Review: The History of Unix Video

Hi everyone! If you have been following my blog for a while, you will know how much I love computers. I recently watched this video about the history of Unix and decided to write a short post about it. It’s a one hour presented by Rob Pike who joined Bell labs and worked on Unix in the 70’s. I got to know about the video via Hacker News (you should definitely follow it if you don’t!).

The video is basically a personal history of Rob Pike and how he came from Canada to the United States and joined Bell Labs, where he worked with Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie, Brian Kernighan and the rest of the group on Unix. It is a really great refresher on how the Operating System developed over time and how the revolution came about from punch card programming to actual programming on screens.

Some of the facts which stood out for me which I did or did not know before watching this presentation:

  1. Some of the people who worked on Unix at Bell Labs joined Google later on and worked on Go Lang.
  2. History of the Ed text editor.
  3. Good educational material (books and documentation) are equally important in making a piece of software gain popularity as is good coding.
  4. You don’t necessarily need to be a good software engineer in order to make a big contribution in the world of tech. Good writing skills and the ability to break down and explain the working a complex piece of program to laymen is super important as well.
  5. The story about how the various derivative of Unix (Linux, Solaris, OpenBSD etc.) came about and their licensing.

If you love learning about Computers and Operating Systems you should definitely watch this video. If you know of similar videos please share them with the rest of us in the comments below.

If you have read this far let me give you another suggestion. If you haven’t already, you should watch the AlphaGo documentary which talks about DeepMind, Go and Neural Networks.

Have a good day!



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