The Venus Operating System is an experimental multiprogramming system which supports five or six concurrent users on a small computer. The system was produced to test the effect of machine architecture on complexity of software. The system is defined by a combination of microprograms and software. The microprogram defines a machine with some unusual architectural features; the software exploits these features to define the operating system as simply as possible. In this paper the development of the system is described, with particular emphasis on the principles which guided the design.
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