Browse Prior Art Database

Claims the Term "Time-Sharing" Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129704D
Original Publication Date: 1992-Mar-31
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-06
Document File: 2 page(s) / 18K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People



Time-share-v - To interleave the use of a device for two or more purposes.

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 49% of the total text.

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Copyright ©; 1992 by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. Used with permission.

Claims the Term "Time-Sharing"


Time-share-v - To interleave the use of a device for two or more purposes.

Time-shared system - n - A specific system in which available central- computer time is shared among several jobs as directed by a scheduling plan or commas.

Time-sharing - add - 1. The apportionment of intervals of time availability of various items of equipment to complete the performance of several tasks by interlacing. (Contrasted with multiprogramming.) 2 The use of a device for two or more purposes during the same overall time interval, accomplished by interspersing the computer component actions in time.

Charles J. Sippl, Computer Dictionary and Handbook, Howard W. Sams, New York, 1965

The emergence of a term is not always coincidental with ~ the initial development of that particular technology or system. Even in the case of computers, the word initially used was "calculator." The word "computer" was originally applied either to humans who did computations using mechanical calculators or to the computational element of a bomb aiming device.*1 In 1966 Fano and Corbato2t published a paper in Scientific American which attributed the origin of timesharing to Christopher Strachey in a 1960 paper43 presented originally at the 1959 UNESCO conference. This resulted in a letter to the editor from Robert Bemer6 in which he claimed that his article in the 1957 issue of Automatic Control4 was the original reference to timesharing. Bemer also pointed out that it was reported in the Journal of the Franklin Institutes that he had used the word in a presentation in the same year. In turn, Robert Dodds wrote to Bemer quoting a 1949 letter in which he described his (unnamed) invention:

(Image Omitted: A system consisting of the following one or more input- output devices...each conveying its information to a common location distant from one or all of the input-output devices; one or more devices which generate the electrical impulses that convey information and that control the various operations of the several devices; one or more scanning or Sating devices to segregate the information originating from the several input-output devices...18)

This description appears to accentuate the confusion between the process of "time-sharing" that Bemer described and "interactive computing") that was prevalent in 1966. At the time of Bemer's Franklin Institute lecture, time-sharing was already being implemented as part of the SAGE system,2 and shortly thereafter IBM and American Airlines developed the SABRE system for on-line passenger scheduling and ticketing. When Strachey43 used the word in 1959, adding the concept of on-line, he added also debugging for programmers. Donald Knuth wrote to Strachey 25 years later.

(Image Omitted: John McCarthy thinks he invented [ti...