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[ NNSquad ] IEEE Spectrum: The Strange Birth and Long Life of Unix

IEEE Spectrum: The Strange Birth and Long Life of Unix

   "They say that when one door closes on you, another opens. People
    generally offer this bit of wisdom just to lend some solace after a
    misfortune. But sometimes it's actually true. It certainly was for Ken
    Thompson and the late Dennis Ritchie, two of the greats of
    20th-century information technology, when they created the Unix
    operating system, now considered one of the most inspiring and
    influential pieces of software ever written."

 - - -

I've spent my entire professional career primarily on UNIX/Linux
systems, starting back with the DEC 11/45 and 11/70 at ARPANET Site 1
(UCLA).  Back then, everyone seemed to know everyone else working with
UNIX, with Ken and Dennis always accessible.  Writing device drivers
for locally modified DEC hardware was something of a sport, and
convincing people that "hippie UNIX" was the future (not DEC RSTS or RSX)
was still a challenge -- DEC pushed back pretty hard.

While much has changed in ensuing decades, it's remarkable how the
tool-based philosophy of UNIX has endured -- with most of the common
command-line functions and programs still used untold millions of
times a day.

It's a long, unique, and wonderful history.

But remember, you still don't want to accidentally type:

rm * .o 

Lauren Weinstein (lauren@vortex.com): http://www.vortex.com/lauren 
Co-Founder: People For Internet Responsibility: http://www.pfir.org 
 - Network Neutrality Squad: http://www.nnsquad.org 
 - Global Coalition for Transparent Internet Performance: http://www.gctip.org
 - PRIVACY Forum: http://www.vortex.com 
Member: ACM Committee on Computers and Public Policy
Blog: http://lauren.vortex.com 
Google+: http://vortex.com/g+lauren 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/laurenweinstein 
Tel: +1 (818) 225-2800 / Skype: vortex.com