Seeking information on the CSTS Timesharing service

JAMES FEHLINGER jfehlinger at
Tue Dec 17 15:03:48 CST 2019

On Mon, Dec 16, 2019 at 8:42 PM jim stephens via cctalk wrote:
> Does anyone have any information on Infonet, which was a timesharing
> which CSC put out?  I've got some info that it had a timesharing service
> called CSTS and would like info on that.
Jerry Reich has brought to my attention the operating systems written by
Computer Science Corporation (CSC) for its Infonet time-sharing network.
In the late 1960s, CSC developed CSCX, which was a highly modified EXEC II [*]
with time-sharing and multiprogramming capabilities. CSCX later evolved
into the CSTS time-sharing system used on the Infonet 1100s throughout
the 1970s. Commercial time-sharing networks were widespread during the
1960s and 1970s.

EXEC II is a discontinued operating system developed for the UNIVAC 1107
by Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) while under contract to UNIVAC
to develop the machine's COBOL compiler. They developed EXEC II because
Univac's EXEC I operating system development was late. . .

EXEC II is a batch processing operating system that supports a
single job stream with concurrent spooling.

I have reason to believe that my very first exposure to digital
computers (in the spring of 1969, at a high school in northern
Delaware taking advantage of a Federal grant to equip a room
with some teletype machines and acoustic couplers) was to
"Conversational Fortran V" running on a Univac 1108 at Computer
Sciences Corporation. Presumably the operating system was CSC's
own modified version of Exec II (CSCX) rather than Exec 8,
but I believe the Fortran V language processor would have been the
same in either case. That taste of high-end timesharing was a
luxurious experience, never to be repeated -- the following year,
those same teletype machines were connected to an overloaded
IBM 1130 at the University of Delaware running BASIC.
Walzl, F. Neil
The Development and Implementation of a District Computer
Education Program.  Final Report.
Newark School District, Del.
Nov 75

. . .

During the 1968-69 school year, three major activities were
conducted. . .   Computer time was purchased
from the Philco Ford Company, Valley Forge, Pennsylvania,
and the Computer Sciences Corporation, Bala Cynwyd,
Pennsylvania. . .
For you Fortran folks, I need to explain Fortran V.

Based on Fortran IV, Fortran V was implemented on Univac 1100-series
hardware (and probably other Univac systems such as the 494) by
Computer Sciences Corporation in the late 1960s. It extended Fortran
to include parameter statements—basically a way to define constants,
conditional compilation, and statement functions—basically macros
that produced in-line code.

In 1970, I went to work for Computer Sciences Corporation working
on systems testing of a new timesharing system they were developing
called CSTS. While some of my work was done in assembly language,
the majority was done in Fortran V. For me, it was the "best scripting language"
I had available. (It was also the only language I had available on CSTS
itself for a while.)

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