All, I got this e-mail forwarded on from John Fox via Eric S. Raymond.

Cheers, Warren

Hi Eric, I think you might find this interesting.

I have a 2001 copy of your book. I dog-eared page 9 twenty years ago because of this section:

It spread very rapidly with AT&T, in spite of the lack of any formal support program for it. By 1980 it had spread to a large number of university and research computing sites, and thousands of hackers considered it home.

Regarding the "spread", I believe one of the contributing factors was AT&T's decision to give the source code away to universities. And in doing so, unwittingly provided the fertile soil for open source development.

I happen to know the man who made that decision. He was my father-in-law. He died Tuesday. He had no idea what UNIX was, and had no idea what his decision helped to create. Funny when things we do have such a major impact without us even knowing. That was certainly true in this case.

Anyway, I thought you'd be interested to know. His name is John (Jack) H. Bolt. He was 95.

PS, before making the decision, he called Ken Olson at DEC to see if he'd be interested in buying it, lock, stock, and barrel. Jack's opening offer was $250k. Olson wasn't interested. And on that, Jack's decision was made.

John Fox