An archive of e-mail sent to the collection of "old MTS hands" (now firstname.lastname@example.org). Announcements, news items, and updates related to MTS are sent to the group a few times a year. If you would like to be added to or removed from the MTS-Interest e-mail group, send a note to email@example.com.
From: Gregory Marks
Subject: Re: MTS reference in the AMC series "Halt and Cache Fire"
Date: June 25, 2015 8:54:42 PM EDT
To: Jeff Ogden, firstname.lastname@example.org
Another item, with a very different memory is the pink flamingos. I remembered those when I read that the inventor had passed away at age 79
Don Featherstone [the inventor] in a field of his pink flamingos.
Credit Seth Resnick/Science Faction, via Corbis.
Pink flamingos in the gravel on the roof of the UPS room at the Computing Center building on the U-M's North Campus. They were purchased and put there by Bob Husak and George Helffrich. They very quickly vanished, presumably stolen.
Photo credit: Diane and Jim Bodwin.
From: Jeff Ogden
Subject: MTS reference in the AMC series "Halt and Cache Fire"
Date: June 24, 2015 1:24:41 AM EDT
I haven't sent out a note to this list in quite sometime, but the following message posted to the MTS on Hercules group [H390-MTS] is too good to pass up. Hope you enjoy it.
Begin forwarded message:
From: "Ron Frederick"
Subject: [H390-MTS] MTS reference in "Halt and Cache Fire"
Date: June 22, 2015 10:11:07 PM EDT
I’m not sure if anyone here on the list watches the AMC series “Halt and Catch Fire”, but there was a nice reference to MTS in this week’s episode. It’s a series set in the 80s that started off mainly about a company building IBM clones. This season, though, they’ve moved on to early online gaming and networking, and two of the characters were talking about taking spare cycles on IBM mainframes and leasing them out to other companies by installing timesharing software on them. The exchange went something like:
Gordon: "Alright, I’ve put together an equipment list. Just so you know, converting the mainframe to timesharing isn’t as easy as flipping a switch. I mean, the T1 connections alone are going to take a few days."
Joe: “I already had three high-speed T1 lines installed. I just need you to finish the connections and install IBM’s timesharing option.”
Gordon: “Alright. We should use Michigan Terminal Systems. It’s much more reliable than IBM.”
For more information about the AMC series "Halt and Catch Fire", see:
The episode that Ron is referring to is Season 2, Episode 4, "Play With Friends", 45 minutes, which originally aired on 21 June 2015. The reference to Michigan Terminal Systems occurs at roughly 23:30 to 24:30 in the episode.
I don't subscribe to cable, but I was able to buy access to the episode through Google Play for $1.99.
A transcript of the episode's dialog is also available at http://transcripts.foreverdreaming.org/viewtopic.php?f=176&t=19153.
Dale Bent's message below started a series of messages that were sent to the mts-interest list:
From: Dale Bent
Date: June 16, 2014 12:53:38 PM EDT
Hello MTSers, especially old colleagues from Alberta. It is good to hear from you and renew contacts. As a piece of vital archival information, do any of you recall why Alberta’s code MTS@UQV was determined?
On Jun 16, 2014, at 1:38 PM, Jeff Ogden wrote:
It didn't take very long to get some answers to Dale's question. Several of them may even be right.
On Jun 16, 2014, at 1:24 PM, Jim Henriksen wrote:
I believe UQV stands for University of Queen Victoria. I don't know who made the choice and why.
On Jun 16, 2014, at 1:23 PM, Patrick Gossman wrote:
Thanks. Good to hear from Dale.
It would seem that you/someone answered Dale's question back in 2010..... and it's in the archives....
On Jun 16, 2014, at 1:20 PM, Mike Douglass wrote:
Wasn't it the motto?
From: paul whaley
Subject: Re: MTS@UQV
Date: June 16, 2014 1:16:47 PM EDT
To: Jeff Ogden
Well, I don't know why but the phrase that came to mind is quaecumque vera which is apparently the UofA motto.
On Jun 16, 2014, at 1:08 PM, Gavin Eadie wrote:
Weren’t the site codes based on (the same as) IBM’s SHARE codes?
On Jun 16, 2014, at 2:08 PM, Grant Crawford wrote:
It came from the Latin saying on the university crest: 'Quaecumque vera' - whatsoever things are true (Phil 4:8)
On Jun 16, 2014, at 2:09 PM, Seymour Wolfson wrote:
I would have thought Frank Westervelt would know this.
