[TUHS] UNIX turns forty

John Cowan cowan at ccil.org
Sat Jun 6 04:29:24 AEST 2009

Ian King scripsit:

> Not a very *good* article, either, IMHO.  One gets the impression the  
> author of the piece was given two or three pieces of data and  
> instructed to write a historical drama around them.

A bit more than that: the author credits Salus as his main source,
so if you want more detail, you know where to get it.  Remember the
target audience.

> I also suspect he's never seen a PDP-7, either.

Few of us have, and even fewer have seen one running Unix, I dare say.
For that matter, I never saw a PDP-11 running Unix, though I certainly
heard plenty about it: my first Unix-in-anger was MS Xenix System III on
a PC/AT with a 10 Mb hard drive.

> It was unnecessary to slam the PDP-7 to make
> the point that Unix was created on a computer of modest resources.

"Wimpy" is a disrespectful word, undoubtedly.

> In other words, this read like any other popularized account - which  
> would be expected, if it had been published in Ladies Home Journal.   

Is it actually necessary to slam _Ladies' Home Journal_ to make the point
that _Computerworld_ is a popularizing magazine?  Have you ever read even
a single issue of LHJ?  I have read many of them, though admittedly not
since the 1970s.

John Cowan    cowan at ccil.org    http://ccil.org/~cowan
The present impossibility of giving a scientific explanation is no proof
that there is no scientific explanation. The unexplained is not to be
identified with the unexplainable, and the strange and extraordinary
nature of a fact is not a justification for attributing it to powers
above nature.  --The Catholic Encyclopedia, s.v. "telepathy" (1913)

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