Feeds

Multics source code released into the wild

Unix's 43-year-old daddy joins open community

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

M.I.T.'s Information Services and Technology organization has released the source code of MULTICS, a decades-old OS and important forebear of modern day operating systems.

Although there are no systems in operation today that could run MULTICS, the code release may serve as a fascinating research tool for computer scientists and academia.

MULTICS (or Multiplexed Information and Computing Service), began its incarnation in 1964 as a joint project between M.I.T., General Electric and Bell Labs. The operating system was developed for the GE-645 mainframe, a 36-bit general purpose time-share system built for continuous operation. The idea was to provide a computing utility analogous to electricity and telephone services.

It was one of the first operating systems to introduce concepts such as a hierarchical file system and dynamic linking. It was also the first to use the modern standard of per-process stacks in the kernal, with a separate stack for each security ring. The last running Multics system was shut down on October 31, 2000.

Some of the people who originally worked on the project, including Dennis Ritchie, Doug McIlroy and J.F. Ossana went on to create the Unics operating system — later renamed Unix. Evidence of Unix's heritage can still be found in its naming of commands. The story goes that the "U" in Unix stands for Uniplexed, a play on "Multiplexed" in the MULTICS namesake.

The final MULTICS release, MR 12.5 of November 1992, can be downloaded here. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft WINDOWS 10: Seven ATE Nine. Or Eight did really
Windows NEIN skipped, tech preview due out on Wednesday
Business is back, baby! Hasta la VISTA, Win 8... Oh, yeah, Windows 9
Forget touchscreen millennials, Microsoft goes for mouse crowd
Apple: SO sorry for the iOS 8.0.1 UPDATE BUNGLE HORROR
Apple kills 'upgrade'. Hey, Microsoft. You sure you want to be like these guys?
ARM gives Internet of Things a piece of its mind – the Cortex-M7
32-bit core packs some DSP for VIP IoT CPU LOL
Microsoft on the Threshold of a new name for Windows next week
Rebranded OS reportedly set to be flung open by Redmond
Lotus Notes inventor Ozzie invents app to talk to people on your phone
Imagine that. Startup floats with voice collab app for Win iPhone
'Google is NOT the gatekeeper to the web, as some claim'
Plus: 'Pretty sure iOS 8.0.2 will just turn the iPhone into a fax machine'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.