[ih] Unix vs. Multics (was - Re: what is and isn't the web, was Rise and Fall of the Gopher Protocol)

Miles Fidelman mfidelman at meetinghouse.net
Mon Aug 22 14:13:22 PDT 2016

On 8/22/16 4:03 PM, John Klensin wrote:

> On Mon, Aug 22, 2016 at 12:35 PM, Noel Chiappa <jnc at mercury.lcs.mit.edu> wrote:
>>      > From: Dave Crocker
>>      > On 8/22/2016 8:00 AM, John Day wrote:
>>      >> Unix is of course a castrated Multics.

Well, certainly a pun on the name.

Just for the heck of it, I tried to track down an authoritative source 
for the general statement that Unix is a pun on Multics.

Wikipedia reports:
"The name Unics (UNiplexed Information and Computing Service, pronounced 
as "eunuchs"), a pun on Multics (Multiplexed Information and Computer 
Services), was initially suggested for the project in 1970: the new 
operating system was an emasculated Multics. Peter H. Salus credits 
Peter Neumann with the pun,[17] while Brian Kernighan claims the coining 
for himself, and adds that "no one can remember" who came up with the 
final spelling Unix.[18] Dennis Ritchie also credits Kernighan.[16]"

[with the citations left on wikipedia]

I also found this:

> Message-ID: <4743 at Aucbvax.UUCP>
> Newsgroups: fa.unix-wizards
> Date: Wed Oct 28 00:22:45 1981
> Subject: Origins of unix
> From: unix-wizards
> >From ihnss!karn at Berkeley Tue Oct 27 23:06:04 1981
> At the January USENIX meeting, Dennis Ritchie emphatically denied
> that "Unix" was derived from "castrated MULTICS".
> Phil

And, of course, the classic Dilbert: http://dilbert.com/strip/1993-11-09

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.
In practice, there is.  .... Yogi Berra

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