[RndTbl] The early days of Unix

Gilbert E. Detillieux gedetil at cs.umanitoba.ca
Sun Apr 17 17:04:22 CDT 2005

According to Peter C.J. Graham:
> 75 pre-dates both Gilbert and myself, I believe but there certainly
> was a PDP 11/45 here in the late 70's. I'm not sure what whether the
> original 11/45 was around in 75. Might just have been someone who was
> interested but didn't have hardware yet. Gilbert, do you know if Doug
> was active with Unix at that time?

My earliest recollection, and earliest contact with the department of
Computer Science, is from the spring of 1978, when I came for an open house.
I saw the Norpak graphics system as well as some other demos, which I later
learned made use of the PDP 11/45, behind the scenes, running UNIX Sixth

By the time I started working (part-time) for the department, late in my
first year of study, in 1980, the PDP 11/45 was still running UNIX 6ed.
One of the first tasks that my brother and I undertook, when we were put in
charge of administering that machine a year later (summer of 1981), was
upgrading to UNIX 7ed, which had been released in 1979, and which had
been purchased and was (sadly) sitting on the shelf for almost two years.

I have no knowledge of specifics pre-1978, but I'm quite sure the PDP had
been around for a few years already, so it's quite possible that UNIX 6th
edition (released May 1975*) had been purchased for it, or in anticipation
of using it at a later date.

According to Bill Reid:
> > John,
> > 
> > Thanks for the URL. That list which includes U of M was a 1975 Unix mailing list 
> > not a list of Internet nodes. The U of M did not become an Internet node until 
> > 89-90.

And one of my first tasks after going to work full-time for the department,
in the fall of 1989, was to get our systems Internet-ready.

> > Gilbert were you at the U of M in 75?

I'm not _that_ old!  ;)

> > I think Computer Science ran Unix on a PDP in the early days.

Yes, they did, but I'm not sure how far back the "early days" go in this

* History of UNIX / Linux and other variants

Gilbert E. Detillieux		E-mail:	<gedetil at cs.umanitoba.ca>
Dept. of Computer Science	Web:	http://www.cs.umanitoba.ca/~gedetil/
University of Manitoba		Phone:	(204)474-8161
Winnipeg, MB, CANADA  R3T 2N2	Fax:	(204)474-7609

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