The history of software in the United States has been somewhat underdocumented. In an attempt to capture the essence of some of this early work before it becomes lost, the Committee organizing the 1987 National Computer Conference (June 15-18, Chicago) has designated June 17, 1987, Pioneer Day. The author, a RAND consultant for 27 years, was invited to prepare and present this paper on some operating system work he accomplished in the mid-1950s. The developments reported here contributed to a series of operating systems for major IBM computers: SOS, IBSYS, and, with the substitution of disk for tape, OS/360.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.
Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.