I thought he was the guy who introduced it at UoM and then WSU when he went there as Director.
Dr. Seymour Wolfson, Assoc. Professor-Retired
WSU Computer Science Dept.
On Jun 16, 2014, at 2:32 PM, Dale Bent wrote:
Yes, "quaecumque vera" was the University of Alberta latin motto: "whatsoever things are true", taken from the biblical quotation mentioned below. The UofA classics department chairman told me there was a classicist's joke about it. It could also mean "whatsoever things are expedient", and this was the way they chose to interpret it.
Regards, Dale Bent.
On Jun 16, 2014, at 5:07 PM, Gerry Gabel wrote:
The archive article has it right. If I recall correctly, I applied for the SHARE membership shortly after we got the 360/67 and the installation code was selected from the words "Quaecumque Vera" on the U of A letterhead.
But I do like University of Queen Victoria. Good work all. Gerry
On Jun 16, 2014, at 6:44 PM, Mike Alexander wrote:
Yes, UQV was the SHARE code for the University of Alberta. When they joined SHARE all the obvious codes were already taken. The application was written on stationery which had the University’s motto printed at the top and the person handling the application used this as the basis for the SHARE code when he ran out of other ideas. I don’t remember the motto, but it was a Latin phrase suggesting UQV as an acronym. It has nothing to do with Queen Victoria (either the university or the person).
And the MTS Archive site discussion has more about this:
From: Jeff Ogden
Subject: looking for digital or paper copies of MTS related articles and papers
Date: March 6, 2012 11:29:42 AM EST
I'm looking for copies of the papers and articles listed below. They are all listed in the MTS Bibliography, but without links. Digital (PDF) is best, but paper is OK too. If you have a copy or can suggest places to look, please let me know.
Suggestions for additions to the Bibliography are welcome too.
And this is a bit vague, but I understand that there was an article about UBC Plus in the Canadian Information Processing Society proceedings. I'm looking for a title and a date of publication or a copy (online or paper).
Thanks for any help you can provide.
Crawford, G., University of Alberta, "Publishing, Word Processing and TEXTFORM", in Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS) Session '78 Proceedings, pp. 88-92, 1978.
Fronczak, Edward J., "The ADP Voice Response Interface System and Speech Synthesis Facility", In The Third USA-Japan Computer Conference, Proceedings, pp. 231-235, October 1978.
Fronczak, Edward J., and Blinn, James F., "Internal Design of the University of Michigan Audio Response System for the Generation of Segmental Phonemes from Text", In Proceedings of the International Computer Symposium 1975, pp. 404-410, Vol. 1, August 1975.
Fronczak, Edward J., "The University of Michigan Audio Response System and Speech Synthesis Facility", In The Second USA Japan Computer Conference, Proceedings, pp. 380-384, 1975.
Fronczak, Edward J., "The University of Michigan Plot Description System and Post-Processing Facilities", In The First USA Japan Computer Conference, Proceedings, pp. 334-340, 1972.
Hall, Ronald H., University of British Columbia. "IF: An Interactive Fortran Compiler," in Proceedings of SHARE 41, Miami, FL, Vol. I, pp. 212-218, August 15, 1973.
Harding, L.J. Jr., "Idiosyncracies of system 360 floating point", presented at SHARE XXVII, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 1966.
Harding, L.J. Jr., "Modifications of System/360 foating-point", SHARE Secretarial Distribution 157, pp. 11-27, 1966.
McQuiggan, Ron, "In the Beginning: How MTS Came to UBC", ComputerData, Vol. 4, No. 3 (1979), p. 12.
TEXTFORM Group, University of Alberta, "A New Tool for Publishing Printed Material", Share 48 Proceedings, Vol II, pp. 1042-1056, 1977.
Wesley, Brian, "Adaptive Page Fault Control: Use of Working Set Parameter." University of Alberta, 1974.
From: Jeff Ogden
Date: January 26, 2012 9:50:24 PM EST
Subject: news from the MTS archiving / preservation / resurrection project
It has been 14 months since the last update to this group and there are a number of MTS related developments to report.
* The MTS presence on Wikipedia continues to expand. The main MTS article has been pretty stable, but a new article on CONFER was added in May of last year. This makes a total of at least six MTS related articles: MTS; MTS system architecture; CONFER; MAD, MAD/I, and GOM; MICRO, and UBC PLUS.
* Thanks to contributions from many of you the MTS Archive site has continued to expand:
* The MTS Bibliography has many more entries and a better balance of UM and non-UM material.
