[TUHS] UNIX Influence on Teletype and Vice Versa

segaloco via TUHS tuhs at tuhs.org
Tue Sep 19 04:07:08 AEST 2023

Good morning folks, something I've been pondering on this morning is the potential close connection between UNIX development and Teletype interfacing designs as the 70s and 80s marched on.  Seeing as Teletype was a part of the Bell System (albeit a little less obviously in marketing than it's kin), was there any sort of official rapport between folks working on UNIX and those designing subsequent Teletypes, Dataspeed terminals, etc?

For instance, would there have been any influence an up-and-coming Teletype design would've had on developments in the UNIX tty drivers, or would particulars of UNIX tty drivers "rub off" on specifics of terminals being developed?  Or were those units so distant from one another that there would've been little cross-talk between teams?  Granted, an argument could be made for specifically avoiding any significant knowledge of internals, that way UNIX tty driver folks don't potentially paint into a Teletype corner and vice versa.  Still, with the tightly integrated nature of Bell System R&D, manufacturing, supply, etc. it would be very "Bell System" for there to be some sort of interplay between Teletype and UNIX.

Anyone got the scoop on whether Teletype hardware enjoyed a special place in UNIX tty-interfacing considerations or vice versa, or if they were just two relatively insular developments from one another in the same general field from the same big umbrella organization?

- Matt G.

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