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Old 12-03-2018, 09:20 PM   #1
1337_powerslacker
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50th anniversary of UNIX


It has recently come to my realization that 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of UNIX. I think it relevant that some remarkable facts regarding its long life be pointed out, and in connection with that, why Slackware owes its awesomeness to both UNIX and Linux.

If we accept the old-school definition of hacking as making something do what it wasn't designed to do, then UNIX is the ultimate hackers' dream OS.

UNIX started its life on an underpowered minicomputer, the PDP-7. If we compare its capabilities (and indeed, the culture of the time) to what we accept as normal today, several things become apparent:

Unix wasn't designed to:
  • Run a GUI
  • Do modern gaming
  • Run on supercomputers
  • Run on personal computers
  • Run on multi-core PCs
  • Run on tablets and smartphones (via Android)

NOTE: Note the word modern. Gaming has been a part of the computing scene since the 60s, but I'm referring to gaming as we know it today.

UNIX was developed by the community for the community's needs, and as those needs evolved, UNIX was taken along for the ride.

Linux brought to the table some new, innovative concepts:
  • It merged with the advent of the Internet to create a new style of collaboration, a worldwide sharing of talent that would otherwise not have been possible.
  • It merged with the vast collection of GNU tools to create a complete OS, free for the downloading (legally, I might add).

Of course, the problem of package management remained to be solved, but that has been well-documented elsewhere.

Slackware didn't bring any new concepts to the table. Rather, it retained some time-proven concepts:
  • Style of development: the same person who started it 25 years ago is still in charge, doing what he did then; oversee personally its development and evolution.
  • Retain init system: What worked well for decades has been left alone, and still does the job for which it was originally designed.
  • Manual system administration: It is up to the user to maintain his/her system according to personal style.

I think it a personal privilege and honor to be able to leverage the millions of man-hours that have been invested into UNIX/Linux/Slackware and run it on my personal machine. I to those who personally invested time and energy into making Slackware, its roots firmly in Linux, and Linux's roots firmly in UNIX, the awesome OS it is today.
 
Old 12-04-2018, 03:30 AM   #2
kikinovak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1337_powerslacker View Post
UNIX started its life on an underpowered minicomputer, the PDP-7. If we compare its capabilities (and indeed, the culture of the time) to what we accept as normal today, several things become apparent:

Unix wasn't designed to:
  • Run a GUI
  • Do modern gaming
  • Run on supercomputers
  • Run on personal computers
  • Run on multi-core PCs
  • Run on tablets and smartphones (via Android)
I'm old enough to occasionally appreciate the simple and yet astonishing fact that I'm running a Unix clone on my home computer, without ruining myself. Here's a short history of Unix and Linux I've written in French.

Cheers,

Niki
 
2 members found this post helpful.
Old 12-04-2018, 01:11 PM   #3
EdGr
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My first exposure to UNIX was with Version 7 UNIX in 1982. 40 undergraduate students trying to compile and run their programs on a DEC PDP-11/70 made for a miserable user experience.

However, UNIX was very powerful and had sound design principles. It could be extended to perform all modern computing tasks. Advances in hardware and software technology turned the user experience into a pleasant one. Today, I can throw dozens of compile and run jobs at my high-end desktop PC and it won't even bog down.

I commend Slackware for adhering to the UNIX design principles. In many ways, Slackware is the heir to the UNIX legacy. Slackware users may not realize this, but you are running modern UNIX.
Ed
 
7 members found this post helpful.
  


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