* It looks as if UBC has been making materials available online because the MTS Bibliography includes links to several items that weren't available online a year ago.
* The Discussion section now includes fairly complete information about how each of the MTS sites came to run MTS.
MTS Lecture 1 is available in the Documents section as both a PDF and an HTML file. There is also an updated version of the diagram from Lecture 1 that brings things up to about 1987. We'll need some help from someone knowledgable about the RM to bring the diagram up to 1996 or 2012.
* Thanks to Jim Simmons, all 12 issues of the WSU Computer Comics are available as PDFs in the Documents section.
* There are many more photos and a couple of videos in the Images section.
* More contributions are always welcome.
* PDF versions of the MTS Volumes and other documentation were made available at the BitSavers.org PDF Archive on 11 January 2011 and at U-M's Deep Blue digital archive on 1 March 2011.
* And over 250 MTS related items are available as "full view" documents in the Hathi Trust Digital Library. The Hathi Trust is a partnership of major research institutions and libraries that is building a reliable and increasingly comprehensive digital archive of library materials converted from print that is co-owned and managed by a number of academic institutions. Beyond the 23 MTS Volumes the items include introductory, tutorial, and step-by-step documents; many U-M Computing Center Newsletters, CC Memos, the proceedings for the first two MTS Workshops at UBC in 1974 and UQV in 1975; and a number of publications from units outside the U-M Computing Center including documentation for MIDAS, OSIRIS, TEXTEDIT, the Merit Network, and others.
* On 20 July 2011 the U-M gave its support and permission to a project to make the MTS distribution materials and an IPLable version of MTS freely available to the public under a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY 3.0).
* On 22 December 2011 the source, object, and documentation from MTS distributions D1.0 (1968) through D6.0 (1988) were made available in the Bitsavers.org Software Archive and on 8 January 2012 these materials, packaged slightly differently, were made available from U-M's Deep Blue digital archive.
* On 24 December 2011, just 38 hours after the MTS distribution materials first became available, MTS D6.0 had been restored from simulated tape and was running under the open source Hercules System/370 Emulator. This was done by someone who had little or no prior knowledge of MTS! Details are available as part of the "MTS Today" discussion on the MTS Archive. Several more people have reported success running MTS under Hercules since then. Hercules runs under Windows, Mac OS, and various flavors of Unix. MTS D6.0 from 1988 included the DMGR with a cache in either real or expanded storage, a PDP that would page to file system disks and expanded storage, a HASP that would use file system based spool files, and S/370-XA support. The Resource Manager was included, but had not yet replaced HASP for traditional batch processing (*PRINT*, *PUNCH*, *BATCH*). 31-bit addressing support was limited to the supervisor and while user programs could switch to 31-bit addressing mode, that didn't really do them much good until post-D6.0 versions of MTS.
* On 18 January 2012 a new version of MTS, D6.0A, was made available for download. It is based on the D6.0 version of MTS from 1988 with various fixes and updates to make operation under Hercules in 2012 smoother. D6.0A is delivered as a simulated 3380 disk drive which eliminates the need to restore MTS to disk from simulated magnetic tapes. There is a README-D6.0A.txt file with a description of the materials included, step-by-step instructions for running MTS under Hercules, a set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and answers, and a template Hercules configuration file (hercules.cnf). The README-D6.0A.txt file and the d6.0A.zip archive are available from the MTS Archive.
* There is a surprisingly active Yahoo e-mail group, H390-MTS, where discussions about running MTS under Hercules take place.
* Work is getting started to retroactively create MTS distribution D7.0. The "new" distribution will be a version of MTS from 1996 before MTS was shutdown at U-M.
* Due to copyright and licensing restrictions, distributions didn't include all of the programs that were available for use under MTS. We are starting to seek permission to include as many of these now pretty old programs as we can. A few at least have been released into the public domain or been made available under some sort of free license. The other challenge in this area is finding the old object code for these programs, since they were not included on the distributions. We are afraid that some of these programs may have been lost.
* There is interest from a few people on the H390-MTS e-mail list in adding an emulated HIM control unit to Hercules.
* We'd very much like to get more information for the MTS Archive or the MTS Wikipedia articles. In particular one area that could be expanded are the descriptions of the networking activities at sites other than U-M (UBCNet, NuNet, …). If you know of any write-ups or if you are willing to write something yourself, place contact us at the e-mail address given below.
