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The following articles are reprinted solely as items of interest for the independent evaluation by members of 
ATSU. The opinions, statements of fact, and conclusions expressed herein are not those of the Association. 


VSPC Makes 370 'More Approachable’ 


By Don Leavitt 

Of the CW Staff 

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - Strong support 
for interactive use of large IBM 370s by 
people who previously considered the ma¬ 
chines unapproachable is one of the ma¬ 
jor design goals of IBM’s Virtual Storage 
Personal Computing (VSPC) program 
product introduced last week, according 
to the firm. 

VSPC allows multiple concurrent users 
without heavy DP backgrounds to “bor¬ 
row” a portion of their company’s com¬ 
puter for problem-solving tasks while 
nost of the computer is being used for 
production work by operations or ap¬ 
plication development work by the pro¬ 
fessional programming staff, IBM said. 

But this new approachability is attained 
at the cost of an additional layer of 
control software. VSPC resides in the 370 
along with the operating system, access 
method software and the user’s choice of 
special, separately priced language proc¬ 
essors also introduced last week. 

Indicative of the overhead impact of 
VSPC is the fact that VS APL, VS Basic 


capabilities, but no real application-level 
logical facilities. More important, the 
company said, VSPC “manages the ses¬ 
sion at the terminal.” 

This management includes support for 
accessing, modifying if necessary and 
then compiling or executing previously 
stored command strings or programs writ¬ 
ten in APL, Basic or Fortran. 

While these programs may have been 
written by the users or by their com¬ 
pany’s DP staff, they might also be se¬ 
lected from a range of programs and 
functional routines IBM has available for 
VSPC users. 

No matter what the source of the pro¬ 
grams, the neophyte user need not under¬ 
stand their internal technical aspects as 
and VSPC Fortran can each be used 
independently with various operating 
system environments and without VSPC 
itself. 

‘Manages the Session’ 

Primarily, VSPC provides a command 
language utilizing simple English phrases, 
which gives the user some processing 


long as he knows what they require as 
input and produce as output. 

But VSPC also provides an input editor 
function in support of creation and main¬ 
tenance of programs from the terminal. 

Although it appears to be somewhat 
akin to IBM’s Time-Sharing Option 
(TSO), VSPC differs from it substantially 
by not being part of the operating system 
and by “protecting” the user 

The user interface under VSPC is much 
simpler than under TSO, and in fact 
changes in the operating system environ¬ 
ment should be completely transparent to 
the VSPC user. 

Library Facility 

In addition to the command language 
and the input editor, VSPC is said to 
include a library facility which enables 
users to limit access, in varying degrees, 
to data and programs they have stored. 

VSPC also has a conversational remote 
job entry facility for handling long-run¬ 
ning jobs where no user interaction is 
required. 

(Continued on Page 2) 


Sharp Runs APL in Batch Mode 


TORONTO — I.P. Sharp Associates Ltd. 
has enhanced the facilities of APL as 
implemented on its time-sharing network 
covering North America and much of 
Europe. The update of Sharp APL is said 
to allow price reductions of anywhere 
from 28% to 60% on production systems. 

With the enhanced facilities, a 
spokesman explained, it is possible to use 
APL in a batch environment, making this 
jrsion of the language “highly competi- 
ive” with standard batch languages such 
as Cobot, PL/I and Fortran. 

Though APL has a reputation of being 
an esoteric language suitable only for 
scientific experimentation and highly in¬ 


teractive work, Sharp contended its cur¬ 
rent packaging allows the language to be 
used at low cost for routine applications 
such as accounting runs, mailing systems 
and linear programming. 

Efficiency is based on the design and 
development of two major components, 
independent runners and terminal surro¬ 
gate files. Independent runners are APL 
tasks which operate without need of an 
attached remote terminal, the spokesman 
said. 

The terminal surrogate file is a file that 
contains output which normally would be 
sent to the attached terminal. This ar¬ 
rangement allows the majority of existing 


systems to operate in either interactive or 
batch mode with minimal program modi¬ 
fication, he added. 

Beyond that, it allows simple design for 
CRT systems with page recall options, 
task execution independent of communi¬ 
cations noise, spooling of terminal output 
for subsequent reprocessing and many 
others, according to Sharp. 

The cost reduction stems from the 
elimination of connection charges, char¬ 
acter charges and a reduction of CPU 
charges, the spokesman noted. 

I.P. Sharp Associates is headquartered at 
145 King St. West, Toronto, Ont. M5H 
1J8. 



Reprinted by permission. Computer World,January 26, 1976, Copyright 1976. 






