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Personalized and objective advice Custom financial strategies College savings plans Retirement planning. The machine would also have to support new terminals made to Rand's specifications, and be delivered by 31 October A total of nine bids were received for the new machine. DEC also agreed to build thirty terminals based on the IBM Selectric typewriter modified with a special mechanism to advance to the next page in a fan-fold paper feed. Several other portions of the overall system were delivered from other companies. The new version of the code was developed by Charles L.
Baker, Joseph W.
Robert L. Joss
Smith, Irwin D. Greenwald, and G. Edward Bryan. The first prototype terminal arrived in November. In December, a terminal in Las Vegas was connected to the machine remotely for the first time. Its last running program was written in JOSS and counted down seconds until it would be turned off.
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The new machine offered about 30 times the computational speed, five times the storage space per user, and many new features in the language itself. By , there were between and users at Rand and various Air Force sites across the country. Many of these were occasional users, precisely what the system had been intended for. To support them, the terminals were equipped with special "JOSS plugs" so they could be wheeled from office to office and plugged into custom outlets.
Toggling the power switch on the terminal caused it to connect at the new location.
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Usage continued to grow, and by the early s the system was once again being bogged down. This port was accomplished by IBM programmers on the west coast. Little information about this system exists. The machine was equipped with two banks of core memory , with 16k bit words in each bank. The JOSS system itself, which included the operating system , user and file management code, terminal handler and the interpreter, used up much of the first of these banks. The second bank was used for user programs. Although this was a relatively large amount of memory for the era, the system was so heavily used that the 16k word user store was not enough, and it was backed up with a magnetic drum for paging support.
In order to support multiple user programs, the PDP-6 hardware was modified to examine bit of any address reference. If this bit was set, the address was in "user space" and was modified so that address zero pointed to the base address of that user. In this way, user programs could be moved about in memory without causing problems for the system, and the operating system could switch from user to user simply by changing a single internal register. Permanent storage was provided by a Storage Products hard drive with 5. An IBM-compatible tape drive was used to move data to and from the drive as needed, an operation that was also independent of the CPU.
Terminals were handled through a custom "concentrator" that consisted of a mechanical Strowger switch that could connect any of the to possible terminal plugs to any of 40 outputs. Those 48 lines were then connected to an electronic multiplexer connected to the CPU. The multiplexer was interrupt driven, meaning idle terminals did not use up any cycles. These consisted of a Selectric mechanism built into a custom chassis containing the communications system, power supply, and other components.
The communications system was based on a 6-bit character code in a 8-bit packet with start and stop bits. Shift-in and shift-out codes were used to move the ribbon from green to black and back. These codes were also noticed by the communications system and changed lights on the front panel to indicate whether the computer or user had control of the terminal at that moment.
JOSS introduced the idea of a single command line editor that worked both as an interactive language and a program editor.
ermidcacomca.cf Commands that were typed without a line number were executed immediately, in what JOSS referred to as "direct mode". If the same line was prefixed with a line number, it was instead copied into the program code storage area, which JOSS called "indirect mode".
New lines were added to the program if the line number was unique, replaced existing lines with the same number, or removed from the program if an existing line number was typed in without any code following it. When loaded, JOSS effectively typed the lines back in. This meant that "program files" could contain both program statements as well as instructions. For instance, it was common to see programs that listed the statement lines and then have the file end with Go.
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There were some features that could only be used in direct mode, like Let and Form , which were input without line numbers but still returned when the program was loaded. Direct and indirect instructions could be mixed freely in a workspace. Every line in a JOSS program must start with a line number. Line numbers are fixed-point numbers consisting of two two-digit integers separated by a period. Entering a line of code with a new line number inserts it into the program, while entering one with an existing line number replaces the previous version or deletes it if it is empty.
The portion of the line number to the left of the period is known as the "page" or "part", while the portion to the right is known as the "line". Thus the line number Branches can target either a page or a line within a page. When the later format is used, the combined page and line is known as a "step".
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