Michigan Terminal System

Michigan Terminal System
Michigan Terminal System (MTS)
MTS signon screenshot.png
The MTS welcome screen as seen through a 3270 terminal emulator.
Company / developer University of Michigan and 7 other universities in the US, Canada, and the UK
Programmed in various languages, mostly 360/370 Assembler
Working state Historic
Initial release 1967
Latest stable release 6.0 / 1988 (final)
Available language(s) English
Available programming languages(s) Assembler, FORTRAN, PL/I, PLUS, ALGOL W, Pascal, C, LISP, SNOBOL4, COBOL, PL360, MAD/I, GOM (Good Old Mad), APL, and many more
Supported platforms IBM S/360-67, IBM S/370 and successors
Default user interface Command line interface
History of IBM mainframe
operating systems

On early mainframe computers:

On S/360 and successors:

  • VM line
    • CP-40/CMS 1967
    • CP-67/CMS 1967
    • VP/CSS 1968
    • VM/370 1972
    • VM/BSE (BSEPP)
    • VM/SE (SEPP)
    • VM/SP 1980
    • VM/XA MA 1984
    • VM/XA SF 1985
    • VM/XA SP 1988
    • VM/ESA 1990
    • z/VM 2000
  • TPF line
    • ACP 1967
    • TPF 1979
    • z/TPF 2005
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The Michigan Terminal System (MTS) is one of the first time-sharing computer operating systems.[1] Initially developed in 1967 at the University of Michigan for use on IBM S/360-67, S/370 and compatible mainframe computers, it was developed and used by a consortium of eight universities in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom over a period of 33 years (1967 to 1999).[2]



The software developed by the staff of the University of Michigan's academic Computing Center for the operation of the IBM S/360-67, S/370, and compatible computers can be described as a multiprogramming, multiprocessing, virtual memory, time-sharing supervisor (University of Michigan Multiprogramming Supervisor or UMMPS) that handles a number of resident, reentrant programs. Among them is a large subsystem, called MTS (Michigan Terminal System), for command interpretation, execution control, file management, and accounting. End-users interact with the computer's resources through MTS using terminal, batch, and server oriented facilities.[2]

The name MTS refers to:

  • MTS the UMMPS Job Program with which most end-users interact;
  • MTS the software system, including UMMPS, the MTS and other Job Programs, Command Language Subsystems (CLSs), public files (programs), and documentation; and
  • MTS the time-sharing service offered at a particular site, including the MTS software system, the hardware used to run MTS, the staff that supported MTS and assisted end-users, and the associated administrative policies and procedures.

MTS was used on a production basis at 12 or 13 sites in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Brazil, and possibly Yugoslavia and at several more sites on a trial or benchmarking basis. MTS was developed and maintained by a core group of eight universities that comprised the MTS Consortium.

The University of Michigan ceased operating MTS for end-users on June 30, 1996.[3] By that time, most services had moved to client/server-based computing systems, typically Unix for servers and various Mac, PC, and Unix flavors for clients. The University of Michigan shut down its MTS system for the last time on May 30, 1997.[4]

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) is believed to be the last site to use MTS in a production environment. RPI retired MTS in June 1999.[5]

Today MTS is not readily available, but still runs using IBM S/370 emulators such as Hercules, Sim390,[6] and FLEX-ES.[7]


In the mid-1960s, the University of Michigan was providing batch processing services on IBM 7090 hardware under the control of the University of Michigan Executive System (UMES), but was interested in offering interactive services using time-sharing.[8] At that time the work that computers could perform was limited by their lack of real memory storage capacity. When IBM introduced its System/360 family of computers in the mid-1960s, it did not provide a solution for this limitation and within IBM there were conflicting views about the importance of and need to support time-sharing.

A paper titled Program and Addressing Structure in a Time-Sharing Environment by Bruce Arden, Bernard Galler, Frank Westervelt (all associate directors at UM's academic Computing Center), and Tom O'Brian building upon some basic ideas developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was published in January 1966.[9] The paper outlined a virtual memory architecture using dynamic address translation (DAT) that could be used to implement time-sharing.

After a year of negotiations and design studies, IBM agreed to make a one-of-a-kind version of its S/360-65 mainframe computer with dynamic address translation (DAT) features that would support virtual memory and accommodate UM's desire to support time-sharing. The computer was dubbed the Model S/360-65M.[8] The "M" stood for Michigan. But IBM initially decided not to supply a time-sharing operating system for the machine. Meanwhile, a number of other institutions heard about the project, including General Motors, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) Lincoln Laboratory, Princeton University, and Carnegie Institute of Technology (later Carnegie Mellon University). They were all intrigued by the time-sharing idea and expressed interest in ordering the modified IBM S/360 series machines. With this demonstrated interest IBM changed the computer's model number to S/360-67 and made it a supported product.[1] With requests for over 100 new model S/360-67s IBM realized there was a market for time-sharing, and agreed to develop a new time-sharing operating system called TSS/360 (TSS stood for Time-sharing System) for delivery at roughly the same time as the first model S/360-67.

