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What ever happened to Tandem and NonStop OS 2069


i had the unfortunate delusion of attempting something similar in the mid-80s; it was becoming more & more apparent that distributed computing was going to take over the environment.

we previously had an effort to build the software for this new thing coming out of boca called acorn. boca was claiming that they were doing no software and they needed other organizations to do it ... we dutifully checked with them monthly on the position vis-a-vis software ... and for some period they re-affirmed it. then, at one point ... they decided they wanted to "own" software ... and internal operation represented internal organization compebreastion ... if we wouldn't move to boca, they would contract for software outside (since external contracts wouldn't carry with it the internal organization compebreastion issues).

in any case, it seemed that a portable, more sophisticated operating system was needed (to compete with the emerging workstation unixes and stuff starting to move upstream from the desktop). it was initially defined to be a straight-forward, just do-it, with a small team. Unfortunately it acquired some attention that it could represent a significant corporate strategic direction. You had to be sure that significant corporate strategic direction was done correctly ... so eventually there was something like 300 people making sure the specification was complete and correct ... and it eventually collapsed from its own weight.

One observation was that there were technical alternative resolution meetings (that frequently never arrived at any definitive conclusion, but) that consumed far more resources than it would have taken to actually implement all possible technical alternatives and do real world comparisons to arrive at resolution. The corollary is that it can be detrimental having too many smart people.

In some respects it was a mini-repeat of the FS fiasco from some ten years earlier

What ever happened to Tandem and NonStop OS 2071
ref: part of it was that the valley was the hot bed of all sort of activities ... some topic drift: and the...
What ever happened to Tandem and NonStop OS 2072
That was the f***ing problem!!!! Sorry. In addition, another problem was those that were...

lots of different people had their favorite features that just had to be part of any new OS. if this was going to be the one and only operating system redo of the decade ... then each of these features had to be included ... and eventually the effort collapsed from the weight of the enormous number of requirements (if nothing else).

There was a little "I told you so" ... from the very first proposal and at every subsequent opportunity ... I strongly butterted that the effort wouldn't be succesful unless it was kept extremely small and focused (KISS). Of course, I had also ridiculed the earlier FS effort from the sidelines ... as the inmates taking over the asylum (reference to the cult-film that had been playing non-stop in central sq. during the FS days).

What ever happened to Tandem and NonStop OS 2070
Delusion? :-( Do you still have it? Yea. That was a pesky problem and I don't think we (DEC) knew enough about it. Would IBM have had a better idea since they knew how to do...

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