Why try MTS?

MTS, the Michigan Terminal System, is an operating system running on IBM System/360 compatible mainframes dating from the 1960s. It ran at a number of universities in the US, UK and Canada until the late 90s, It provided batch and interactive access with a large number of programs and tools included in the standard distribution.

It’s now possible to run MTS without having your own mainframe, thanks to two projects:

So why should you try MTS today?

Learning more about MTS

First read the Wikipedia article and items linked from there.

Next go to the MTS Archive - this site has done an amazing job of finding and uploading manuals, tutorials, memos and newsletters about MTS. I had never used MTS before this year and the information on this site was sufficient to understand the system and get it running. The original site archive.michigan-terminal-system.org, is currently down so the above link points to a copy at archive.org.

Then grab a copy of Hercules, a 3270 terminal emulator and the D6.0A distribution of MTS and get it working on your PC.

The Up and Running guide on this blog goes through the process in more detail.

This blog

In this blog I will provide tips and tricks for using MTS and share what I have discovered running the system. There are four main sections.

I’d love to have your feedback, so if you have any suggestions, questions or corrections please leave a comment or email me.


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