/sys/doc/ Documentation archive

Face the Nation by Rob Pike and David L. Presotto

Digitized images of the faces of members of AT&T Bell Laboratories' Computing Science Research Center, and of many of their electronic mail correspondents, are stored in a network `face server' accessible from the Eighth Edition machines at Murray Hill. The faces decorate line printer banners, announce the arrival of mail, and perform a variety of other Information Age services. The face server is implemented as a variant of the network file system, so the images are stored on one machine but appear to be regular files in the file systems of all the machines on the network. This method of presenting the information is attractive for databases with inherent structure, as it permits standard Unix system utilities to access, manipulate and maintain the database.