dict.org

The DICT Development Group


Search for:
Search type:
Database:

Database copyright information
Server information


3 definitions found
 for GCOS
From V.E.R.A. -- Virtual Entity of Relevant Acronyms (February 2016) :

  GCOS
         General Comprehensive Operating System (Honeywell, OS, Honeywell
  Series 60, Honeywell Series 6000)
         

From The Jargon File (version 4.4.7, 29 Dec 2003) :

  GCOS
   /jee'kohs/, n.
  
      A quick-and-dirty clone of System/360 DOS that emerged from GE around
      1970; originally called GECOS (the General Electric Comprehensive Operating
      System). Later kluged to support primitive timesharing and transaction
      processing. After the buyout of GE's computer division by Honeywell, the
      name was changed to General Comprehensive Operating System (GCOS). Other OS
      groups at Honeywell began referring to it as ?God's Chosen Operating
      System?, allegedly in reaction to the GCOS crowd's uninformed and snotty
      attitude about the superiority of their product. All this might be of zero
      interest, except for two facts: (1) The GCOS people won the political war,
      and this led in the orphaning and eventual death of Honeywell Multics,
      and (2) GECOS/GCOS left one permanent mark on Unix. Some early Unix systems
      at Bell Labs used GCOS machines for print spooling and various other
      services; the field added to /etc/passwd to carry GCOS ID information was
      called the GECOS field and survives today as the pw_gecos member used for
      the user's full name and other human-ID information. GCOS later played a
      major role in keeping Honeywell a dismal also-ran in the mainframe market,
      and was itself mostly ditched for Unix in the late 1980s when Honeywell
      began to retire its aging big iron designs.
  

From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (30 December 2018) :

  GCOS
  GECOS
  General Electric Comprehensive Operating System
  
      /jee'kohs/ An operating system developed
     by General Electric from 1962; originally called GECOS (the
     General Electric Comprehensive Operating System).
  
     The GECOS-II operating system was developed by General
     Electric for the 36-bit GE-635 in 1962-1964.  Contrary to
     System/360+[{DOS/360">rumour, GECOS was not cloned from System/360 [{DOS/360?] -
     the GE-635 architecture was very different from the IBM 360
     and GECOS was more ambitious than DOS/360.
  
     GE Information Service Divsion developed a large special
     multi-computer system that was not publicised because they did
     not wish time sharing customers to challenge their bills.
     Although GE ISD was marketing DTSS - the first commercial
     time sharing system - GE Computer Division had no license from
     Dartmouth and GE-ISD to market it to external customers, so
     they designed a time-sharing system to sell as a standard part
     of GECOS-III, which replaced GECOS-II in 1967.  GECOS TSS was
     more general purpose than DTSS, it was more a programmer's
     tool (program editing, e-mail on a single system) than a BASIC
     TSS.
  
     The GE-645, a modified 635 built by the same people, was
     selected by MIT and Bell for the Multics project.
     Multics' infancy was as painful as any infancy.  Bell pulled
     out in 1969 and later produced Unix.
  
     After the buy-out of GE's computer division by Honeywell,
     GECOS-III was renamed GCOS-3 (General Comprehensive Operating
     System).  Other OS groups at Honeywell began referring to it
     as "God's Chosen Operating System", allegedly in reaction to
     the GCOS crowd's uninformed and snotty attitude about the
     superiority of their product.  [Can anyone confirm this?]
     GCOS won and this led in the orphaning and eventual death of
     Honeywell Multics.
  
     Honeywell also decided to launch a new product line called
     Level64, and later DPS-7.  It was decided to mainatin, at
     least temporarily, the 36-bit machine as top of the line,
     because GCOS-3 was so successfull in the 1970s.  The plan in
     1972-1973 was that GCOS-3 and Multics should converge.  This
     plan was killed by Honeywell management in 1973 for lack of
     resources and the inability of Multics, lacking databases
     and transaction processing, to act as a business operating
     system without a substantial reinvestment.
  
     The name "GCOS" was extended to all Honeywell-marketed product
     lines and GCOS-64, a completely different 32-bit operating
     system, significanctly inspired by Multics, was designed in
     France and Boston.  GCOS-62, another different 32-bit low-end
     DOS level was designed in Italy.  GCOS-61 represented a new
     version of a small system made in France and the new DPS-6
     16-bit minicomputer line got GCOS-6.
  
     When the intended merge between GCOS-3 and Multics failed, the
     Phoenix designers had in mind a big upgrade of the
     architecture to introduce segmentation and capabilities.
     GCOS-3 was renamed GCOS-8, well before it started to use the
     new features which were introduced in next generation
     hardware.
  
     The GCOS licenses were sold to the Japanese companies NEC
     and Toshiba who developed the Honeywell products, including
     GCOS, much further, surpassing the IBM 3090 and IBM 390.
  
     When Honeywell decided in 1984 to get its top of the range
     machines from NEC, they considered running Multics on them but
     the Multics market was considered too small.  Due to the
     difficulty of porting the ancient Multics code they considered
     modifying the NEC hardware to support the Multics compilers.
  
     GCOS3 featured a good Codasyl database called IDS
     (Integrated Data Store) that was the model for the more
     successful IDMS.
  
     Several versions of transaction processing were designed for
     GCOS-3 and GCOS-8.  An early attempt at TP for GCOS-3, not
     taken up in Europe, assumed that, as in Unix, a new process
     should be started to handle each transaction.  IBM customers
     required a more efficient model where multiplexed threads
     wait for messages and can share resources.  Those features
     were implemented as subsystems.
  
     GCOS-3 soon acquired a proper TP monitor called Transaction
     Driven System (TDS).  TDS was essentially a Honeywell
     development.  It later evolved into TP8 on GCOS-8.  TDS and
     its developments were commercially successful and predated IBM
     CICS, which had a very similar architecture.
  
     GCOS-6 and GCOS-4 (ex-GCOS-62) were superseded by Motorola
     68000-based minicomputers running Unix and the product
     lines were discontinued.
  
     In the late 1980s Bull took over Honeywell and Bull's
     management chose Unix, probably with the intent to move out of
     hardware into middleware.  Bull killed the Boston proposal
     to port Multics to a platform derived from DPS-6.  Very few
     customers rushed to convert from GCOS to Unix and new machines
     (of CMOS technology) were still to be introduced in 1997 with
     GCOS-8.  GCOS played a major role in keeping Honeywell a
     dismal also-ran in the mainframe market.
  
     Some early Unix systems at Bell Labs used GCOS machines for
     print spooling and various other services.  The field added to
     "/etc/passwd" to carry GCOS ID information was called the
     "{GECOS field" and survives today as the "pw_gecos" member
     used for the user's full name and other human-ID information.
  
     [{Jargon File]
  
     (1998-04-23)
  

Contact=webmaster@dict.org Specification=RFC 2229