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Written by Ken Thompson in 1969 in dec pdp7 machine code as a tool for doing research in computer science, this operating system is still doing this valuable job.

After the development of the C programming language in 1973, it's developer, Dennis Richie rewrote unix in this language, forever breaking the link between the operating system and the hardware it was written on.

Built on the principle of lots of little tools being put together to do big jobs, this philosophy allows lots of the system to get faster every time someone improves any part of it.

Due to a very good decision right at the start, you already have standards for source code, as the entire system is designed to be source code compatible, so that you can just compile code on a different system, and it will work with hardly any modification.

Because of beurocratic problems, this system has had various partially incompatable versions developed, meaning that you now have to have a deliberate move towards integrating the BSD and AT&T strains to get some commonality in methods for high level work.

One set of standards is the posix standards, while another group are working on the Single Unix Specification.

There have also been various open source versions of unix created, including OpenBSD, FreeBSD, FreeNET, and Linux.

last modified 15:31 2004/03/19