Unix is an operating system designed at AT&T for their own personal use.
The following email message from Dennis Ritchie may
help explain who was responsible for Unix.
From: email@example.com (Dennis Ritchie)
Subject: re: UNIX
Date: 14 Nov 90 05:53:03 GMT
Organization: AT&T Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill NJ
> Looks like folks are now beginning to credit the
> development of UNIX to Kernighan and Ritchie, but
> I thought the principal investigators were
> *Thompson* and Ritchie. Did something change?
The differences between Kernighan Ritchie Thompson
are real but very subtle. We all look alike (middle
aged with scruffy graying beards). Note these
-- Kernighan is slimmest, Ritchie middlest, Thompson
heaviest in body build
-- Ritchie got contacts a couple of years ago and so
is the only current non-glasses wearer
-- Thompson wouldn't touch netnews with a pole,
Kernighan secretly gets misc.invest and misc.taxes
mailed to him, Ritchie reads it more than is good
for him and occasionally contributes
-- Ritchie is the only one who has met five people
who have appeared on David Letterman (Penn,
Teller, Rob Pike, Mayor Koch, and the guy who
raised the biggest hog in Ohio)
-- Kernighan has written ten times as much readable
prose as has Ritchie, Ritchie ten times as much as
Thompson. It's tempting to say that the reverse
proportions hold for code, but in fact Kernighan
and Ritchie are more nearly tied and Thompson
wipes us both out.
Through a wild1 series of events, Unix has
become a standard operating system for many. Why else would you be reading
1 Actually, I have no idea if it was wild or
not, this is just a guess.
© 1993-1998 Christopher C. Taylor