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3 definitions found
 for WAITS
From V.E.R.A. -- Virtual Entity of Relevant Acronyms (September 2014) :

  WAITS
         Westcoast Alternative to ITS
         

From The Jargon File (version 4.4.7, 29 Dec 2003) :

  WAITS
   /wayts/, n.
  
      The mutant cousin of TOPS-10 used on a handful of systems at SAIL up to
      1990. There was never an ?official? expansion of WAITS (the name itself
      having been arrived at by a rather sideways process), but it was frequently
      glossed as ?West-coast Alternative to ITS?. Though WAITS was less visible
      than ITS, there was frequent exchange of people and ideas between the two
      communities, and innovations pioneered at WAITS exerted enormous indirect
      influence. The early screen modes of EMACS, for example, were directly
      inspired by WAITS's ?E? editor ? one of a family of editors that were the
      first to do ?real-time editing?, in which the editing commands were
      invisible and where one typed text at the point of insertion/overwriting.
      The modern style of multi-region windowing is said to have originated
      there, and WAITS alumni at XEROX PARC and elsewhere played major roles in
      the developments that led to the XEROX Star, the Macintosh, and the Sun
      workstations. Also invented there were bucky bits ? thus, the ALT key on
      every IBM PC is a WAITS legacy. One WAITS feature very notable in pre-Web
      days was a news-wire interface that allowed WAITS hackers to read, store,
      and filter AP and UPI dispatches from their terminals; the system also
      featured a still-unusual level of support for what is now called multimedia
      computing, allowing analog audio and video signals to be switched to
      programming terminals.
  

From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015) :

  WAITS
  
     /wayts/ The mutant cousin of TOPS-10 used on a handful of
     systems at SAIL up to 1990.  There was never an "official"
     expansion of WAITS (the name itself having been arrived at by
     a rather sideways process), but it was frequently glossed as
     "West-coast Alternative to ITS".  Though WAITS was less
     visible than ITS, there was frequent exchange of people and
     ideas between the two communities, and innovations pioneered
     at WAITS exerted enormous indirect influence.  The early
     screen modes of Emacs, for example, were directly inspired
     by WAITS's "E" editor - one of a family of editors that were
     the first to do "real-time editing", in which the editing
     commands were invisible and where one typed text at the point
     of insertion/overwriting.  The modern style of multi-region
     windowing is said to have originated there, and WAITS alumni
     at XEROX PARC and elsewhere played major roles in the
     developments that led to the XEROX Star, the Macintosh, and
     the Sun workstations.  Bucky bits were also invented there
     thus, the ALT key on every IBM PC is a WAITS legacy.  One
     notable WAITS feature seldom duplicated elsewhere was a
     news-wire interface that allowed WAITS hackers to read, store,
     and filter AP and UPI dispatches from their terminals; the
     system also featured a still-unusual level of support for what
     is now called "multimedia" computing, allowing analog audio
     and video signals to be switched to programming terminals.
  
     Ken Shoemake adds:
  
     Some administrative body told us we needed a name for the
     operating system, and that "SAIL" wouldn't do.  (Up to that
     point I don't think it had an official name.)  So the anarchic
     denizens of the lab proposed names and voted on them.
     Although I worked on the OS used by CCRMA folks (a parasitic
     subgroup), I was not writing WAITS code.  Those who were,
     proposed "SAINTS", for (I think) Stanford AI New Time-sharing
     System.  Thinking of ITS, and AI, and the result of many
     people using one machine, I proposed the name WAITS.  Since I
     invented it, I can tell you without fear of contradiction that
     it had no official meaning.  Nevertheless, the lab voted that
     as their favorite; upon which the disgruntled system
     programmers declared it the "Worst Acronym Invented for a
     Time-sharing System"!  But it was in keeping with the creative
     approach to acronyms extant at the time, including
     self-referential ones.  For me it was fun, if a little
     unsettling, to have an "acronym" that wasn't.  I have no idea
     what the voters thought. :)
  
     [{Jargon File]
  
     (2003-11-17)
  

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