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

Robert Brockway robert at timetraveller.org
Mon Oct 14 01:00:43 AEST 2019

On Fri, 11 Oct 2019, Warren Toomey wrote:

> All, we had another dozen TUHS suscribers to the list overnight. Welcome.

Well I've been on this list for 13 years (just checked) but I'll jump in.
I've mostly lurked with probably less than 13 comments total.

> 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?

I had run Microware OS-9 as a teenager which is somewhat Unix like so some 
commands were familiar to me from the outset, but my Unix ahah moment is 
almost embarrassingly simple.

I was trying to arrange to meet with a fellow student during 2nd year at 
University to work on a project.  It was 1992 so neither of us had a 
calendar readily available.  I turned to the dumbterm in front of me and 
said "If Unix had a calendar command I think it would be 'cal'".  I typed 
cal and when it worked I realised I found Unix so much more intuitive than 
other OSes I had used in the past.

I used Unix at university for the next couple of years, installed Linux at 
home in 1994 and a year later I founded a Unix user group[1].  At the 
first meeting I hoped we wouldn't run out of things to talk about.  I had 
a lot to learn.

[1] Which is still going to this day.  http://www.humbug.org.au.


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