||This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. (May 2012)|
- This article is about TRIPOS, the operating system. For the name given to undergraduate degree subjects by Cambridge University, see Tripos.
|Company / developer||University of Cambridge, University of Bath, MetaComCo, Open G I|
|Programmed in||BCPL, Assembly language|
|Supported platforms||PDP-11, Computer Automation LSI4, Data General Nova, Motorola 68000, Intel 8086, Cintcode BCPL (VM)|
TRIPOS (TRIvial Portable Operating System) is a computer operating system. Development started in 1976 at the Computer Laboratory of Cambridge University and it was headed by Dr. Martin Richards. The first version appeared in January 1978 and it originally ran on a PDP-11. Later it was ported to the Computer Automation LSI4 and the Data General Nova. Work on a Motorola 68000 version started in 1981 at the University of Bath. MetaComCo acquired the rights to the 68000 version and continued development until TRIPOS was chosen by Commodore Amiga in March 1985 to form part of an operating system for their new computer.
 Influences on the Amiga computer
In July 1985, the Amiga was introduced, incorporating TRIPOS in the AmigaDOS module of AmigaOS. AmigaDOS included a command line interface and the Amiga File System. The entire AmigaDOS module was originally written in BCPL (an ancestor of the C programming language), the same language used to write TRIPOS.
The most important TRIPOS concepts have been the non-memory-management approach (meaning no checks are performed to stop programs from using unallocated memory) and message passing by means of passing pointers instead of copying message contents. Those two concepts together allowed for sending and receiving over 1250 packets per second on a 10 MHz Motorola 68010 CPU.
TRIPOS was ported to a number of machines, including the Data General Nova 2, the Computer Automation LSI4, Motorola 68000 and Intel 8086- based hardware. It included support for the Cambridge Ring local area network. More recently, Martin Richards produced a port of TRIPOS to run under Linux, using Cintcode BCPL virtual machine.
TRIPOS is still actively maintained by Open G I Ltd. (formerly Misys Financial Systems) in Worcestershire, UK. Many British insurance brokers have a Motorola 68000 based (and latterly Linux/Intel based) TRIPOS system serving either Qume terminals or Qume terminal emulators over a Telnet style TCP/IP connection - the systems are used to run Open G I's BROOMS Application suite. Open G I have added a number of features to support the modern office such as the ability to print to Windows/SAMBA or HP JetDirect printers, and XML Integration services.
- The TRIPOS Operating System, M. Richards, October 1988.
- Reference manuals
- Martin Richards' Cintpos page
- A brief informal history of the Computer Laboratory
- In the beginning was CAOS