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Book details of 'A quarter century of Unix'

Cover of A quarter century of Unix
TitleA quarter century of Unix
Author(s)Peter H. Salus
PublishedJune 1994
PublisherAddison-Wesley Pub Co
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The Virtual Bookcase Reviews of 'A quarter century of Unix':

Reviewer Rob Slade wrote:
A good history of UNIX is long overdue, and what better time to rectify such an error than on the twenty-fifth birthday of the OS. Salus' account is quite UNIX-like: powerful, concise and interesting--but the reader had better come prepared with (a) some background, or (b) persistence in digging out between- the-lines information. As Salus points out, the story of UNIX has affected all current operating systems. It is therefore no surprise that the stories of UNIX involve a veritable who's who of the computer world. What *is* surprising is the lack of referents to tie these people to their current positions. Peter Neumann is credited with the original name of UNICS (UNiplexed Information and Computing Service, a pun on "emasculated MULTICS"). Peter Neumann is possibly best known as the moderator of the RISKS-FORUM Digest. (There could be two Peter Neumanns, of course--but there couldn't be two such punsters.) This lack of rigour in identifying the players extends to the tales, themselves. Not necessarily a bad thing; few will care whether the "Standard DEC OS" was never installed on any PDP-11 or only on that one, and other similar ambiguities; but perhaps frustrating to future historians. Indeed, Salus makes little attempt to pin down actual occurrences: where two or three stories conflict, he just puts 'em all in. This is a very thorough backgrounder in terms of the range covered. The early days of computer operating systems are covered, as well as the birth of UNIX, itself. The UNIX community and the various commercial interests get space. The utilities and communications tools are brought in, as well. Although rather too much knowledge is assumed on the part of the reader for full understanding, any novice should be able to enjoy the book.

Reviewer Koos van den Hout wrote:
The history of the Unix operating system, with the great names, the people who made things possible and the choices once made which still influence the system today.

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