Tag Archives: UNIX

Building DIR/ECT II

In 1975, when I was 37, I got my first and only job at Bell Labs which was not research. Bell Labs had written, a long time before, an elaborate software system, named DIR/ECT, used in printing white pages phone … Continue reading

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Building UNIX

UNIX was born from the ashes of the MULTICS project at Bell Labs. Although many people involved in MULTICS contributed to UNIX, it really was the creation of one brilliant software designer: Ken Thompson. As discussed in my previous blog post, Bell … 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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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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How Good Luck Led to My Software Career

Have you thought about the role that luck (good and bad) has played in your life? While planning this blog I realized something I’d not seriously thought about before: in the two years between September 1953, when I was 15, … Continue reading

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