4.2BSD Daemon

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The original 4.2BSD daemon, done in black and white, appeared on the cover of the 4.2BSD manuals published by the Usenix Association. The story of how it came to be colorized follows.

The inspiration for this shirt started at a ritual midnight breakfast one dark midwestern winter night in 1989. A group of Kansas State University folks (Brett McCoy, Tim Ramsey, Brick Verser, and several others) decided to design a UNIX T-shirt for themselves. At this time, these individuals were probably the only people with any system-level expertise in UNIX, and they just wanted a shirt that publicly stated their affection for the UNIX system. Most computer users at the university prior to 1990 used MS-DOS and VM/CMS almost exclusively. The group decided to combine the new daemon that appeared on the cover of the 4.3BSD book with the older daemon that appeared on the 4.2BSD manuals. Brett McCoy started by scanning the cover of one of the 4.2BSD manuals, converting the TIFF image to a Sun raster file, then using touchup under Sunview to edit the image, adding the sneakers and cleaning the picture up. With a few dozen printed copies of this black-and-white daemon and a supply of colored pencils from the local art-supply store, the team returned to the place where the idea was born and colored the pictures until they came up with the color scheme that they liked. Their favorite entry was given to a local company that makes up screens for printing T-shirts. The initial design had a total print run of about 40 shirts.

In 1992, James Hu started a Computer Science Club. An idea he had for a fund raiser was to sell these T-shirts. A committee was formed to rework the design and to secure necessary permissions to use the daemon. The new design was a slightly cleaned-up daemon (the shirt shown is the this new design) and the text was changed to read ``BSD UNIX(R)'' so that the daemon would not be associated with AT&T. For amusement, a License/Warranty was added on the back of the shirt. It was composed for the most part by John ``Dudley'' Hunkins to reads as follows: ``This shirt is provided ``AS IS'' with NO WARRANTY, either expressed or implied. Any damages incurred from wearing this shirt are the sole responsibility of the wearer. The wearer should be prepared to briefly explain hundreds of times what BSD and UNIX mean. The wearer should also note that this shirt is NOT flame retardant, bullet-proof, or associated with ANY toll free 800 numbers. Modifications to the shirt are allowed as long as this notice, and the UNIX trademarks remain intact. The shirt owner may freely allow others to wear this shirt within the expressed terms and limitations of this license.''

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