Operating Systems: Venus Operating System

Venus Operating System

The paper gives a detailed description of the development of the Venus Operating System with much emphasis on the guiding principles for the design. Venus Operating System is an experimental multiprogramming system employed on small computers in a way that supports up to six concurrent users on the same machine (Barbara, 1972). This system was designed to improve machine functionality through the creation of complex software that would reduce the rate of hardware inadequacies. A combination of software and micro-programs is the general definition of the system. To achieve a complete and functional system, it was inevitable to build a machine with the required architecture. This resulted in the creation of the Venus machine which would later be used for software applications.

The paper describes several points that necessitated the creation of the Venus Operating system. One of the main factors was to counteract the difficulties that come with building a working computing system. This problem would only be solved by building a machine with the correct architecture and then creating an operating system to be used by the machine. The two main principles followed in designing the operating system are; building a hierarchy of levels of abstraction and allowing features of the machine to influence the operating system design (Barbara, 1972). These principles would lead to a design with fewer errors and much better clarity and also, allow the evaluation of the effect of the architecture on software development respectively. Therefore, it is clear that the most critical components of the design revolved around the functionality of the hardware and the micro-program.

The language used in the paper is simple and clear because technical words have been defined appropriately. This provides a good flow of information throughout the paper making it understandable by even a mere layman. Moreover, the information has been presented professionally and anyone can relate to the main reason for writing the paper. The main aim of the paper was to describe the process of design of the Venus operating system which is expected to counteract the inadequacies in hardware functionalities. Since the Venus Operating System was created, it has successfully supported multiple users for several months, an indication of project success.

For the type of design, there is no spotted weakness in the system because it is designed in a way that will eliminate the possible errors that may exist in the system. This process leaves us with a much safer and more effective system of operation that will fully support future applications and provide security. It is for this reason that the Venus system was created that effective and more secure platforms could be attained.

The paper is very informative and gives the reader a clear understanding of the functionality and benefits of the system. For instance, it is valuable information to identify and be in a position to execute the system’s procedures by giving commands as is appropriate. The material is also directly related to the course in computer sciences and gives the learner an open-minded view of surrounding technologies and how their functions relate. This also enables the reader to think outside the box by appreciating the concept employed in Venus’s Operating System.

Comparison of Concept

Developed as a research project, the Multiplexed information and computing service (Multics) is another concept that is in its initial stages of establishment. The concept is a comprehensive and all-purpose programming system that is expected to be implemented on a GE 645 computer for its initial phase (Corbato & Vyassotsky, 1965). The overall idea is to design a computing system that will serve efficiently on a 24/7 basis without ever failing and take on all the requirements of the present and near-future functions of a large computing system. This means that the computing system shall be run continuously just as it is with power and telephone systems. However, it is not expected that the initial system will reach the requirements but instead, will allow for evolution into an identified future.

While the Venus machine was built by microprogramming and Interdata 3 computer, the Multics system modified the GE 635 computer into a GE 645 computer. Conversion into a GE 645 computer was necessary because new and extraordinary features were required for the system to be a success. The hardware was designed to have multi-memory modules, multiprocessors, and several input and output controllers (Corbato & Vyassotsky, 1965). “The inclusion of two-dimensional addressing in the Multics system made it possible for users to write programs as though there is a large virtual memory” (Corbato & Vyassotsky, 1965).

The Multics system software has improved aspects which are the subroutine and linkage conventions made possible by the use of paging and segment software. One advantage of the software is that procedures can be shared among several users because of the availability of pure procedures. Also, databases can be shared among programs that are running simultaneously. Therefore the overall effectiveness of the Multics system is expected to be much higher than that of the Venus Operating System.


Barbara, H. L. (1972). Period. Carlifornia: Association for Computing Machiinery, Inc.

Corbato, F. J., & Vyassotsky, V. A. (1965) Introduction and Overview of the Multics System. Cambridge: Massachusetts

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