History of Operating Systems on PDP computers - DEC

This is a discussion on History of Operating Systems on PDP computers - DEC ; Over the past few years I have been working on a timeline of operating systems which can be found here:- http://www.oshistory.net/metadot/ind...tegory;op=show A large part of the early history of operating systems was taken up by the PDP series of machines. ...

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Thread: History of Operating Systems on PDP computers

  1. History of Operating Systems on PDP computers

    Over the past few years I have been working on a timeline of operating
    systems which can be found here:-

    http://www.oshistory.net/metadot/ind...tegory;op=show

    A large part of the early history of operating systems was taken up by
    the PDP series of machines. I have tried to pull this together in the
    timeline and you can find this information in the second quarter of
    the diagram.

    I have been expanding the DEC and PDP side of things and now have a
    more in depth list of OSes found on early PDP machines which can be
    found here :-

    http://www.oshistory.net/metadot/ind...tegory;op=show

    But I know I have missed some (i.e.OSes for PDP-5 and PDP-6 are
    missing)

    Thanks for your help

    Paddy


  2. Re: History of Operating Systems on PDP computers

    UnderMine wrote:

    > I have been expanding the DEC and PDP side of things and now have a
    > more in depth list of OSes found on early PDP machines which can be
    > found here


    One thing you should note, esp for DEC systems, is which OS came from
    DEC and which were developed by customers or distributed through DECUS.

    The earliest operating systems for DEC machines weren't developed at
    DEC. There was no "PDP-1 OS" in 1962. At least two timesharing systems
    were developed by BBN and Stanford for the PDP-1. The earliest 'monitor'
    software from DEC would be "DECSYS", which was developed on the PDP-4
    as a DECtape file system.

    You also appear to be missing the entire 18 bit product line prior to
    1970, including the F/B and Advanced Monitors for the PDP-9, backported
    to the PDP-7

    Most of the surviving documentation for early DEC system software is on
    http://bitsavers.org/pdf/dec/

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  3. Re: History of Operating Systems on PDP computers

    UnderMine wrote:
    http://www.oshistory.net/metadot/ind...tegory;op=show
    >
    > But I know I have missed some (i.e.OSes for PDP-5 and PDP-6 are
    > missing)


    http://www.ultimate.com/phil/pdp10/tops-10

    Includes the monitor for the PDP-6

    Many minicomputers (including those from DEC) weren't used with anything other
    than paper tape on a teletype for bootstrapping, so many don't have an "Operating
    System" per se. They just bootstrapped directly to the application.

    An "Operating System" or "Monitor" doesn't start to appear until there was
    some form of mass storage (magtape, DECtape, disc, drum) attached to the system
    capable of storing multiple programs. This was a long time in coming since these
    devices were often as expensive as the computer itself. DECtape was one of the
    first "low cost" block-addressable storage devices.

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  4. Re: History of Operating Systems on PDP computers

    Al Kossow wrote:
    > The earliest 'monitor'
    > software from DEC would be "DECSYS", which was developed on the PDP-4
    > as a DECtape file system.


    Here are the details resulting from Bob Supnik's efforts getting DECsys
    to run on SIMH

    http://simh.trailing-edge.com/docs/decsys.pdf

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  5. Re: History of Operating Systems on PDP computers

    In article <45df00e4$0$16390$88260bb3@free.teranews.com>,
    Al Kossow wrote:
    >UnderMine wrote:
    >http://www.oshistory.net/metadot/ind...tegory;op=show
    >>
    >> But I know I have missed some (i.e.OSes for PDP-5 and PDP-6 are
    >> missing)

    >
    >http://www.ultimate.com/phil/pdp10/tops-10
    >
    >Includes the monitor for the PDP-6
    >
    >Many minicomputers (including those from DEC) weren't used with anything

    other
    >than paper tape on a teletype for bootstrapping, so many don't have an

    "Operating
    >System" per se. They just bootstrapped directly to the application.


    I'm talking about a later era now. The minis were also used as
    the terminal concentrators.
    >
    >An "Operating System" or "Monitor" doesn't start to appear until there was
    >some form of mass storage (magtape, DECtape, disc, drum) attached to the

    system
    >capable of storing multiple programs. This was a long time in coming since

    these
    >devices were often as expensive as the computer itself. DECtape was one of

    the
    >first "low cost" block-addressable storage devices.


    Was it storage or memory management (or both) that started people
    developing monitors?

    /BAH


  6. Re: History of Operating Systems on PDP computers

    On Feb 23, 3:42 pm, Al Kossow wrote:
    > UnderMine wrote:
    > > I have been expanding the DEC and PDP side of things and now have a
    > > more in depth list of OSes found on early PDP machines which can be
    > > found here

    >
    > One thing you should note, esp for DEC systems, is which OS came from
    > DEC and which were developed by customers or distributed through DECUS.
    >
    > The earliest operating systems for DEC machines weren't developed at
    > DEC. There was no "PDP-1 OS" in 1962. At least two timesharing systems
    > were developed by BBN and Stanford for the PDP-1. The earliest 'monitor'

    T> software from DEC would be "DECSYS", which was developed on the
    PDP-4
    > as a DECtape file system.
    >
    > You also appear to be missing the entire 18 bit product line prior to
    > 1970, including the F/B and Advanced Monitors for the PDP-9, backported
    > to the PDP-7
    >
    > Most of the surviving documentation for early DEC system software is onhttp://bitsavers.org/pdf/dec/
    >


    Been hunting some of these down and have made some updates.

    The PDP-1 appears to have had three Time Sharing systems (MIT, BBN and
    ZEUS) but this could be wrong as BBN and ZEUS may be the same thing.

    Can anyone help clarify things for me here?

