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Character information
Common name GCOS
Also known as GECOS, General Comprehensive Operating System, General Electric Comprehensive Operating Supervisor
Human name(s) Glenda Oliver
First appearance 2008
Height 5'5
Hair color Dark brown
Eye color Gold
Weapon(s) Katana
Faction Mainframe Guild
Lineage Independant
Rival(s) Multics
Technical information
System personified General Comprehensive Operating System
Developer(s) General Electric, later Honeywell and Groupe Bull
Debut 1962
Latest release Unknown

Technical details

Created by GE in 1962, the GCOS operating system originally ran on the GE-635 mainframe computer. It began life as a fairly simple batch operating system, however over the years it evolved greatly - being ported to the Honeywell 6000-series mainframe, gaining features pioneered in Multics and other high-end OSes, and having timesharing and transaction-processing features created for it.

While considered unremarkable in its heyday, GCOS has proven itself to have surprising longevity - it is still marketed by Groupe Bull, albeit mostly for legacy purposes.

Character details

GCOS-tan is depicted as a woman of rather average looks, with medium-length dark brown hair and gold-brown eyes. An avid connoisseur of Japanese culture, she generally dresses in traditional garments from the country - yukata and geta being common pieces of attire in her day-to-day wardrobe, as well as kimonos and kanzashi on formal occasions.

Although academically-inferior when compared to many of her peers, GCOS-tan is cunning, quick-witted and wise to the ways of the computer industry. While she usually carries a katana and tanto for self-defense and fighting purposes, her greatest weapons are innate social skills and a power of persuasion second to none. However, she is not as self-confident as she may seem at first glance - GCOS harbors deep fears of rejection and obsolescence.

Family and Relationships

While there is no conclusive evidence of a blood relationship between them, GCOS-tan believes herself to be the daughter of DOS/360-tan, citing various similarities between them. It is believed that GCOS tried on several occasions to contact DOS/360, but was either ignored or rejected by the woman. This is thought to have negatively impacted her already love-starved personality and set her on a course to harm Unix and Multics-tan, among others.

History and background

Early life

GCOS was born in 1962, in Phoenix, Arizona. Little is known of GCOS' earliest life, but sometime in the mid-1960s, she was contracted by MIT to help in the creation of a next-generation OS-tan called Multics-tan (she was also something of a step-sister to GCOS, as they shared a company in common). She never particularly liked the job - her relationship with Multics' mother, CTSS-tan, was uneasy at best, and as Multics matured she began to simultaneously revile and fear the girl. Having witnessed some of Multics' close brushes with death and near psychological-collapses under the weight of her own mental and magical complexity, she initially thought Multics would be a failure and bring financial ruin and embarrassment to her company. However, as Multics began mature into a somewhat emotionally and magically-adjusted young adult, GCOS began to fear the opposite - that customers would reject her in favor of the magically and academically-superior Multics.

In the year 1969, Multics debuted and became an "official" rival to GCOS. Forbidden from fighting her step-sister directly, all hope of defeating Multics seemed at least temporary out of reach. In the summer of the same year, GCOS was yet again contracted to help with the creation of an OS-tan - this time, the employer was Bell Labs, and the OS-tan in question was Unix-tan. It didn't take GCOS long to piece together that Unix was the genetic daughter of Multics - and she was equally hasty in machinating a plot to take down her step-sister indirectly. GCOS began feeding Unix a steady diet of propaganda against Multics - informing her of the older woman's greater power, unstable psychology and megalomaniacal tendencies. Unix grew to fear and hate Multics and became determined to launch a preemptive attack against her - a sentiment that withstood the discovery that her enemy was also her mother.

Sometime in 1972, after a string of unsuccessful attacks, Unix finally defeated Multics - in the process, she cut Multics' psionic powers in half, and ended up absorbing a portion of them. GCOS' plan had finally come to full fruition, but it partially backfired - the now-powerful sorcerer Unix became intensely regretful over harming her mother and refused to associate with GCOS any more.

GCOS and Multics continued to have a running rivalry, GCOS mostly turning to character-assassination and backbiting in an attempt to discredit Multics. It seems to have worked; in 1986, Multics was cut loose from her company, starting her on a slow decline that led to her death in 2000; while GCOS was kept on, and continues to work to this day.

Modern day

Today, GCOS-tan maintains a tiny, but dedicated collection of followers. She associates mostly with the CIOST, however many of its members are at odds with her - owing the high number of Multics-like OS-tans in its ranks. Although they don't get along personally, VMS-tan appreciates her excellent tactical and social-manipulation skills.