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05 Mar 2003

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Ron Riedesel, Multics Marketing.

Here are a few more articles I salvaged from the trash barrel that my wife is constantly feeding.

The Industrial Nucleonics sale in Columbus, Ohio.

I don't remember much about these guys, but I think Harry Quackenboss did the support on the sale. As I recall, IN competed with Measurex, selling automation and instrumentation into the Pulp and Paper biz. The company later renamed itself Accuray (after its product line) several years after we sold the systems there. Accuray was later purchased by ABB, and in early 1998, I ran across some of the old IN guys (names escape me) while negotiating a deal with ABB in Cleveland. They still had some very warm feelings for Multics; one guy remembered Don Quick, another said he believed that Multics' debugging tools were "still the best ever created", some 20 years later.

Scan of a Honewell World article on the sale, 18 Oct 1976: "Large Multics Job Won."

The DCC sale in Memphis.

This was a sale where just getting Multics bid was a real battle. Salesman Jim Burch had to fight with the Atlanta (SE) Regional office over bidding Multics, instead of GCOS. I remember Dick Phillips as being particularly negative at the onset of the sale, and after we argued superior functionality, he argued for higher prices on Multics with GCOS bid alongside as the "standard offering". Kind of: "you're not good enough" -- "oh yes we are; we're better" -- "OK, so then premium price it, and give 'em GCOS, the low-priced spread, too."

Scan of an undated Honewell World article on the sale, probably 1976: "'Flying Squad' Lands Major Multics Sale."

Eventually, Multics prevailed, and that led to generally favorable attitudes out of Atlanta thereafter. That Regional office was responsible for IN and PRHA, among others.

I do remember that Jim Burch took me to visit Graceland (Elvis' estate) one day (kind of like visiting the Vatican, from a Memphis perspective). Nice spread. Loved the musical gates. There was a KFC across the street. Musta been handy...