[TUHS] UNIX turns forty

Derek Peschel dpeschel at eskimo.com
Wed May 20 14:56:10 AEST 2009

On Fri, May 15, 2009 at 06:48:46AM -1000, Tim Newsham wrote:
> So when do the official celebrations begin?  What's a good estimate
> of the month and date in 1969 when it all began?

Interesting question!  And related questions -- When did the current
start of the epoch get chosen?  Were there any false starts or early
changes?  (I seem to recall reading about one change, moving forward
by a year.)  And were there ever any dates in the system that couldn't
be correctly recorded, because the epoch started too late?

The other question is what the official celebrations should celebrate.
Personally, I'd chip in on a big cake with one candle for each year
that a reasonable amount of UNIX source code was available.  No way was
UNIX ever open source in the modern sense, but it did set a precedent
and things could have been much worse.  When you consider the Bell
System's normal attitude toward proprietary information, the UNIX sources
look even more valuable.

-- Derek

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