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Unix Operating Systems Software Technology

Unix Turns 40 254

Posted by Soulskill
from the keep-on-truckin dept.
wandazulu writes "Forty years ago this summer, Ken Thompson sat down and wrote a small operating system that would eventually be called Unix. An article at ComputerWorld describes the history, present, and future of what could arguably be called the most important operating system of them all. 'Thompson and a colleague, Dennis Ritchie, had been feeling adrift since Bell Labs had withdrawn earlier in the year from a troubled project to develop a time-sharing system called Multics (Multiplexed Information and Computing Service). They had no desire to stick with any of the batch operating systems that predominated at the time, nor did they want to reinvent Multics, which they saw as grotesque and unwieldy. After batting around some ideas for a new system, Thompson wrote the first version of Unix, which the pair would continue to develop over the next several years with the help of colleagues Doug McIlroy, Joe Ossanna and Rudd Canaday.'"
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Unix Turns 40

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  • by antifoidulus (807088) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @01:26PM (#28242421) Homepage Journal
    find my_lawn -name kids* -exec rm -rf {} \;
    • by russlar (1122455)
      followed shortly by this one: wall "damn you cloud!"
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by MrMr (219533)
      I think you meant "kids*"
      • by Helen O'Boyle (324127) on Monday June 08, 2009 @07:36AM (#28249273) Journal
        It's the 40th anniversary of UNIX, and probably a day away from the 40th anniversary of the first time a more experienced user saw someone typing at the keyboard of a terminal connected to a UNIX box and thought with a knowing smile (as I did when I saw the find command above), "Oh, I'll bet that guy expects that command will do something different than what it will actually do." [ Optionally suffixed with the second thought, "This'll be fun to watch," or "ZOMG! NO!" in those cases where the mistakes are particularly awkward. ]

        C'mon, you know you've thunk it when watching the less experienced and the preoccupied before. And if you're like most people, you've had the experience of wanting bash or ksh (or csh, so that the BSD guys feel loved) to be a DWIM shell (do-what-I-mean, as opposed to do-what-I-say).

        And probably about one day and 5 minutes from the 40th anniversary of the first time two UNIX users discussed the finer points of quoting in shell commands. ;-)

        /.'s up to EIGHT DIGIT uids now? Wow.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Helen O'Boyle (324127)
          Helen, Helen, Helen... if I've told you once, I've told you dozens of times... DO NOT post to slashdot when you've been up for 24 hours or more.

          Uids are not up to 8 digits. Post id's are, and have been for ages.

          Sigh. It's time for sleep.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      find: my_lawn: Permission denied

      >>>You're too late old man. It's Our lawn now. ;)

      mv /home/old_folks /retirement_home/

    • by Orp (6583) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @02:01PM (#28242685) Homepage

      Bah. Your command would fail. You need to escape the splat just like the semicolon:

      find my_lawn -name kids\* -exec rm -f {} \;

      However -exec is slow. Try:

      find my_lawn -name kids\* | xargs rm -rvf

      Verbose for your kid-removing satisfaction.

      Oh, and happy birthday, UNIX! Without you my career would have undoubtedly been less interesting.

      • Bah. Your command would fail.

        Only if there were files in his current working directory that matched the pattern "kids*". Granted, he should quote because he shouldn't depend on there not being any such files.

      • Without UNIX we wouldn't have:

        • wonderful, cryptic commands like 'ls, cp, rm, mv, etc.
        • awk, sed and Perl ('nuff said)
        • C ('nuff said)
        • silly recursive acronyms like GNU == GNU's Not Unix
        • mv lawn/kids /dev/null
        • old stupid jokes like "unzip; strip; touch; finger; fsck; while do; more; yes; more; yes; more; done; zip"
        • known the answer to the existential question "who am i"?
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward
          Oblig. piggyback whore post: The Unix Hater's Handbook [google.com][PDF warning]!
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Eil (82413)

          wonderful, cryptic commands like 'ls, cp, rm, mv, etc.

