An illustrated tour of Unix history

Unix pioneer Rob Pike was there from the start, physically transporting key elements of the "Toronto distribution" of Unix to Berkeley when he started grad school, and then to Bell Labs, working alongside Dennis Ritchie and other key Unix programmers to develop and refine everything from modern editors to compilers to windowing systems.

His hour-long "illustrated memoir" of the deep history of Unix is delightful, touching on the people and institutional forces that shaped the operating environment that has come to dominate modern computing (he even gives a mention to Cardiac, the cardboard computer that shaped my own computing life).

And beyond being fascinating, this is also very funny: those early pioneers were very playful and prone to pranking each other in ways that remain very relatable, even all these years later. Pike is a very good presenter, and his Zelig-like presence at so many key moments in our shared digital history makes this a tale worth telling, and watching.

(via Four Short Links)

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