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Michigan Terminal System – Wikipedia

Michigan Terminal System – Wikipedia

2023-03-11 13:53:38

The Michigan Terminal System (MTS) is without doubt one of the first time-sharing laptop operating systems.[1] Developed in 1967 on the University of Michigan to be used on IBM S/360-67, S/370 and appropriate mainframe computers, it was developed and utilized by a consortium of eight universities within the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom over a interval of 33 years (1967 to 1999).[2]


The College of Michigan Multiprogramming Supervisor (UMMPS) was developed by the employees of the tutorial computing heart on the University of Michigan for operation of the IBM S/360-67, S/370 and appropriate computer systems. The software program could also be described as a multiprogramming, multiprocessing, virtual memory, time-sharing supervisor that runs a number of resident, reentrant packages. Amongst these packages is the Michigan Terminal System (MTS) for command interpretation, execution management, file administration, and accounting. Finish-users work together with the computing sources by means of MTS utilizing terminal, batch, and server oriented services.[2]

The title MTS refers to:

  • The UMMPS Job Program with which most end-users work together;
  • The software program system, together with UMMPS, the MTS and different Job Applications, Command Language Subsystems (CLSs), public information (packages), and documentation; and
  • The time-sharing service supplied at a selected website, together with the MTS software program system, the {hardware} used to run MTS, the employees that supported MTS and assisted end-users, and the related administrative insurance policies and procedures.

MTS was used on a manufacturing foundation at about 13 websites within the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Brazil, and probably in Yugoslavia and at a number of extra websites on a trial or benchmarking foundation. MTS was developed and maintained by a core group of eight universities included within the MTS Consortium.

The College of Michigan introduced in 1988 that “Dependable MTS service will likely be supplied so long as there are customers requiring it … MTS could also be phased out after options are in a position to meet customers’ computing necessities”.[3] It ceased working MTS for end-users on June 30, 1996.[4] By that point, most providers had moved to shopper/server-based computing techniques, usually Unix for servers and numerous Mac, PC, and Unix flavors for purchasers. The College of Michigan shut down its MTS system for the final time on Might 30, 1997.[5]

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) is believed to be the final website to make use of MTS in a manufacturing surroundings. RPI retired MTS in June 1999.[6]

In the present day, MTS nonetheless runs utilizing IBM S/370 emulators comparable to Hercules, Sim390,[7] and FLEX-ES.[8]


Within the mid-Sixties, the College of Michigan was offering batch processing providers on IBM 7090 {hardware} beneath the management of the University of Michigan Executive System (UMES), however was all for providing interactive providers utilizing time-sharing.[9] At the moment the work that computer systems may carry out was restricted by their small real memory capability. When IBM launched its System/360 household of computer systems within the mid-Sixties, it didn’t present an answer for this limitation and inside IBM there have been conflicting views concerning the significance of and have to assist time-sharing.

A paper titled Program and Addressing Construction in a Time-Sharing Setting by Bruce Arden, Bernard Galler, Frank Westervelt (all affiliate administrators at UM’s educational Computing Heart), and Tom O’Brian constructing upon some primary concepts developed on the Massachusetts Institute of Expertise (MIT) was printed in January 1966.[10] The paper outlined a virtual memory structure utilizing dynamic tackle translation (DAT) that may very well be used to implement time-sharing.

After a 12 months of negotiations and design research, IBM agreed to make a one-of-a-kind model of its S/360-65 mainframe laptop with dynamic tackle translation (DAT) options that may assist virtual memory and accommodate UM’s need to assist time-sharing. The pc was dubbed the Mannequin S/360-65M.[9] The “M” stood for Michigan. However IBM initially determined to not provide a time-sharing working system for the machine. In the meantime, quite a lot of different establishments heard concerning the challenge, together with General Motors, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology‘s (MIT) Lincoln Laboratory, Princeton University, and Carnegie Institute of Expertise (later Carnegie Mellon University). They have been all intrigued by the time-sharing concept and expressed curiosity in ordering the modified IBM S/360 collection machines. With this demonstrated curiosity IBM modified the pc’s mannequin quantity to S/360-67 and made it a supported product.[1] With requests for over 100 new mannequin S/360-67s IBM realized there was a marketplace for time-sharing, and agreed to develop a brand new time-sharing working system referred to as TSS/360 (TSS stood for Time-sharing System) for supply at roughly the identical time as the primary mannequin S/360-67.

