Essay by KvillePunk21University, Bachelor'sA+, October 2003

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This is a review of Unix that was obtained from www.ugu.com.

Unix is a multi-user and multitasking operating system that was developed in the early 1970's by scientists from Bell Laboratories. Because of federal regulations Bell Laboratories was prohibited from promoting UNIX in the commercial marketplace but instead licensed it to colleges and universities for a low fee. At the schools it was implemented on many different types of computers. After the deregulation of the phone companies in the 1980's UNIX was licensed to many hardware and software companies, which in turn created their own computer architectures and boosted many different strengths and features to suit their customers. In 1984 the concept of* "open systems" was developed which allowed application portability, system interoperability, and user portability between many different computer vendor hardware platforms. *TCP/IP networking protocols were also included to provide a multi-vendor networking capability based on Ethernet networking.

* This included remote login, file transfer, electronic mail, and other important features.

*UNIX is so popular because of its small amount of code written in assembly language that makes it easy for vendors to get it running on their system, the interface allows different types of applications to easily be implemented without writing assembly language, and vendor-independent networking allows users to easily network from multiple systems.

Today UNIX is available for computers of all sizes and is capable of handling a high volume of transactions in a multi-user environment and is able to work with multiple CPUs using multiprocessing. It is also most often used on workstations and servers.

Unix does have some weaknesses, one of which is that it has a command line interference, and many of its commands are hard to remember and use. Some versions of UNIX offer graphical user interface to reduce this problem.