The History of MULTICS

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    Brian Masinick

      1. Summary of Multics

      Multics (Multiplexed Information and Computing Service) is a time-sharing operating system begun in 1965 and used until 2000. The system was started as a joint project by MIT’s Project MAC, Bell Telephone Laboratories, and General Electric Company’s Large Computer Products Division. Professor Fernando J. Corbató of MIT led the project. Bell Labs withdrew from the development effort in 1969. In 1970 GE sold its computer business to Honeywell, which offered Multics as a commercial product and sold dozens of systems, until its cancellation in 1985.

      Multics included
      -    a supervisor program that managed all hardware resources, using symmetric multiprocessing, multiprogramming, and paging
      -    an innovative segmented memory addressing system supported by hardware
      -    a tree structured file system
      -    device support for peripherals and terminals
      -    hundreds of command programs, including language compilers and tools
      -    hundreds of user-callable library routines
      -    operational and support tools
      -    user and system documentation


      Brian Masinick

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