[TUHS] 2018: eighteen months to the Unix 50th anniversary

George Michaelson ggm at algebras.org
Wed Jan 10 15:23:04 AEST 2018


I'm probably a bit of a simpleton about this stuff. I feel like my
engagement with UNIX has been a succession of mind-blown moments.

1978: shown a piped command. mind blown. What.The.Holy.Hell. I cannot
understand this. I entered the room with punched cards. How does this
even work.

1979: shown how to write macros. mind blown.
This.Is.Not.A.Program.This.is.a.meta.program. What reads this? a pre
processor. whats that. mind officially blown. I cannot understand.
WHERE IS MY CODE

1981: made to read about the design of the IBM 360 monotonically
rising clock. mind blown. How.Can.Every.Computer.Not.Have.Had.This.
What does time even mean? what is negative time? Whats the granularity
of time? I DONT UNDERSTAND WHY I DONT UNDERSTAND

1982: I start work on systems where I have su privilege and can change
the time. Mind blown I.Can.Tell.Lies.About.Time How come? How come
there isn't some magic once-only pass through hardware abacus
rat-in-a-cage machine I can't lie about ITS ALL LIES mind blown.

1984: I start doing NTP and see emails from Dave Mills. Mind blown.
He.Is.Not.Typing.English.As.I.Understand.It.This.Is.The.Goon.Show mind
blown. But.. in a good way. People can make fun of themselves and
write real code? Time is fuzzy? Time has properties? People are
thinking about 2039? Mind blown. I don't even believe I will be alive
in 2039 given "star wars" and "protect and survive"

I really like 1/1/1970. its been like a constant in my life. If it
turned out to be 1969 I'd be ok but I have to say.. a bit .. somewhere
inside.. a small squirrel inside Searles  'chinese box' is saying...

   mind... blown...


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