[TUHS] Ideas for a Unix paper I'm writing

A. P. Garcia a.phillip.garcia at gmail.com
Wed Jun 29 11:30:29 AEST 2011

> All, IEEE Spectrum have asked me to write a paper on Unix to celebrate the
> 40th anniversary of the release of 1st Edition in November 1971. I'm after
> ideas & suggestions!

of course this quote is always good for a chuckle:

Ken Thompson was once asked what he would do differently if he were
redesigning the UNIX system. His reply: "I'd spell creat with an e."

and I always liked this quote from Linus Torvalds:

On Tue, 22 Jun 1999, Rik van Riel wrote:

> The real issue here is paradigms. The classical "everything's
> a file" broke down with the advent of networking, sockets and
> non-blocking reads. At the moment the file paradigm is so much
> out of touch with computational reality that web servers need
> to fork for each client and people are crying out for asynchronous
> sendfile and other weird interfaces.

Sure. But I think it's still a valid paradigm to consider "everything is a
stream of bytes". And that's _really_ what the UNIX paradigm has been from
the first: the whole notion of pipes etc is not all that different from


> I'm also trying to chase down some quotes; my memory seems to be failing me
> but I'm sure I've seen these somewhere:

ugh..my memory is failing too at the moment. I'm sure I once read a
nice rant of sorts about how Unix has proven to be of sound design
that has adapted well to changes in the computing landscape...

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