IP: The end of the Multics era

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From: Rohit Khare (Rohit@KnowNow.com)
Date: Mon Dec 11 2000 - 11:52:09 PST

>Date: Wed, 8 Nov 2000 20:09:31 PST
>From: "Peter G. Neumann" <neumann@csl.sri.com>
>Subject: The end of the Multics era
>Now that the very last Multics system has been decommissioned (last month,
>the Canadian Department of National Defense 5-processor configuration in
>Halifax), I am reminded of the primary goals of Multics expressed in the
>1965 Fall Joint paper by Corbato' and Vyssotsky, in which nine major goals
>were stated (courtesy of a note from John Gintell):
>* Convenient remote terminal use.
>* Continuous operation analogous to power & telephone services.
>* A wide range of system configurations, changeable without system or
> user program reorganization.
>* A highly reliable internal file system.
>* Support for selective controlled information sharing.
>* Hierarchical structures of information for system administration and
> decentralization of user activities.
>* Support for a wide range of applications.
>* Support for multiple programming environments & human interfaces.
>* The ability to evolve the system with changes in technology and in
> user aspirations.
>These principles became fundamental to the Multics development and operation
>for the 35 years from 1965 until 2000. They are still relevant today, and
>they are still not as widely observed as they should be. So, to commemorate
>the final resting place of Multics, it seems appropriate to reiterate them
>For background, check out Tom Van Vleck's Multicians Web site:
> http://www.multicians.org

Date: Sun, 12 Nov 2000 11:06:30 -0500
From: Tom Van Vleck <thvv@multicians.org>
Subject: Re: The end of the Multics era
Multics's ideas and approach to problem solving continue to be relevant.
Those who had the privilege to work with the system and its team remember
the experience fondly and apply its many lessons to new challenges. As I
have written elsewhere, "as long as we have Multicians, we have the best
part of Multics." Let's all use what we learned, and do some more work we
can be proud of.
Incidentally, the 9 goals are in "Multics -- the First Seven Years" by
Corbato/Clingen/Saltzer, 1972 FJCC, available on the Multicians website,

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