Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 4th Jun 2009 21:50 UTC, submitted by snydeq
General Unix Gary Anthes offers an overview history of Unix forty years since Ken Thompson banged out the first version in assembly language for a wimpy DEC PDP-7 minicomputer, spending one week each on the operating system, a shell, an editor, and an assembler. Also included in the package are a year-by-year time line of its evolution, and profiles of Unix giants David Korn, Rick Rashid, and Gordon Bell.
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Future?
by diegocg on Thu 4th Jun 2009 23:24 UTC
diegocg
Member since:
2005-07-08

Plan 9. Plan 9 will not become mainstream, of course, but unix systems are slowly adopting some of its ideas...

Reply Score: 5

Which aligns better?
by chekr on Fri 5th Jun 2009 00:09 UTC
chekr
Member since:
2005-11-05

Now let me ask you: which aligns better with these goals, Linux or UNIX-proper?

Ummm both...

Powerful: both Unix and Linux
Interactive: both Unix and Linux
not be expensive in equipment: both Unix and Linux
not be expensive in human effort: both Unix and Linux
Simple: both Unix and Linux
Elegant: both Unix and Linux
Easy to use: both Unix and Linux

What's your point? Or are you trolling?

Reply Score: 3

RE: Which aligns better?
by vermaden on Fri 5th Jun 2009 06:11 UTC in reply to "Which aligns better?"
vermaden Member since:
2006-11-18

Linux elegant? ... nigga please ;)

Reply Score: 4

RE: Which aligns better? - license costs
by jabbotts on Fri 5th Jun 2009 15:58 UTC in reply to "Which aligns better?"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

The only thing I'd reconsider is license costs unless I can pop over to IBM or AT&T and grab the latest ISOs. But then, the BSDs are there sitting between the proprietary UNIX brands and almost universally open Linux based platforms. That does seam to fill the spectrum from billion dollar UNIX licenses through to highschool allowance affordable legal ISOs.

Reply Score: 2

One thing to consider...
by demetrioussharpe on Fri 5th Jun 2009 00:36 UTC
demetrioussharpe
Member since:
2009-01-09

Now let me ask you: which aligns better with these goals, Linux or UNIX-proper?

Although, legally, Free|Open|NetBSD can't be called Unix, codewise it's clearly the modern decendent of Unix and aligns better with those goals. I think that the *BSD OS's clearly carry the Unix flame.

As far as moving to the next level of Unix. That could only be Plan 9. Plan 9 is what you get when the original writers of Unix re-thought things.

Reply Score: 4

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Plan9 remains on my "to add" list for my OS collection but I've yet to get it running in any meaningful way under VMware. VMware has matured since and Plan9 may have had develop since also so it's probably time for another go at it.

Shame the website looks like a first draft of a first year University student's notes. It's a very interesting platform but needs more active development or to show that ongoing development if it is happening.

Reply Score: 2

Happy birthday Unix!
by obsidian on Fri 5th Jun 2009 01:23 UTC
obsidian
Member since:
2007-05-12

"40 years young" and still going strong.... ;)

It's a bit of a pity that Plan 9 (Unix's would-be successor) hasn't taken off as widely as it could have. It has an extremely elegant design "under the hood", but I guess that for many end-users that would count for very little.

Maybe Bell Labs / Lucent haven't pushed Plan 9 as much as they could have because they think that there's little money to be made with it (now that it's open-source). Then again, that hasn't stopped (say) Red Hat from doing well.

Personally, I'd like to see Plan 9 made "public domain" - not as in "no-one owns it", but as in "here is the code, do whatever you like with it - no strings attached". Maybe "unlicensed" is a better term for that. *Surely* Bell/Lucent could do more than they are at present with pushing Plan 9.

Edited 2009-06-05 01:26 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Happy birthday Unix!
by bnolsen on Fri 5th Jun 2009 09:22 UTC in reply to "Happy birthday Unix! "
bnolsen Member since:
2006-01-06

Drivers, desktop UI and ability to port to plan9 are the biggest hurdles.
I really really really hope that the upcoming release of larrabee (GPU running x86 instructions) will result in the GPU hell we've been living in where you can't inject more than 4MP sized textures into you 1GB video card.