Whereas ready for the Mannequin 65M to reach, UM Computing Heart personnel have been in a position to carry out early time-sharing experiments utilizing an IBM System/360 Model 50 that was funded by the ARPA CONCOMP (Conversational Use of Computer systems) Mission.[11] The time-sharing experiment started as a “half-page of code written out on a kitchen desk” mixed with a small multi-programming system, LLMPS from MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory,[1] which was modified and have become the UM Multi-Programming Supervisor (UMMPS) which in flip ran the MTS job program. This earliest incarnation of MTS was meant as a throw-away system used to achieve expertise with the brand new IBM S/360 {hardware} and which might be discarded when IBM’s TSS/360 working system turned obtainable.

Growth of TSS took longer than anticipated, its supply date was delayed, and it was not but obtainable when the S/360-67 (serial quantity 2) arrived on the Computing Heart in January 1967.[12] At the moment UM needed to resolve whether or not to return the Mannequin 67 and choose one other mainframe or to develop MTS as an interim system to be used till TSS was prepared. The choice was to proceed growth of MTS and the employees moved their preliminary growth work from the Mannequin 50 to the Mannequin 67. TSS growth was finally canceled by IBM, then reinstated, after which canceled once more. However by this time UM favored the system they’d developed, it was now not thought-about interim, and MTS can be used at UM and different websites for 33 years.

MTS Consortium[edit]

MTS was developed, maintained, and utilized by a consortium of eight universities within the US, Canada, and the UK:[2][13]

A number of websites ran a couple of MTS system: NUMAC ran two (first at Newcastle and later at Durham), Michigan ran three within the mid-Nineteen Eighties (UM for Maize, UB for Blue, and HG at Human Genetics), UBC ran three or 4 at completely different occasions (MTS-G, MTS-L, MTS-A, and MTS-I for normal, library, administration, and instruction).

Every of the MTS websites made contributions to the event of MTS, generally by taking the lead within the design and implementation of a brand new function and at different occasions by refining, enhancing, and critiquing work finished elsewhere. Many MTS elements are the work of a number of folks at a number of websites.[19]

Within the early days collaboration between the MTS websites was achieved by means of a mix of face-to-face website visits, telephone calls, the change of paperwork and magnetic tapes by snail mail, and casual get-togethers at SHARE or different conferences. Later, e-mail, laptop conferencing utilizing CONFER and *Discussion board, community file switch, and e-mail attachments supplemented and finally largely changed the sooner strategies.

The members of the MTS Consortium produced a collection of 82 MTS Newsletters between 1971 and 1982 to assist coordinate MTS growth.[20]

Mugs from MTS Workshop VIII, Ann Arbor, July 1982

Beginning at UBC in 1974[21] the MTS Consortium held annual MTS Workshops at one of many member websites. The workshops have been casual, however included papers submitted prematurely and Proceedings printed after-the-fact that included session summaries.[22] Within the mid-Nineteen Eighties a number of Western Workshops have been held with participation by a subset of the MTS websites (UBC, SFU, UQV, UM, and probably RPI).

The annual workshops continued even after MTS growth work started to taper off. Referred to as merely the “group workshop”, they continued till the mid-Nineties to share experience and customary experiences in offering computing providers, although MTS was now not the first supply for computing on their campuses and a few had stopped working MTS solely.

MTS websites[edit]

Along with the eight MTS Consortium websites that have been concerned in its growth, MTS was run at quite a lot of different websites, together with:[13]

A replica of MTS was additionally despatched to the University of Sarajevo, Yugoslavia, although whether or not or not it was ever put in isn’t identified.

INRIA, the French nationwide institute for analysis in laptop science and management in Grenoble, France ran MTS on a trial foundation, as did the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, Southern Illinois University, the Naval Postgraduate School, Amdahl Corporation, ST Techniques for McGill University Hospitals, Stanford University, and University of Illinois in america, and some different websites.


Computing Heart employees member Mike Alexander sitting on the console of the IBM System 360 Mannequin 67 Duplex on the College of Michigan, 1969

Amdahl 470V/6 P2 on the College of Michigan, 1975

In concept MTS will run on the IBM S/360-67, any of the IBM S/370 collection which embody digital reminiscence, and their successors. MTS has been run
on the next computer systems in manufacturing, benchmarking, or trial configurations:[2]

The College of Michigan put in and ran MTS on the primary IBM S/360-67 exterior of IBM (serial quantity 2) in 1967, the second Amdahl 470V/6 (serial quantity 2) in 1975,[26][27] the primary Amdahl 5860 (serial number one) in 1982, and the primary manufacturing unit shipped IBM 3090–400 in 1986.[28] NUMAC ran MTS on the primary S/360-67 within the UK and really doubtless the primary in Europe.[29] The College of British Columbia (UBC) took the lead in changing MTS to run on the IBM S/370 series (an IBM S/370-168) in 1974. The College of Alberta put in the primary Amdahl 470V/6 in Canada (serial quantity P5) in 1975.[16] By 1978 NUMAC (at College of Newcastle upon Tyne and College of Durham) had moved principal MTS exercise on to its IBM S/370 series (an IBM S/370-168).

