Unix or UNIX?
Line 2238 Comment!
Gallery
 
Acknowledgments
References
Thompson/Ritchie/Kernighan
Literature
Links
 
Legal
Contact

 
Ken spent a year of sabbatical at Berkeley University, and he had a Unix tape with him which he left for the curious Berkeley graduate students. The CSRG at Berkeley did a lot of important contributions to Unix, which was released under the name of Berkeley Software Distribution or BSD. Among these contributions, Virtual Memory, TCP/IP, csh and vi are big things to name...
 
 
Bill Joy
The UNIX standards committees are therefore doing us a great service by slowing down and eventually halting the progress of UNIX.

William H Joy is second generation's Ken. He is a very sharp programmer, very quick in coding, and very bright in thinking.

Bill wrote csh, vi, the vfork(2) system call, and was one of the main people behind the Unix Virtual Memory subsystem. He was one of the cofounders of Sun Microsystems, where he did the first port of BSD Unix to a commercial system, resulting in Solaris 1 which was for years one of the best commercial implementations of Unix around. Solaris 2.x followed as an SVR4 implementation, and after a period of instability it is now again a leader in market.

Bill is Sun's visionary. He was behind the design of UltraSCAPC processors, the Java programming language, and now project JXTA. He is one of the people who make the future, and it looks like his JXTA idea of peer-to-peer communication will be the next generation of Internet.

Bill's home page which is a formal one from Sun but still worth reading...
An Interview on Bill's ideas about peer-to-peer networking.
Why the future doesn't need us: Bill's famous article in Wired magazine.
Wired magazine's interview on wireless, Java and other future waves.
The Joy of Computing: His talk at JavaOne '99 about the way he sees the future of computing.
Bill Joy Encore: Transcript of his TV interview on Digital West.
An early Interview back in '84.
An Introduction to Display Editing with Vi: The original vi paper as appeared in BSD's User Supplementary Documents.


 

Mike Karels
My contribution to that algorithm ... was deleting one line of code.

Michael J Karels took over Bill Joy's responsibilities when Bill left CSRG, and was the system architect for 4.3BSD, the most important BSD release which was the base of the development for a number of commercial Unix flavors available today, including Solaris. This release was introduced to the world in deep detail through the all-time famous book, The Design and Implementation of the 4.3BSD UNIX Operating System, with black cover and smiling beastie. Mike was a CSRG principal programmer for 8 years.

Mike started his contribution to Unix with the 2.9BSD release which was distributed for the PDP-11. While studying for his biology degree, had had access to the department's computer and since the administrator of that PDP did not have enough time he started helping him and then making changes to the system, and in no time he was practically the owner of that computer. When he saw a related job posting for involving with CSRG in the BSD project, he decided to jump in.

Mike worked closely with Van Jacobson on a number of widely accepted algorithms in TCP implementation. TCP slow start and the routing radix tree are probably the most famous ones. Being a very down-to-earth person, Mike spends little time taking credit for this work, and on the other hand, uses every opportunity to mention the names of people who had in one way or other some role or contribution to the TCP/IP implementation in Unix.

Later, Mike moved to BSDi (Berkeley Software Design, Inc) and architected BSD/OS which was, for years, the only commercially available BSD style Unix on Intel platform. BSD/OS is a very reliable OS platform architected for Internet services.

BSDi software asset was bought by Wind River in April 2001, and Mike joined Wind River as the Principal Technologist for the BSD/OS platform where he still works on BSD/OS.


 

Kirk McKusick
I am proud to have had the opportunity to help pioneer the Open Source software movement.

Marshal Kirk McKusick is the man behind UFS, the Unix Filesystem. His design and implementation for a fast filesystem for Unix was a major improvement over the original one implemented at Bell Labs, and was introduced in 4.2BSD.

Kirk received his masters degree and PhD from UCB while he worked with CSRG on BSD releases. He worked pretty hard to make the final release of 4.4BSD when the University abandoned the funding for the projct, and at the same time he put a lot of time and energy in the AT&T vs. UCB case on releasing the BSD source code.

Kirk kept and keeps doing training and consulting on internals of the Unix kernel. He currently has two courses which are taught once every couple of years at UCB and are also available on video tape, and are very informative to anybody who wants to know what's going on under the hood.

Kirk has a specific interest in fine food and fine wine. He has a unique wine collection at home...

Kirk's web site which he runs at home, and has a lot of information about BSD and also him, as well as items for sales which BSD fans find quite interesting.
20 Years of Berkeley Unix: A detailed history of Berkeley Unix, including all the releases and also the famous lawsuit.


 

Sam Leffler
BSD Unix (you name it - there's a good chance it's my fault)

Sam Leffler did a lot of contributions to the networking code in BSD. Specifically, he's the one who figured out how the socket interface was really supposed to work for iterative servers, so that the accept(2) system call returns a new socket every time it returns with a client connection. His design made it possible to write numerous TCP servers as we know today, including telnetd, ftpd, and httpd.

Sam later left CSRG and moved to Lucasfilm and then Pixar, where he developed RenderMan, a phenomenal distributed/parallel graphics rendering software used in a number of productions, including the first feature-length computer generated animation movie, Toy Story.

He then worked for a while at SGI as a researcher, where he developed libtiff, a widely used free library to manipulate TIFF images on Unix. Sam also developed FlexFax, later renamed to HylaFax, a package for sending fax on Unix. If you want to read well-written C++ source code (which is hard to find), HylaFax is for you!

He later moved to VMWare, and finally started an independent business with some other folks, errno.com.

Sam's home page which probably is not very up to date, but gives you an idea as to what he has done...


 

Keith Bostic
At the CSRG ... everybody went into a room with a whiteboard, shut the door and in 20 minutes ... we had a direction in which to proceed.

Keith Bostic was and is an energetic programmer. He worked with CSRG on 4BSD releases, and in addition to the general release issues has did specific work on vi (nvi) and the Berkeley db package.

If it was not because of Keith, the free redistribution of BSD source would not have happened. He inspired a lot of people to write code to replace the AT&T source code, and the more he encouraged people the less he took credit for it. Those who are familar with Chinese philosophy know find that his work examplifies Tao.

Keith now runs sleepycat.com, where he promotes Berkeley db with APIs for all kinds of platforms, including Java and Windows. He has a very interesting licensing scheme: As long as you release your source code you can use db for free. Otherwise you have to pay a license fee. Fair, isn't it?

Keith's home page, Not much about himself, but links to works and publications.


 

 

Primary Bell Labs people       Other Bell Labs people       Other key contributors

@(#)bsd.html 1.9, last modified 03/10/15.  © unixica.com.