While waiting for the Model 65M to arrive, UM Computing Center personnel were able to perform early time-sharing experiments using an IBM S/360-50 that was funded by the ARPA CONCOMP (Conversational Use of Computers) Project.[10] The time-sharing experiment began as a "half-page of code written out on a kitchen table" combined with a small multi-programming system, LLMPS from MIT's Lincoln Laboratory,[1] which was modified and became the UM Multi-Programming Supervisor (UMMPS) which in turn ran the MTS job program. This earliest incarnation of MTS was intended as a throw-away system used to gain experience with the new IBM S/360 hardware and which would be discarded when IBM's TSS/360 operating system became available.

Development of TSS took longer than anticipated, its delivery date was delayed, and it was not yet available when the S/360-67 (serial number 2) arrived at the Computing Center in January 1967.[11] At this time UM had to decide whether to return the Model 67 and select another mainframe or to develop MTS as an interim system for use until TSS was ready. The decision was to continue development of MTS and the staff moved their initial development work from the Model 50 to the Model 67. TSS development was eventually canceled by IBM, then reinstated, and then canceled again. But by this time UM liked the system they had developed, it was no longer considered interim, and MTS would be used at UM and other sites for 33 years.

MTS Consortium

MTS was developed, maintained, and used by a consortium of eight universities in the US, Canada, and the United Kingdom:[2][12]

Several sites ran more than one MTS system: NUMAC ran two (first at Newcastle and later at Durham), Michigan ran three in the mid-1980s (UM for Maize, UB for Blue, and HG at Human Genetics), UBC ran three or four at different times (MTS-G, MTS-L, MTS-A, and MTS-I for general, library, administration, and instruction).

Each of the MTS sites made contributions to the development of MTS, sometimes by taking the lead in the design and implementation of a new feature and at other times by refining, enhancing, and critiquing work done elsewhere. Many MTS components are the work of multiple people at multiple sites.[18]

In the early days collaboration between the MTS sites was accomplished through a combination of face-to-face site visits, phone calls, the exchange of documents and magnetic tapes by snail mail, and informal get-togethers at SHARE or other meetings. Later, e-mail, computer conferencing using CONFER and *Forum, network file transfer, and e-mail attachments supplemented and eventually largely replaced the earlier methods.

The members of the MTS Consortium produced a series of 82 MTS Newsletters between 1971 and 1982 to help coordinate MTS development.[19]

Mugs from MTS Workshop VIII, Ann Arbor, July 1982

Starting at UBC in 1974[20] the MTS Consortium held annual MTS Workshops at one of the member sites. The workshops were informal, but included papers submitted in advance and Proceedings published after-the-fact that included session summaries.[21] In the mid-1980s several Western Workshops were held with participation by a subset of the MTS sites (UBC, SFU, UQV, UM, and possibly RPI).

The annual workshops continued even after MTS development work began to taper off. Called simply the "community workshop", they continued until the mid-1990s to share expertise and common experiences in providing computing services, even though MTS was no longer the primary source for computing on their campuses and some had stopped running MTS entirely.

MTS sites

In addition to the eight MTS Consortium sites that were involved in its development, MTS was run at a number of other sites, including:[12]

A copy of MTS was also sent to the University of Sarajevo, Yugoslavia, though whether or not it was ever installed is not known.

INRIA, the French national institute for research in computer science and control in Grenoble, France ran MTS on a trial basis, as did the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, Southern Illinois University, the Naval Postgraduate School, Amdahl Corporation, ST Systems for McGill University Hospitals, Stanford University, and University of Illinois in the United States, and a few other sites.

Hardware used

Computing Center staff member Mike Alexander sitting at the console of the IBM System 360 Model 67 Duplex at the University of Michigan, 1969
Amdahl 470V/6 P2 at the University of Michigan, 1975

In theory MTS will run on the IBM S/360-67, any of the IBM S/370 series, and its successors. MTS has been run on the following computers in production, benchmarking, or trial configurations:[2]

The University of Michigan installed and ran MTS on the first IBM S/360-67 outside of IBM (serial number 2) in 1967, the second Amdahl 470V/6 (serial number 2) in 1975,[25][26] the first Amdahl 5860 (serial number 1) in 1982, and the first factory shipped IBM 3090-400 in 1986.[27] NUMAC ran MTS on the first S/360-67 in the UK and very likely the first in Europe.[28] The University of British Columbia (UBC) took the lead in converting MTS to run on the IBM S/370 series (an IBM S/370-168) in 1974. The University of Alberta installed the first Amdahl 470V/6 in Canada (serial number P5) in 1975.[15]

MTS was designed to support up to four processors on the IBM S/360-67, although IBM only produced one (simplex and half-duplex) and two (duplex) processor configurations of the Model 67. In 1984 RPI updated MTS to support up to 32 processors in the IBM S/370-XA (Extended Addressing) hardware series, although 6 processors is likely the largest configuration actually used.[29] MTS supports the IBM Vector Facility,[30] available as an option on the IBM 3090 and ES/9000 systems.

