How the Mac was born... supposedly...

From: Jim Leonard <>
Date: Thu Jan 13 14:12:22 2005

Mark Davidson wrote:
> Also, and I know this sounds picky, but it's not "Coherent Unix"... it's
> "Coherent". It has NO AT&T code in it. The Mark Williams Company wrote
> most of the code themselves, and eventually added support for X Windows
> before the company folded. Even the C compiler was theirs (and if I
> remember correctly, they had a great C compiler for Intel chips).

You are absolutely right; it was indeed called just "Coherent". I added the
Unix as a reminder as to what Coherent was. As for no AT&T code, you are also
100% right, and in fact I believe either K or Ritchie himself (can't remember
which one) came to MWC offices to verify it.

> I had many happy months working with Coherent in those days (back when a
> "real" port of Unix would cost thousands of dollars), and was sorry to
> see it go.

Yes, our founder made the fatal mistake of investing in X when he probably
should have spent the money on a working TCP/IP implementation.

The manual, if you can grab a copy, remains one of the very best Unix manuals
in existence. It is extremely well-written by Fred Butzen, and is extremely
comprehensive in not only the options to various commands but (more
importantly) Unix design concepts. It was great for total beginners; in fact,
I remember toward the end that Linux users were ordering Coherent just to get
the manual, because Linux documentation in 1994 was nearly non-existent.
Jim Leonard (          
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Received on Thu Jan 13 2005 - 14:12:22 GMT

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