[TUHS] Interview with Brian Kernighan

Kenneth Stailey kstailey at yahoo.com
Wed Jul 30 00:40:24 AEST 2003


some quotes:

<< LJ: Is it true that you suggested the name "UNIX" for the long ago OS,
Multics? What does that word mean?

BK: Yes, long ago. Multics was an acronym for something like Multiplexed
Information and Computing Service, and it was big and complicated because it
had many of everything. I suggested Unics for Ken's new system, because it was
small and had at most one of anything. (Multi and uni are both Latin roots, so
it was a very weak pun.) Someone else spelled it with the letter X; no one can
remember who. >>

<< LJ: What UNIX OSes do you like? Linux? BSD?

BK: The way I use them, which is as a casual programmer, it doesn't
matter--they are all the same. If I encounter some difference, it only makes me
mad, because there really isn't any reason for things to be different most of
the time. I use Solaris at Princeton, Irix when I visit Bell Labs, and FreeBSD
on my Mac; I also have Cygwin on several PCs so that standard tools are readily
available. >>

But Brian, FreeBSD does not run on a Mac unless you don't need features like
booting up all the way.


<< 3 July, 2002 : This page has been significantly updated. FreeBSD/PowerPC
currently boots almost to the point of reaching single-user mode. >>

Oh well.

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