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I, Gene Michael Stover, created the first Phil in 1997 while on a software development assignment in which I had to write a suite of many medium-sized & small programs & in which one of my requirements was ``If we point to it, your programs have to run on it''. And they had a lot of different Unices in-house that they could point to: two versions of HP/UX, a few Solarises, a dozen different Linux distributions (some of which have never been fully identified), & two ancient versions of Lynx.

I've since re-written Phil, completely from scratch, for my own use & improved it. As of April 2001, it occured to me that someone else might find it useful, so I decided to publish it as open source software.

Gene Michael Stover 2002-02-14