2019 marks the 50 years birtday for the operating system UNIX. Did you know that it all began in Bell Labs back in 1969. Who should have thought, that an operating system, written so many years ago would be such a big part of all of our lives today.
“But you don’t use UNIX you say”? Not True. Today most modern Operating systems are based on UNIX. That includes OSX, Linux, Android iOS and even parts of Windows (especially back in the Win NT Days). You will likely find a version of one of these operating systems in your home. TVs, smart washing machines, mobile phones, laptops etc all run some UNIX clone – maybe even your robot lawn mower.
Some of the earliest source lines for UNIX were written for the DEC PDP-7 computer at bell labs. The OS was all written in PDP-7 assembly code.
The Richie family has made a printed version of the source code available to computerhistory.org. If you want to enjoy some good old-fashioned assembly code, you should read this fine article: https://computerhistory.org/blog/the-earliest-unix-code-an-anniversary-source-code-release/
Personally, I have been a full-time user of UNIX based computers (mostly Linux) since I got introduced to it around 1996. I fell in love with it and never returned to the Microsoft Windows system I came from. Since then I have been contributing to Linux, *BSD Android and lately even iOS. This has been via patches for everything from kernel drivers to apps and documentation.
I am sure that my world would not have been the same if it wasn’t for the work Ken Thomson and Dennis Richie started 50 years ago with UNIX.
HAPPY Birthday UNIX!