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TOPS-10 Survival Guide


TOPS-10 is an operating system for Digital Equipment Corporation's PDP-10 family of mainframe computers (including the DECsystem-10 and DECSYSTEM-20 product lines). TOPS-10 was originally developed under the name “Monitor” for the PDP-6 computer in 1964. It was renamed “TOPS-10” in 1970. The last release was in 1988.

LCM+L currently has two TOPS-10 systems available on-line:

Host Model/Processor Operating system
dec-10 DECSYSTEM-2065 / KL10 TOPS-10 version 7.04
ki587 DECsystem-1090 / KI10 TOPS-10 version 6.03A

Getting Started

Apply for a user account on one of LCM+L's TOPS-10 systems with the Request a Login form. Check the box “Tops-10 v7.04 (DECSYSTEM-2065)” for an account on dec-10. For an account on ki587, write a memo in the box “(Optional) Please describe your interest in these systems:”. After completing and submitting the form, within a few days you will receive e-mail from LCM+L with your project-programmer number (PPN, TOPS-10 user ID) and initial password.

Connect to the system by opening a Secure Shell session with the destination for your host:

Host Destination

On ki587, after the log-in message is displayed, press the Enter key once or twice to display the command prompt ..

Enter the LOGIN command to start your session.

Command format: TOPS-10 commands are one to six characters long. At the command prompt ., type the command string or a unique prefix followed by command arguments if any, then press the Enter key to execute the command. In version 7.04 commands are case-insensitive; in version 6.3 all entered command text is automatically converted to upper case.

File name format: TOPS-10 files are identified with a file name from one to six characters long followed by a period (.) and a zero to three character file extension. Many commands allow wildcard characters * (matches any zero or more characters) and ? (matches zero or any one character) in file name arguments to operate multiple files.

Files with standard extensions are given special treatment by some commands.

Ext. File contents Ext. File contents
ALG ALGOL language source EXE Executable binary program
BAS BASIC language source FOR FORTRAN language source
BLI BLISS language source MAC MACRO assembly language source
CBL COBOL language source REL Relocatable binary file

Special characters: TOPS-10 recognizes the following special characters to assist with input and output from the system.

Ctrl-C Interrupt current program and return to TOPS-10.
Delete last input character. (Deleted character is echoed at the end of the input line.)
Ctrl-U Delete current input line.
Ctrl-O Pause/restart terminal output scrolling.

Command Summary

Command Syntax
1. LOGIN - Log-in to your account LOGIN <PPN>
2. PASSWOrd - Change your password PASSWO
Not available in version 6.3.
3. KJOB - Log-out from your account KJOB
In version 6.3, KJOB prompts for how to handle user files. Enter F to save all your files.
4. MAKE - Create a new file MAKE <file name>
Create <file name> with TECO editor. See Survival TECO.
5. TECO - Edit an old file TECO <file>
Edit <file> with TECO editor. See Survival TECO.
6. DIRECTory - List your files DIRECT [<file>]
7. TYPE - Show file contents TYPE <file>
8. COPY - Copy files COPY <new file>=<old file>
9. RENAME - Rename files RENAME <new name>=<old file>
10. DELETE - Delete files DELETE <file>
11. EXECUTe - Compile and run your program EXECUT <file>
Compiler will be selected based on file name extension.
12. BASIC - Run BASIC interpreter R BASIC
13. SYSTAT - Print system status information SYSTAT
14. SEND - Send a message to another user SEND <line> <message>
Look-up the user's <line> in the 'Line#' column of the SYSTAT list.

Learn more

tops-10_survival_guide.txt · Last modified: 2017/11/22 16:36 by papa