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[ih] What is the origin of the root account?

On Thu, Apr 11, 2013 at 4:27 PM, Miles Fidelman
<mfidelman at meetinghouse.net> wrote:

> Do I recall correctly that at least one of the early "reference
> implementations" was written for Unix, with portions of it remaining in BSD
> Unix to this day?

Yes, and no.  I know because I wrote, debugged, and made functional
the first implementation of TCP for Unix, as part of the projects
which Vint had BBN doing at the time.   It was based on the TCP which
Jim Mathis at SRI had recently written for the MOS environment, whose
only relationship to Unix was that they both ran on PDP-11 processors.
 I still have a listing of my TCP code, dated March 30, 1979 and
recording the important fact that at the time the moon was at New Moon
 plus 2 days, 11 hours, 27 minutes, and 40 seconds.   The TCP was
written in Macro-11, and running on a sadly underpowered PDP-11/40.
It was used in the first "TCP Bakeoff", battling with other
implementations - Bob Braden's on the 360, Dave Clark's on Multics,
Bill Plummer's PDP-10, etc.  I know there were other people involved
at different sites, but I can only remember (some of the) ones who
came to the meeting.  There must be some old IEN that documented that.

However, none of that first Unix TCP code could possibly be in BSD
today, unless BSD is somehow running PDP-11 assembly code.   Al Nemeth
and Mike Wingfield were involved in subsequently writing TCP for the
11/70 Unix environment, and Rob Gurwitz for the Vax.   Rob's code
might have survived in some form in BSD, but you'd probably need some
fancy digital DNA testing to determine that.  John Sax did TCP for the
HP-3000 - but I can't recall if that was Unix or not.

That Unix TCP was my first assignment as a new employee at BBN.  I had
not heard of TCP.  I had seen someone at MIT using Unix, and watched
for a few minutes, but I was unable to decipher the gibberish on the
screen or understand the arcane commands being typed.   I had never
used a PDP-11/40.   I had never heard of MOS.  And I didn't know a lot
about networking below the layers of email and such.

So of course I was perfectly qualified for the job!

/Jack Haverty