[TUHS] Questions regarding early Unix contributors

Norman Wilson norman at oclsc.org
Fri Sep 25 03:12:23 AEST 2015

A few scattered answers, some redundant with those of others:

-- Lorinda Cherry (llc) worked at Bell Labs.  She wrote diction (and
the rest of the Writer's Workbench tools) there, in the early
1980s; if some people saw it first in BSD releases that is just
an accident of timing (too late for V7) and exposure (I'm pretty
sure it was available in the USG systems, which weren't generally
accessible until a year or two later).

Lorinda is one of the less-known members of the original Computer
Science Research Center who nevertheless wrote or co-wrote a lot
of things we now take for granted, like dc and bc and eqn and

Checking some of this on the web, I came across an interesting
tidbit apparently derived from an interview with Lorinda:


I wholly endorse what she says about UNIX and the group it came from.
One fumble in the text: `Bob Ross' who liked to break programs is
surely really Bob Morris.

-- So far as I know, Tom Duff (td) was never at Berkeley.  He's
originally from Toronto; attended U of T; was at Lucasfilm for a
while (he has a particular interest in graphics, though he is a
very sharp and subtle programmer in general); started at Bell Labs
in 1984, not long before I did.  He left sometime in the 1990s,
lives in Berkeley CA, but works neither at UCB nor at Google but
at Pixar.

-- T. J. Kowalski (frodo) was at Bell Labs; when I was there he
worked in the research group down the hall (Acoustics, I think), with
whom Computer Science shared a lot of UNIX-releasted stuff.  Ted is
well-known for his work on fsck, but did a lot of other stuff, including
being the first to get Research UNIX to work on the MicroVAX II.  He
also had a high-quality mustache.

-- Andrew Koenig (ark) was part of the Computer Science group when
I was there in the latter 1980s.  He was a early adopter of C++.
asd, the automatic-software distributor we used to keep the software
in sync on the 20-or-so systems that ran Research UNIX, was his work.

-- Mike Tilson was, I think, one of the founders of HCR (Human Computing
Resources), a UNIX-oriented software company based in Toronto in the
early 1980s.  The company was later acquired by SCO, in the days when
SCO was still a technical company rather than a den of lawyers.

-- Peter Honeyman (honey) was never, I think, at Berkeley, though
he is certainly of the right character.  In the 1980s he was variously
(sometimes concurrently?) working for some part of AT&T and at Princeton.
For many years now he has been in Ann Arbor MI at the University of
Michigan, where his still-crusty manner appears not to interfere with
his being a respected researcher and much-liked teacher.

Norman Wilson
Toronto ON
(Bell Labs Computing Science Research, 1984-1990)

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