Dennis Ritchie

Mike Wright mike.wright at
Thu Oct 13 20:10:28 UTC 2011

On 10/13/2011 12:42 PM, Joe Zeff wrote:
> On 10/13/2011 12:32 PM, Andre Robatino wrote:
>> Andre Robatino<robatino<at>>   writes:
>>> The return value is undefined without the return statement.
>> Although looking at my copy of K&R 2, the early examples don't include the
>> return statement either (it's used later, though).
> IIRC, Unix was first designed to run on machines with very limited
> memory.  Assigning a value that wasn't going to be used would have been
> regarded as a waste of resources in those days.

Guaranteed.  Worked at Nat Semi back in the mid 70s and a state of the 
art, 1 bit by 1 k, static, 1 uSec response time, cost 2 bucks.

An old copy of Byte from August, 1980 show an ad for 64KB RAM MEMORIES 
at the low price of only $750.00.  The same issue talks about how 
different groups tried to minimalize object code sizes, and the 
differences they were scrabbling over were measured in bytes.

More information about the users mailing list