From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Computing (Rated Start-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Computing, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of computers, computing, and information technology on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.


JOSS on JOHNNIAC from Rand Corportation is not mentioned as an early time-sharing system. When I was working on the design of the APL\360 supervisor with LMB, JOSS was quite influential. Also there was a PDP-1 based time-sharing system at MIT written in 1961 which should be included.Rdmoore6 03:39, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

Please feel free to add something about them. Speaking personally, I'm always interested to see information added by people who actually worked with the early time-share systems. We already have an article on JOSS and it would be good to link it with this article. As for the PDP-1 system, I'm sure a little information on it would be worthwhile, if we don't already have something. -- Derek Ross | Talk 05:03, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

First mention[edit]

In the proceedings of the 1954 MIT Summer Session on "Digital Computers - Advanced Coding Techniques, page 16-2, it says, "John Backus said that by time-sharing, a big computer could be used as several small ones; there would need to be a reading station for each user." This is the earliest reference to the idea of time-sharing a computer that I have seen in print. This proceedings is available here: Paul McJones (talk) 20:27, 24 June 2010 (UTC)

Right enough. This demonstrates that the concept was known to the inner circle of computer pioneers by 1954, although it would have been difficult or impossible to implement on contemporary computers. However I don't think that those proceedings would count as public dissemination. Only a very few people would have seen them. -- Derek Ross | Talk 06:21, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
I think they count, it was published. John Backus was thus knowingly the first who mentioned the concept of time-sharing publicly. How many people could access the publication, and how many accessed it, doesn't really matter. Everyone with enough interest could likely in a way or another obtain that paper also.Eiusmod (talk) 22:26, 29 June 2016 (UTC)

John McCarthy did not "leave to work on Project MAC," he left MIT for Stanford and became a professor there in 1962, before Project MAC was started. (See Wikipedia). McCarthy's Reminiscences On The Theory of Time-Sharing are no longer online at Stanford but can be found at . Teager and McCarthy presented a paper titled "Time-Shared Program Testing" at the ACM meeting in August 1959.

McCarthy, Teager, Corbato, Minsky and other MIT professors were active in advocating time-sharing in the late 50s/early 60s. Corbato, Daggett and Daley were the implementers of CTSS, which was demonstrated in 1961. Project MAC began with two man parts: the AI Lab and time-sharing research. The time-sharing research part began by using CTSS at the MIT Comp Center, and then Project MAC obtained its own IBM 7094 and there were two installations running CTSS at MIT. Time-sharing research was initially focused on finding out what one could do with time-sharing. There was a Summer Study at MAC in the summer of 1963, where computer scientists from many organizations experimented with CTSS. By 1965, Project MAC had set up plans to build Multics, a new OS, using CTSS as the development tool.

Thvv (talk) 21:54, 9 December 2013 (UTC)

Stanford batch processing video[edit]

Does anyone know where I might find the video referenced in the section under batch processing? ("Programmers at the universities decried the inhumanist behaviors that batch processing imposed, to the point that Stanford students made a short film humorously critiquing it.") Google gives me nothing.

The section implies that the video was an example of the movement that led to the birth of human-computer interaction as a discipline, so it would be nice if we could have a link to it somewhere. Mariojv (talk) 18:39, 5 October 2011 (UTC)


Is the increase in scientific-based programs like SETI@Home or LHC@Home considered "cloud computing" (and thus not deserving of mention) or should this maybe me mentioned as a form of modern time sharing? Alucardtepes (talk) 19:37, 26 September 2014 (UTC)

No interrupts?[edit]

This text is questionable:

"Throughout the late 1960s and the 1970s, computer terminals were multiplexed onto large institutional mainframe computers (Centralized computing systems), which in many implementations sequentially polled the terminals to see whether any additional data was available or action was requested by the computer user. Later technology in interconnections were interrupt driven ..."

First hardware interrupts were on UNIVAC I in 1951, designed by the same guys who made ENIAC, these were only for overflow though. IBM 709 introduced in 1958, had hardware interrupts for I/O, almost all computers produced since 1960 had hardware interrupts, including IBM 360 mainframe computers. Or maybe some additional polling was meant by that, but this text gives an impression that these computers had no interrupts at all.

In time-sharing systems like CTSS, the input from consoles was written in the buffers in the supervisor, by interrupts, then when a return character was received, the control was given to the supervisor that dumped the running code and decided what to run next. This is how time-sharing system is implemented, it is difficult to see how can it be made in another way. Also mainframe computers in the 1960's and 1970's mostly had no time-sharing and run all in batch mode, because there were no successful time-sharing operating systems for IBM 360/370.Eiusmod (talk) 05:17, 30 June 2016 (UTC)

Huh? CP/CMS followed byVM/370, MTS? I think the text confuses BTAM 3270s, which were polled. Peter Flass (talk) 16:46, 30 June 2016 (UTC)