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

From: Mark Davidson <>
Date: Thu Jan 13 14:31:13 2005

Hi Jim--

On Jan 13, 2005, at 12:12 PM, Jim Leonard wrote:

> 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.

Yes, I remember hearing that... it was certified by AT&T to be
completely free of their code.

>> 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.
Ack... yep, I remember that. I had fond memories as well of learning
"elle", the editor that shipped with the system.

> 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.
Yes indeed... the manual was quite impressive. In fact, I just found a
copy on EBay and put in a bid for it.

Received on Thu Jan 13 2005 - 14:31:13 GMT

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