PrimeInformation

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History of owners section.

  • "Dick Pick"
  • Microdata
  •  ?Devcom
Who actually wrote what became INFORMATION, I believe. They were a Microdata VAR and wrote their own version, which was then licenced to Prime Australia.

INFORMATION originally came only for 50-series. Late in the day it was rewritten to run on Unix and called PI/Open (More below).

It also differed from "Genuine Pick" in many ways. The original authors left out stuff they disagreed with, and added stuff they thought was better. For example, paragraphs and i-descriptors were invented here. And procs only made an official appearance in the very last version, rev 8.1, as a result of the Spectrum standardisation efforts.

When Prime to all intents and purposes went bust, INFORMATION was sold in the early 90s to VMARK, and was left to die. IBM still supported it well into the 21st century, according to the matrix, but only on HP hardware. Ardent had abandoned all official support with Y2K.

PI/open grew out of the realisation that PI users had no migration path as they moved from the proprietary PRIMOS operating system to Unix except to the opposition. Development of PI/open (the open systems version of PI) started in Australia but the development group "down under" was disbanded as Prime got into heavy financial troubles due to a hostile take-over bid and subsequent rescue(?) by a venture capitalist. The work was moved to the UK and was an almost total rewrite whilst retaining some compatibilty with PI. If anyone really wants to know more, I may be persuaded to expand the story.