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The Unix System: Making Computers Easier to Use – 1982
This 23-minute film about UNIX was designed for students with an interest in engineering, math, computer science or other sciences. The film was made available to the public in December 1982. It covers different ways that UNIX could be employed practically in a computing environment. Another film about UNIX released at the same time, “The UNIX System: Making Computers More Productive,” was aimed at computer science majors and corporate trainees, and presented a more detailed discussion of the UNIX system and its various applications.
Hosted by Victor Vyssotsky in a Carl-Sagan-esque turtleneck sweater, this film includes Dennis Ritchie, one of UNIX’s inventors, along with Bell Labs staffers and programmers Brian Kernighan, Catherine Ann Brooks, Lorinda Cherry, Alfred Aho, Nina Macdonald, and John Mashey.
Dennis Ritchie and Ken Thompson started work on what would become UNIX originally in 1969. They developed it to run on a DEC PDP-7 to begin with; it would eventually be ported to other computers. By 1976, UNIX was used in more than 30 Bell Labs groups, and there were UNIX installations at over 80 universities.
Footage Courtesy of AT&T Archives and History Center, Warren, NJ