Multics Systems Programmer's Manual

Major collection: Science & Technology
Object type: manual
Maker: Multics Systems
Date made: 1965
Materials: paper
Measurements: approximately 3 linear feet

MSPM: Multics Systems Programmer's Manual in 9 original binders Figuring out how to allow multiple users to work with a single computer seemingly simultaneously was a major innovation in computing technology during the 1960s. In the 1950s, IBM and MIT established a partnership to develop a collaborative computing facility among several New England universities and colleges. Many MIT professors were eager to use the newly donated IBM computers because access to Whirlwind and TX-0 was so limited. Led by Professor Fernando Corbató, the Compatible Time-Sharing System (CTSS) debuted in 1961. Under the aegis of Project MAC (MIT's famous computer project led during the 1960s by Robert Fano and J.C.R. Licklider), Corbató soon was leading the effort to develop Multics (Multiplexed Information and Computing Service). In his 2000 letter to the Multicians, he noted: "Multics became a paradigm for a comprehensive solution to a host of system problems that even today are not fully addressed in many systems. In no particular order, some of the key ideas I think of are: a hierarchical file system, system backup policies, rings and memory protection, symmetric multiprocessing, paging and memory management, dynamic linking, access control, and a full character set." [MIT 150 Exhibition label text]


Related Media

Related People

thumbnail Fano, Robert Mario
thumbnail Corbató, Fernando J.

Related Subjects

thumbnail Computers