My effort to provide and maintain a large public access system capable of supporting a community, in the spirit of the LCM TD-2 / SDF Twenex TOPS-20, ELVIRA RSTS/E at Stacken, Jim Wilcoxson’s PRIRUN PRIMOS, the Cyber1 CDC system, the old Deathrow VMScluster, etc.
I’ll be making a more serious web page with some additional technical details soon. For those here who are interested, the system is based on the Honeywell DPS-8/M virtual machine emulator which is running on OpenBSD. Performance is somewhat faster than a similarly configured hardware site, and should comfortably support many users, with many thousands of users in the future once multiprocessing support has stabilized.
Special thanks to all the Multicians, including but not limited to Tom Van Vleck, Harry Reed, Olin Sibert, Daiyu Hurst, Gary Dixon, Michael Mondy, and especially Charles Anthony and Eric Swenson for many late nights pouring over code and documentation, diagnosing problems, and basically rediscovering (and properly documenting) the tricks, processes, and methods for tuning Multics performance and stability for a particular site - many bugs were fixed along the way. It took a lot of effort to get from a clean slate to something I’d be comfortable making publicly available, and I’d never have been able to do it on my own.
Much of necessary lore was simply never passed down from Honeywell installers to the users or managers of these systems because of just how much there is to know, and the historical separation of duties between sales, installation, field engineering, site administration, system operators, and end users.
Al Kossow of the Computer History Museum and Tom Van Vleck of the Multicians Archive deserve major and extra thanks for their tireless work in cataloging and preserving so much history that would otherwise be lost. This sort of publicly accessible site simply wouldn’t be a possibility if the necessary manuals were not preserved. It’s likely even the emulation would never have been completed without the preservation efforts preceding it.
NOTE: If you experience any issue after being connected to a line, such as the system not echoing characters, not being responsive to input, etc, just disconnect and reconnect to the system and you should get the next available HSLA line. I’m still working out a few issues with the virtualized front-end terminal servers and the emulated mainframe FNP.
Feel free to register for an account - in addition to a user directory and being able to participate in mail and forums, you’ll be able to set a plan file for the finger daemon now and serve your own gopherspace soon.