How did the HTCondor project start?Building on the results of the Remote-Unix (RU) project that was directed by Professors D. Dewitt, R. Finkel, and M. Solomon and as a continuation of the work in the area of Distribute Resource Management (DRM) by a group directed by Professor M. Livny, the HTCondor project started in 1988. Following the spirit of its predecessors, the project has been focusing on customers with large computing needs and environments with heterogeneous distributed resources. From the RU effort, the HTCondor project inherited a rich collection of mechanisms and a very sound software foundation. The first version of the HTCondor Resource Management system (initially called the RU system) was implemented in 1986 as a joint effort between the two groups by M. Litzkow who was at the time a staff member of the RU project. The nucleus for the management policies of the HTCondor project was provided by the distributed allocation and preemptive scheduling techniques developed as part of the Ph.d thesis work of Professor M. Mutka from the DRM group. While originally focusing on the problem of Load Balancing in a distributed system, the DRM group shifted its attention in the mid 80's to Distributively Owned computing environments where owners have full control over the resources they own.
A non technical overview of the project can be found in "Hunting for Wasted Computing Power" 1993 Research Sampler University of Wisconsin-Madison