[TUHS] A Talk on Early Unix

Dan Cross crossd at gmail.com
Thu Jun 30 23:02:07 AEST 2016

On Thu, Jun 30, 2016 at 8:41 AM, Doug McIlroy <doug at cs.dartmouth.edu> wrote:

> [snip]
> Though Unix itself didn't get into switches, Unix people did
> have a significant influence on the OS architecture for
> ESS 5. Bob Morris, having observed some of the tribulations of
> that project, suggested that CS Research build a demonstration
> switch. Lee McMahon, Ken Thompson, and Joe Condon spearheaded
> the effort and enlisted Gerard  Holzmann's help in verification
> (ironically, the only application of Gerhard's methods to
> software made in his own department). They called the system,
> which was very different from Unix, TPC--The Phone Company. It
> actually controlled many of our phones for some years. The
> cleanliness of McMahon's architecture, which ran on a PDP-11,
> caught the attention of Indian Hill and spurred a major
> reworking of the ESS design.

I'm curious if the name "TPC" was an allusion to the apocryphal telephone
company of the same name in the 1967 movie, "The President's Analyst"?

        - Dan C.
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