifler. But the O'Reilly Volume 0 is 498 pages, this is only 164.

I also don't have The X Window System in a Nutshell because that's still being sold too. Here's a list of titles from the 5th page of Volume 4:

I'm about to start some searching again, because several of these have Motif and non-Motif versions but I wasn't paying attention to that the first time around. I'll try to keep URLs as I find things, but things get moved and a lot will eventually end up as dead links. I found a lot of dead links searching the first time, and only when I had the files and backed them up onto another computer was I satisfied. I found a bunch of neat free widgets at

The current latest examples directory at O'Reilly is

And Volume 4 is still selling (in the current edition) for $35.

AB1JX / toys