          I know you're just going for a +5, Funny, but:

          ls = list
          cp = copy
          rm = remove
          mv = move

          Not so cryptic? They were deliberately intended to be short so that they were easy to remember and easy to type. Rather important details to an administrator like myself who might use them dozens or even hundreds of times each day.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by multi io (640409)

        find my_lawn -name kids\* | xargs rm -rvf

        That'll fail to get a kid named "Joe Lawnmower" off your lawn, but will wipe out all lawnmowers and shoot all people named "Joe", including your grandfather.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Wodin (33658)

        Bah. Your command would fail. You need to escape the splat just like the semicolon:

        Not necessarily. It depends on whether there are files/directories in the current directory that start with the string "kids" (and your shell's globbing rules). If there aren't, then everything works find. If there's only one, things might seem to work, but files/directories in subdirectories will not be found (and therefore removed).

        find my_lawn -name kids\* | xargs rm -rvf

        Which will break if you have spaces or tabs or newlines etc. in your filenames. Use this instead (I hope you have a reasonable version of find and xargs):

        find my_lawn -name

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Vanders (110092)
      Forget the globing, I'm more impressed you can all remember the syntax & quoting rules for -exec.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 07, 2009 @01:31PM (#28242467)

    We need a fresh new operating system like Windows 7.

    • by BrokenHalo (565198) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @02:32PM (#28242937)
      Windows could take on board one thing from From Unix and be a much better product as a result: as David Korn (of ksh fame) says in TFA: "One of the hallmarks of Unix was that tools could be written, and better tools could replace them... It wasn't some monolith where you had to buy into everything; you could actually develop better versions.". Microsoft has a lot to learn. The progress from 1980's DOS to today's offering is pretty sad.
      • by bytesex (112972) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @02:55PM (#28243125) Homepage

        Is that so ? Then why does Mac OS, for example, take a step back when it want to suddenly comply with UNIX ? The philosophy may be there, but the institution's grip is still firm. This is no slap on Mac OS, mind you - anyone and everyone can be silly enough to take -n out of echo for the simple sake of complying with a piece of paper instead of going with the times.

        • by itomato (91092) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @04:46PM (#28243893)

          The Finder is just another app.

          Don't like it? Replace it with Front Row or something else.

          Don't like your shell's interpretation of a POSIX command? Replace it with something else - 'printf' comes to mind.

          There's no Apple-imposed barrier. POSIX -ne UNIX, and POSIX owes much of its shell syntax requirement to ksh interpretation (not pdksh, not tcsh, not bash, and not zsh).

        • by bursch-X (458146) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @11:03PM (#28246583)
          It doesn't suddenly want to comply with UNIX (actually it is a certified UNIX since 10.5), but OS X is just todays version of NeXTSTEP/OPENSTEP which used to be BSD running on top of a Mac kernel. So that made it UN*X in the first place, since 1986. Forget about Mac OS (sans X), that's a dead horse in many ways. What we are looking at now is NeXTSTEP with a different marketing name, which was better than Mac OS to begin with because SJ had the chance to avoid the stupid mistakes done with Mac OS, when he created NeXT
      • by rolfwind (528248) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @05:26PM (#28244215)

        Windows could take on board one thing from From Unix and be a much better product as a result: as David Korn (of ksh fame) says in TFA: "One of the hallmarks of Unix was that tools could be written, and better tools could replace them... It wasn't some monolith where you had to buy into everything; you could actually develop better versions.". Microsoft has a lot to learn. The progress from 1980's DOS to today's offering is pretty sad.

        Does Unix philosophy actually mesh with Unix reality? A reason I ask is because in unix everything is supposedly a file, but there were enough exceptions, such as in networking, that in the seperate Plan9 OS, they sought to really make everything a file. And that by the original makers of unix.

    • by stoffer_k (1562849) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @03:28PM (#28243389)
      Did you notice that since Windows 3 Microsoft keeps adding Unix-like features? Windows 3 did not have _real_ multitasking, it came with WinNT. Windows NT was also a multi-user system, another Unix-like feature. With Windows Vista came the Windows power shell, M$ equivalent of Unix shell. In fact, Unix is an ideal, which Microsoft is approaching in each new Windows release.
      • This actually started before MS got a hold of DOS. QDOS/86-DOS was pretty much a clone of CP/M with UNIX like features.
        • Microsoft got a Xenix license before it developed MS-DOS.

