PROJECT TITLE :

TENEX and TOPS-20

ABSTRACT:

In the late Nineteen Sixties, a tiny cluster of developers at Bolt, Beranek, and Newman (BBN) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, began work on a replacement pc operating system, including a kernel, system call API, and user command interface (shell). Whereas such an endeavor, significantly with a tiny cluster, became rare in subsequent decades, it wasn't uncommon in the 1960s. During development, this OS was given the name TENEX. A few years later, TENEX was adopted by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) for its new line of huge machines to be called the DECSYSTEM-twenty, and also the operating system was renamed to TOPS-20. The author followed TENEX (or vice versa) on this journey, and these are some reflections and observations from that journey. He touches on a number of the technical aspects that made TENEX notable in its day and an influence on operating systems that followed and on a number of the individuals and alternative sides involved in the numerous steps along the way.


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