[TUHS] rtm

A.P.Garcia apgarcia at uwm.edu
Sat Oct 12 11:33:04 AEST 2002

I just recently picked up a copy of a book that's been out for some
time, _Cyberpunk_ by Katie Hafner and John Markoff.  The last chapter
is about Robert T. Morris, Jr. and the worm incident (which in itself,
I think, is an important event in Unix history).

The book contains some interesting details, including some Unix folklore
that I haven't seen anywhere else.  For instance, RTM Sr. had a terminal
at home, as did other members of the CSR group at Bell Labs.  So a number
of their kids had accounts!  RTM Sr. comes off as a very likeable fellow,

At the Atlanta Linux Showcase in 1999, Norm Schryer gave a keynote speech,
in which he told an amusing anecdote about Morris Sr. (I may be slightly
off on some details; such is oral history):

Morris, he said, was the kind of guy who always liked to tinker with
things, and if an object had buttons, Morris just had to push them.
In fact, sometimes Morris was just a little too quick with his fingers.
On one side of a machine room was the light switch, and on the other
side was the power to the machine. 

On at least one occasion, you guessed it -- Morris hit the wrong switch.
Some people hung a disk pack that got ruined around his neck, and someone
put up a big sign as a reminder: "THIS IS THE WEST WALL!"


More information about the TUHS mailing list