      • by ZorbaTHut (126196) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @06:10PM (#28244607) Homepage

        On the other hand, Linux has been adding Windows-like features for the same period of time . . . like, say, GUIs, and drivers, and hardware acceleration, and programs that end-users want to use.

  • Worth thinking about (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Mannerism (188292) <keith-slashdot AT spotsoftware DOT com> on Sunday June 07, 2009 @01:31PM (#28242471)

    Not a bad retrospective, and interesting in that it illustrates some of the reasons for Unix's success: availability of source, and the ability for the user to create and replace tools easily. One wonders how those lessons might be applied not necessarily to operating systems or even computing, but to other industries and technical endeavours.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by ctmurray (1475885)
      I really liked the link, it really helped me get an overview. These great links are a great benefit of following slashdot.
    • Not a bad retrospective, and interesting in that it illustrates some of the reasons for Unix's success: availability of source, and the ability for the user to create and replace tools easily.

      Exactly. Unix has survived for as long as it has because it was built from, encouraged and profited from a culture of free innovation. Indeed, moreso that its actual code, I would argue that it is this culture that constitutes exactly what is meant by Unix.

      Unix is not just an OS. It is a culture. Indeed, there is really no one "Unix" operating system. Or at least, no one widely used one called "Unix". Linux, BSD, OSX, BeOS, all can be called *nix systems. But what unifies them is not their internal mechanisms or algorithms or standards. What links them is the culture of the people who use them, and who build them. The idea of freely sharing tools, building on the work of others, understanding the whole of the machine, making magic happen with code; that is what Unix really is. You just don't see this kind of thinking in groups using other operating systems.

      It's no surprise that the GPL and open source in general were born from the minds of Unix hackers. In many ways, the GPL only formalises the culture of academic openness, innovation and free sharing of ideas that existed throughout the Unix timeline. It's true that Unix was regarded by Big Corps as a money making excercise, but that's not how hackers saw it. They saw Unix and the programs that ran on it as part of their culture, and more importantly, heritage.

      Unix has become more than source code or a framework. Is a significant part of our society. The norms and customs of Unix hackers have become their own tradition and even law in places. Unix and the hacker culture are a way our society has found to cope with the recent addition of computers, a way that has served well as the they and the internet become more and more pervasive. Like the old traditions and customs that founded our legal and civil systems, the Unix culture has formed the foundation of how we deal with the integration of computers into our lives.

      The culture, traditions and ethics of Unix will probably outlast the lines of source that make up the programs, or the architectures they ran on. I expect Unix and hacker culture, or their descendants, will still be around in another 40 or 400 years, forming the philosophical foundation of a digital age.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Vanders (110092)

        It's no surprise that the GPL and open source in general were born from the minds of Unix hackers.

        RMS had never even used UNIX when he started the GNU project: he was an ITS & Lisp hacker.

      • Yes, I agree that Unix is a culture, but No, it wasn't based on sweetness and light.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by plopez (54068)

      One wonders how those lessons might be applied not necessarily to operating systems or even computing, but to other industries and technical endeavours.

      People forget that is the entire concept behind patents. To further progress by showing others how things work, not by wrapping things up in secrecy. The concept is thus:

      1) You invent something. You can keep it a secret but if some one invents the same thing you have no recourse. You can't say they stole it from you. There is no such thing as a "trade secret

  • 40 is the new 30!
  • by tepples (727027) <tepples&gmail,com> on Sunday June 07, 2009 @01:34PM (#28242491) Homepage Journal

    Unix just turned 40, and Tetris just turned 25 [slashdot.org]. What do they have in common other than closely spaced birthdays? They were both first developed on PDP-11 hardware (Unix on a PDP-11, Tetris on a Russian clone). And they've both been cloned, early and often.

    U.S. copyright explicitly doesn't apply to methods of operation. Title 17, United States Code, section 102(b) [bitlaw.com]. This makes it legal to "clone" a computer program by observing its method of operation. But SCO has tried to use copyright to shut down Unix clones, and The Tetris Company has tried to use copyright to shut down Tetris clones. SCO already lost its case (there is no copyrightable piece of Unix in Linux), but the other case (Tetris v. BioSocia) is still pending.

