The First Computer Operating System

March 8, 1955

Lead programmer Doug Ross demonstrates Director, the first permanent set of instructions for a computer on MIT’s Whirlwind. In essence this is the first concept of an operating system. Loaded by paper tape, Director would allow operators to load multiple problems in Whirlwind by taking advantage of newer, faster photoelectric tape reader technology, eliminating the need for manual human intervention in changing tapes on older mechanical tape readers.