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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

What is meant by Time sharing system?

In the field of computer science, sharing resources of a computer through techniques of multi-tasking and multi-programming by many other system users is termed as a time sharing system. 
- It was first introduced in the year of 1960 and eventually emerged as the most popular computing model of the 1970s. 
- With it, occurred a major shift in the technology of designing the efficient computers. 
- These types of systems allowed quite a large number of users for interacting with the same computer system at the same time. 
- Providing computing capabilities was a costly affair at that time. 
- Time sharing greatly brought down this cost by providing these capabilities at a very less cost. 
- Since time sharing allows multiple users to interact simultaneously with the same system, it has actually made it possible for the organizations and the individuals to use a system that they do not even own. 
- This has further led to the promotion of the computers to be used interactively and development of other applications with an interactive interface. 
- The earlier systems apart from being expensive were quite slow. 
- This was the reason why the systems could be dedicated only to one task at a time. 
- The task was carried out through the control panels from where the operator would enter small programs manually through switches so as to load and execute a new program series. 
- These programs would take even up to weeks for completing execution. 
- The realization of the interaction pattern was what that led to the development of time sharing systems. 
- Usually, the data entered by a single user was in small bursts of info and then a long pause. 
- But if there would have been multiple number of users working concurrently on the same system, there activities could fill up the pauses of the single user. 
The overall process could be made very efficient for a given size of the use group. 
- In the same way, the slice or share of time that was engaged in waiting for network input or tape or disk could be utilized by activities of other users. 
- A system that would be able to harness this potential advantage was difficult to be implemented.
- Even though batch processing was a high at that time, it could only make use of the time delay between two programs. 
- In the early times, the multiplexing of computer terminals in to main frame computer systems was seen.
- Such implementations were capable of sequentially polling those terminals to check for additional action and data requests made by the user of the system.

- Later, came the interconnection technology that was interrupt driven and made use of the IEEE 488 i.e., parallel data transfer technologies.
- Time sharing faded for some time with the advent of the micro computing but again it came back in to the scene with the rise of internet. 
- The corporate server farms cost in millions and are capable of hosting a large number of customers sharing the same resources.
- The operation of the websites using the early serial terminals was in bursts of activity that were followed by idle periods. 
- However, it is because of this bursting that the services of the web sites could be used by a large number of users simultaneously and with the advantage that the delays in communications won’t be noticed by them.
- However, if the server gets too damn busy they will surely start coming in to the notice.
- Earlier some time sharing services such as the service bureaus were offered by many companies. 
- Some examples of common systems that are used for time sharing are:
  1. SDS 940
  2. PDP – 10
  3. IBM 360

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