* It would also be good to include more stories about and photographs of the people who were involved in developing, maintaining, operating, and using MTS. There is a start in the MTS Archive in the People section as well as in the Images section, but there is a lot more that could and should be added. There is some rough draft information in the two discussions, "Who were the developers?" and "Who were the directors?" on the MTS Archive site. Your help is needed to expand this information.
* If any of you have saved old copies of say the *PLC code or other source or object code for similar programs that weren't included in the regular MTS distributions, please contact us at the e-mail address below.
* As we work to make the D7.0 (1996) version of MTS available, we could use some help from someone more knowledgable about the Resource Manager than we are. If you are interested, please contact us at the e-mail address below.
* And we are looking for people knowledgable about the UBC HIM to help the volunteers that want to add HIM emulation to Hercules. You don't have to write any code unless you want to. We are really looking for people to answer questions and provide general guidance. Again, contact us at the e-mail address below or join the H390-MTS Yahoo group.
* Please pass this note on to others who may be interested or send their e-mail addresses to email@example.com and we'll add them to the list. There is a list of the people who are receiving this update at the end of this message.
* If you don't want to be bothered with this sort of e-mail in the future, just let us know and we promise to stop sending them.
* It was suggested that we create a proper e-mail list for communications about MTS and the e-mail group firstname.lastname@example.org is a step in that direction. If you received this message, you are on the list. Anyone can send to the group, but it is moderated to let us sort out spam and junk mail. The list of group members is private.
* Previous versions of these MTS updates are available at: http://archive.michigan-terminal-system.org/discussions/e-mail-archive-1.
* Send questions and comments to: email@example.com
-Jeff Ogden (W163) firstname.lastname@example.org
-Mike Alexander (MTA) email@example.com
-Gavin Eadie (CL14, W267, GAV) firstname.lastname@example.org
-Tom Valerio (W237) email@example.com
The initial 124 recipients of this update:
From: Jeff Ogden
Date: November 25, 2010 11:34:14 AM EST
To: Harry Whitfield, Denis Russell, Tony Young, Ron Kerr, Elizabeth Barraclough, Garance A Drosehn, Don Porter, Wilson Dillaway, eliotb, Bruce Cowan, dale_bent, Grant Crawford, Gerry/Joy Gabel, Richard McCreedy, Patrick James Gossman, srodawa, Suzan Alexander, Alan Ballard, Paul Whaley, Ralph Sayle John Hogg, rhall, George.lindholm, charles.benet, Gavin Eadie, Mike Alexander, Donald Boettner
Subject: Re: MTS bibliography
My thanks to everyone who responded to my original note. There are now 71 items on the MTS Bibliography (up from 56) and 26 of them are from folks at sites other than UM (up from 12).
From: Jeff Ogden
Date: November 3, 2010 2:49:50 PM EDT
To: Harry Whitfield, Denis Russell, Tony Young, Ron Kerr, Elizabeth Barraclough, Garance A Drosehn, Don Porter, Wilson Dillaway, eliotb, Bruce Cowan, Dale Bent, grantc, Gerry/Joy Gabel, Richard McCreedy, Patrick James Gossman, srodawa, Suzan Alexander, Alan Ballard, Paul Whaley, Ralph Sayle, John Hogg, rhall, George.lindholm, charles.benet
Cc: Gavin Eadie, Mike Alexander, Donald Boettner
Subject: MTS bibliography
Most of the 56 of the 68 items listed in the MTS Bibliography are from UM. This may be because folks from UM wrote more than the other sites, but I suspect that we are missing a number of items from sites other than UM simply because we don't know about them. Can others remember items that we should add?
We do have 12 items from sites other than UM:
UBC: Chanson, S.T., and Bishop, Craig, University of British Columbia, "A Simulation Study of Adaptive Scheduling Policies in Interactive Computer Systems", In ACM SIGMETRICS, Performance Evaluation Review, Vol.6, No. 3, pp. 33-39, 1977.
NPS: Conklin, L. R., A study into the problem of deadlock systems with emphasis on allocation of serially reusable resources, Master's thesis, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA., June 1973, 53 pp. †
NPS: Hinson, Elvert F., A Comparative Study of the Michigan Terminal System (MTS) with Other Time Sharing Systems for the IBM 360/67 Computer, Master's thesis, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA., December 1971 †
NPS: Lancaster, Alexander E., Jr., Implementation of the Page Fault Frequency Replacement Algorithm, Master's thesis, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA., June 1973, 43pp. †
NPS: Syns, Gordon H., "Benchmarked comparison of terminal support systems for IBM 360 computers", pp.6-34 In ACM SIGMETRICS Performance Evaluation Review, Vol.3, Issue 2, June 1974.