In early 1967 running on the single processor IBM S/360-67 at UM without virtual memory support, MTS was typically supporting 5 simultaneous terminal sessions and one batch job.[2] In November 1967 after virtual memory support was added, MTS running on the same IBM S/360-67 was simultaneously supporting 50 terminal sessions and up to 5 batch jobs.[2] In August 1968 a dual processor IBM S/360-67 replaced the single processor system, supporting roughly 70 terminal and up to 8 batch jobs.[31] By late 1991 MTS at UM was running on an IBM ES/9000-720 supporting over 600 simultaneous terminal sessions and from 3 to 8 batch jobs.[2]

MTS can run under VM/CMS and some MTS sites did so, but most ran MTS on native hardware without using a virtual machine.


Some of the notable features of MTS include:[32]

  • The use of Virtual memory and Data Address Translation (DAT) on the IBM S/360-67 in 1967.[33]
  • The use of multiprocessing on an IBM S/360-67 with two CPUs in 1968.
  • Programs with access to (for the time) very large virtual address spaces.
  • A straight forward command language that is the same for both terminal and batch jobs.
  • A strong device independent input/output model that allows the same commands and programs to access terminals, disk files, printers, magnetic and paper tapes, card readers and punches, floppy disks, network hosts, and an audio response unit (ARU).
  • A file system with support for "line files" where the line numbers and length of individual lines are stored as metadata separate from the data contents of the line and the ability to read, insert, replace, and delete individual lines anywhere in the file without the need to read or write the entire file.[34]
  • A file editor ($EDIT) with both command line and "visual" interfaces and pattern matching based on SNOBOL4 patterns.[35]
  • The ability to share files in controlled ways (read, write-change, write-expand, destroy, permit).[36]
  • The ability to permit files, not just to other user IDs and projects (aka groups), but to specific commands or programs and combinations of user IDs, projects, commands and programs.[36]
  • The ability for multiple users to manage simultaneous access to files with the ability to implicitly and explicitly lock and unlock files and to detect deadlocks.[34]
  • Network host to host access from commands and programs as well as access to or from remote network printers, card readers and punches.[37]
  • An e-mail system ($MESSAGE) that supports local and network mail with the ability to send to groups, to recall messages that haven't already been read, to add recipients to messages after they have been sent, and to display a history of messages in an e-mail chain without the need to include the text from older messages in each new message.[38]
  • The ability to access tapes remotely, and to handle data sets that extend across multiple tapes efficiently.[39]
  • The availability of a rich collection of well-documented subroutine libraries.[19][40][41]
  • The ability for multiple users to quickly load and use a collection of common reentrant subroutines, which are available in shared virtual memory.
  • The availability of compilers, assemblers, and a Symbolic Debugging System (SDS) that allow users to debug programs written in high-level languages such as FORTRAN, Pascal, PL/I, ... as well as in assembly language.
  • A strong protection model that uses the virtual memory hardware and the S/360 and S/370 hardware's supervisor and problem states and via software divides problem state execution into system (privileged or unprotected) and user (protected or unprivileged) modes. Relatively little code runs in supervisor state. For example Device Support Routines (DSRs, aka device drivers) are not part of the supervisor and run in system mode in problem state rather than in supervisor state.[36][42][43]
  • A simulated Branch on Program Interrupt (BPI) instruction.[44]

Programs developed for MTS

The following are some of the notable programs developed for MTS:[45]

  • Awit, a computer chess program written in Algol W by Tony Marsland.[46]
  • Chaos, one of the leading computer chess programs from 1973 through 1985. Written in FORTRAN Chaos started at RCA Systems Programming division in Cinnaminson, NJ with Fred Swartz and Victor Berman as first authors, Mike Alexander and others joined the team later and moved development to MTS at the UM Computing Center.[47]
  • CONFER II, one of the first computer conferencing systems. CONFER was developed by Robert Parnes starting in 1975 while he was a graduate student and with support from the University of Michigan's Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (CRLT).[48][49]
  • FakeOS, a simulator that allows object modules containing OS/360 SVCs, control blocks, and references to OS/360 access methods to execute under MTS.
  • Forum, a computer conferencing system developed by staff of the Computing Centre at the University of British Columbia (UBC).
  • GOM (Good Old Mad), a compiler for the 7090 MAD language converted to run under MTS by Don Boettner of the UM's Computing Center.[50]
  • IF (Interactive Fortran), developed by the University of British Columbia Computing Centre.
  • Micro, one of the earliest relational database management systems implemented in 1970 at the University of Michigan.
  • MIDAS (Michigan Interactive Data Analysis System), an interactive statistical analysis package developed by Dan Fox and others at UM's Statistical Research Laboratory.[51]
  • Plus, a programming language developed by Alan Ballard and Paul Whaley of the Computing Centre at the University of British Columbia (UBC).[52]
  • TAXIR, an information storage and retrieval system designed for taxonomic data at the University of Colorado by David Rogers, Henry Fleming, Robert Brill, and George Estabrook and ported to MTS and enhanced by Brill at the University of Michigan.[53]
  • Textform, a text-processing program developed at the University of Alberta's Computing Centre to support device independent output to a wide range of devices from line printers, to the Xerox 9700 page printers, to advanced phototypesetting equipment using fixed width and proportional fonts.[54]
  • VSS, a simulator developed at the University of British Columbia's Computing Centre that makes it possible to run OS/MFT, OS/MVT, VS1, and MVS application programs under MTS.