    Paddy


  7. Re: History of Operating Systems on PDP computers

    UnderMine wrote:

    > The PDP-1 appears to have had three Time Sharing systems (MIT, BBN and
    > ZEUS) but this could be wrong as BBN and ZEUS may be the same thing.
    >
    > Can anyone help clarify things for me here?
    >


    Zeus and Odin were done at Stanford.

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  8. Re: History of Operating Systems on PDP computers

    On Mar 8, 4:26 pm, Al Kossow wrote:
    > UnderMine wrote:
    > > The PDP-1 appears to have had three Time Sharing systems (MIT, BBN and
    > > ZEUS) but this could be wrong as BBN and ZEUS may be the same thing.

    >
    > > Can anyone help clarify things for me here?

    >
    > Zeus and Odin were done at Stanford.


    OK so there were four time sharing systems for the PDP1 then
    MIT
    BNN
    ZEUS - Stanford
    ODIN - Stanford

    Now THOR was a successor to ODIN but what did that run on, the PDP1 or
    something else?

    Thanks for the help

    Paddy


  9. Re: History of Operating Systems on PDP computers

    UnderMine wrote:
    > On Mar 8, 4:26 pm, Al Kossow wrote:
    >> UnderMine wrote:
    >>> The PDP-1 appears to have had three Time Sharing systems (MIT, BBN and
    >>> ZEUS) but this could be wrong as BBN and ZEUS may be the same thing.
    >>> Can anyone help clarify things for me here?

    >> Zeus and Odin were done at Stanford.

    >
    > OK so there were four time sharing systems for the PDP1 then
    > MIT
    > BNN
    > ZEUS - Stanford
    > ODIN - Stanford
    >
    > Now THOR was a successor to ODIN but what did that run on, the PDP1 or
    > something else?
    >
    > Thanks for the help
    >
    > Paddy
    >


    http://forum.stanford.edu/wiki/index.php/Timeline

    John McCarthy and colleagues (with funding from NSF and the Stanford Computer Center) create Thor, a
    PDP-1 based timesharing system. It included twelve Philco display terminals, which made it the first
    display-oriented timesharing system anywhere in the world. It was used for a number of years by
    Patrick Suppes' computer aided instruction projects.

    There are also several significant 36 bit operating systems that come out of Stanford,
    SAIL and LOTS.



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  10. Re: History of Operating Systems on PDP computers

    Al Kossow writes:

    > There are also several significant 36 bit operating systems that come out of
    > Stanford, SAIL and LOTS.


    I was the last Tops-20 systems programmer at LOTS, 1-Oct-1984 to 1-Nov-1991,
    so trust me to have this correct.

    LOTS was the Low-Overhead Timesharing System, the academic computing facility
    started by Ralph Gorin with the support of John McCarthy in 1976. The systems
    (eventually 3 DECSYSTEM-2065's and a Systems Concepts SC-30M) ran Tops-20 with
    the Stanford-local modifications. (There were, at the height of things, 12
    PDP-10 sites at Stanford, all but three of them running Tops-20 with the local
    mods; two ran WAITS, and one ran TENEX on a dual KI-10.) Very few of the mods
    in the Stanford version of Tops-20 came out of LOTS, mostly a few extra privs
    bits for Faculty, (Help Desk) Consultant, and the like, and campus-network
    access.

    SAIL was the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, started by John
    McCarthy when he was lured away from the East Coast. Their operating system
    was WAITS, which originated as the 4S72 monitor for the PDP-10, with another
    decade and a half of divergent development.

    They did create a *language* called SAIL, which was "Algol 60 with the LEAP
    data structures" according to the documentation.

    --
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    news@alderson.users.panix.com | \ / campaign against |
    "You get what anybody gets. You get a lifetime." | x HTML mail and |
    --Death, of the Endless | / \ postings |

  11. Wink Re: History of Operating Systems on PDP computers

    [QUOTE=unix;321173]UnderMine wrote:
    > On Mar 8, 4:26 pm, Al Kossow wrote:
    >> UnderMine wrote:
    >>> The PDP-1 appears to have had three Time Sharing systems (MIT, BBN and
    >>> ZEUS) but this could be wrong as BBN and ZEUS may be the same thing.
    >>> Can anyone help clarify things for me here?

    >> Zeus and Odin were done at Stanford.

    >
    > OK so there were four time sharing systems for the PDP1 then
    > MIT
    > BNN
    > ZEUS - Stanford
    > ODIN - Stanford
    >
    > Now THOR was a successor to ODIN but what did that run on, the PDP1 or
    > something else?
    >
    > Thanks for the help
    >
    > Paddy
    >

  12. Cool Re: History of Operating Systems on PDP computers

    Quote Originally Posted by unix View Post
    On Mar 8, 4:26 pm, Al Kossow wrote:
    > UnderMine wrote:
    > > The PDP-1 appears to have had three Time Sharing systems (MIT, BBN and
    > > ZEUS) but this could be wrong as BBN and ZEUS may be the same thing.

    >
    > > Can anyone help clarify things for me here?

    >

    > Zeus and Odin were done at Stanford.


    OK so there were four time sharing systems for the PDP1 then
    MIT
    BNN
    ZEUS - Stanford
    ODIN - Stanford

    Now THOR was a successor to ODIN but what did that run on, the PDP1 or
    something else?

    Thanks for the help

    Paddy
    MIT and BBN (Bolt, Beranek, and Newman) were early users of the PDP-1. I believe BBN had one of the 2 PDP-1D models that were built, so BBN would refer to an OS created at BBN. BBN has nothing to do with the ZEUS OS written at Stanford's IMSSS (Institute for Mathematical Studies in the Social Science) in the later 1960s, though I imagine OS ideas were freely shared in the academic community.

    ODIN, THOR, and ZEUS all ran on Stanford IMSSS's PDP-1D.

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