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0/F '77 

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

Time-Sharing Seen Losing 
Ground as Service Choice 

NEW YORK — Total time-sharing in¬ 
dustry revenues were approximately $640 
million in 1975, a figure which should reach 
$1 billion in 1984, according to Frost & 
Sullivan, a market research firm. 

The New York firm predicted that while 
the DP sector as a whole will grow at about 
18% a year through 1984, resulting in ex¬ 
penditures that year of some $87 billion, 
time-sharing’s share of the revenues will de¬ 

“Vendor profitability will [also] decline, 
falling from a current industry average of 
about 11.5% to no more than 5.3% by 
1984,’’ the report said. 

“The declining importance of time¬ 
sharing is only one facet of a profound and 
continuing shift in the mix of services of¬ 
fered by remote computing services (RCS) 
vendors,” the report said. 

“Due to growing user sophistication, 
saturation of traditionally lucrative 
customer segments, and more direct com¬ 
petition with the autotransaction industry 
as well as the products of the burgeoning 
minicomputer industry, the RCS vendor 
must strive to remain viable in a buyer’s 
market. His possible countermeasures are 
both limited and expensive,” the report 

The firm said it based its predictions on 
intensive interviews with 50 users located in 
15 major metropolitan areas. The 50 users 
had aggregate 1975 RCS expenditures of 
about $40 million. 

The industry time-sharing (T/S) trend is 
toward constant availability, the report 
said. The T/S services of the ten leading 
vendors are available to industry users for 
an average of slightly over 115 of the 168 
hours in a seven-day week; all leading ven¬ 
dors operate on Saturdays; and only two 
leaders shut down on Sundays and 


Most of the industry leaders are full 
service vendors, offering T/S-related 
services such as remote job entry (RJE), ex¬ 
tensive application libraries, training and 
technical support, according to Frost & 

Few Offer Leasing Services 

While only a few do not engage in con¬ 
tract programming, facilities management, 
and/or consulting, only a few offer equip¬ 
ment leasing services. 

“Despite professed plans to the contrary, 
market factors will impel those T/S vendors 
inactive in certain of those related service 
areas to enter them,” the report predicted. 

Current vendor-published prices vary 
widely, Frost & Sullivan found, with con¬ 
nect charges varying from $9/hr to $22/hr; 
I/O charges from zero to $ 1.65/thousand 
characters transferred; and mass storage 
from 17 cents to 62 cents/thousand charac¬ 
ters per month. 

The T/S leaders represent every major 
hardware vendor: Honeywell, Control 
Data, Xerox and Digital Equipment Corp., 
but over a third of all installations are IBM. 
Most installations are multivendor, 
however, the interviewers found, with 
mainframe brands/vendor approaching 

“Replacement of front-end processors is 
proceeding rapidly, occasioned by the 
growing prevalence of dual-mode (T/S and 
RJE) systems and broader support of 
higher line speeds,” the study stated. 

As to operating systems, “the gradually 
emerging current generation is all vendor- 
custom, dual-mode and compatible with all 
possible line speeds,” the report said. 

“Thanks primarily to the number of IBM 
mainframes and the available TSO, neither 
dual-mode nor custom systems incidence is 
likely to reach 100%, but will approach that 
figure,” it said. 

Reprinted by permission. Computer World , February 7, 1977, Copyright 1977. 

Citibank Plans to Offer Time-Sharing Services to Firms, Using Own Facility 


NEW YORK.—The $45.9 billion- 
deposit Citibank NA Wednesday an- 
nonuced plans to enter a new computer 
service market beginning Jan. 1, that of 
offering time-sharing services to large 
corporations in the metropolitan New 
York-New Jersey region. It is believed 
to be one of the first banks in the country 
to offer such services through its own 
in-house time-sharing facility. 

