[TUHS] Gaming on early Unix

Ken Thompson ken at google.com
Mon Dec 9 10:35:25 AEST 2019

in the early 70s, noone had seen a computer.
i had a terminal at home and we were giving
a dinner party. i wrote several games for the
party from the back of an off-the-shelf puzzle

the ones i remember:

moo (bulls + cows)
hunt the wumpus (move or shoot)
learning tic-tac-toe
i can guess your number (divide and conquer)
jealous husbands (similar to fox hen corn)

i think there were more. they went over
pretty well at the party.

i think this was 1969 or 1970.

On Sun, Dec 8, 2019 at 4:14 PM Steve Johnson <scj at yaccman.com> wrote:
> I wrote a very simple game for my son -- go fish.   It was one of my first C programs (that is evident by the fact that it contains several goto's).  There is the source code in one of the BSD distributions, dated 1980 (with a UCB copyright...).
> The original game simply played cards at random from its hand, and was pretty easy to beat.  Then I realized that there was a simple strategy -- if the player asked the program for, e.g., a 5, the program remembered that the player had a 5.   If it later drew a 5 it immediately asked for it.   This "pro" version was very hard to beat, to the extent that nobody wanted to play it.  So I made the pro version an option--the default was the dumb mode.
> It didn't get a lot of hype, but I did face an irate user once at a Usenix meeting who publicly accused me of cheating (since the program did, in fact, know what the player's had was).  The pro option was that good, but, unless somebody changed a copy of it, the user's hand wasn't part of the strategy...
> Looking at the code a couple of months ago, I found at least one bug and one logical error.  The bug would have been caught by Lint, but that program was many years in the future.
> Steve
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Richard Salz" <rich.salz at gmail.com>
> To:<ron at ronnatalie.com>
> Cc:"TUHS main list" <tuhs at minnie.tuhs.org>
> Sent:Fri, 6 Dec 2019 11:39:42 -0500
> Subject:Re: [TUHS] Gaming on early Unix
>> There was another multiplayer game called “Search” that would result around 4:30 in the afternoon someone yelling “Search Up” which was everybody’s cue to join in the game.
> Was that "hunt" that came with BSD 4-something?

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