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Project MAC

Project MAC was a research project, originally led by J.C.R. Licklider at MIT in 1963. Project MAC was heavily funded in its early years by DARPA and the National Science Foundation. Project MAC was responsible for the development of computer time sharing and one of the original online computer setups with the 1965 development of Multics.

The first time-sharing system was CTSS, which ran on an IBM 7094 mainframe and allowed at least 200 simultaneous users to access the computer via terminals.

In 1976, Project MAC was renamed the Laboratory for Computer Science (LCS) and has several notable alumni who went on to further revolutionize the computer industry. Dan Bricklen created the software application known as VisiCalc, the first electronic spreadsheet and also the first so-called "killer app" that gave people and businesses a reason to own microcomputers. Another Project MAC alumnus, Bob Metcalfe, went on to invent Ethernet at the Xerox PARC lab and later founded 3COM.

Project MAC was one of the most important computer research and development collaborations in computer history, along with the developments at Xerox PARC, Berkeley's Project GENIE[?], and SRI's OnLine System.



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