Boston Linux & UNIX was originally founded in 1994 as part of The Boston Computer Society. We meet on the third Wednesday of each month at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in Building E51.

UNIX, Linux, and BSD: A Look Back (again)

Date and Time

Wednesday, April 15, 2009 from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm


MIT Building E-51, Room 395


Clem Cole


Clem discusses the history of UNIX, Linux and BSD


Clem discusses the history of UNIX, Linux and BSD. This will include Unix development in the 1970s, through its commercialization in the 1980s and Open Source movement. He will also discuss the how it spread through the academic world.


Clem Cole has been a leader in the computing industry with over 25 years of systems development experience ranging from small (4 bit) microprocessors to mainframes. He was a early player in the move to distributed computing and was heavly involved in developing the industry's first commercial multi-processor system, the first real-time UNIX system, as well as the first UNIX-based workstation. He has published numerous papers and is a frequent speaker at technical conferences. Most recently, he chaired the program for the Freenix 2001 Conference in Boston. He holds the usual degrees from the usual institutions.

Like Tom, Clem is also a lapsed old school hacker and ``Open Sourcerer.'' He too first encountered the Fifth and Sixth Editions of UNIX while a student, writing a variety of device drivers, kernel enhancements, writing microprocessor support tools for the early 4 and 8 bit microprocessors, even working on an early hardware description language (ISPS) using VAX serial #1. Post his undergraduate work, he joined Tektronix's Computer Research Group and helped develop one the earliest TCP/IP implementations and along with developing an OS (Magix) for an engineering workstation (Magnolia).

He then went back to school, and upon completing his graduate work, he joined Masscomp -- where he met up with Tom. Clem was one of their early OS developers and led the original data communications group. Following that, Clem was the original OS lead for Stellar Computer, afterwards he became an independent consultant. One of his more lasting legacies was to be part of the ``jump start team'' at OSF. He went on to become the Chief SW Engineer for the Boston office of Locus were he helped to architect and develop their distributed cluster technology: TNC. With the sale of Locus, Clem became a Sr Consulting Engineer at Digital, working on Alpha-based technology. A number of years post the ``Compaq-tion'', he took his current position as VP of Engineering for Paceline Systems.

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