YSPC Aimed at 
Untrained Users 

(Continued from Page 1) 

This facility can help increase program¬ 
mers’ productivity, since they can use it 
“to develop and maintain programs writ¬ 
ten in any language supported by the 
virtual system control program,” a 
spokesman added. 

This aspect of VSPC’s capabilities is 
apparently not limited to the interactive 
languages, but can be applied as well to 
batch-oriented ones such as Cobol. 

Professional programmers, then, are able 
to retrieve virtually any program they 
have stored on a source statement library. 

VSPC permits the manager of a com¬ 
puter facility to control the use of the 
system’s resources and to maintain secur¬ 
ity. The manager can, for example, allo¬ 
cate the amount of central processor time 
and the amount of library data storage 
space available to VSPC users. 

ID codes and password assignments are 
available for security, IBM noted. 

The support facility can be used with 
370 models 135 through 168, IBM said. 
Though no storage minimum was cited 
with those CPUs, the company noted that 
models 115 and 125 with a main memory 
of 256K characters “can support a limit¬ 
ed number of terminals for trial pur¬ 
poses.” 

Shipment of VSPC is scheduled to begin 
in the second quarter for use with OS/ 
VS1, in the third quarter for OS/VS2 
(MVS) and in the fourth* quarter for 
DOS/VS. VSPC will be available under 
license for monthly fees ranging from 
$900 to $1,200. 

Shipments of the language processors 
are also scheduled to start in the second 
quarter. These program products will also 
be under license for monthly fees of $400 
each for either VS APL or VSPC Fortran 
and $385 for VS Basic. 

Application software for use with VSPC 
includes Business Analysis/Basic, Math/ 
Basic and Stat/Basic, which are all pro¬ 
gram products supported by IBM. 

Under APL, Minipert - also a program 
product - and Graphs and Histograms, 
Graphpak, APL coordinate geometry and 
zero and integer support under APL— 
all Field-Developed Programs — can be 
supplemented with a number of Installed 
User Programs, IBM said. Prices were not 
immediately available on these packages. 

Any standard Fortran programs can be 
used with VSPC Fortran. 

Reprinted by permission. 
Computer World, 

December 17, 1975, 
Copyright 1975. 


Law Office Management I 
And Operations 

--gy B.W. Hildebrandt---- 

Mr. Hildebrandt, whose column is a regular feature of the Law Journal, is 
an experienced law office administrator and most recently a management 
consultant for law firms' problems. He is the founder and immediate past 
president and chairman of the Association of Legal Administrators, an 
author and lecturer. 

Computerization — Time Sharing 


The use of the computer in the legal 
profession is now a well established 
practice. Furthermore, as the cost of 
utilizing this technology continually 
decreases the number of lawyers 
able to use it in¬ 
creases. Not too 
long ago only the 
very large firms 
would even con¬ 
sider using some 
aspect of com¬ 
puterization, but 
today all lawyers 
should, at the 
very least, un¬ 
derstand the im¬ 
pact that the com¬ 
puter is having on their profession. 

Not Well Understood 
One of the aspects of computer 
technology that is still only used by a 
very small number of law firms, and 
which is not very well understood by 
many, is the concept of time sharing. 

Time sharing is the method where¬ 
by a firm rents time on somebody 
else’s computer on a demand basis. 
Demand basis meaning that the user 
can have access to the computer as 
he requires it. Access is gained 
through a terminal located in the sub¬ 
scriber’s office. Generally, however, 
there is some restrictions on the time 
when the computer is available. For 
example, the company providing the 
service may stipulate the computer 
is available from 7 A.M. to 11 P.M. 
and that usage after 11 P.M. will be on 
special arrangement and at a special 
rate. It should also be noted that 
some time sharing contracts provide 
that usage during off peak hours, ex. 
8 P.M. to 11 P.M. will be at a reduced 
rate. 


To better understand the methods 
of time sharing we will analyze the 
various applications that are most 
applicable to the legal profession. 

1. Word Processing 
There are systems available that 
allow a firm to do text editing on a 
time shared basis. One such system 
is provided by Bowne Time Sharing, 
Inc., located in New York. To use 
their service, Bowne installs a com-^ 
puter terminal in the user’s office 
connected via telephone lines to their 
central computer. The secretary in¬ 
puts a document into the computer 
through a Selectric typewriter ter¬ 
minal, through the use of various 
codes. The finished product is then 
printed out either on the Selectric ter¬ 
minal or on a high speed printer 
located in Bowne’s office. Bowne 
then delivers the finished document 
either the same day or on an over¬ 
night schedule depending on the ar¬ 
rangement with the subscriber. The 
advantage to the above system is 
that the computer can do com¬ 
plicated revision work, boiler-plate 
documents, contracts, leases, and 
the like extremely fast and return 
them in, not only finished form, but in 
printed form. 

Some Disadvantages 
There are, however, several disad¬ 
vantages which should also be con¬ 
sidered. First, the use of the equip¬ 
ment takes more training than con¬ 
ventional word-processing equip¬ 
ment due in part to the large number 
of codes that must be learned in 
order to properly utilize the equip¬ 
ment. Second, unless a printer is in- 
stalled in the subscriber’s office th ' 
system is really no faster than the 










print out speed of the Selectric 
typewriter. 

The use of the high speed printer, 
on the other hand, introduces a 
delivery factor which, in my opinion, 
is not satisfactory for everyday word 
processing requirements. Last, the 
cost of the system will be a drawback 
except for larger firms. The dif¬ 
ficulty with time sharing in at¬ 
tempting to estimate cost is that 
charges are based on an hourly usage 
rate and, therefore, accurate cost 
projections are difficult to make. 

Other Services 

There are other services that time 
sharing systems can offer, which 
should also be considered. 

One such system is litigation- 
document control. Using Bowne's 
Word I concept a firm can index all 
documents that may be present in a 
major lawsuit. This indexing allows 
attorneys to use the computer to sort 
and research documents such that 
they can be located and identified in 
a minimum of time. For example, a 
particular document could be index¬ 
ed by author, recipient, date, subject 
and the like. You can quite readily 
see that in a large anti-trust or 
products liability case such a tool 
could be invaluable and in the long 
run save attorneys and the client a 
substantial amount of time and ex¬ 
pense. 

In summary, the time sharing, 
word processing concept has many 
advantages for specific kinds of work 
especially where a final printed 
product is required. It still cannot, 
however, be justified by many firms 
and is certainly no substitute for in- 
house, word processing for everyday 
work. 

2. Computerized Research 

A relatively new and not fully 
developed concept is the use of time¬ 
sharing for legal research. The best 
known such system available today 
is Mead Data’s Lexis system. As with 
word processing, the time sharing 
company installs a computer ter¬ 
minal in the subscriber’s office, 
preferably in the library. This ter¬ 
minal not only has a key board but 
also a television-type screen, as well 
as a line printer. To use the system, 
the lawyer sits at the console and ad¬ 
dresses a specific question on a point 
of law to the computer. The computer 
then responds to the question with the 
answer appearing on the screen. Ad¬ 


ditional questions can then be asked 
to narrow down the area of research 
and the applicable information can 
be put on hard copy through the use 
of the printer. The Lexis system is a 
full word research system. This 
means that the law, and the cases ap¬ 
plicable to that law, is in the memory 
of the computer and is accessible on 
a word for word basis at all times. 

Content Restricted 

The system’s library is still 
somewhat restricted with only a few 
of the states (Ohio and New York for 
certainO having their laws contained 
in the system. Additionally, most of 
the Federal Securities and tax laws 
are also in the library. There is, 
however, a continuing effort to in¬ 
crease the size of the computer 
library both at the state and federal 
levels. 

The primary advantage of this 
sytem is that it allows research to be 
done in a relatively short period of 
time as compared to manual 
research, thereby raising the produc¬ 
tivity of attorneys. It also permits 
research capabilities with such 
things as the SEC No Actions Letters 
that were heretofore unavailable. 
Furthermore, it has been my ex¬ 
perience that a properly trained as¬ 
sociate can locate cases on a par¬ 
ticular matter that may have been 
missed using more conventional 
research methods. 

There are several restrictions, 
however, that should be considered. 
Computerized research is not, at 
least at this point and may never be, 
a substitute for conventional 
research, nor will it replace the need 
for an adequate library. Indeed a 
lawyer who asks the computer to 
print out the text of a particular case 
rather than getting the proper cite 
and reading it in the actual law text 
will find that the cost of the system is 
prohibitive. 

Cost a Factor 

The cost of the system is another 
problem and cannot, in most cases, 
be justified except by medium to 
large law firms. There are several 
pricing plans available and an effort 
is being made to make the system 
more affordable by the smaller 
firms. 

Computerized research is no 
longer a dream or* the future. An in¬ 
creasing number of medium-to-large 
size law firms are installing the 
system as well as government agen¬ 


cies such as the SEC and the IRS. 

It is important that attorneys 
become familiar with computerized 
research because in the near future a 
lawyer is going to be in a courtroom 
where his adversary has spread out 
in front of him a computerized list of 
all cases pertaining to the trial. The 
implications of such a happening are 
far reaching and still not fully under¬ 
stood by many in the profession. 

In conclusion, time sharing is now 
serving the legal profession in a 
number of ways and should be ex¬ 
amined and utilized where a firm can 
identify a particular need. It is, 
however, still relatively expensive 
and certainly not the answer to all of 
the law firm’s clerical or research 
needs. 

Reprinted by permission 
New York Law Journal, 
December 9, 1975, 
Copyright 1975. 



Set to Expand 
InfonOt by Intelsat 


Lowest Cost 
Time-Sharing 
System From 

DEC Based on 
PDP-11 /Y03 


MAYNARD, Mass. - A four-user sys¬ 
tem based on Digital Equipment Corp.’s 
PDP-11/V03 microcomputer and aimed 
at educational users is said to be the 
firm’s lowest cost time-sharing offering. 

Called the MU/11V03, the basic system 
includes 28K words of memory, a dual 
floppy disk memory storage unit and a 
choice of either the 24-line VT-52 video 
display or the LA 36 Decwriter terminal 
and will cost $16,220. 

The firm said three more terminals can 
be selected at additional cost from the 
following: a 12- or 24-line CRT, a 30 
char./sec hard-copy terminal, graphics ter¬ 
minal and one with hard-copy capabili¬ 
ties. 

Primary Applications 

Primary applications will include com¬ 
puter literacy and usage studies; prob¬ 
lem-solving and computation for mathe¬ 
matics, engineering and science; simula¬ 
tion of physical and social phenomena; 
and computer-aided instruction in mathe¬ 
matics and languages. 

Users can write and execute programs in 
Basic, Fortran IV( optional for $700) or 
Macro Assembly language under DEC’s 
RT-11 real-time operating system. 

One Fortran IV or Macro program may 
be executed simultaneously with up to 
three Basic programs. 

The system exemplifies PDP-11 family 
compatibility in that Basic or Fortran IV 
programs developed on the MU/11V03 
will run on all other PDP-11 models, 
according to DEC. 

Highlights of MU-Basic on MU/11V03 
include string calculations, program 
chaining and virtual arrays. 

Prices range from $16,220 for a single 
terminal version to $19,970 for the maxi¬ 
mum four-terminal configuration. Initial 
deliveries are scheduled for January. 

Reprinted by permission, 
Computer World, 

December 17, 1975, 
Copyright 1975. 


LOS ANGELES - Computer 
Sciences is set to expand within 60 days 
its Infonet time-sharing network to 
Western Europe via the Intelsat com¬ 
munications satellite, it was learned last 
week. 

Computer Sciences would give few 
details about the expansion to Europe. 

But last July the company licensed a 
subsidiary of the Spanish government 
telephone utility to offer Infonet ser¬ 
vices in that country. It was learned that 
in the start-up stage of the Spanish 
operation, processing will be done by 
Computer Sciences computers in the 
U.S. via satellite. Eventually a com¬ 
plete, integrated service, including 
processing, is planned for Spain by 
itself, however. 

Computer Sciences will supply Univac 
1108s and IBM 360 computers from a 
portfolio with book value of about $7 
million, used when it was active in the 
third-party leasing business, plus equip¬ 
ment in the company’s internal inven¬ 
tory, spokesmen said. Company sources, 
however, did not think a wide percen¬ 
tage of Infonet’s 1,000 customers will be 
leasing computers. 

Before the new equipment was in¬ 
stalled, customers were linked to a 
specific Infonet computer. 

After heavy start-up costs, Infonet is 
now bringing in revenues of between 
$40 million and $50 million a year and is 
profitable, according to company presi¬ 
dent William Hoover. About half the 
revenues come from a contract with the 
General Services Administration which 
could be opened to competing time¬ 
sharing companies later. 

Computer Sciences said it has 
purchased about $1 million worth of 
remote communications concentrators 
and biplexers which can double In- 
fonefs data transmission speed to 19,- 
200 bits per second “over standard com¬ 
mon carrier facilities.’’ The equipment 
includes nine Comten-20 switching 
RCCs and 59 Codex 296 biplexers. 

As part of an improved Infonet 
network architecture, the equipment 
will allow transmission at satellite 
speeds. 

The devices also automatically route 
traffic to available circuits, the company 
said, enabling customers to use Com¬ 
puter Sciences computers at various 
different locations. 

The company said the new con¬ 
figurations also will allow it to lease 
computers to Infonet customers, “giv¬ 
ing the user nationwide access to a 
dedicated computer equipped with In¬ 
fonet’s operation system and extensive 
program library.” 

Reprinted by permission. 
Electronic News, 

February 2, 1976, 
Copyright 1976.