[AUUG-Talk]: Ars technica on Unix 40th 'birthday': "The Unix revolution—thank you, Uncle Sam?"

steve jenkin sjenkin at canb.auug.org.au
Wed Jul 20 03:34:41 EST 2011

A friend forwarded this piece from Ars:
"The Unix revolution—thank you, Uncle Sam?" by Matthew Lasar


On rereading, I'm surprised by the dates.
Looking on-line, especially Levenez, "First Edition" was in Nov-1971, so
that's a good date to celebrate :-)

Although Ken did a major (re?)write in the summer of 1969, IIRC and that
might have been a good milestone to have celebrated.
[Please excuse my poor memory]

The ACM conference in October 1973 (or when the Journal article hit the
streets) is when Unix broke out of the Labs, IMHO.

Key quote from the piece is below.
The causes & consequences of Unix are much, much under-rated:

"In other words, AT&T's Unix policies helped Unix become the operating
system that we've all come to know, and, if not love, understand as
empowered by a philosophy that also informs the "open source" movement
of our time."

Proof is when AT&T formed USL (Unix System Labs) and sold System V.
Locked it down and developed in competition with BSD.
Pretended they were 'it'. Slogan: "Consider it Standard".

More Stupid Marketing Tricks :-(

The same thinking, "Marketing by Difference/Incompatibility" not
"Marketing Differentiation" led to Windows NT trouncing Unix/derivatives
in the 1990's.

The link to the consent decree is not well understood and critical to
the creation and early path of Unix.
Kudos to Ars for bringing it out.

Article is not entirely what I would have written, but close enough,
especially for a commercial publication :-)

Steve Jenkin, Info Tech, Systems and Design Specialist.
0412 786 915 (+61 412 786 915)
PO Box 48, Kippax ACT 2615, AUSTRALIA

sjenkin at canb.auug.org.au http://members.tip.net.au/~sjenkin

More information about the Talk mailing list