Unix Lab at Bell Disbanded, Bye bye Dept 1127

In 1969, UNIX was created at Bell Labs.

For decades, the source of the AT&T dialect of UNIX
came from the researches of workers in department

When the "Baby Bells" split from "Ma Bell," department 1127 survived. When
AT&T and Lucent split, 1127 survived.

But the new reorg at Bell Labs finally breaks up what’s
left of 1127 entirely. Theory people will go to one place,
systems people to another, I’m told. I’m not sure what happens
to those who fall in neither camp. There was no malice, so far
as I can tell — just an administrative reorg forced by recent
cutbacks and layoffs and departures that left the whole research
area with too many managers and too few researchers.

Ken Thompson retired to California.
Brian Kernighan is a Professor at Princeton.
Doug McIlroy is a Professor at Dartmouth.
Rob Pike and Dave Presotto and Sean Dorward are at Google.
Tom Duff is at Pixar.
Phil Winterbottom is CTO at Entrisphere.
Gerard Holzmann is at NASA/JPL Lab for Reliable Software.
Bob Flandrena is at Morgan Stanley.

To the best of my knowledge, Dennis Ritchie and Howard Trickey
remain, enisled.

A former employee at 1127 remarked:

"My take is that 1127 probably reached Schiavo status when Rob, Presotto,
et al. fled west to Google.
"But it’s still sad to see the final demise, both of a
particular institution and as a further nail in the coffin
of the sort of research environment Bell Labs once represented."

That may be the worst effect. DEC Labs are gone. XEROX PARC
transmogrified into "Palo Alto Research Center Inc." on 4 January
2002. It’s a waning of research potential.

Ave atque vale, guys. "And thanks for all the fish."

Peter H. Salus

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