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POS 420 Week 1 DQs

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POS420: DQ’s for Week 1
Discussion Question 1 - Week 1 (Saturday):
How old of an operating system is Unix?
The story of how UNIX came to be is a long, but interesting tale. During
the mid-1960’s, the first multi-user operating system called Compatible
Time-Sharing System (CTSS) was created by Fernando Corbato at the MIT
Computation Center. Although CTSS was highly influential for its time, it
eventually failed, but not before a second generation operating system called
Multiplexed Information and Computing System (MULTICS) was
developed. MULTICS was started as a joint research project with AT&T
Bell Laboratories, General Electric, and MIT, but due to the high
maintenance costs associated with it, AT&T Bell Laboratories pulled out.
Two of the individuals working on the MULTICS project, Ken Thompson
and Dennis Ritchie, had written a computer game (Space Travel) on the
MULTICS system and were able to transfer it to a PDP-7 computer. By
1969, the file system and a set of basic utilities was created and because the
operating system could only support one user, the name Uniplexed
Information and computing System (UNICS) was given to it as a joke for the
MULTICS system. When multiprocessing functionality was added a short
time later in 1970, the UNICS name was changed to UNIX. So, to answer
the question, UNIX is over 40 years old.

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