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Richard... this one is wierrd!!!

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  • CYMM
    ... From: Daevid Vincent To: SVLUG Date: Thursday, August 31, 2000 3:38 PM Subject: [svlug] UNIX, C Hoax ... prank
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 31, 2000
      -----Original Message-----
      From: Daevid Vincent <DayWalker@...>
      To: SVLUG <svlug@...>
      Date: Thursday, August 31, 2000 3:38 PM
      Subject: [svlug] UNIX, C Hoax

      > T h e V O G O N N e w s S e r v i c e
      >VNS TECHNOLOGY WATCH: [Mike Taylor, VNS Correspondent]
      >===================== [Littleton, MA, USA]
      >COMPUTERWORLD 1 April
      >In an announcement that has stunned the computer industry, Ken Thompson,
      >Dennis Ritchie and Brian Kernighan admitted that the Unix operating system
      >and C programming language created by them is an elaborate April Fools
      >kept alive for over 30 years. Speaking at the recent UnixWorld Software
      >Development Forum, Thompson revealed the following:
      >"In 1969, AT&T had just terminated their work with the GE/Honeywell/AT&T
      >Multics project. Brian and I had just started working with an early release
      >of Pascal from Professor Nichlaus Wirth's ETH labs in Switzerland and we
      >were impressed with its elegant simplicity and power. Dennis had just
      >finished reading 'Bored of the
      >Rings', a hilarious National Lampoon parody of the great Tolkien 'Lord of
      >the Rings' trilogy. As a lark, we decided to do parodies of the Multics
      >environment and Pascal.
      >Dennis and I were responsible for the operating environment. We looked at
      >Multics and designed the new system to be as complex and cryptic as
      >to maximize casual users' frustration levels, calling it Unix as a parody
      >Multics, as well as other more risque allusions. Then Dennis and Brian
      >worked on a truly warped version of Pascal, called 'A'. When we found
      >were actually trying to create real programs
      >with A, we quickly added additional cryptic features and evolved into B,
      >BCPL and finally C. We stopped when we got a clean compile on the following
      >for(;P("\n"),R-;P("|"))for(e=C;e-;P("_"+(*u++/8)%2))P("| "+(*u/4)%2);
      >To think that modern programmers would try to use a language that allowed
      >such a statement was beyond our comprehension! We actually thought of
      >selling this to the Soviets to set their computer science progress back 20
      >or more years. Imagine our surprise when AT&T and other US corporations
      >actually began trying to use Unix and C! It has taken them 30 years to
      >develop enough expertise to generate even
      >marginally useful applications using this 1960's technological parody, but
      >we are impressed with the tenacity (if not common sense) of the general
      >and C programmer. In any event, Brian, Dennis and I have been working
      >exclusively in Pascal on the Apple Macintosh for the past few years and
      >really guilty about the chaos, confusion and truly bad programming that
      >resulted from our silly prank so long ago."
      >svlug mailing list
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