C. Strachey: "Time sharing in large, fast computers" (1959)

posted Nov 28, 2014, 6:44 AM by Jeff Ogden   [ updated Nov 28, 2014, 6:46 AM ]
"Time sharing in large, fast computers"
C. Strachey
in Proceedings of the IFIP Congress, 1959, pp.336-341

And the following note appears at the end of John McCarthy's Reminiscences on the History of Time Sharing (1984):

Don Knuth, who was curious about who had done what, wrote to Christopher Strachey and got the following reply.

PROGRAMMING RESEARCH GROUP                            Oxford   OX2 6PE

                                                      1st May 1974

Professor D. E. Knuth
Stanford University
Computer Science Department
Stanford, California  94305

Dear Don:

     The paper I wrote called `Time Sharing in Large Fast
Computers' was read at the first (pre IFIP) conference at
Paris in l960.  It was mainly about multi--programming (to
avoid waiting for peripherals) although it did envisage this
going on at the same time as a programmer was debugging his program
at a console.  I did not envisage the sort of console system which
is now so confusingly called time sharing.  I still think my use
of the term is the more natural.

     I am afraid I am so rushed at the moment, being virtually
alone in the PRG and having just moved house, that I have no
time to look up any old notes I may have.  I hope to be able to
do so while settling in and if I find anything of interest I
will let you know.

     Don't place too much reliance on Halsbury's accuracy.  He
tends to rely on memory and get the details wrong.  But he was
certainly right to say that in l960 `time sharing' as a phrase 
was much in the air.  It was, however, generally used in my sense
rather than in John McCarthy's sense of a CTSS-like object.

     Best wishes,

                              Yours sincerely,

                              C. Strachey
                              Professor of Computation
                              University of Oxford