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1. History and Standards > A Brief History of UNIX and C

A Brief History of UNIX and C

The first UNIX implementation was developed in 1969 (the same year that Linus Torvalds was born) by Ken Thompson at Bell Laboratories, a division of the telephone corporation, AT&T. It was written in assembler for a Digital PDP-7 minicomputer. The name UNIX was a pun on MULTICS (Multiplexed Information and Computing Service), the name of an earlier operating system project in which AT&T collaborated with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and General Electric. (AT&T had by this time withdrawn from the project in frustration at its initial failure to develop an economically useful system.) Thompson drew several ideas for his new operating system from MULTICS, including a tree-structured file system, a separate program for interpreting commands (the shell), and the notion of files as unstructured streams of bytes.


  

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