Programs that run under MTS

The following are some of the notable programs ported to MTS from other systems:[45]

  • APL VS, IBM's APL VS compiler program product.
  • ASMH, a version of IBM's 370 assembler with enhancements from SLAC and MTS.
  • COBOL VS, IBM's COBOL VS compiler program product.
  • CSMP, IBM's Continuous System Modeling Program.[55]
  • Fortran, the G, H, and VS compilers from IBM.
  • GASP, a FORTRAN based discrete simulation package.[56]
  • MPS, IBM's Mathematical Programming System/360.[57]
  • NASTRAN, finite element analysis program originally developed by and for NASA.[58]
  • OSIRIS (Organized Set of Integrated Routines for Investigations with Statistics), a collection of statistical analysis programs developed at the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research (ISR).[59]
  • PascalSB, the Stony Brook Pascal compiler.
  • Pascal/SLAC, the Pascal compiler from the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center.
  • Pascal VS, IBM's Pascal VS compiler program product.
  • PL/I Optimizing Compiler from IBM.
  • REDUCE2, an algebraic language implemented in LISP.[60]
  • SAS (Statistical Analysis System).
  • SHAZAM, a package for estimating, testing, simulating and forecasting econometrics and statistical models
  • SIMSCRIPT II.5, a free-form, English-like, general-purpose discrete event simulation language.[61]
  • SPIRES (Stanford Public Information Retrieval System), a database management system.
  • SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences)
  • TELL-A-GRAPH, a proprietary conversational graphics program from ISSCO of San Diego, CA.[62]
  • TEX, Don Knuth's TeX text-processing program.[63]
  • TROLL, econometric modeling and statistical analysis[64]

Programming languages available under MTS

MTS supports a rich set of programming languages, some developed for MTS and others ported from other systems:[45]

System architecture

MTS Architecture[96]
State Mode[36] VM Interrupts
User programs problem user on on
Command Language Subsystems (CLSs),
Device Support Routines (DSRs),
System Subroutines
Job programs (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 complete control of the hardware and manages a collection of job programs.[31] One of the job programs is MTS, the job program with which most users interact.[2] MTS operates as a collection of command language subsystems (CLSs). One of the CLSs allows for the execution of user programs. MTS provides a collection of system subroutines that are available to CLSs, user programs, and MTS itself.[40] Among other things these system subroutines provide standard access to Device Support Routines (DSRs), the components that perform device dependent input/output.

Manuals and documentation

The lists that follow are quite University of Michigan centric. Most other MTS sites used some of this material, but they also produced their own manuals, memos, reports, and newsletters tailored to the needs of their site.

End-user documentation

The manual series MTS: The Michigan Terminal System, was published from 1967 through 1991, in volumes 1 through 23, which were updated and reissued irregularly.[19] Initial releases of the volumes did not always occur in numeric order and volumes occasionally changed names when they were updated or republished. In general, the higher the number, the more specialized the volume.

The earliest versions of MTS Volume I and II had a different organization and content from the MTS volumes that followed and included some internal as well as end user documentation. The second edition from December 1967 covered:

  • MTS Volume I: Introduction; Concepts and facilities; Calling conventions; Batch, Terminal, Tape, and Data Concentrator user's guides; Description of UMMPS and MTS; Files and devices; Command language; User Programs; Subroutine and macro library descriptions; Public or library file descriptions; and Internal specifications: Dynamic loader (UMLOAD), File and Device Management (DSRI prefix and postfix), Device Support Routines (DSRs), and File routines[97]
  • MTS Volume II: Language processor descriptions: F-level assembler; FORTRAN G; IOH/360; PIL; SNOBOL4; UMIST; WATFOR; and 8ASS (PDP-8 assembler)[94]

The following MTS Volumes were published by the University of Michigan Computing Center[2] and are available as PDFs:[98][99][100][101]