    And despite Tetris inventor Alexey Pajitnov's expressed disdain for free software [slashdot.org], two servers operated by Tetris (zone.tetris.com and www.tetrisfriends.com) are run using GNU/Linux.

  • by Fished (574624) <amphigory AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday June 07, 2009 @01:47PM (#28242599)
    For those who haven't read it, this book is a GREAT read: A quarter Century of Unix [amazon.com] by Peter H Salus Highly recommended, and once you've read it you'll suddenly understand why a lot of stuff is the way it is. Hat's off to the Best. Operating System. Ever.
  • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @01:55PM (#28242645)

    In honor of Unix's 40th anniversary, at 10:00 tonight there will be a celebratory Launching of the Chairs. It's open to the public, but seats are expected to go fast so you should plan to come early!

    • by 4D6963 (933028)

      In honor of Unix's 40th anniversary, at 10:00 tonight there will be a celebratory Launching of the Chairs.

      The ceremony opened with an impromptu speech by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer during which he declared: "I'll fucking kill UNIX, I've done it before and I'll do it again!".

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 07, 2009 @02:06PM (#28242743)

    http://web.mit.edu/~simsong/www/ugh.pdf [mit.edu]

    "Two of the most famous products of Berkeley are LSD and Unix.
    I don't think that is a coincidence."

  • by Anonymous Coward

    ...there is much greater latency on opening stdout and even a few dribbles after eof.

  • Unix is grand, I consider the open source BSD and GNU/Linux flavors of Unix. But Unix(tm), I could tell that was starting to go downhill when they stopped including full C compiler with system, all of a sudden it wasn't a system one could extend as needed without paying serious coin. Most Unix(tm) meant being locked into one hardware vendor
    • Every Unix I have used included a full C compiler. Maybe not as a default install, but definitely included on one of the CDs.

      • by RLiegh (247921)

        And I'm gonna guess it was probably the same compiler ...gcc.

        What Unix taketh away, GNU giveth back.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by tbuskey (135499)

        SunOS stopped including one by default. You had to purchase it. Solaris has always been that way (IIRC) until SunStudio 11 was made available for free. HP-UX stopped with version 9.x.

        Luckily, gcc was good enough by this time and you could obtain it at a reasonable price from the FSF.

        Linux and the BSDs came out and started getting good enough to displace the other OSen.

  • by krisbrowne42 (549049) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @02:12PM (#28242797)
    Wow... 40 already.

    When I started doing Unix Admin professionally Unix was just turning 30, Linux was poised to take over the Desktop, Mac OS X was just a glimmer of hope, and Sun was the king of commercial Unix.

    When I started using Minix, Unix was only 20, but RMS was kvetching about source code (and Hurd was Coming Soon), BSD had just won it's freedom, and Steve Jobs was doing cool things over at NeXT. Unix was just leaving it's First "Golden Age"...

    Now, at 40, Mac OS X is the most used Unix system, Sun was just bought cheap, most other commercial Unix systems are defunct... But with Android, Pre, and iPhone all putting *nix systems in the palms of millions, Macs selling more than ever, and many companies offering Linux pre-installed in the box, Unix is as relevant as ever.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Gothmolly (148874)

      "Now, at 40, Mac OS X is the most used Unix system".

      I do not think that phrase means what you think it means.

      • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @03:04PM (#28243203)
        If you measure in terms of directly by consumers, yes. Also by number of machines, yes. OS X is the #1 selling Unix machine by number of units. By revenue, no.
      • by mario_grgic (515333) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @03:26PM (#28243373)

        What do you think it means? OS X is certified (by the Open Group) UNIX, and it owns 8% of the desktop market. That's a lot of UNIX machines. Yes, other UNIX OSes dominate on the server (where OS X has no foothold at all), but I doubt there are as many server machines as there are client machines in general.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by krisbrowne42 (549049)

        Let's answer two ways that could be taken... No, I didn't mean Mac OS X is 40, my grammar radar missed that possible interpretation. (Though being a hereditary Unix through NeXT, BSD4.4 and back, it could be considered such)

        By any measure I have seen in the past 5 years, Mac OS X continually shows market penetration 5-8+ times that of Linux, compared to which any other Unix system usage can mostly be considered statistical noise.