MTS was designed to assist as much as 4 processors on the IBM S/360-67, though IBM solely produced one (simplex and half-duplex) and two (duplex) processor configurations of the Mannequin 67. In 1984 RPI up to date MTS to assist as much as 32 processors within the IBM S/370-XA (Prolonged Addressing) {hardware} collection, though 6 processors is probably going the most important configuration truly used.[30] MTS helps the IBM Vector Facility,[31] obtainable as an possibility on the IBM 3090 and ES/9000 techniques.

In early 1967 working on the only processor IBM S/360-67 at UM with out virtual memory assist, MTS was usually supporting 5 simultaneous terminal periods and one batch job.[2] In November 1967 after digital reminiscence assist was added, MTS working on the identical IBM S/360-67 was concurrently supporting 50 terminal periods and as much as 5 batch jobs.[2] In August 1968 a twin processor IBM S/360-67 changed the only processor system, supporting roughly 70 terminal and as much as 8 batch jobs.[32] By late 1991 MTS at UM was working on an IBM ES/9000-720 supporting over 600 simultaneous terminal periods and from 3 to eight batch jobs.[2]

MTS may be IPL-ed beneath VM/370, and a few MTS websites did so, however most ran MTS on native {hardware} with out utilizing a virtual machine.


A few of the notable options of MTS embody:[33]

Applications developed for MTS[edit]

The next are among the notable packages developed for MTS:[46]

Applications that run beneath MTS[edit]

The next are among the notable packages ported to MTS from different techniques:[46]

Programming languages obtainable beneath MTS[edit]

MTS helps a wealthy set of programming languages, some developed for MTS and others ported from different techniques:[46]

System structure[edit]

MTS Structure[105]
State Mode[37] VM Interrupts
Consumer packages drawback consumer on on
Command Language Subsystems (CLSs),
System Help Routines (DSRs),
System Subroutines
Job packages (MTS, PDP, DMGR, RM or HASP, …) on or off
Supervisor (UMMPS) supervisor n/a off off
S/360-67 or S/370 {hardware}

UMMPS, the supervisor, has full management of the {hardware} and manages a set of job packages.[32] One of many job packages is MTS, the job program with which most customers work together.[2] MTS operates as a set of command language subsystems (CLSs). One of many CLSs permits for the execution of consumer packages. MTS offers a set of system subroutines which can be obtainable to CLSs, consumer packages, and MTS itself.[41] Amongst different issues these system subroutines present customary entry to System Help Routines (DSRs), the elements that carry out machine dependent enter/output.

Manuals and documentation[edit]

The lists that observe are fairly College of Michigan centric. Most different MTS websites used a few of this materials, however additionally they produced their very own manuals, memos, reviews, and newsletters tailor-made to the wants of their website.

Finish-user documentation[edit]

The guide collection MTS: The Michigan Terminal System, was printed from 1967 by means of 1991, in volumes 1 by means of 23, which have been up to date and reissued irregularly.[20] Preliminary releases of the volumes didn’t all the time happen in numeric order and volumes often modified names after they have been up to date or republished. Usually, the upper the quantity, the extra specialised the amount.

The earliest variations of MTS Quantity I and II had a special group and content material from the MTS volumes that adopted and included some inside in addition to finish consumer documentation. The second version from December 1967 coated:

See Also

  • MTS Quantity I: Introduction; Ideas and services; Calling conventions; Batch, Terminal, Tape, and Knowledge Concentrator consumer’s guides; Description of UMMPS and MTS; Information and units; Command language; Consumer Applications; Subroutine and macro library descriptions; Public or library file descriptions; and Inside specs: Dynamic loader (UMLOAD), File and System Administration (DSRI prefix and postfix), System Help Routines (DSRs), and File routines[106]
  • MTS Quantity II: Language processor descriptions: F-level assembler; FORTRAN G; IOH/360; PIL; SNOBOL4; UMIST; WATFOR; and 8ASS (PDP-8 assembler)[103]

