Category Archives: Rudd’s Blog

More Teaching Computing

In my last post I talked about teaching Jim how to program using my favorite language, Ruby. Rather than focusing on the syntax and semantics of the Ruby language we are focusing on how to design and build software. There … Continue reading

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Teaching Computing

Recently a friend of mine (I’ll call him Jim – not his name) asked me to teach him how to write computer programs. Since my current favorite language is Ruby, I suggested that he start with one of the Ruby … Continue reading

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Machines I Have Known

The first machine I ever programmed was a UNIVAC 1, in 1957, as an undergraduate at Harvard. Although I did not know it at the time, Sperry-Rand Corporation had  given this machine to Harvard the previous year. Apparently not even … Continue reading

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Inventing a Database Server

A colleague of mine at Bell Labs, A. (Tax) Metaxides, was chair of the CODASYL task group on database management. He had been trying to interest people in the idea of using a specialized computer to do database management as … Continue reading

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How UNIX Came to Be

MULTICS suffered from second system syndrome. That’s a good thing, because the failure of MULTICS inspired us to create UNIX. As I’ve discussed in a previous post, when I assembled a team to build a time-sharing system the project was criticized … Continue reading

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How C Came to Be

One of the most important things to come from Bell Labs computer science research was the C language. Here is how it happened. In my previous post I tell how I came to join the computer science research department at … Continue reading

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How I Beat and Joined MULTICS

I have found that the best way for me to advance my software career is not to try to advance it, not to make plans for the future, but just to find work that I really enjoy doing and do … Continue reading

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Building Software Then and Now

The tools we use to craft software have changed radically since my first job, but the art remains much the same. Today it is not unusual for a 26 year old to hire and lead a team of programmers. In … Continue reading

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Boring Software Job Becomes Bold Adventure

It’s a very good thing that my first job after graduate school was boring, because that boredom led me to take a bold step to fix it. My boring software job turned into an adventure and my most enjoyable job. … Continue reading

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How I Learned to Love UNIX

Sometimes the confluence of several events, no one of which is significant, can lead to profound consequences. This happened to me in college and graduate school, where the combination of seven events led to my role in co-inventing UNIX. As … Continue reading

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