The services—which could include a 
company's bookkeeping, billing, payroll, 
inventory and other functions—will be 
handled through Citibank’s Interactive 
Computer Center, a time-sharing depart¬ 
ment established at the bank’s Park Av¬ 
enue headquarters about eight years 

Initially, the bank will offer the facili¬ 
ty's services to business firms, but ac¬ 
cording to Seymour Brooks, the center’s 
applications support manager, plans call 
for expanding the service to corre¬ 
spondents and developing an interna¬ 
tional computer network, a system 
which Citibank's international banking 
group is anticipating for- a direct in- 

house link with Hong Kong and London 
money center offices. 

Mr. Brooks said the bank is looking to 
market the time-sharing service to 
“large business customers who are con¬ 
cerned about the increasing high cost" 
of such services." 

Citibank’s initial thrust to market the 
services will emphasize cost-effective¬ 
ness—'the bank claims the cost is “50% 
of the going rate," Mr. Brooks said—in 
advertising being prepared for the New 
York Times and such computer maga¬ 

zines as Datamation, Computerworld 
and Computer Decision. The ads are 
scheduled to run early next year, he said. 

The availability of a newly installed 
DECsystem-20 computer, manufactured 
by the Digital Equipment Corp., was a 
major factor in deciding to make the 
time-sharing services available on a 
commercial basis, according to the bank. 
The DECsystem-20 “will be the only ma¬ 
chine of its type in the New York City 
area available for general purpose time¬ 
sharing service," Citibank claims. 

Mr. Brooks, outlining the rate struc¬ 
ture, said the bank will charge $6.50 per 
hour for prime-time usage — 8 a.m. to 
6 p.m. Monday through Friday, New 
York time—and $2.50 per hour for non- 
prime time. Additional charges involute 
disk storage costs, and the use of mag¬ 
netic tape units, line printers, etc. The 
minimum monthly charge is $250. Prices 
do not include any Federal, state or local 
taxes, according to the Citibanker. 

The Citibank facility will be able to 
handle J2 separate lines into its com¬ 
puter for the time-sharing users. Mr. 
Brooks said. The bank is “holding back," 
he said, on the capacity for the moment, 
he said, to explore the new computer's 
capabilities and limitations. 

The bank’s other major-time-shared 
offering is a package of computer pro¬ 
grams, for noncomputer-oriented finan¬ 
cial managers, announced earlier this 
year under the name “International 
Command." Rascally, the system is used 
in planning and analyzing cash flow 
needs, dividend policies, divisional fore¬ 
casts, and financial statements. 

Reprinted by permission, American Banker, December 9, 1976, Copyright 1976. 

Home Input 
The Computer Moves 
From the Corporation 
To Your Living Room 

If You Don’t Have One Yet, 
Up to 100,000 People Do; 
Clubs, Magazines & Music 

James and Nancy Like Roy 

By David Gum pert 

Staff Reporter of The Wall Street Journal 

You plunk down anywhere from $200 to 
$3,000, bring it home, put it together, plug it 
in and, presto—you've got a computer sys¬ 
tem at your beck and call. 

The era of the home computer, it seems, 
is upon us. Thanks to smaller and cheaper 
computers, just plain people are entering 
what used to be the exclusive, expensive and 
mysterious domain of corporations and uni¬ 

The home-computer industry is so new 
and so fragmented that it hasn’t got around 
to computing its own progress, so nobody 
knows how many individuals have bought 
computers. But estimates range from 20,000 
to 100,000. This trend has been going on for 
only a couple of years, but it has already 
spawned more than 300 stores, more than 
150 clubs and half a dozen magazines. 

Some computer experts compare the situ¬ 
ation to the earliest days of automobiles, 
television sets and, more recently, hand-held 
calculators. ’Right now,” says one com¬ 
puter consultant, “we’re just seeing the tip 
of the iceberg” in terms of potential de¬ 

Why Buy Them? 

Why do people want computers? A compu¬ 
ter’s ability to store information, and cough 
it up on demand, makes for endless possibil¬ 
ities. You can keep up to date on next year’s 
tax return so that its actual preparation will 
be a breeze. You can have your lawn sprin¬ 
kler turn itself on and off. You can create 
electronic music, play electronic games or 
just entertain the neighbors. And much 

“You get a sense of a lot of power by get¬ 
ting the computer to do things you couldn’t 
normally do very easily,” says James 
Geiser of Cambridge, Mass., a mathematics 
teacher who bought a desk-top system a 
year ago for $1,100. 

About a dozen companies, most of them 
small private firms, turn out home comput¬ 
ers, selling them either by mail order or 
through the computer stores. The stores 
have sprung up mostly on the West Coast 
and in the Northeast. They are geared to the 
novice and have such names as Computer 
Warehouse Store and Kentucky Fried Com¬ 
puters (“a computer in every pot”). 

The computers available to consumers 
are also being used more and more by small 
businesses and other commercial users. 
They are known in the industry as micro¬ 
computers; it was the advent of low-cost mi¬ 
croprocessors that made the notion of home 
computers practical. 

The 1950s and Today 

Microprocessors are silicon chips, usu¬ 
ally no more than a quarter of an inch 
square, on which the equivalent of once- 
huge circuit boards can be implanted. Be¬ 
cause of microprocessors, it is possible to 
turn out a computer the size of a portable 
typewriter for $800-a computer comparable 
in capacity and speed to IBM computers of 
the late 1950s that required huge rooms and 
cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

Still, experts say, not everyone who can 
afford one should rush out to buy a home 
computer. For one thing, they mostly come 
in kit form and require some electronics 
background to assemble. Also, you have to 
know something about programming a com¬ 
puter to use one. 

These problems promise to vanish soon, 
says Jim Warren of People’s Computer Co., 
a nonprofit California corporation devoted to 
research in the personal-computer field. He 
notes that a few small companies have be¬ 
gun making completely assembled computer 
systems that retail for under $1,000, and he 
expects other, larger firms to follow their, 
lead. He also predicts that packaged com¬ 
puter programs will gradually become 
available; you won’t have to know anything 
about programming. 

Manufacturers Surprised 

Even with the present obstacles, so many 
people are buying home computers that even 
the manufacturers are surprised. When Na¬ 
tional Semiconductor Corp. introduced a 
$200 computer-system kit last spring, it 
never expected to sell the 10,000 to 20,000 
kits that a spokesman says have been sold 
so far. And When a small Albuquerque, 
N.M., firm known as MITS Inc. came out 
two years ago with what it calls the first 
home-computer kit, the company quickly 
fell eight months behind in filling orders. 

“I projected 800 machines in 1975, and 
people said I was a wild-eyed optimist,” re¬ 
calls Edward Roberts, MITS president. “We 
shipped more than 5,000 machines in 1975.” 
They retailed at $400 each. 

That kind of success has encouraged 
larger concerns to look more closely at the 
home-computer market. International Busi¬ 
ness Machines Corp., while declining to dis¬ 
cuss its own plans, says “it’s a matter of 
time” before “computers are generally 
available for home use much as calculators 
are today.” 

Large retailers are beginning to express 
interest. A spokesman says Sears, Roebuck 
& Co. “is watching this scene very care¬ 
fully.” While Sears has no immediate plans 
to market a home computer, the company is 
“very aware of it from a long-range point of 
view,” he says. Similarly, a spokesman for 
Montgomery Ward & Co. says its executives 
are “watching the home-computer market 
very closely” although it, too, has no immi¬ 
nent plans to market models. 

One large firm ready to plunge into the 
home-computer area is Tandy Corp.’s chain 
of 6,000 Radio Shacks. The chain will proba¬ 
bly begin marketing its own computer kit 
“before the end of the year,” says Bill Nu¬ 
gent, executive vice president of the chain. 
Its price, he says, will probably be $300 to 

The computer stores have gone a long 
|way toward taking the mystique out of com¬ 
puters. They tend to be small stores with a 
few computer systems on display, a section 
for repairs, and a salesman or two to ex¬ 
plain things. “You walk into one of these 
stores and a guy comes out in a plaid shirt 
usually with a beard” to push his comput¬ 
ers, marvels Neil Kleinman, marketing di¬ 
rector of International Data Corp., a com¬ 
puter-industry-research firm. “It’s a freaky 
thing, especially if you have a big-computer- 
company mentality.” 

