[TUHS] Is the Teletype the unsung hero of Unix?

Greg 'groggy' Lehey grog at lemis.com
Sat Mar 26 13:54:14 AEST 2016

On Friday, 25 March 2016 at 17:43:08 +0300, Aharon Robbins wrote:
> ...
> I certainly think there's some truth to this idea; longer command
> names and especially GNU style long options didn't appear until the
> video terminal era when terminals were faster (9600 or 19200 baud!)
> and much less physically demanding to use.  How MUCH correlation is
> there, I don't claim to know, but I think there's definitely some.

Certainly, but the question is whether it's enough to imply causality.
I am a very fast typer, but when we got our Tandem machines back in
1977, we discovered that the shell was called COMINT and the editor
was called EDIT.  Too long for my liking, so I shortened them to C and
E respectively, much to the disgust of the field technicians.  This
was long before I was exposed to Unix, and we were really happy with
our 9600 bps ADM-2s, so much faster than the IBM 3270s we had been
using on the /370.

Even now I tend to shorten file names.  And I suspect I'm not the only
person who hates these excessively long
--options-that-could-have-been-written-more-succinctly.  Probably it's
at least partially a mentality issue.

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