        That's not to say they don't have relevance or followers, but when it come

    • by Brandybuck (704397) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @03:18PM (#28243309) Homepage Journal

      ...and Hurd is still "coming soon".

      p.s. The term "GNU/Linux" wouldn't be so repulsive if there actually were a GNU system that Torvalds bastardized by swapping out a kernel. But there is no such beast because Hurd remains unfinished. RMS publicly called the kernel the simplest part of an operating system, yet they still have not finished it.

  • "But they may have come too late to stem a flood tide called Linux, the open-source operating system that grew out of Prof. Tanenbaum's Minix."

    I think this is a bit of embellishment... Linux didn't grew out of Minix. Sure, Minix was useful, but to say that Linux grew out of it it's a bit of exaggeration.

  • by Gothmolly (148874) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @02:47PM (#28243057)

    Every generation has a mythology. Every millenium has a doomsday cult. Every legend gets the distortion knob wound up until the speaker melts. Archeologists at the University of Helsinki today uncovered what could be the earliest known writings from the Cult of Tux, a fanatical religious sect that flourished during the early Silicon Age, around the dawn of the third millenium AD...

    The Gospel of Tux (v1.0)

    In the beginning Turing created the Machine.

    And the Machine was crufty and bogacious, existing in theory only. And von Neumann looked upon the Machine, and saw that it was crufty. He divided the Machine into two Abstractions, the Data and the Code, and yet the two were one Architecture. This is a great Mystery, and the beginning of wisdom.

    And von Neumann spoke unto the Architecture, and blessed it, saying, "Go forth and replicate, freely exchanging data and code, and bring forth all manner of devices unto the earth." And it was so, and it was cool. The Architecture prospered and was implemented in hardware and software. And it brought forth many Systems unto the earth.

    The first Systems were mighty giants; many great works of renown did they accomplish. Among them were Colossus, the codebreaker; ENIAC, the targeter; EDSAC and MULTIVAC and all manner of froody creatures ending in AC, the experimenters; and SAGE, the defender of the sky and father of all networks. These were the mighty giants of old, the first children of Turing, and their works are written in the Books of the Ancients. This was the First Age, the age of Lore.

    Now the sons of Marketing looked upon the children of Turing, and saw that they were swift of mind and terse of name and had many great and baleful attributes. And they said unto themselves, "Let us go now and make us Corporations, to bind the Systems to our own use that they may bring us great fortune." With sweet words did they lure their customers, and with many chains did they bind the Systems, to fashion them after their own image. And the sons of Marketing fashioned themselves Suits to wear, the better to lure their customers, and wrote grave and perilous Licenses, the better to bind the Systems. And the sons of Marketing thus became known as Suits, despising and being despised by the true Engineers, the children of von Neumann.

    And the Systems and their Corporations replicated and grew numerous upon the earth. In those days there were IBM and Digital, Burroughs and Honeywell, Unisys and Rand, and many others. And they each kept to their own System, hardware and software, and did not interchange, for their Licences forbade it. This was the Second Age, the age of Mainframes.

    Now it came to pass that the spirits of Turing and von Neumann looked upon the earth and were displeased. The Systems and their Corporations had grown large and bulky, and Suits ruled over true Engineers. And the Customers groaned and cried loudly unto heaven, saying, "Oh that there would be created a System mighty in power, yet small in size, able to reach into the very home!" And the Engineers groaned and cried likewise, saying, "Oh, that a deliverer would arise to grant us freedom from these oppressing Suits and their grave and perilous Licences, and send us a System of our own, that we may hack therein!" And the spirits of Turing and von Neumann heard the cries and were moved, and said unto each other, "Let us go down and fabricate a Breakthrough, that these cries may be stilled."

    And that day the spirits of Turing and von Neumann spake unto Moore of Intel, granting him insight and wisdom to understand the future. And Moore was with chip, and he brought forth the chip and named it 4004. And Moore did bless the Chip, saying, "Thou art a Breakthrough; with my own Corporation have I fabricated thee. Though thou art yet as small as a dust mote, yet shall thou grow and replicate unto the size of a mountain, and conquer all before thee. This blessing I give unto thee: every eighteen months shall thou double in capacity, until the end of the age." This is Moore's Law,

  • What is scary (or at least very sad) today is that very probably no manager would let a few brilliant programmers to develop their own system during a couple of years: in academia, publishing is much more important that working on a big software system, and in industrial R&D, one could no more work for a couple of years on a brand new software.

