[TUHS] Happy birthday, core dumped

Doug McIlroy doug at cs.dartmouth.edu
Thu Jun 19 11:49:48 AEST 2014

They pitched a PDP-10 for a similar reason--hardware to build a
bigger Unix on. When a small pot of end-of-year money appeared,
they took a PDP-11 instead--serendipitously, because university
folks started proving this elegant system on cheap hardware
in many projects in small labs, which they never could have
done had the system existed on a PDP-10 mainframe. While
upper management did not directly cause Unix to be built,
their decisions to abandon Multics and not to buy a PDP-10
were notable causes for its creation and spread.


> Date: Wed, 18 Jun 2014 07:43:51 -0700
> From: iking at killthewabbit.org
> To: tuhs at minnie.tuhs.org,Doug McIlroy <doug at cs.dartmouth.edu>
> Subject: Re: [TUHS] Happy birthday, core dumped
> Message-ID: <ef723f8a-52b6-4810-be59-1837c75b1da3.maildroid at localhost>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"
> Interesting - what's your source?  It was also my understanding they used the -7 'because it was there' but that they had pitched for a PDP-10, which had TOPS-10.  - Ian
> Sent from my android device.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Doug McIlroy <doug at cs.dartmouth.edu>
> To: tuhs at minnie.tuhs.org
> Sent: Wed, 18 Jun 2014 4:06 AM
> Subject: Re: [TUHS] Happy birthday, core dumped
> > It's always been a bit of a mystery to me why Thompson and Ritchie decided they needed to write a new executive - UNICS - rather than use DECsys.
> It was the other way around. They had conceived a clean, simple, yet
> powerful, operating system and needed a machine to build it on. A
> cast-off PDP-7 happened to be at hand.
> Doug

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