TECO EMACS is an early editor developed on the IncompatibleTimeSharingSystem (ITS) operating system at MIT in the 1970s and written in TECO macros.

You can try v165 on TOPS-20 online using “telnet twenex.org” see http://www.twenex.org/ for more details about the system.

The Emacs Environment in 1978

EugeneCiccarelli describes the TECO EMACS environment in AI memo 447, AnIntroductionToTheEmacsEditor:

Basically, the environment is layered:
string- and list-processing language/interpreter.
^R Mode:
the TECO command C-R enters real-time edit mode.
a set of TECO functions for powerful editing and extensible environment support.
extra TECO functions can be loaded, for personal tailoring of the environment or running infrequently-used functions.

Useful Hints

EMACS binds M-[ and M-] to paragraph movement, which conflicts with the character sequences usually emitted by cursor keys. Here’s a fix for that you can put in your init file:

  !* Rebind paragraph movement to GNU Emacs keys.!
  M.M ^R Backward Paragraph$ U..^R{
  M.M ^R Forward Paragraph$ U..^R}

  M.V M-[ Prefix Table$
  !* Make M-[ a prefix character.!
  M(M.M Make Prefix Character$)^]$M-[ Prefix Table^]$$ U..^R[
  !* The usual cursor movement keys.!
  Q$M-[_Prefix_Table$ [0
    M.M ^R Up Real Line$ U:0(^^A)
    M.M ^R Down Real Line$ U:0(^^B)
    M.M ^R Forward Character$ U:0(^^C)
    M.M ^R Backward Character$ U:0(^^D)

(Of course, $ is the usual rendition of Escape, and ^R could be either two characters or a control character, as evident from the context.)

Historical Documents

An early version of the TECO EMACS manual for ITS users is MIT AI memo number 554 (AIM-554) dated October 1981. It exists in the online MIT AI Publications Archive with only the odd pages. A revisied edition of the manual for TWENEX users is available in full in AI memo number 555 (AIM-555).

One of the earliest TECO EMACS command lists dated 1982-03-06: http://zane.brouhaha.com/~healyzh/emacs/emacs.doc.txt

Archives of the last ITS machines at MIT are available at http://www.its.os.org/ and contain an Emacs folder (in the AI file system) among other pearls.

TECO EMACS version 170 from Rich Alderson for the PDP10 emulator is available here: http://pdp10.nocrew.org/

CategoryHistory EmacsImplementations