[TUHS] What was your "Aha, Unix!" moment?

Jim Geist velocityboy at gmail.com
Sat Oct 12 03:13:37 AEST 2019

On Thu, Oct 10, 2019 at 4:56 PM Warren Toomey <wkt at tuhs.org> wrote:

> All, we had another dozen TUHS suscribers to the list overnight. Welcome.
> A reminder that we're here to discuss Unix Heritage, so I'll nudge you
> if the conversation goes a bit off-topic.
> So I'll kick off another thread. What was your "ahah" moment when you
> first saw that Unix was special, especially compared to the systems you'd
> previously used?
> Mine was: Oh, I can:
>   + write a simple script
>   + to edit a file on the fly
>   + with no temporary files (a la pipes)
>   + AND I can change the file suffix and the system won't stop me!
> I was using TOPS-20 beforehand.
> Cheers, Warren

As an undergrad in the 80's. Before college most of my experience had been
on various flavors of BASIC, with the one exception being a summer spent at
a science camp where I did Pascal on an Apple ][ and other programming
assignments on VMS.

My college had a big schism between the computer services department that
serviced the whole school -- they ran an IBM 4341 with VM/SP -- and the
actual computer science department that ran UNIX on a VAX-11/780. Undergrad
classes were mostly on the mainframe and grad students used the VAX. I
learned C on the mainframe but was able to talk my way into a UNIX account
and started seeing how much more elegant things were.
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