  • MTS Volume 1: The Michigan Terminal System, 1991
  • MTS Volume 2: Public File Descriptions, 1990
  • MTS Volume 3: Subroutine and Macro Descriptions, 1989
  • MTS Volume 4: Terminals and Networks in MTS, 1988 (earlier Terminals and Tapes)
  • MTS Volume 5: System Services, 1985
  • MTS Volume 6: FORTRAN in MTS, 1988
  • MTS Volume 7: PL/I in MTS, 1985
  • MTS Volume 8: LISP and SLIP in MTS, 1983
  • MTS Volume 9: SNOBOL4 in MTS, 1983
  • MTS Volume 10: BASIC in MTS, 1980
  • MTS Volume 11: Plot Description System, 1985
  • MTS Volume 12: PIL/2 in MTS, 1974
  • MTS Volume 13: The Symbolic Debugging System, 1985 (earlier Data Concentrator User's Guide)
  • MTS Volume 14: 360/370 Assemblers in MTS, 1986
  • MTS Volume 15: FORMAT and TEXT360, 1988
  • MTS Volume 16: ALGOL W in MTS, 1980
  • MTS Volume 17: Integrated Graphics System, 1984
  • MTS Volume 18: MTS File Editor, 1988
  • MTS Volume 19: Tapes and Floppy Disks, 1993
  • MTS Volume 20: PASCAL in MTS, 1989
  • MTS Volume 21: MTS Command Extensions and Macros, 1991
  • MTS Volume 22: Utilisp in MTS, 1988
  • MTS Volume 23: Messaging and Conferencing in MTS, 1991
  • MTS Reference Summary, a ~60 page, 3" x 7.5", pocket guide to MTS, Computing Center, University of Michigan
  • The Taxir primer : MTS version, Brill, Robert C., Computing Center, University of Michigan
  • Fundamental Use of the Michigan Terminal System, Thomas J. Schriber, 5th Edition (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, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 1968–1979, 1976 538 p.
  • Documentation for MIDAS, Michigan Interactive Data Analysis System, Statistical Research Laboratory, University of Michigan[102]
  • OSIRIS III MTS Supplement, Center for Political Studies, University of Michigan[103]

Various aspects of MTS at the University of Michigan were documented in a series of Computing Center Memos (CCMemos)[99][104] which were published irregularly from 1967 through 1987, numbered 2 through 924, though not necessarily in chronological order. Numbers 2 through 599 are general memos about various software and hardware; the 600 series are the Consultant's Notes series—short memos for beginning to intermediate users; the 800 series covers issues relating to the Xerox 9700 printer, text processing, and typesetting; and the 900 series covers microcomputers. There was no 700 series. In 1989 this series continued as Reference Memos with less of a focus on MTS.[105][106]

Univ. of Michigan IT Digest, May 1996

A long run of newsletters targeted to end-users at the University of Michigan with the titles Computing Center News, Computing Center Newsletter, U-M Computing News, and the Information Technology Digest were published starting in 1971.[99][104]

There was also introductory material presented in the User Guide, MTS User Guide, and Tutorial series, including:[99]

  • Getting connected—Introduction to Terminals and Microcomputers
  • Introduction to the Computing Center
  • Introduction to Computing Center services
  • Introduction to Database Management Systems 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

The following materials were not widely distributed, but were included in MTS Distributions:[19][98][100]

  • MTS Operators Manual[107]
  • MTS Message Manual
  • MTS Volume n: Systems Edition[108]
  • MTS Volume 99: Internals Documentation
  • Supervisor Call Descriptions[109]
  • Disk Disaster Recovery Procedures
  • A series of lectures describing the architecture and internal organization of the Michigan Terminal System given by Mike Alexander, Don Boettner, Jim Hamilton, and Doug Smith (4 audio tapes, lecture notes, and transcriptions)


The University of Michigan released MTS on magnetic tape on an irregular basis.[19] There were full and partial distributions, where full distributions (D1.0, D2.0, ...) included all of the MTS components and partial distributions (D1.1, D1.2, D2.1, D2.2, ...) included just the components that had changed since the last full or partial distribution.

MTS distributions included the updates needed to run licensed program products and other proprietary software under MTS, but not the base proprietary software itself, which had to be obtained separately from the owners. Except for IBM's Assembler H, none of the licensed programs were required to run MTS.

The last MTS distribution was D6.0 released in April 1988. It consisted of 10,003 files on six 6250 bpi magnetic tapes. After 1988 distribution of MTS components was done in an ad hoc fashion using network file transfer.

To allow new sites to get started from scratch two additional magnetic tapes were made available, an IPLable boot tape that contained a minimalist version of MTS plus the DASDI and DISKCOPY utilities that could be used to initialize and restore a one disk pack starter version of MTS from the second magnetic tape. In the earliest days of MTS the standalone TSS DASDI and DUMP/RESTORE utilities rather than MTS itself were used to create the one disk starter system.

There were also less formal redistributions where individual sites would send magnetic tapes containing new or updated work to a coordinating site. That site would copy the material to a common magnetic tape (RD1, RD2, ...), and send copies of the tape out to all of the sites. Sadly the contents of most the redistribution tapes seem to have been lost.


MTS is no longer available for license.

In its earliest days MTS was made available for free without the need for a license to sites that were interested in running MTS and which seemed to have the knowledgeable staff required to support it.