At the Computer Warehouse Store, situ¬ 
ated next to a pizza parlor and a billiard 
hall near Boston University, the emphasis is 
on price. Large hand-printed signs describ¬ 
ing the computer systems carry the prices 
in bolder characters. “The Cadillac of mi¬ 
crocomputer kits,” boasts one sign pushing 
a $651 kit. Leaflets around the store promise 
one-day shipment for various kits. 

The store opened last July, and sales that 
month totaled $5,000. Since then, they have 
climbed more than eightfold, says Adolph 
Monosson, an owner. Perhaps even more 
important: “Over all, there’s been a decline 
in the technical expertise of the people who 
come in here,” says the store’s manager. 
Lee Ridlon. 

There is no doubting the enthusiasm of 
the new computer owners. Between 150 and 
200 computer clubs with 15,000 to 20,000 
members have been organized over the last 
two years, says Mr. Warren of People’s 
Computer Co. The clubs have sponsored 
conventions. One in Trenton, N.J., last May 

Home Input: 

The Computer Moves 
To Your Living Room 

drew 1,500 people; another in Atlantic City 
last August drew 4,500; a conference 
planned for San Francisco next April is ex¬ 
pected to attract between 7,000 and 10,000. 

The home-computer magazines are 
aimed largely at novices. Their articles bear 
such titles as “Learning Computerese,” 
‘Understand Your Microprocessor” and 
“Computer Widow.” Among the magazines 
are Byte (a byte is a measurement of com¬ 
puter information), Personal Computing, 
and Dr. Dobb’s Journal of Computer Calis¬ 
thenics and Orthodontia. Byte, which started 
in September 1975, is the largest, with 73,000 
circulation. In addition, there is a Boston ra¬ 
dio program especially for home-computer 

David Halliday, owner of a biological-in¬ 
struments firm in Cambridge, says he 
bought a $245 computer system to help him 
in his hobby of formulating electronic mu¬ 
sic. He says he is so happy with the results 
that he is considering an electronic-music 

A retiree in Naples, Fla., uses his home 
computer to play a variety of games rang¬ 
ing from craps and blackjack to WARI, a 
board game designed especially for comput¬ 
ers. He says WARI is about as hard as 
checkers. “The computer takes about 30 sec¬ 
onds to think about each of its moves,” he 
says. “The first few times I played with it, 
it beat me badly. Now I can hold my own.” 

Another game popular with home-com¬ 
puter enthusiasts is Lunar Landing. The ob¬ 
ject is to make a soft landing on the moon 
by adjusting the rate at which fuel is burned 
in a series of stages. If you calculate cor¬ 
rectly, the computer prints out, “Perfect 
landing, Congratulations.” If you miss, 
you’re told, “Crash landing. Sorry, no survi¬ 

Mr. Geiser, the Cambridge mathematics 
teacher, says he does a little of everything 
with his desk-top computer, which he has 
nicknamed Roy, Mr. Geiser, who shares a 
house with seven other people, uses the 
computer to keep track of who owes what 
for food, phone bills and other household ex¬ 
penses. He also uses it to construct eharts of 
“biorhythms”—physical, emotional and in¬ 
tellectual peaks and valleys-for himself 
and his housemates; to explore mathemati¬ 
cal theories; and to store records of stu¬ 
dents’ homework and grades. “I’m amazed 
by what Roy’s doing,” Mr. Geiser says. 

Friends of computer enthusiasts may 
benefit, too. Nancy. Mullin, a teacher who 
lives in Mr. Geiser’s house, says that before 
she saw Roy in action, she had “all these 
ideas about computers being cold and im¬ 
personal.” But Roy, she says, is almost 
“like another member of the house. 1 don’t 
feel intimidated at all anymore.” 

Reprinted by permission. The Wall Street Journal, February 4, 1977, Copyright 
1977 Dow Jones Inc., all rights reserved.