All 4 books by Edward Tufte now in
paperback editions, $100 for all 4
Visual Display of Quantitative Information
Envisioning Information
Visual Explanations
Beautiful Evidence
Paper/printing = original clothbound books.
Only available through ET's Graphics Press:
catalog + shopping cart
All 4 clothbound books, autographed by the author $150
catalog + shopping cart
Edward Tufte e-books
Immediate download to any computer:
Visual and Statistical Thinking $2
The Cognitive Style of Powerpoint $2
Seeing Around + Feynman Diagrams $2
Data Analysis for Politics and Policy $2
catalog + shopping cart
Edward Tufte one-day course,
Presenting Data and Information
Arlington VA, June 5, 6
Bethesda MD, June 8
Seattle WA, July 11, 12
Portland OR, July 14
Denver CO, July 17
Minneapolis MN, August 15
Chicago IL, August 17, 18
Click here for more information about ET's course and to register.
History Of Unix Chart

-- Frank Miller (email)

It is indeed an elaborate chart, and entirely useless. There is no indication of what the various branching arrows mean (if they even mean the same thing each time), and there are even some insanely confusing arrows that curve back on themselves (Like in Feb 92). There is a suggestion in the design that the vertical axis contains some sort of information, but I have no idea what it signifies.

Starting with something I knew about (the mach/NeXt/MacOsX lineage) I was able to decipher somewhat what it meant, and that the thick colored lines weren't any different than the others except that they were significant to the designer. Making them a different weight makes it seem like they are parents to these other lines though, and that was a lot of my confusion.

Adding insult to injury, there is a multi-page version that breaks it down into completely uninterpretable segments, and the key to those segments is gratuitously included in the complete chart, with certain segments highlighted in red seemingly at random. I wouldn't dream of allowing anyone to see this chart if it was my work. I was going to highlight this here as one of the worst charts I have ever seen, but someone already started the thread.

-- Phelps (email)

This chart is also factually incorrect. SCO has re-written history in order to bolster their case in the lawsuit against IBM, and their chutzpah is truely astonishing.

It is basically just propoganda. I know I'm getting off-topic, but one of SCO's favorite tactics is to spread documents like this around, and hope that the assumptions in them are not questioned. Do a google news search on SCO if you are interested in knowing more.


-- David Person (email)

I thought the chart made sense, I think, at least to a large extent. I am lost on some details. I am not certain of the value or usefulness of it, but then I am not immersed in UNIX these days.

However, I am most distressed that I do not understand why this chart was posted. Did the originator have a question? A point? A suggestion for improvement? A suggestion for generalization, so that the design could be borrowed, or stolen, for other applications?


-- Kent Karnofski (email)

I posted the chart originally, I came across it within a slashdot discussion. I thought it was interesting, althought quite busy. It reminded me of the Rock and Roll history poster I've seen elsewhere, although not as elegant.The previous poster who commented that it is SCO propaganda and revisionist may be correct, I don't know. I thought it was worth posting to see what others thought of it.

-- Frank Miller (email)

I know I'm getting off track here, but here is a link to an earlier chart that was altered by SCO to enhance their claims, according to others on slashdot. Just as bad...

-- Frank Miller (email)

A fantastic example of all that is wrong with PowerPoint and what happens when you put it in the hands of skilled FUDmeisters like the current kings of misinformation, SCO, was their 2003 PPT presentation. For a detailed analysis of the presentation, see this link:

I realize that by making this contribution, I may be making a "denunciation of the foolishness of others", but I think there is quite a bit to learn here.

-- Reynold Dodson (email)

History Of Unix Compared to History of Linux

1969 1980 1985 1990 1995 1999 2001 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 index
Preview page 1 Preview page 2 Preview page 3 Preview page 4 Preview page 5 Preview page 6 Preview page 7 Preview page 8 Preview page 9 Preview page 10 Preview page 11 Preview page 12 Preview page 13 Preview page 14 Preview page 15 Preview page 16 Preview page 17 Preview page 18 Preview page 19 Preview page 20 Preview page 21 Preview page 22 Preview index

-- Niels Olson (email)

The main link for the broken images in Niels post above is:

It is a remarkable 22 page timeline which, while a little cluttered (and ugly) is quite clear and seems accurate. It can be downloaded in Postscript, PDF or plotter-suitable eps files.

I first blogged about it in 2003, but it is currently up to date for 2007, so the author (Eric Levenez) is obviously keeping it up to date.

-- Mark Aufflick (email)

Threads relevant to software: