The Keck Telescope Control System is organized as a set of independent hardware subsystems, a pointing subsystem, and a high-level TCS subsystem. The pointing subsystem handles real-time coordination of telescope, mount, enclosure, rotators and guiders. The TCS subsystem knows which low- level subsystems are required for a given instrument, and manages the parallel initialization, shutdown, status monitoring and fault recovery of the overall system. The TCS subsystem also provides a user interface which presents the system as a table, with an Overall row and a row per subsystem; each row has status and error message fields, and a set of standard controls. This user interface serves as the single point of access to the telescope control system for the observing assistant and the engineer: all the other observing and engineering tools can be launched from it. This paper describes the above paradigm, with special attention being given to the user interface. Potential use of the same model for other applications is discussed.