In the mid-1980s licensing arrangements were formalized with the University of Michigan acting as agent for and granting licenses on behalf of the MTS Consortium.[110] MTS licenses were available to academic organizations for an annual fee of $5,000, to other non-profit organizations for $10,000, and to commercial organizations for $25,000. The license restricted MTS from being used to provide commercial computing services. The licensees received a copy of the full set of MTS distribution tapes, any incremental distributions prepared during the year, written installation instructions, two copies of the current user documentation, and a very limited amount of assistance.

Only a few organizations licensed MTS. Several licensed MTS in order to run a single program such as CONFER. The fees collected were used to offset some of the common expenses of the MTS Consortium.


  1. ^ a b c "In late 1968, MTS was the only large-scale timesharing system to be in regular, reliable operation in the US" in "The Life and Work of Bernard A. Galler (1928-2006)", Atsushi Akera, IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 30, no. 1 (Jan-Mar 2008), p.8
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i MTS Volume 1: The Michigan Terminal System, pages 3,11-14, May 1984 and Nov. 1991, University of Michigan Computing Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  3. ^ "MTS Service to End", Information Technology Digest, Vol. 5, No. 5 (May 12, 1996), p.7
  4. ^ "MTS Timeline", Information Technology Digest, University of Michigan, pp.9-10, Volume 5, No. 5 (May 13, 1966)
  5. ^ "MTS Timeline", an after the fact one entry addition for 1999 to Information Technology Digest, University of Michigan, Volume 5, No. 5 (May 13, 1966)
  6. ^ Sim390, an ESA/390 emulator
  7. ^ FLEX-ES, a S/390 and z/Architecture emulator
  8. ^ a b "A History of MTS—30 Years of Computing Service", Susan Topol, Information Technology Digest, Volume 5, No. 5 (May 13, 1996), University of Michigan
  9. ^ "Program and Addressing Structure in a Time-Sharing Environment", B. W. Arden , B. A. Galler , T. C. O'Brien , F. H. Westervelt, Journal of the ACM (JACM), v.13 n.1, p.1-16, Jan. 1966
  10. ^ CONCOMP : Research in Conversational Use of Computers : Final Report, Westervelt, F. H., University of Michigan Computing Center, 1970
  11. ^ The IBM 360/67 and CP/CMS, Tom Van Vleck
  12. ^ a b "How did sites learn about and make the decision to use MTS?", an item in the discussion section of the Michigan Terminal System Archive
  13. ^ MTS at UM Retired
  14. ^ a b Northumbrian Universities Multiple Access Computer (N.U.M.A.C.), a collaboration between of the universities of Durham (DUR), Newcastle upon Tyne (UNE) and Newcastle Polytechnic that shared a S/360-67 at Newcastle starting in 1969
  15. ^ a b Timeline of Computing Services at the University of Alberta
  16. ^ Dropping the Mainframe Without Crushing the Users: Mainframe to Distributed UNIX in Nine Months Peter Van Epp & Bill Baines, Simon Fraser University
  17. ^ In 1982 NUMAC installed a separate machine running MTS at the University of Durham, prior to that both DUR and UNE shared a single MTS system running at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.
  18. ^ It is difficult to properly give credit for all the work that was done, however, to avoid giving too little credit and at the risk of not giving proper credit to everyone that made contributions, an attempt is made to note the sites where a major feature or enhancement was initially developed
  19. ^ a b c d e Michigan Terminal System (MTS) subseries, Computing Center publications, 1965-1999, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan
  20. ^ Proceedings - MTS Systems Workshop, 1974, University of British Columbia, Canada
  21. ^ MTS (Michigan Terminal System) 1970-1986 series, Computing Center (University of Michigan) records, 1952-1996 and 1959-1987, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan
  22. ^ CBPF is the Brazilian Center for Physics Research
  23. ^ CNPq is the National Council of Scientific and Technological Development
  24. ^ EMBRAPA is the Brazilian Enterprise for Agricultural Research
  25. ^ Amdahl 470V/6 P2 at the Computing History Museum
  26. ^ "A performance Comparison of the Amdahl 470V/6 and the IBM 370/168", Allan R. Emery and M. T. Alexander, a paper read at the meeting of the Computer Measurement Group, October 1975, San Francisco
  27. ^ Earlier 3090-400s were upgraded in the field from 3090-200s, "Installing the 3090", UM Computing News, vol 1, no. 8, 10 November 1986, p. 5
  28. ^ "E-mail from Ewan Page, First Director at NUMAC, to Denis Russell, 19 April 2011
  29. ^ MTS History at RPI, 1989, 5p.
  30. ^ "The IBM System/370 vector architecture", W. Buchholz, IBM Systems Journal, Volume 25, No. 1 (1986), pp. 51-62
  31. ^ a b "Organization and features of the Michigan Terminal System", M. T. Alexander, p. 586, Proceedings of the May 1972 AFIPS Spring Joint Computer Conference