Hopefully all this multi core stuff frees us from all this closed source hardware hell we've been living in.

Edited 2009-06-05 09:23 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Happy birthday Unix! Copy-Center
by jabbotts on Fri 5th Jun 2009 16:05 UTC in reply to "Happy birthday Unix! "
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

I believe the license class your looking for is Copycenter which sits between Copywrite (I own it and all must pay homage) and Copyleft (We can all build from it but changes must be passed forward).

I thought it was copymiddle or copycenter.. something like that.. maybe copyfree? Anyhow, there is a classification of licenses like MIT and Apache that say "here's the source, if you change it and don't want to share those changes then no worries, have fun."

Reply Score: 2

assembler
by bullethead on Fri 5th Jun 2009 02:21 UTC
bullethead
Member since:
2005-07-10

It all starts with assembler, it all ends with assembler. Remember that and you'll succeed...

I've seen the power of pure assembler, there really is no match to that. You're fooling yourself with the human element if you accept anything else but pure assembler.

What is possible now with our modern chips and pure assembler is completely alien to many. Godspeed! Machine thinking=Machine Life.

Reply Score: 3

RE: assembler
by Huilo on Fri 5th Jun 2009 02:57 UTC in reply to "assembler"
Huilo Member since:
2009-02-21

You should have written a haiku of it, you would have achieved true zen.

Reply Score: 1

RE: assembler
by wanderingk88 on Fri 5th Jun 2009 04:35 UTC in reply to "assembler"
wanderingk88 Member since:
2008-06-26

Assembler? Back in my days we used to punch zeros and ones in a freakin' card.

Heck, Charles Babbage certainly didn't need no stinkin' assembler.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: assembler
by Doc Pain on Sat 6th Jun 2009 03:11 UTC in reply to "RE: assembler"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

Assembler? Back in my days we used to punch zeros and ones in a freakin' card.


In Eastern Germany, we didn't have zeros (because we didn't have anything); we had to use the letter O! :-)

Heck, Charles Babbage certainly didn't need no stinkin' assembler.


That's why he invented Babbage in, Babbage out. :-)

Reply Score: 3

IRIX
by Lxuke on Fri 5th Jun 2009 05:24 UTC
Lxuke
Member since:
2009-03-26

My mom wants me to throw out my 2 silicon graphics indigo 2's running Irix. She says they are a waste of space and I never use them but I really don't want to get rid of them just because they are sweet machines that run legitimate UN*X (so I don't get sued) I'm thinking of making them into web servers as an excuse to keep them but I'm not sure if security updates are still kept up. I'll host war games on my Irix box lol. I think a varient of Plan 9 is sold by Vita Nuova. Anyways remember: Chicks dig UNIX! (I am not a chick)

Reply Score: 1

RE: IRIX
by softdrat on Sat 6th Jun 2009 00:57 UTC in reply to "IRIX"
softdrat Member since:
2008-09-17

"they are sweet machines that run legitimate UN*X (so I don't get sued)"

Sorry to break it to you, but SGI's UNIX license was terminated by SCO:
http://www.internetnews.com/bus-news/article.php/3086311

"In SGI's annual 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the company revealed that SCO had sent notice that it plans to terminate SGI's Unix license for IRIX, much as it did with IBM over AIX."

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: IRIX
by dylansmrjones on Sat 6th Jun 2009 13:15 UTC in reply to "RE: IRIX"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Hahahaha ;) That one was good! ;)

Reply Score: 3

Unix or Linux?
by Drumhellar on Fri 5th Jun 2009 06:34 UTC
Drumhellar
Member since:
2005-07-12

"A powerful operating system for interactive use need not be expensive either in equipment or in human effort. [We hope that] users of Unix will find that the most important characteristics of the system are its simplicity, elegance, and ease of use."

Now let me ask you: which aligns better with these goals, Linux or UNIX-proper?


