[TUHS] Stories

arnold at skeeve.com arnold at skeeve.com
Fri Dec 7 05:26:14 AEST 2018

Doug McIlroy <doug at cs.dartmouth.edu> wrote:

> > So how was it that so many smart - and somewhat like minded it seems
> > people end up there? [At Bell Labs]
> 1. Bell Labs had a great reputation, though it was not at first known
>    for computing.
> .....

Sounds wonderful.  I often wished I could have gone there, but
not everyone got into 1127.

> This culture grew from the grand original idea of the Labs: R&D for
> the whole of AT&T funded by the whole of AT&T, with a long time horizon.
> I joined thinking the Labs was good seasoning for academia. The culture
> held me for 39 years.
> The premise was viable in the days of regulated monopoly. It has been
> greatly watered down since.

Which is a great shame, IMHO.

I've been meaning to ask here. There are a number of stories of, shall
we say pranks, pulled by the Unix room folks, and the group's sense of
humor was often reflected in writing in the man pages.

Was this more widespread in the Bell Labs culture? Did your average physicist /
chemist / electical engineer do the equivalent kinds of things?

Thanks, and thanks for the wonderful stories!


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