  32. ^ MTS Innovations in A History of MTS: 30 Years of Computing Service, Information Technology Digest, Volume 5, No. 5 (May 13, 1966), University of Michigan
  33. ^ Michigan Terminal System overview and photos by Dave Mills
  34. ^ a b "A file system for a general-purpose time-sharing environment", G. C. Pirkola, Proceedings of the IEEE, June 1975, volume 63 no. 6, pp. 918–924, ISSN 0018-9219
  35. ^ MTS Volume 18: MTS File Editor, University of Michigan Computing Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  36. ^ a b c d "The Protection of Information in a General Purpose Time-Sharing Environment", Gary C. Pirkola and John Sanguinetti, Proceedings of the IEEE Symposium on Trends and Applications 1977: Computer Security and Integrity, vol. 10 no. 4, , pp. 106-114
  37. ^ "A Chronicle of Merit's Early History". Merit Network. 2008. http://www.merit.edu/about/history/article.php. Retrieved 2008-09-15. —A university press release called a demonstration of the network (with a connection between UM and Wayne State University) on December 14, 1971, as "a milestone in higher education" and an "historic event."
  38. ^ MTS Volume 23: Messaging and Conferencing in MTS, University of Michigan Computing Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  39. ^ MTS Volume 19: Tapes and Floppy Disks, University of Michigan Computing Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  40. ^ a b MTS Volume 3: System Subroutine Descriptions, February 1983, University of Michigan Computing Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  41. ^ "The Internal Design of the IG Routines, an Interactive Graphics System for a Large Timesharng Environment", James Blinn and Andrew Goodrich, SIGGRAPH Proceedings, 1976, pp. 229-234
  42. ^ "The use of the monitor call instruction to implement domain switching in the IBM 370 architecture", John Sanguinetti, University of Michigan Computing Center, ACM SIGOPS Operating Systems Review, Volume 15, Issue 4 (October 1981), pp.55-61
  43. ^ "A penetration analysis of the Michigan Terminal System", B. Hebbard, P. Grosso, et. al., ACM SIGOPS Operating Systems Review, Volume 14 , Issue 1 (January 1980), pp.7-20
  44. ^ MTS Volume 14: 360/370 Assemblers in MTS, May 1983, University of Michigan Computing Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  45. ^ a b c d MTS Volume 2: Public File Descriptions, University of Michigan Computing Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  46. ^ Awit article on chessprogramming.wikispaces.com
  47. ^ Chaos article on chessprogramming.wikispaces.com
  48. ^ "Computer-based educational communications at the University of Michigan", Karl L. Zinn, Robert Parnes, and Helen Hench, Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (CRLT), University of Michigan, Proceedings of the ACM Annual Conference/Meeting, 1976, pages 150-154
  49. ^ The History of the Student Conferencing Project, University of Michigan, c. 1997
  50. ^ a b GOM: Good Old Mad, Donald Boettner, June 1989, University of Michigan Computing Center, 110p.
  51. ^ Documentation for MIDAS: Michigan Interactive Data Analysis System, by Daniel J. Fox and Kenneth E. Guire, 1974, Statistical Research Laboratory University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  52. ^ a b UBC PLUS: The Plus Programming Language, Allan Ballard and Paul Whaley, October 1987, University of British Columbia Computing Centre, 198pp.
  53. ^ The Taxir Primer, R. C. Brill, 1971, Colorado Univ., Boulder. Inst. of Arctic and Alpine Research
  54. ^ Textform, Computing Services, University of Alberta, 1984, 216 p.
  55. ^ Continuous-system simulation languages: A state-of-the-art survey, Ragnar N. Nilsen and Walter J. Karplus, Computer Science Department, UCLA
  56. ^ Simulation with GASP II, A. A. B. Pritzker and Philip J. Kiviat, Prentice-Hall, 1969
  57. ^ a b MPS/360 Version 2, Linear and Separable Programming User's Manual (GH20-0476), 1971, IBM Corporation
  58. ^ MSC/NASTRAN at the University of Michigan, William J. Anderson and Robert E. Sandstorm, 1982, University of Michigan College of Engineering
  59. ^ "Statistical Analysis and Data Management Highlights of OSIRIS IV", Neal A. Van Eck, The American Statistician, Vol. 34, No. 2 (May, 1980), pp. 119-121
  60. ^ "REDUCE 2: A system and language for algebraic manipulation", Proceedings of the Second ACM Symposium on Symbolic and Algebraic Manipulation, 1971, pages 128-133
  61. ^ Building Simulation models with SIMSCRIPT II.5, Edward C. Russell, 1999, CACI, Los Angeles, CA
  62. ^ TELL-A-GRAF in MTS, Computing Center Memo 450, University of Michigan
  63. ^ The Texbook by Don Knuth, 1984, Addison-Wesley Publishing Company
  64. ^ History of TROLL
  65. ^ MTS Volume 16: ALGOL W in MTS, University of Michigan Computing Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  66. ^ Revised Report on the Algorithmic Language ALGOL 68 (PDF), A. van Wijngaarden, et al.
  67. ^ CCMemo 435: MTS VS APL User's Guide, University of Michigan Computing Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  68. ^ A Programming Language, K. E. Iverson, 1962, John Wiley & Sons
