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Unix at 50: How the OS that powered smartphones started from failure | Ars Technica

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This is a fun read on the early history of Unix. Consider the 50 years of Unix in two ways. it’s truly amazing that every smartphone you see is powered by a Unix-based system that started 50 years ago, that the technology has lasted that long. On the other hand, consider that it’s taken five decades for the combined intelligence of software developers to create a Unix kernel that is as stable as what we have today.

The rest has quite literally made tech history. By the late 1970s, a copy of the operating system found its way out to the University of California at Berkeley, and in the early 1980s, programmers there adapted it to run on PCs. Their version of Unix, the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD), was picked up by developers at NeXT, the company Steve Jobs founded after leaving Apple in 1985. When Apple purchased NeXT in 1996, BSD became the starting point for OS X and iOS.

Writing an operating system is not for the faint of heart.

Posted on September 5, 2019

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