The next MTS Volumes have been printed by the College of Michigan Computing Heart[2] and can be found as PDFs:[107][108][109][110]

  • MTS Reference Abstract, a ~60 web page, 3″ x 7.5″, pocket information to MTS, Computing Heart, College of Michigan
  • The Taxir primer: MTS model, Brill, Robert C., Computing Heart, College of Michigan
  • Elementary Use of the Michigan Terminal System, Thomas J. Schriber, fifth Version (revised), Ulrich’s Books, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI, 1983, 376 pp.
  • Digital computing, FORTRAN IV, WATFIV, and MTS (with *FTN and *WATFIV), Brice Carnahan and James O Wilkes, College of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 1968–1979, 1976 538 p.
  • Documentation for MIDAS, Michigan Interactive Knowledge Evaluation System, Statistical Analysis Laboratory, College of Michigan[111]
  • OSIRIS III MTS Complement, Heart for Political Research, College of Michigan[112]

Varied facets of MTS on the College of Michigan have been documented in a collection of Computing Heart Memos (CCMemos)[108][113] which have been printed irregularly from 1967 by means of 1987, numbered 2 by means of 924, although not essentially in chronological order. Numbers 2 by means of 599 are normal memos about numerous software program and {hardware}; the 600 collection are the Guide’s Notes collection—brief memos for starting to intermediate customers; the 800 collection covers points referring to the Xerox 9700 printer, textual content processing, and typesetting; and the 900 collection covers microcomputers. There was no 700 collection. In 1989 this collection continued as Reference Memos with much less of a deal with MTS.[114][115]

Cowl web page of the Might 1996 problem of College of Michigan IT Digest, Might 1996

A future of newsletters focused to end-users on the College of Michigan with the titles Computing Heart Information, Computing Heart E-newsletter, U-M Computing Information, and the Info Expertise Digest have been printed beginning in 1971.[108][113]

There was additionally introductory materials offered within the Consumer Information, MTS Consumer Information, and Tutorial collection, together with:[108]

  • Getting related—Introduction to Terminals and Microcomputers
  • Introduction to the Computing Heart
  • Introduction to Computing Heart providers
  • Introduction to Database Administration Techniques on MTS
  • Introduction to FORMAT
  • Introduction to Magnetic Tapes
  • Introduction to MTS
  • Introduction to the MTS File Editor
  • Introduction to Programming and Debugging in MTS
  • Introduction to Terminals
  • Introduction to Terminals and Microcomputers

Internals documentation[edit]

The next supplies weren’t extensively distributed, however have been included in MTS Distributions:[20][107][109]

  • MTS Operators Handbook[116]
  • MTS Message Handbook
  • MTS Quantity n: Techniques Version[117][118]
  • MTS Quantity 99: Internals Documentation[119]
  • Supervisor Name Descriptions[120]
  • Disk Catastrophe Restoration Procedures[121]
  • A collection of lectures describing the structure and inside group of the Michigan Terminal System given by Mike Alexander, Don Boettner, Jim Hamilton, and Doug Smith (4 audio tapes, lecture notes, and transcriptions)


The College of Michigan launched MTS on magnetic tape on an irregular foundation.[20] There have been full and partial distributions, the place full distributions (D1.0, D2.0, …) included the entire MTS elements and partial distributions (D1.1, D1.2, D2.1, D2.2, …) included simply the elements that had modified for the reason that final full or partial distribution. Distributions 1.0 by means of 3.1 supported the IBM S/360 Mannequin 67, distribution 3.2 supported each the IBM S/360-67 and the IBM S/370 structure, and distributions D4.0 by means of D6.0 supported simply the IBM S/370 structure and its extensions.

MTS distributions included the updates wanted to run licensed program merchandise and different proprietary software program beneath MTS, however not the bottom proprietary software program itself, which needed to be obtained individually from the house owners. Apart from IBM’s Assembler H, not one of the licensed packages have been required to run MTS.

The final MTS distribution was D6.0 launched in April 1988. It consisted of 10,003 information on six 6250 bpi magnetic tapes. After 1988, distribution of MTS elements was finished in an advert hoc trend utilizing community file switch.

To permit new websites to get began from scratch, two further magnetic tapes have been made obtainable, an IPLable boot tape that contained a minimalist model of MTS plus the DASDI and DISKCOPY utilities that may very well be used to initialize and restore a one disk pack starter model of MTS from the second magnetic tape. Within the earliest days of MTS, the standalone TSS DASDI and DUMP/RESTORE utilities moderately than MTS itself have been used to create the one-disk starter system.

