UNIX | Stettner’s Giveaway Plate | Metal Stamped Replica License Plate
The Bell Labs UNIX License Plate is produced as seen on the thousands of giveaway plates that were created as the result of an idea by Armando Stettner to have unique swag to promote Digital Equipment Corporation and Unix. It is reported that the plate was actually a geek joke revolving around licensing. In the 80s, you needed to acquire a license to run Unix. Once that license was obtained, you had to acquire the bits and that sometimes meant even more licensing was needed. Armando Stettner would give the plate away as a joke to customers when they asked him for a Unix license, aside from the thousands given away more generally at conferences. These plates became known as the ‘geek license plate’ and are found in programmers’ offices, universities, other countries, and even in the Smithsonian!