Um.... FreeBSD?

FreeBSD is sooo easy to use. Nothing beats it's handbook.

For a complete timeline of Unix and all it's variants, check out http://www.levenez.com/unix/
The plotter-sized PDF is most convenient to read.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by Kroc
by Kroc on Fri 5th Jun 2009 07:29 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

UNIX: When computing was powered by beards!

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Kroc
by flanque on Fri 5th Jun 2009 09:19 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
flanque Member since:
2005-12-15

UNIX: When computing was powered by beards!

Linux: When computing was powered by pimpled kids.

Reply Score: 4

Comment by Hakime
by Hakime on Fri 5th Jun 2009 08:18 UTC
Hakime
Member since:
2005-11-16

"While Windows may not be UNIX-based, its two biggest competitors - Mac OS X and Linux - decidedly are. "

Actually Mac OS X is not Unix based, Mac OS X is UNiX. More precisely, up to Tiger, it was correct to say that Mac OS X is Unix based as it did not conform to the latest Single UNIX Certification.

Since Leopard, Mac OS X has full compliance with UNIX 03 (it is conforming to the SUSv3 and POSIX 1003.1 specifications for the C API, Shell Utilities, and Threads. ), so Leopard is an Open Brand UNIX 03 registered product together with other big Unix names as AIX 5L V5.3 and 6.1, HP/UX 1i V3 Release B and Solaris 10.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by Hakime
by CrLf on Fri 5th Jun 2009 09:16 UTC in reply to "Comment by Hakime"
CrLf Member since:
2006-01-03

Actually Mac OS X is not Unix based, Mac OS X is UNiX. More precisely, up to Tiger, it was correct to say that Mac OS X is Unix based as it did not conform to the latest Single UNIX Certification.


Actually, being unix-based makes it more of a unix than being UNIX-certified. The Windows NT Posix subsystem was also unix-certified way back then, and no one in their right mind would say that Windows NT was a unix...

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by Hakime
by kaiwai on Fri 5th Jun 2009 09:30 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Hakime"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

POSIX doesn't equal UNIX and UNIX doesn't equal POSIX. Just because something is POSIX compliant doesn't make it SUS2003 Compliant.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by Hakime
by CrLf on Fri 5th Jun 2009 10:20 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Hakime"
CrLf Member since:
2006-01-03

POSIX doesn't equal UNIX and UNIX doesn't equal POSIX. Just because something is POSIX compliant doesn't make it SUS2003 Compliant.


My mistake. It was POSIX compliant and not UNIX certified.

However, my point was that certification is meaningless to define a system as more or less "unixy". I use MacOS X, AIX and Linux every day and I have briefly used Solaris, IRIX and some of the BSDs in the past. And I say that, despite all of them having their share of idiosincrasies and only some of them being UNIX(r), to me OSX is the less "unixy" of them.

And not because of the shiny UI, but because I can't do many things in a unix way. For example, the unix way of storing configurations is in text files, not only to be easy to edit (debatable), but because it makes it easy to grasp the the configuration as a whole. And yes, I know all about the "defaults" command.

This doesn't mean it's bad, though.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Hakime
by Hakime on Fri 5th Jun 2009 09:37 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Hakime"
Hakime Member since:
2005-11-16

"Actually, being unix-based makes it more of a unix than being UNIX-certified. The Windows NT Posix subsystem was also unix-certified way back then, and no one in their right mind would say that Windows NT was a unix..."


That does not make any sense, do you realize that? What does it mean to say unix-based makes it more of a unix, than being Unix certified? That makes zero sense.

Certification needs to be precise and defined, and UNIX certification is precise and defined. It is compliant or it is not. To be UNIX, it is required (it has always been) to be certified to SUS, and today to SUSv3. Windows NT has never had full compliance of Posix, neither it has any thing to do with SUS.

Please document yourself here,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UNIX_03

Reply Score: 2

Comment by CrLf
by CrLf on Fri 5th Jun 2009 09:49 UTC
CrLf
Member since:
2006-01-03

40 years is quite a long time, especially in the "computing" business...

