UNIX, a computer operating system used worldwide and foundational to the modern internet, is created by two friends who wanted to play a computer game.
Berkeley electrical engineering graduate student Kenneth Thompson and Dennis Ritchie, a scientist at Bell Laboratories, want to play the computer game “Space Travel” on a dusty old mainframe computer. To do it, the two write a new operating system for the machines. The end result is UNIX, still the industry standard operating system, in various flavors, for workstation and networked computing, and a key component in the internet’s infrastructure. (Peter Hamer photo, via Wikimedia Commons)< Back to previous page