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Multics:: /muhl'tiks/ n. [from "MULTiplexed Information and
   Computing Service"] An early (late 1960s) timesharing operating
   system co-designed by a consortium including MIT, GE, and Bell
   Laboratories.  Multics was very innovative for its time --- among
   other things, it introduced the idea of treating all devices
   uniformly as special files.  All the members but GE eventually
   pulled out after determining that second-system effect had
   bloated Multics to the point of practical unusability (the
   `lean' predecessor in question was CTSS).  Honeywell
   commercialized Multics after buying out GE's computer group, but it
   was never very successful (among other things, on some versions one
   was commonly required to enter a password to log out).  One of the
   developers left in the lurch by the project's breakup was Ken
   Thompson, a circumstance which led directly to the birth of
   UNIX.  For this and other reasons, aspects of the Multics
   design remain a topic of occasional debate among hackers.  See also
   brain-damaged and GCOS.