Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 18th Dec 2016 19:33 UTC
General Unix

It has often been told how the Bell Labs law department became the first non-research department to use Unix, displacing a newly acquired stand-alone word-processing system that fell short of the department's hopes because it couldn't number the lines on patent applications, as USPTO required. When Joe Ossanna heard of this, he told them about roff and promised to give it line-numbering capability the next day. They tried it and were hooked. Patent secretaries became remote members of the fellowship of the Unix lab. In due time the law department got its own machine.

Fascinating bit of Unix history.

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The winner isn't usually the best.
by theTSF on Mon 19th Dec 2016 17:25 UTC
theTSF
Member since:
2005-09-27

We as techs often get angry because the obvious superior system get regarded as a fringe hobby system while the inferior in nearly every way system. Normally the popular system, is one that solves one problem that they were having, at a cost they were willing to pay for.

Reply Score: 3

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

theTSF,

We as techs often get angry because the obvious superior system get regarded as a fringe hobby system while the inferior in nearly every way system. Normally the popular system, is one that solves one problem that they were having, at a cost they were willing to pay for.



I think that's often true, but I'm curious what you had in mind here. At this early point in the game I'm not sure anything could be "a fringe hobby system" because computers would have been too expensive for hobbyists to get involved.

So I can't tell what/who you are referring to, but if we look down the timeline DOS seems to fit the pattern. Objectively inferior to almost everything else and many years behind other platforms, yet propelled to dominance due to the IBM deal. ;)

Edited 2016-12-19 21:17 UTC

Reply Score: 5