[TUHS] Gaming on early Unix

Rob Pike robpike at gmail.com
Mon Dec 9 12:03:18 AEST 2019

My favorite (other than Nuke the Smileys) was written at the UofT by Hugh
Redelmeier. It was a version of tic-tac-toe that played only a single line,
and would always win. If it didn't like your move, it changed it. If your
move was a good one, it would change its previous move. And it did this
with lovely little messages. It was fun watching people get upset at it.

I don't know where the source is nowadays. I may have it somewhere, or it
might be ferric dust long since swept up from a cupboard of failed 9-track


On Mon, Dec 9, 2019 at 11:47 AM Adam Thornton <athornton at gmail.com> wrote:

> > On Dec 8, 2019, at 5:35 PM, Ken Thompson via TUHS <tuhs at minnie.tuhs.org>
> wrote:
> >
> > 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
> > book.
> >
> > 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)
> > nim
> >
> > i think there were more. they went over
> > pretty well at the party.
> >
> > i think this was 1969 or 1970.
> Clarification, please.
> Was “Hunt the Wumpus” from the back of an off-the-shelf puzzle book?  I
> thought it was by Gregory Yob (per the Creative Computing BASIC Computer
> Games book—Wumpus may have been in More BASIC Computer Games), and, well,
> it’s about dodecahedronal geometry, which seems as if it would only have
> been found in a rather rarefied puzzle book, but does seem like the sort of
> Platonic solid a computer-programming nerd in the early 1970s would have
> known about.
> Adam
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