Unix Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything


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A beaver sitting at a typewriter

Unix is a computer operating system designed to enable computers of various types to run applications and share resources.

Years of development, thousands of lines of code, and millions of man-hours have been spent on creating a piece of software; which, in the final analysis, spends much of its time displaying a text-based user interface which a blind wombat could have designed with more flair.

Unix was designed primarily to make it easy for clever people to do many clever things. As a result, it is also easy for stupid people (most of us) to do a vast amount of stupid things ... and sysadmining a Unix network is like babysitting 50 weasels in a sweet shop.

Unix was originally designed by AT&T in 1969, and subsequently developed into numerous variations, such as 'Linux' (created by Linus Torvalds). Linux was released at no charge as an alternative to the overpriced operating systems available commercially.

The whole Unix shebang has led to the phenomenon of the 'Unix Guru'1; the 'Unix Evangelist', and the 'Unix Groupie'2.

1One who knows far too much about Unix to be able to resist growing a beard.2A technological neophyte who, on finding a Unix Guru, hovers hopefully around their terminal hoping to absorb the mystical ability to hack into the DSS and up their benefits, hack into the Pentagon and take over the world, write perl scripts without the aid of narcotics, or read their boss's e-mail.

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