Interested in UNIVAC 9000 Series (and IBM 360)

Chuck Guzis cclist at
Sun Nov 20 15:32:01 CST 2016

On 11/20/2016 12:02 PM, Mark Linimon wrote:
> On Sun, Nov 20, 2016 at 07:52:20AM -0500, william degnan wrote:
>> Old Computerworlds from the time had a lot of ads for timesharing 
>> services.
> That was before everyone decided it was far cheaper and saner to own 
> and administer their own systems.
> (ahem.)

Ahems, aside.  There was a definite market for outfits like SBC,
Tymshare and EDS back in the day.   They afforded three things that
"owning your own" couldn't quite achieve for most commercial users.

The first was networking (such as it was back then) and remote access by
various branch offices to the same data.  ISTR that SBC was the basis
for Ticketron, for example.   Networking (over common carrier lines) was
hugely expensive back then.

The second was expertise--the service bureau had experts in DP and could
guide an unsuspecting user through the maze of DP machinations.  No need
to write your own applications; the SB probably had something to fit the

The third was availability of maintained hardware.  Sure, you might have
a service contract with IBM or CDC, but when your system went down, all
you could do was stand around fidgeting while your machine was helped
back to its feet.  SBs always had spare capacity for your job--and could
expedite (for a fee).

Recall also, that back in the day, much of BDP was batch-oriented, not

Interestingly, after a decline, service bureaus are coming back in the
role of 3D printing providers.


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