In Their Own Words: Unix Pioneers Remember the Good Times

–by Julie Sartain, Network World; August 19, 2013 06:02 AM ET

Network World: We caught up with the pioneers who brought us the Unix operating system and asked them to share some memories of the early days of Unix development.

Unix co-developer Ken Thompson worked at Bell Labs from 1966 until he retired in December 2000. He recalls this prank:

“The Unix room was on the sixth floor at one end of Bell Labs. The cafeteria was on the ground floor about a quarter of a mile away. There were dozens of ways to walk to lunch. You could pick one of four or five staircases and any segment of the six floors. One day, we were walking through the fourth floor, which was being renovated. It looked like a bombed out city. The walls and ceilings were open with pipes and wires hanging everywhere. I noticed that there were, what looked like, speakers throughout the ceiling. I had always wanted to tap into the Bell Labs PA system and thought this was a perfect chance.”

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At night, I examined the speakers more closely and discovered …

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