[TUHS] Strange Birth of Unix

Warren Toomey wkt at tuhs.org
Fri Dec 2 07:41:16 AEST 2011

	My IEEE Spectrum article finally got published and you can read it
on-line here: http://spectrum.ieee.org/computing/software/the-strange-birth-and-long-life-of-unix/0

I've had a few e-mails about it. This one has a few more snippets about
early Unix history (from Rey Bonachea):

  It was with great pleasure and a bit of nostalgia that I read your IEEE
  article below. Thank you very much for writing it. One aspect that did
  not get mention, and that perhaps you may or may not be aware of, was
  the pseudo real time applications of Unix.

  In 1972 I joined Bell Labs in Holmdel NJ working on a project by the name
  of Switching Control Center System. At the beginning I was just a brand
  new member of the technical staff working on circuit design for
  interfaces to the PDP11/20. This project was meant to centralize the data
  streams from the maintenance channel of switching machine. Then, in a
  multi-user environment , would analyze the incoming data streams and raise
  alarms as appropriate. It also provided a whole suite of analysis tools to
  allow switch maintenance personnel to trouble shoot the electronic

  Because the switches could not buffer messages or be slowed by flow
  control, the Unix system had to catch messages in real time and put it
  away on disk for later analysis. Due to the near real time requirements, a
  number of features were added to Unix such as semaphores. The Unix based
  Switching Control Center System (SCCS) software was trialed in New
  Brunswick NJ in 1973 and later that year was released as the first
  commercial application of the Unix OS.

  I learned to program on that PDP 11/20 computer running Unix and
  eventually wrote many applications for the SCCS, initially in assembly
  language and then in C as we were also the first project to use C


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