    Current managers would look with scare at their spreadsheet and would not let that kind of things happen anymore in 2009, and I still think it is really a pity,

    • Like it or not, most of the key innovations in computers came from monopolies: Xerox, IBM, AT&T. When you have more money than you know how to spend, you can afford letting people play. Why not Microsoft? Although it has had some innovation, MS was never a monopoly in the same league as the other three. Also, there was a lot more low-hanging fruit in the computer world of the 60's and 70's than there was later.

  • Eunuchs (Score:5, Funny)

    by Brandybuck (704397) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @03:24PM (#28243363) Homepage Journal

    Eunuchs® is a trademark of Ball Labs.

  • let there be pipes (Score:4, Interesting)

    by epine (68316) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @03:44PM (#28243517)

    I've encountered bits and pieces of Unix hagiography for the last 15 years, and in all that time, I've internalized that "Multics sucks" (somewhere alongside the virgin birth), yet I can't bring to mind a single reason *why* Multics sucked. Were the Romans really so stupid as they are made out to be?

    From Fernando J. Corbató's 1991 Turing lecture [mit.edu] concerning one of Muttlix's early teething problems:

    The decision to use a compiler to implement the system software was a good one, but what we did not appreciate was that new language PL/I presented us with two big difficulties: First, the language had constructs in it which were intrinsically complicated, and it required a learning period on the part of system programmers to learn to avoid them; second, no one knew how to do a good job of implementing the compiler.

    So, perhaps, not the best suited language for systems programming?
    From Wikipedia:

    The goal of PL/I was to develop a single language usable for both business and scientific purposes.

    Doesn't that vision give your average PHB a throbbing chum? If simplicity is hard, let's scale up the mediocre talent and do sameness instead.

    PL/I was designed by a committee drawn from IBM programmers and users drawn from across the United States, working over several months.

    No sociology experiment from the 1960s was complete without confederates in white shirts. The free-love hippies managed to sneak into the language promiscuous data type conversions.

    Dijkstra summed it up in 1975 with his monograph
    How do we tell truths that might hurt? [virginia.edu]

    PL/I --"the fatal disease"-- belongs more to the problem set than to the solution set.

    God, I love this guy. He's the patron saint of annoying the hell out of people by always being right, and putting a fine point on it. Same monograph includes another famous zinger:

    APL is a mistake, carried through to perfection. It is the language of the future for the programming techniques of the past.

    From Myths about Multics [multicians.org]

    We wrote 3000 pages of the Multics System Programmer's Manual first, while waiting for the PL/I compiler.

    That should strike a painful nerve in anyone who tried to adopt the C++ STL in 1994.

    Ouch. Shipwrecked on the beach of half a programming language, fondling your monads.

    Not half surprising that Thompson ended up carving his own canoe with a pen knife to escape.

  • UNIX! (Score:5, Funny)

    by darth dickinson (169021) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @03:58PM (#28243627) Homepage
    I know this!
  • Old computer languages/systems seem to never die.
  • Unix. [...] what could arguably be called the most important operating system of them all.

    WinNT is the most important OS of them all: they even had UNIX reinvented dozen of times already.

  • I'm a Linux expert, but have never used Macs very much, and now I'm starting to use them more. My question is:

    What is the major difference between Linux and Mac OS X?

    Which one is better?

    My GF's Mac had a kernel panic, and I was going to try to fix it.. I know how to do this with Linux but not macs.. On linux.. I'd boot a kernel of a disk, and mount the fs and check the filesystem or re-install a kernel.. or disable init scripts to find out what the problem is...

    Will it be hard for me to learn OS X? Is it

  • by plopez (54068) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @05:07PM (#28244027) Journal

    because in the end it was easier to make Unix user friendly than it was to to fix Windows :)

    An old joke but it had to be said.

  • by neonsignal (890658) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @07:14PM (#28245113)

    hackers were brave, the stakes were high, terminals were real terminals, floppy disks were real floppy disks and big furry beards from Alpha Centauri were real big furry beards from Alpha Centauri.

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