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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: dmr@alice.att.com (Dennis Ritchie)
Subject: re: UNIX
Message-ID: <11613@alice.att.com>
Date: 14 Nov 90 05:53:03 GMT
Organization: AT&T Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill NJ

I read,

 > 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 this?

Please notify owners of webpages with outdated links to these pages

1 Actually, I have no idea if it was wild or not, this is just a guess.

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© 1993-2001 Christopher C. Taylor