Re: Sorry, but...

From: TheBoss <>
Date: 16 Jan 2012 23:54:24 GMT
Message-ID: <Xns9FDD9395EFD7TheBossUsenet_at_194.109.133.133>

Noons <> wrote in news:jf11or$has$

> Mladen Gogala wrote,on my timestamp of 16/01/2012 3:49 PM:

>> I would say it was the best I have ever worked with. It certainly
>> beats MVS. I used to hate working on 3278 terminals with passion,
>> even with TSO. 

> I used to work with a sales rep who thought TSO stood for
> Technical Support Organisation
> .
> .
> .
> MVS was horrible from the user interface point of view. Very
> efficient otherwise. TSO was a grafted-on after thought.
> The best by far was VS9 from Sperry (ex RCA Spectra). True virtual
> memory. Files were treated same as memory. And the file system was the
> closest thing I've ever seen to ASM, with volume groups and spanned
> files! Then again, it had a proper upbringing with Dijkstra himself
> having been involved in the original.

I think you are mistaken here, Dijkstra was involved deeply with the Burroughs Corporation, as you know the "SYS" part of UNISYS :-)

After building the very first compiler for Algol-60, Dijkstra headed a project a couple of years later (1965-1966) to write a full/fool proof operating system for the EL-X8, the successor of the EL-X1 he already had worked with on the Mathematics Centre in Amsterdam. Now also a professor at "Technische Hogeschool Eindhoven" (my Alma Mater, called Eindhoven University of Technology these days), the operating system was named just: "THE Multiprogramming System". What was remarkable about it, except for its well-thought of multi-layered architecture, was the fact that most of it was designed and programmed before the target hardware (the EL-X8) was even available! [one of the reasons Dijkstra stressed the necessity of proving mathematically the correctness of every single (sub)program].

< >
< >
< >

During that same timeframe, Dijkstra got involved with Burroughs because of their stack based computers that were optimized for Algol-60. He had a very hard time convincing the THE Board to buy a Burroughs machine (I think it was a B6500). During the early 70's I had the privilege of following Dijkstra's classes on Structured Programming etc., at that time he more or less had rebuild (with students!) the THE system for the B6700, iirc it was called MULTHE by then. In 1973, Dijkstra joined Burroughs as its Research Fellow (while staying a professor at THE).

< > < >  

> I recall using a VS/9 (Univac 90/70) system with a crt terminal in the
> mid-70s at the ministry of the interior in Portugal, during my uni
> days. At a time when punched cards ruled! VS/9 used crt terminals
> almost from day one, back in the late 60s!
> OS1100 (Exec II, later EXEC 8, then OS1100) was very easy to use with
> the same control language for both batch and interactive - night and
> day from TSO and didn't need a separate product for the crt interface
> - and very efficient. But Sperry never knew how to market it against
> IBM so it died - much later, after the whole lot became Unisys.
> Actually I think they still market a Clearpath IX series, a
> derivative/evolution of the 2200 series.
> The "Uni" in Unisys comes from the original "Univac".

VS/9 was a Sperry rename of RCA's original TSOS operating system. Around 1975, German manufacturer Siemens offered an enhanced version of TSOS called BS2000 (Betriebs Systeme 2000) for its own line of mainframes. While VS/9 got dumped in the early 80's, BS2000 is till in use (as BS2000/OSD) at several European companies.


Received on Mon Jan 16 2012 - 17:54:24 CST

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