【Toshiba】 Toshiba’s First-Generation Operating Systems for Office Computers

Software for the TOSBAC-1100E
The TOSBAC-1100 series of computers were considered ultra-small business computers when they arrived in the mid-1960s. Having a desk-sized footprint, they consisted of a kana-layout typewriter, an input/output unit that handled paper tape and edge-notched cards, and an arithmetic control unit. An external program execution method was employed whereby the program instructions, which were punched on paper tape, were read one at a time and executed. Toshiba developed and announced the TOSBAC-1100A in 1963 and the TOSBAC-1100D the following year. The third model, the TOSBAC-1100E, was announced in 1968. The microprogram control method implemented with the TOSBAC-3400 was used for mathematical calculations, input/output unit control, and creating program tapes for sorting and tabulating. Because assembly programs were provided and because the paper tape reader handled 8-channel paper tape, users could easily create their own programs.
Software for the TOSBAC-1350
In 1973 Toshiba began selling the TOSBAC-1350 small business computer, which was standard equipped with a 2.45-megabyte magnetic disk drive and a high-speed, low-noise dot matrix serial printer. The target applications for the computer were a central machine for small systems, a branch machine for large systems, and a terminal for online systems. A communication control module was supplied for online system support to take advantage of the liberalization of public communication lines in 1972.
The TOSBAC-1350’s software system consisted of the following components.
  • Management programs: system management, job management, data management
  • Processing programs that consisted of the following:
    1) Language processing programs (MAP (assembler), COBOL, FORTRAN, PPG (program generator))
    2) Application programs (sales management, inventory control, etc.)
    3) Service programs (system utilities, etc.) and user programs
The purpose of the operating system’s management programs was to execute data processes efficiently by managing and controlling the hardware and processing programs uniformly and effectively. These programs had the following functions.
(1) System management
Initial system startup, hardware asset management, physical I/O control, interrupt processing, and error processing
(2) Job management
Job schedule control, program segment control, communications with operators
(3) Data management
Logical I/O control, magnetic disk file management (sequential access, indexed sequential access), magnetic cassette tape file management, numeric keypad, keyboard, and printer logical record processing
Software for the TOSBAC-1150 System VI sheet-file system
Toshiba’s TOSBAC-1150 System VI sheet-file system, which went on sale in 1974, was the first domestic ultra-compact computer to be based on a floppy disk drive. System VI was the top-end model of the TOSBAC-1150 series (System I, II, III, IV, and V had already been released), which was launched at the same time as the TOSBAC-1350 in 1973. Focused on billing operations (form creation, sorting and tabulating, updating totals, etc.), System VI could also be used as an online terminal when the optional communication control module was attached. The computer was supplied with PREPACK (standing for “Prepackaged Programming System”), which consisted of PPG (a program generation language) and templates for shared programs that assisted sales management and other business processes.
MIGHTY Software for the TOSBAC System 15, 35, and 55
The first models of the TOSBAC System 15, 35, and 55 series were announced together in 1977. Developed as successors to the TOSBAC-1150 and the TOSBAC-1350, these were the first Toshiba models to bear the “office computer” designation. The series covered a wide market range for everything from billing to true batch processes and for every level of remote networking as distributed processing systems.
The TOSBAC System 15 was an office computer that used floppy disks as its primary I/O media and included a CRT display developed with a focus on economy and ease of use. The features of this model were as follows.
(1) Ease of use
  • CRT display allowed operators to work interactively with the system
  • Job suspension and resume functionality made it possible to pause an executing program, execute an urgent job, and then resume the first job
(2) Higher billing productivity and accuracy
  • The computer came with a high-speed serial printer, an ergonomic keyboard layout, and plenty of space to place forms
(3) System extensibility
  • The system used both single-sided, single-density floppy disks and double-sided, double-density floppy disks
(4) Online functions
  • Added batch file transmission descriptions to the standard simple programming language (SCOPE-1) in order to allow the implementation of online systems that used public communication lines or dedicated communication lines
(5) Rich assortment of application programs
System 15 provided further enhanced application programs based on past experiences with the TOSBAC-1150 and TOSBAC-1350 series.
The software system, called MIGHTY-1, consisted of the following programs.
  • Control programs: supervisor, data management, job management, online management, system utilities
  • Processing programs:
    i. Language processing programs (SCOPE-1, a simple parameter-based programming language)
    ii. Utility programs
    iii. Application programs (sales management, inventory control, etc.)
    iv. User programs
    Note: Four basic patterns (billing, report creation, file processing, online processing) were provided with SCOPE-1, so that users could create programs just by setting parameters.
The TOSBAC System 55 was the successor to the TOSBAC-1350 Model V and was centered on true batch processing. It was also developed to perform as a remote computer, host computer, or terminal in distributed network systems. Its MIGHTY-5 software system had the following features.
(1) Because it was a multi-programming system, it could multi-process five batch or online programs
(2) Online programs could be assembled with COBOL, a simple business process programming language
(3) A spool function transferred data via the magnetic disk to reduce the gap between I/O device speeds and CPU speeds
(4) Variety of file organizations and access methods
File organizations: sequential, relative, indexed
Access methods: sequential, direct, dynamic
(5) Performed data collection and data distribution, remote job entry, and enquiry processing to support a wide range of online systems
(6) The job control language listed pending jobs in a catalog field so that jobs could be executed consecutively without the operator having to input each job separately from an I/O device
MIGHTY Software for the TOSBAC Kanji System 15
Toshiba began selling the TOSBAC Kanji System 15 in 1978. Based on the TOSBAC System 15, this office computer came with hardware and software improvements for kanji-character processing so that it could handle kanji characters while preserving the functions and performance of the TOSBAC System 15. Toshiba decided to follow the JIS C 6226 character code standard for kanji characters on the correct assumption that future kanji-character processing would be based on JIS character code standards.
By incorporating kanji-character processing functions into MIGHTY-1, kanji characters were handled consistently for bill and report outputs, for CRT displays, and when creating or updating kanji-character input master files. A book-mat type of keyboard was used to input kanji characters. Required characters were assigned to special code books for kanji-character inputs.