[Simh] TSS-8 and ETOS free-redistribution licenses (PDP-8 operating systems)

Rick Murphy simh at rickmurphy.net
Sat Jan 14 14:29:01 EST 2017

On 1/14/2017 8:29 AM, Clement T. Cole wrote:
> Hmmm.  I've forgotten / not sure I ever knew -- but I did not think 
> TSS-8 was an official product. I may be confusing / mixing memories 
> here   🤔 - but I thought I remember the sources kicking around. (In 
> truth, I'm not sure I c |an help much as I was late to TSS-8).
All of the TSS/8 customers received source listings.  There's a set of 
sources available for download apparently from someone who retyped the 
source.  TSS/8 was definitely a real DEC product, but I doubt it was 
ever sold unbundled from hardware.  For reference, my first job at DEC 
was in the group that did worldwide support for PDP-8 systems, including 
the schools running TSS/8.
> Anyway, I always thought it was created by a customer and DEC 
> educational system group redistributed it.  ???Maybe try checking some 
> DECUS archives from the late 1960s/early 1970s if possible???
The ideas around TSS/8 (timesharing mode) came from a research project 
at CMU.  CMU and DEC collaborated to build the initial TSS/8 system.

You may be thinking of EDUsystem-50, which was the TSS/8 rebranding by 
the edu group. Several EDUsystem variants existed, from single-user 
BASIC systems up to TSS/8 multiuser.

Apparently this is covered by the blanket license grant making all DEC 
PDP-8 software public domain. (Thanks, Bob!)
> Sent from my iPad
> On Jan 14, 2017, at 4:06 AM, Warren Young <tangentsoft at gmail.com 
> <mailto:tangentsoft at gmail.com>> wrote:
>> I'm the current maintainer of the PiDP-8/I software project 
>> <https://tangentsoft.com/pidp8i/wiki?name=Home>. I've been going 
>> through the files we distribute to make sure we have proper licenses 
>> for them and have come up short on a few things: the TSS-8 and ETOS 
>> disk images. I've simply been unable to find any indication online 
>> that they were ever licensed for free redistribution.
>> I'm posting here because this list was recommended as a place where 
>> someone might know whether these OSes were ever formally licensed for 
>> free redistribution.
>> Since TSS-8 was a DEC product, I'm hoping that it was released under 
>> the "hobbyist" licenses they offered at some point. I expect I could 
>> sign up for the current OpenVMS hobbyist license, but I have no 
>> interest in agreeing to it just to see if it covers this software. 
>> Perhaps someone who has agreed to it could confirm this guess? The 
>> web site seems to just talk about VMS, which I have no interest in.
>> As for ETOS, that wasn't a DEC product, so I have no better guess for 
>> where to go trying to find a license for it other than web search 
>> engines, and I've already struck out there.
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