There have been additionally much less formal redistributions the place particular person websites would ship magnetic tapes containing new or up to date work to a coordinating website. That website would copy the fabric to a standard magnetic tape (RD1, RD2, …), and ship copies of the tape out to the entire websites. The contents of many of the redistribution tapes appear to have been misplaced.

In the present day, full supplies from the six full and the ten partial MTS distributions in addition to from two redistributions created between 1968 and 1988 can be found from the Bitsavers Software program archive[122][123] and from the College of Michigan’s Deep Blue digital archive.[124][125]

Working with the D6.0 distribution supplies, it’s attainable to create an IPLable model of MTS. A brand new D6.0A distribution of MTS makes this simpler.[126] D6.0A is predicated on the D6.0 model of MTS from 1988 with numerous fixes and updates to make operation beneath Hercules in 2012 smoother. Sooner or later, an IPLable model of MTS will likely be made obtainable primarily based upon the model of MTS that was in use on the College of Michigan in 1996 shortly earlier than MTS was shut down.[123]


As of December 22, 2011, the MTS Distribution supplies are freely obtainable beneath the phrases of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License (CC BY 3.0).[127]

In its earliest days MTS was made obtainable without spending a dime with out the necessity for a license to websites that have been all for working MTS and which appeared to have the educated employees required to assist it.

Within the mid-Nineteen Eighties licensing preparations have been formalized with the College of Michigan performing as agent for and granting licenses on behalf of the MTS Consortium.[128] MTS licenses have been obtainable to educational organizations for an annual price of $5,000, to different non-profit organizations for $10,000, and to business organizations for $25,000. The license restricted MTS from getting used to supply business computing providers. The licensees obtained a replica of the total set of MTS distribution tapes, any incremental distributions ready through the 12 months, written set up directions, two copies of the present consumer documentation, and a really restricted quantity of help.

Only some organizations licensed MTS. A number of licensed MTS as a way to run a single program comparable to CONFER. The charges collected have been used to offset among the widespread bills of the MTS Consortium.

See additionally[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Akera, Atsushi (Jan–Mar 2008), “The Life and Work of Bernard A. Galler (1928–2006)” (PDF), Annals of the Historical past of Computing, 30 (1): 8, doi:10.1109/mahc.2008.15, S2CID 22790110, In late 1968, MTS was the one large-scale timesharing system to be in common, dependable operation within the US.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i The Michigan Terminal System (PDF), vol. 1, Ann Arbor, Michigan: College of Michigan, Info Expertise Division, Consulting and Help Providers, November 1991, pp. 9, 13–14.
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  5. ^ “MTS Timeline”, Info Expertise Digest, College of Michigan, pp.10-11, Quantity 5, No. 5 (Might 13, 1966)
  6. ^ “MTS Timeline”, an after the actual fact one entry addition for 1999 to Info Expertise Digest, College of Michigan, Quantity 5, No. 5 (Might 13, 1966)
  7. ^ Sim390, an ESA/390 emulator
  8. ^ FLEX-ES, a S/390 and z/Structure emulator
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  19. ^ It’s tough to correctly give credit score for all of the work that was finished, nonetheless, to keep away from giving too little credit score and on the danger of not giving correct credit score to everybody that made contributions, an try is made to notice the websites the place a significant function or enhancement was initially developed
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  72. ^ The Texbook by Don Knuth, 1984, Addison-Wesley Publishing Firm, 496 pages, ISBN 0201134489.
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Exterior hyperlinks[edit]




  • MTS History, collected by former University of Michigan Computing Heart employees member Tom Valerio
  • Personal perspective on MTS by Dan Boulet a scholar and later Computing Providers employees member on the University of Alberta
  • Personal reflections on MTS by Mark Riordan of Michigan State University‘s Pc Laboratory
  • Several articles from the Might 13, 1996 problem of the College of Michigan Info Expertise Digest, Quantity 5, No. 5, giving the historical past of and reminiscences about MTS, Advantage, and UMnet on the eve of MTS’s retirement on the College of Michigan, preserved on Internet pages created by Josh Simon
  •, a website online displaying how you can run MTS beneath the Hercules emulator, tutorials on utilizing the system and on a number of of the programming languages obtainable on MTS
  • Public MTS Terminal, logon and go searching like a scholar would within the 90’s

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