- AT&T Bell Labs gave up on MULTICS
– (Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie, and J.F. Ossanna)
– really cool filesystem idea on paper
– all requests for a computer to hack on for an OS were denied
– Space Travel: “Their effort included a floating-point arithmetic package, the pointwise specification of the graphics characters for the display, and a de-bugging subsystem that continuously displayed the contents of typed-in locations in the corner of the screen.”
– Filesystem and some other tools hacked on
– PDP-7 obsolete and they didn’t even own it
– 1970: proposal for a PDP-10. At $65,000, it was much less than they’d previously asked, and not ‘operating system’ – ‘word processing system’
– processor arrived by end of summer 1970, but no disk until december. cross-assembled core-only system.
– most of the time, the system enumerated all the closed knight’s tours on a 6×8 chessboard.
– pdp-11. no multiprogramming, but real paths. 24k of core memory (16k for system, 8k for user) disk with 1k blocks (512kb) files limit to 64kb
– promise system for word-processing. because hardware took a long time to arrive, pdp-7 unix was more useful. so why not develop unix as a development tool for the more specialized system?
– 1971: runoff program inspired by roff from Multics and CTSS. two advantages: supported terminals and added a feature to it (line numbers) that other system could not provide, so patent office chose them.
– 1973: rewritten in C
- “And so, Ken Thompson started mailing magnetic tapes with the Unix source code and utilities to his friends, labeling them simply “Love, ken”. And so, in the early 1970’s, a culture of Unix hackers sprang up, working with the Bell Labs source code.”
- “Around the mid 1970s, a professor by the name of John Lions at the University of New South Wales in Australia decided to use Unix to teach operating system architecture.”
- “If you had taken Lions’ class at the time, you would have bought two books (one red and one orange), they were the Source Code and Commentary on UNIX Level 6. The class became quite popular, and soon Bell Labs took notice. ” Most photocopied books in computer history.
“Because we couldn’t legally discuss the book in the University’s operating systems class, several of us would meet at night in an empty classroom to discuss the book. It was the only time in my life that I was an active member of an underground.” —Peter B. Reintjes, on the back of the 1996 reprinting of Lions’ Commentary
Ooooh. anarchy. rebel spirit.
“The whole Unix culture was based upon sending C source code from person to person, adding features and fixing bugs as time went on.”
– virtual memory
– wildly different
- ATT Unix rights bounced around a lot and are now with SCO
- hideous tangle of lawsuits: BSD wars
– ITS: Incompatible Timesharing System, optimized like heck, but not portable
– death of LISP machine due to corporate interests
– RMS, Unix way, GNU GPL, 1983: tools
– “1991: GNU was complete OS, but lacked kernel. BSD locked in lawsuits”
– Linus Torvalds! sick of inefficiencies of Tanenbaum’s Minix, can’t connect to uni’s Unices (Linus and Lars, to learn C)
– The Ritchie paper
– http://www.bell-labs.com/history/unix/firstport.html (incl image)