[TUHS] Where did the "~" come from

Dave Horsfall dave at horsfall.org
Thu Nov 19 08:41:29 AEST 2020

On Wed, 18 Nov 2020, Clem Cole wrote:

> In our exchange, someone observed suggested that Joy might have picked 
> it up because the HOME key was part of the tilde key on the ADM3A, which 
> were popular at UCB [i.e. the reason hjkl are the movement keys on vi is 
> the were embossed on the top of those keys on the ADM3A].  It also was 
> noted that the ASR-33 lacks a ~ key on its keyboard.  But Lesk 
> definitely needed something to represent a remote user's home directory 
> because each system was different, so he was forced to use something.

The ADM-3A was one of the best terminals ever made.

> It was also noted that there was plenty of cross-pollination going on as
> students and researchers moved from site to site, so it could have been BTL
> to UCB, vice-versa, or some other path altogether.
> So two questions for this august body are:
>  1. Where did the ~ as $HOME convention come to UNIX?

Gawd...  I think I saw it in PWB, but I'm likely wrong.

>  2. Did UNIX create the idiom, or was there an earlier system such as CTSS,
>     TENEX, ITS, MTS, TSS, or the like supported it?

No idea. but given that Unix inherited a lot of stuff....

-- Dave

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