Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Maybe its pervasiveness has long obscured its origins. But Unix, the operating system that in one derivative or another powers nearly all smartphones sold worldwide, was born 50 years ago from the failure of an ambitious project that involved titans like Bell Labs, GE, and MIT. Largely the brainchild of a few programmers at Bell Labs, the unlikely story of Unix begins with a meeting on the top floor of an otherwise unremarkable annex at the sprawling Bell Labs complex in Murray Hill, New Jersey.

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Before Microsoft, Apple, and COBOL, there was UNIX. If you knew how to tangle with UNIX, you were considered indispensable. If you wanted to work at IBM, you needed to know UNIX inside and out. Now a 50 year old programming language is the meat and potatoes every smartphone you see today.

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First OS I learned after DOS, and it was old by then. I didn't' realize it was that old

#1 | Posted by goatman at 2019-09-02 09:38 PM | Reply

Wow. I feel old. Think I started with FORTRAN but that wan't an OS.

#2 | Posted by REDIAL at 2019-09-02 10:13 PM | Reply

Grace Hopper remembers.

#3 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2019-09-02 10:22 PM | Reply

"you needed to know UNIX inside and out. Now a 50 year old programming language"

Ummm, not a programming language... It's an OS.

#4 | Posted by kwrx25 at 2019-09-03 10:26 AM | Reply

If you wanted to work at IBM, you needed to know UNIX inside and out.

No you didn't you needed to know OS/360 and SNA.

#5 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2019-09-03 10:29 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

By the early 80's in the Silicon Valley, people who could develop code well in C language for R&D projects were in high demand. I interviewed so many of them and understood the concepts well enough that I could have prolly gotten a job in a company interview.... but I would have had a hard time when I showed up for werk because I couldn't write code.

C++ graphic compiler developers, UNIX kernel developers.... who eventuality developed LINUX, were often quite the divas because they were so sought after.

Some of the perks, along with their stock equities, that they received upon hire were unheard of at the time; beach work locations, video game centers at work, massages, juice bars, setting their own hours... not to mention their own drugs of choice. Wild time back then.

#6 | Posted by Corky at 2019-09-03 11:56 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Honestly the first OS I learned pretty thoroughly was UNIX. Sun Microsystems SPARCStations (college) and eventually followed by work on E250s and E10ks. They still use SPARC chips in some Fujitsu models. Then there was some time on SGI boxes in there too. Not to mention a decade with an ancient at the time IBM RS6000 - that system was over 20 years old when we retired it. Apple's still run on a form of UNIX. Then there is Linux...

#7 | Posted by GalaxiePete at 2019-09-03 12:31 PM | Reply

I turn 50 this month. I never thought it would happen to me.

#8 | Posted by lfthndthrds at 2019-09-03 12:40 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

Unix was the first operating system I learned on. I first used BASIC, then BASICA. Once I came into the military, they taught me FORTRAN and then moved into more UNIX with Sun/Solara systems on them. I need to learn more powershell. I also am in the process of learning more JSON code. It's the future.

#9 | Posted by boaz at 2019-09-03 01:43 PM | Reply

You know, despite politics, I am proud I am an American. I was born in Brooklyn, so were my parents, and America has always been the global innovator. Everyone wants to be me, an American -- we are the best. We were the first to step on the moon and come back home.We stopped a global war with 1 bomb. We are innovators in several fields. We built sky scrapers with nothing more than spit and bale wire. Our women are gorgeous. We have the best pizza, hot dogs, sports (---- soccer), super heroes, movies, cars (1976 Camaro 3 on the floor), I'm proud to say I'm a UNIX man. I cut my teeth on COBOL and was a Novell admin before I took my MCSE test so many years ago. Remember how big the 168 mg plate were when we had to switch them out manually? HUGE! We have the greatest military in world history. We have the funnest toys, too. Every one wants to have a Pepsi, eat a Whopper, drink some Jack Daniels, ride a Harley or an Indiian... we had the wild wild west, and if you go overseas, exotic women beg American men for a piece of American dick. It's true. Exotic men crave and pay great sums for American cherry pie (Ask Nancy Ray-Gun and Barbara Eden)! We're the best

Only an American band can declare, "You wanted the best, you got the best"

Yeah, mother fuggeker, we have the most beautiful flag in the world, Old Glory, so beautiful, even in her old age.

Politics are NOT America.

WE ARE AMERICA!

#10 | Posted by Goose_Boils at 2019-09-03 02:46 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

@#5 ... OS/360 and SNA. ...

Ahhh... the memories.

SNA.... a network architecture that required you to take down the network in order to add a new device to it.

The equivalent of the phone company telling everyone to hang up and stop using their phone every time they added a new customer's phone.

Though SNA was super reliable.

But I digress...

I played with UNIX in the early 1980's professionally.

On a personal level, I've been running FreeBSD and OpenBSD since 2000 or so. I still run some FreeBSD and OpenBSD servers for personal use. They've been absolutely reliable.

Happy Birthday UNIX!

#11 | Posted by LampLighter at 2019-09-03 08:38 PM | Reply

C++ graphic compiler developers, UNIX kernel developers.... who eventuality developed LINUX, were often quite the divas because they were so sought after.
Some of the perks, along with their stock equities, that they received upon hire were unheard of at the time; beach work locations, video game centers at work, massages, juice bars, setting their own hours... not to mention their own drugs of choice. Wild time back then.
#6 | POSTED BY CORKY AT 2019-09-03 11:56 AM | REPLY

Dallas in the 90s lol. Ion Storm was the greatest. Business plan: Buy expensive ----, party like rock stars, make a mediocre game with bad sales.

#12 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2019-09-04 09:26 AM | Reply

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