Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A bit more of history...

Well, I wrote about a post in which Rob Landley explains how directory hierarchy within Unix is actually artefact of the shortcoming of the available technology in a specific point in time. And, what's more interesting, not technology in general but in this case creators of Unix didn't have larger disks available to them!

Today, I stumbled on another post, (also here and see here about password "problem" in general) which describes, probably, the first password hack. But reading that post I learned several more things. First, how mail was actually invented before Internet, but also I have read a more detailed history of CTSS system. CTSS was very influential operating system and precursor to Multics, another very influential operating system. I think that knowing at least Multics, could be regarded as a basic knowledge of anyone calling himself a computer scientist or anything similar.

It was also interesting to read how people that made mail were afraid of US postal service. Basically, they thought that this could be regarded as a competition to regular postal service and that they could be fined. I believe that US Postal Service, as well as AT&T, were unimaginable monopolies from today's standpoint. Nevertheless, the same situation was similar in Europe, too. This became clear to me while reading a book about Internet history. First, the fact that AT&T didn't think ARPANet will ever work and thus were not interfering, actually helped ARPANet a lot. On the other hand, Franch PTT actually killed CYCLADES network that had all prerequisites to become the first true Internet.

And while I'm at mail, it is widely regarded that the first spam was sent in 1978, but according to the post about mail, first spam message was an Vietnam anti-war message sent by a MIT engineer who abused his privileges in order to be able to send a message to everyone.

All this, very influential operating systems, electronic mail service, Internet, spam, all that happened in the MIT during 60ties and 70ties. Somehow I wish I had a chance to take part in that, but then again, we still have a chance to do something else. :)

For the end, have you ever wondered when the term device driver was invented? Here is an explanation. Also, here are descriptions of early C compilers and a history of C programming language.

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scientist, consultant, security specialist, networking guy, system administrator, philosopher ;)

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