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* [TUHS] Coastal cultures, collaboration, creativity and Sun vs DEC.
@ 2022-01-11 18:36 Dan Cross
  2022-01-11 18:45 ` Larry McVoy
                   ` (2 more replies)
  0 siblings, 3 replies; 21+ messages in thread
From: Dan Cross @ 2022-01-11 18:36 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: TUHS main list

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I've been meaning to ask about this for a while....

"... The reason why is because there was tremendous antagonism between New
York and L.A. L.A. was, you know, full of color, full of acid, full of
hippies, and we were not like that.

We dressed in black and white. We did not like free love. ..... We took
amphetamine; they took LSD. They were, you know, sort of loving and happy,
and we were - we weren't really evil, we were more intellectual, more about

[Mary Woronov, in an interview with NPR's Terry Gross on "Fresh Air",
talking about New York City, Warhol's Factory and shows in Los Angeles
while touring with the Velvet Underground:]

Note: I am not suggesting that anyone involved with Unix ever took
amphetamines, nor, despite the usual crack about LSD and BSD, that anyone
on the west coast was taking acid, though Markov's "What the Dormouse Said"
would indicate that many of you WERE tripping.

It seems like Unix is largely a child of the coasts. Notable work in Utah,
Colorado and Chicago aside, it seems the bulk of early Unix work happened
in either the greater New York metro area in northern New Jersey or the
greater Bay area around San Francisco. Notable work was also done in
Massachusetts, but again, that's a coastal state and I think it's fair to
say that most of that was inside the route 128 corridor. Of course work was
done internationally, but I'm particularly curious about differences in US
culture here, and how they influenced things.

The question is, to what extent did differences in coastal cultures
influence things like design aesthetics? I think it's is accurate to
characterize early BTL Unix by it's minimalism, and others have echoed this
(cf. Richard Gabriel in the "Worse is Better" papers). But similarly, BSD
has always felt like a larger system -- didn't Lions go as far as to quip
about the succinctness of 6th Edition being "fixed" by 4BSD?

Anyway, I believe it is fair to say that early Unix has a rather distinct
feel from later BSD-derived systems and the two did evolve in different
geographic locations. Furthermore, the world was not as connected then as
it is now.

So to what extent, if any, was this a function of the larger cultural
forces at play near where that work was taking place?

        - Dan C.

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^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 21+ messages in thread
* [TUHS] Coastal cultures, collaboration, creativity and Sun vs DEC
@ 2022-01-12  3:38 Douglas McIlroy
  0 siblings, 0 replies; 21+ messages in thread
From: Douglas McIlroy @ 2022-01-12  3:38 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: TUHS main list

> most, if not all of these things were after I arrived.

That may indicate the youth of the narrator more than  a lightening of
the culture. Some practical jokes and counter-culture customs from an
earlier day:

When I joined the Labs, everyone talked about the escapades of Claude
Shannon and Dave Hagelbarger--unicycle, outguessing machines, the
finger-on-the-switch box, etc.

When John Kelly became a department head he refused to have his office
carpeted. That would have kept him from stubbing out cigarettes on the

Bill Baker may have worn a coat and tie, but he kept a jalopy in his
VP parking space. Another employee had a rusty vehicle with weeds
growing out of the fenders.

As early as 1960 BESYS began appending fortune cookies to every
printout. The counter where printouts were delivered got messed up by
people pawing around to see others' fortunes.

One day the audio monitor on the low bit of the 7090 accumulator
stopped producing white noise (with an occasional screech for an
infinite loop) and intoned in aTexas drawl, "Help, I'm caught in a
loop. Help. I'm caught in a loop. Help  ..."

A pixelated nude mural appeared in Ed David's office. (Maybe this no
longer counts as a prank. It is now regarded as a foundational event
in computer art.)

Ed Gilbert had a four-drawer filing cabinet labeled integers,
rationals, reals, and balloon. The latter held the tattered remains of
lunchtime hot-air experiments. He also had a chalkboard globe with a
world map on it. It sometimes took several spins before a visitor
realized that you really shouldn't be able to see all the continents
at once--the map appeared twice around the circumference of the globe.

CS had a Gilbert-and-Sullivan duo, Mike Lesk and Peter Neumann, who
produced original entertainment for department parties.


^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 21+ messages in thread

end of thread, other threads:[~2022-01-13 19:57 UTC | newest]

Thread overview: 21+ messages (download: mbox.gz / follow: Atom feed)
-- links below jump to the message on this page --
2022-01-11 18:36 [TUHS] Coastal cultures, collaboration, creativity and Sun vs DEC Dan Cross
2022-01-11 18:45 ` Larry McVoy
2022-01-11 18:50 ` John Floren
2022-01-11 19:34 ` John Cowan
2022-01-11 20:17   ` Rob Pike
2022-01-11 20:25     ` George Michaelson
2022-01-11 20:44       ` Rob Pike
2022-01-11 20:57         ` Jon Steinhart
2022-01-11 22:17         ` John P. Linderman
2022-01-11 22:41           ` Andrew Hume
2022-01-12  0:15             ` Rob Pike
2022-01-11 22:14       ` Theodore Ts'o
2022-01-13 15:44     ` Dan Cross
2022-01-12 23:15   ` Greg 'groggy' Lehey
2022-01-13  1:34     ` Adam Thornton
2022-01-13 15:37   ` Dan Cross
2022-01-13 16:32   ` Bakul Shah
2022-01-13 16:48     ` Richard Salz
2022-01-13 17:20       ` Bakul Shah
2022-01-13 19:56         ` John Cowan
2022-01-12  3:38 Douglas McIlroy

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