The Creation of the UNIX* Operating System
After three decades of use, the UNIX*
computer operating system from Bell Labs is still regarded as one of
the most powerful, versatile, and flexible operating systems (OS) in
the computer world. Its popularity is due to many factors, including
its ability to run a wide variety of machines, from micros to
supercomputers, and its portability -- all of which led to its
adoption by many manufacturers.
Like another legendary creature whose name also ends in 'x,' UNIX
rose from the ashes of a multi-organizational effort in the early
1960s to develop a dependable timesharing operating system.
The joint effort was not successful, but a few survivors from
Bell Labs tried again, and what followed was a system that offers
its users a work environment that has been described as "of
unusual simplicity, power, and elegance...."
The system also fostered a distinctive approach to software
design -- solving a problem by interconnecting simpler tools, rather
than creating large monolithic application programs.
Its development and evolution led to a new philosophy of
computing, and it has been a never-ending source of both challenges
and joy to programmers around the world.
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