Talk:History of unix

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I'm going to top-post this because it's vaguely important. I've added basically everything north of "Birth of Linux" by reverse engineering the relevant Wikipedia articles. That is, I read the articles, took notes, wrote my spiel based on the notes. I hope I've managed to paraphrase the result enough to get by with fair-use laws. But some plagurism may have snuck back in by mistake. Anybody want to doublecheck? Crazyeddie 18:48, Jun 29, 2004 (EDT)

Why don't you just point readers to wikipedia? --ThorstenStaerk 19:35, April 20, 2010 (UTC)

Isn't UNIX in all caps?

Don't know EvilSporkMan, could you find out and edit this article when you figure it out? Also, please sign your posts with ~~~~. Crazyeddie 18:48, Jun 29, 2004 (EDT)


I'm not sure about some of the historical details - for instance, in Linus' first post about the kernel, he described himself as running 'GNU make and sed' (or utilities to that effect) on it. So it wasn't like the concept of using GNU tools just dawned on people out of nowhere.

Also not sure about the details of net history regarding dialup access and so on. Also this article seems to not take into account that, while speeds were incredibly slow, the system was incredibly small in relation to today. It was probably *easier* to download then than now - especially with the widespread use of 'patch' which, while still used, is less widespread than it was.

Lastly (for now) Linus wasn't *quite* so blase about 'throwing the kernel' out to the net, as his fight with Tannenbaum indicates. He was very much invested in developing the kernel - it was extremely important to him, as it is now.

But I confined myself mostly to grammar and spelling.

This somewhat covers the same ground as this but it's excellent stuff, even allowing for my reservations.

Digiot 21:39, Mar 5, 2004 (EST)


About downloading. Before the internet explosion (which was about the same time as Linux distros such as Slakware and RHAT became available), typical dial up modems used FSK techniques which would do 2400bps on a good line. QAM modems that could do 9600bps were specialist items and not generally much use for bbs access or the first private internet POP's because these sites preffered to have more concurrent low speed access rather than shelling out for high priced modems. The internet boom led to a modem boom, and subsequently the development of low cost single chip QAM modems. The first real 'leap' in dial up access did not happen till around '95 when 27,500 bps modems became big time. Even so, a typical POP access had perhaps 16 such modems on a server connected to the internet on a 64k connection.....milage varied! I remember downloading the GCC compiler from the FSF site in that period, it took 50 hours!

Regarding the now famous minix vs Linux debate. That was after Linus had thrown up the kernel but.....in the discussion you will note that Tannenbaum is fighting Linus, and not the other way round. Tannenbaum was saying that a CS student should not be wasting his time playing around with monolithic kernels because they are dead. Linus however was not at that stage coutering him saying that Linux is the future, he just inexperiencdly "fed the troll" defending his OS as just something to get a decent traditional UNIX on a PC. True, I think by that time he had warmed to the idea of a complete usable OS, but I do not think that it was his original intention to do anything more than an interesting toy.

As for Tannenbaum, I think his real worry (later shown to be justified) was that if a 'Unix with source code' for PC's that did things in a more complete manner than minix were available, then it would stem his flow of royalties from all the univirsity courses that were centered on minix.

MrIrwin