The fact that unix has survived this long despite all the obstacles - and not only in critical legacy systems that no one dares to touch, but actually, really, evolving - only means one thing: the original design and concepts were pure genius. Not genius in the sense that they invented something immediately great, but genius in the sense they defined a system that has lend itself to run on everything from ancient "big-iron" to modern cell phones.

Even though people like to go on endless rants about how the unix filesystem structure is "obsolete" and "illogical" and how it never changes because it would "break stuff" and the "geeks don't like change" and "it exists to weed out the newbies", or how it "lacks standardization" and is "not user friendly", it still continues to draw a large fan base and corporate users (which are seldom fans of anything).

Other novel and "better" operating systems have come and most of them have gone, but unix keeps going.

It's rather impressive, really.

One of its creators (don't remember which one), when asked what would he change if he could go back to the time when unix was being created, once said: "I would add the n to umount".

Reply Score: 5

RE: Comment by CrLf
by tobyv on Sat 6th Jun 2009 00:07 UTC in reply to "Comment by CrLf"
tobyv Member since:
2008-08-25

"I'd spell 'creat' with an 'e'" -Ken Thompson

Reply Score: 1

Comment by dvzt
by dvzt on Fri 5th Jun 2009 10:01 UTC
dvzt
Member since:
2008-10-23

"A powerful operating system for interactive use need not be expensive either in equipment or in human effort. [We hope that] users of Unix will find that the most important characteristics of the system are its simplicity, elegance, and ease of use.


Now let me ask you: which aligns better with these goals, Linux or UNIX-proper?
"

Okay, I will fall for that flamebait: As "simplicity, elegance, and ease of use" I understand compatibility, stability, stable APIs and scalability, so I believe the answer is clearly UNIX-proper.

I do agree however, that Plan 9 is very interesting OS. It's a pity that it didn't see wider adoption. It could have really become the "next level" OS.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by dvzt
by madcrow on Fri 5th Jun 2009 14:22 UTC in reply to "Comment by dvzt"
madcrow Member since:
2006-03-13

Plan 9 was never really intended as a user-ready project. It was (and is) a research project into ideas that can be used to build the next generation of OSes. Now, every now and then, a research project of that sort turns into a "real" OS (Unix being the prime example) but it doesn't always happen.

With that said, Plan 9 has a number of features that would make it useful in today's world where multi-computer networked households are quite common. If somebody wanted to write some useful wireless drivers and a good GUI, there would be nothing to stop them...

Reply Score: 3

neozeed
Member since:
2006-03-03

It would have been nicer if the author had made mention of TUHS & PUPS, and how they have resurrected Unix v1 (PDP-11 build) on SIMH.

Or even the archives with versions 1,4,5,6,7,32v & the BSD's.

Not to mention how Caldera had opened them up in a BSD style license to allow the code to be free for all. ( http://www.tuhs.org/Archive/Caldera-license.pdf )

Not to mention, not even a passing mention about the Lions book, where to get it etc.
( http://www.lulu.com/content/99701 http://v6.cuzuco.com/ )


It felt like it was taken from a few other myth/legend stories I had read, with a heavy hand into the rise of Windows NT... As for what can be called a "UNIX" I'm on a "UNIX" right now, but it's from Microsoft, and the SUA is "ok"...

I know it's “linkwhoring” on my part to mention what I've done to make ancient Unix more accessible to "operating system tourists ( https://sourceforge.net/projects/bsd42 )" But I feel like the work of those people who make the whole remembering aspect possible is just left out.

I'm sure both Robert Supnik & Warren Toomey could provide an interview about their parts in rescuing not only UNIX's history, but also computing history.

Maybe it's me but there is more accessible detail that could have been added to not only talk about the formative years, but also walk the reader thru something to show the evolution of Unix.

So while the article adds really nothing if you are familiar with UNIX, it sadly doesn’t offer any chance to actually get a hold of any of the ancient UNIX artifacts. And in the digital age, I consider that a crying shame.

Reply Score: 1