  69. ^ APL Language Reference, IBM publication GC26-3874
  70. ^ APL/360 Primer, IBM publication GH20-0689
  71. ^ MTS Volume 10: Basic in MTS, University of Michigan Computing Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  72. ^ Waterloo BASIC - A Structured Programming Approach, Primer and Reference Manual, J. W. Grahm, et al., 1980, WATFAC Publications Ltd., Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
  73. ^ The BCPL Reference Manual, Memorandum M-352, Project MAC, Cambridge, July, 1967
  74. ^ IBM OS Full Americal National Standard COBOL System Library Manual, IBM publication GC28-6396
  75. ^ CCMemo 439: IBM VS COBOL under MTS, University of Michigan Computing Center
  76. ^ CCMemo 416: Extended XPL", University of Michigan Computing Center
  77. ^ MTS Volume 6: FORTRAN in MTS, University of Michigan Computing Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  78. ^ GPSS/H User's Manual, James O. Henriksen, Wolverine Software Corp.
  79. ^ IBM General Purpose Simulation System V User's Manual, IBM publication SH20-0851
  80. ^ Simulation Using GPSS, Thomas J. Schriber, 1974, John Wiley & Sons
  81. ^ The Icon Programming Language, Ralph E. Griswold and Madge T. Griswold, 1983, Prentice-Hall, N.Y.
  82. ^ MTS Volume 8: LISP and SLIP in MTS, University of Michigan Computing Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  83. ^ LISP 1.5 Programmer's Manual, J. McCarthy, et al., 1966, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA
  84. ^ MTS Volume 20: PASCAL in MTS, University of Michigan Computing Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  85. ^ CCMemo 436: Pascal VS in MTS"
  86. ^ Pascal/VS Language Reference Manual, IBM publication SH20-6168
  87. ^ MTS Volume 12: PIL/2 in MTS, University of Michigan Computing Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  88. ^ MTS Volume 7: PL/I in MTS, University of Michigan Computing Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  89. ^ "PL360, a programming language for the 360 computers", Niklaus Wirth, Journal of the ACM (JACM), Volume 15, No. 1, January 1968, pp.37-74
  90. ^ a b "The System Language for Project SUE", B. L. Clark and J. J. Horning of the Computer Systems Research Group and Department of Computer Science, University of Toronto, Proceedings of the SIGPLAN symposium on Languages for system implementation, 1971, pp.79-88
  91. ^ "Compiling Simula: A historical study of technological genesis", Jan Rune Holmevik, IEEE Annals in the History of Computing, Volume 16 No. 4, 1994, pp.25-37
  92. ^ a b MTS Volume 9: SNOBOL4 in MTS, University of Michigan Computing Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  93. ^ The SNOBOL4 Programming Language, Griswold, Ralph E., J. F. Poage, and I. P. Polonsky, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1968, Prentice Hall
  94. ^ a b MTS Volume II, second edition, December 1, 1967, University of Michigan Computing Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 415 p.
  95. ^ "TRAC, A Procedure-Describing Language for the Reactive Typewriter", Calvin N. Mooers, Communications of the ACM (CACM), Vol.9 No.3 (March 1966), pp.215-219, ISSN:0001-0782
  96. ^ MTS Lecture 1, a transcription of the first in a series of lectures on the internals of the Michigan Terminal System given by Mike Alexander, Don Boettner, Jim Hamilton, and Doug Smith, c. 1972
  97. ^ MTS Volume I, second edition, December 1, 1967, University of Michigan Computing Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 415 p.
  98. ^ a b "Computing Center" collection within "Archival Collections -- Bentley Library" of the University of Michigan's Deep Blue digital archive
  99. ^ a b c d UM Computing Center Public Category in the Hathi Trust Digital Library
  100. ^ a b MTS PDF Document Archive at BitSavers.org
  101. ^ Manuals and Documentation section of the MTS Archive Web site (archive-Michigan-Terminal-System.org)
  102. ^ MIDAS public category at the Hathi Trust Digital Library
  103. ^ OSIRIS public category at the Hathi Trust Digital Library
  104. ^ a b Unit Publications series, Computing Center publications, 1965-1999, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan
  105. ^ Unit Publications series, Information Technology Division (University of Michigan) publications, 1971-1999, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan
  106. ^ ITD Publications, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, November 1995, 24 pages
  107. ^ MTS Operators Manual, February 1995, University of Michigan, 574p.
  108. ^ MTS Volume 1: Systems Edition, Obsolete and Internal MTS Commands, November 1991, University of Michigan, 60pp.
  109. ^ UMMPS D6.0 Supervisor Call Descriptions, November 1987, University of Michigan, 156p.
  110. ^ MTS Licensing Statement, November 1986, Leonard J. Harding, MTS (Michigan Terminal System), 1968-1996, Computing Center records 1952-1996, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan

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