Getting Around

RSTS/E uses accounts instead of directories or folders. When you login you use an account number pair consisting two numbers, a Project and a Programmer, which range from 0 to 255. If the project number is 0, it can’t be logged into and is reserved for system files. If the Project number is 1, then the account is what is known as privileged. These were usually reserved for system operators.

You can reference accounts by their Project-Programmer number such as our guest account, which would be [100,100].

Some accounts can be referenced using a symbol. The system account, which holds many of the system programs is [1,2] and can be referenced using the dollar sign symbol $.

Another account that can be referenced like this is [1,3], which uses the exclamation mark !. In high school this account was used for programs and files that we wanted to have a wide availability, such as games.

For each pair of account numbers, you can reference the account where the programmer number is 0, with the pound or hash tag symbol # for example [100,0] could be referenced as #, if you were logged into [100,100]. If you were logged into [17,4] and used the # symbol you would be referencing [17,0].

Much like MS DOS, many RSTS/E commands are actually separate programs that you run.

Directory is one such program. It displays a list of files in an account. Generally you get a list of files in the current account, but if you add a modifier you can get a list of files in a different account. Some examples would be like:


For the current account.

DIR [1,2]

for the system account.

DIR [1,3]

for the games account.

The earliest versions of RSTS/E system programs were written in BASIC-PLUS. This is important to us because the operating system expects basic commands.

If you want to load a basic program into memory you would use the OLD command followed by the program name. OLD PROGRM would load PROGRM into memory. If you add on of the special symbols you can load programs from other accounts for example OLD !PROGRM would load program from our games account or [1,3].

If you want to start a program you would RUN it, for example RUN PROGRM or RUN !PROGRM.

Last Update: 04-Apr-17