NUMAC: Hunter, J. Alan and Hall, Nigel F., "A network screen editor implementation", pp. 843-856 In Software: Practice and Experience, Vol.12, Issue 9, September 1982. †
Case Western: Lynch, W. C., "Do disk arms move?", In ACM SIGMETRICS Performance Evaluation Review, pp.13-23, vol.1, issue 4, December 1972). †
WSU: Srodawa, R.J., "Positive Experiences with a Multiprocessing System", ACM Computing Surveys, 10:73-82. March 1978.
WSU: Srodawa, R.J., and Bates, L.A., "An Efficient Virtual Machine Implementation", In AFIPS Conference, Proceedings, pp. 301-308, Vol. 42, 1973.
SFU: Van Epp, Peter & Baines, Bill, Simon Fraser University, "Dropping the Mainframe Without Crushing the Users: Mainframe to Distributed UNIX in Nine Months", Paper presented at LISA VI: 6th Large Installation Systems Administration Conference, Long Beach, California, USA, October 1992. †
UQV: Ward, Kathryn, "Measurement, Characterization and Modelling of an MTS Workload." Masters Thesis, University of Alberta, 1979
UQV: Wesley, Brian, "Adaptive Page Fault Control: Use of Working Set Parameter." University of Alberta, 1974.
And nothing at all from RPI.
Alan Ballard mentioned an article about UBC Plus in a Canadian computer or data processing society journal, but it isn't online and I haven't been able to dig up a paper copy or a proper citation yet.
Was anything about *IF ever published?
Does anyone know anything about the use of MTS at the Naval Post Graduate School? Bruce Arden wondered if this had something to do with Peter Denning's work there, but the timing seems a little off.
Does anyone know anything about William C. Lynch at Case Western Reserve? Did Case Western run MTS or did Lynch work with one of the MTS sites?
From: Jeff Ogden
Date: September 13, 2010 2:48:16 PM EDT
Subject: MTS Wikipedia article and new archive.michigan-terminal-system.org Web site
My thanks to those of you who sent me materials, comments, and suggestions about the updated Wikipedia article on MTS, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Michigan_Terminal_System. I updated the Wikipedia article accordingly.
I received or uncovered so much information that I couldn't include it all in the Wikipedia article. With some help from Gavin and Mike, I created a new web site, archive.michigan-terminal-system.org, to hold the information until we can find better or more permanent homes for it all.
Mike has created PDFs for all of the MTS Volumes and a number of other interesting documents. They are available from the new Web site. There are some photographs of people and hardware. There is a video with Bernie Galler teaching folks the "Basic Use of MTS" on a Model 33 teletype. I'll add the videos on how to use a Model 029 Keypunch soon. There is a video, photographs, and a PDF of the memory book from the September 2004 reception held at UM to honor Robert Bartels. There is an expanded MTS bibliography with links to online material when it exists. There is a list of links to other, less formal, materials. There are discussion items where you can enter stories, questions, and answers to other people's questions or help us all refresh our collective memory about events from 15 to 43 years ago. There is a list of "Myths and misconceptions".
Anyone can view the MTS Archive web site. Only registered users can add or edit material on the site, but anyone can register (details are available on the site's Welcome page). I really hope that many of you will register and add material, in particular stories, photographs, and items for the bibliography. If you don't want to register, feel free to send material to me (firstname.lastname@example.org) ) and I will post it.
Feel free to pass this note on to others who may be interested.
If you don't want to be bothered with this sort of e-mail in the future, just let me know and I promise to stop sending it.
From: Jeff Ogden
Date: August 3, 2010 9:09:06 PM EDT
Subject: updates to the MTS Wikipedia article are pretty much complete
When I started to update the MTS Wikipedia article back on June 11th, I thought it would take me about two weeks. It's now seven weeks later and I'm finally pretty much done. If you have an interest and some time or if you just want a trip down memory lane, would you be willing to look the revised article over and offer comments and suggestions?
This is Wikipedia so you can: (i) either edit the article directly yourself, (ii) add comments and suggestions to the article's discussion page, (iii) send me comments and suggestions via e-mail to email@example.com, or (iv) let me know that you like the changes and you can't think of a single thing that would make the article better (I'm not holding my breath -:).
The article is available at this URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Michigan_Terminal_System
I'm particularly interested in:
Please pass this note on to others who may be interested.
And if any of you don't want to be bothered with this sort of e-mail in the future, just let me know and I promise to stop sending it.
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