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Unix/Linux OS/Fun to see the old point 4 iris OS mentioned


Not really a question just a comment. Being an old Point 4 VAR I search for Point 4 stuff under as many different search terms as I can. Over the years it had been fun to find the different people associated with Point 4. For example I have as Mark 12 board pinned to my wall. I look for stories from other that I find on the web and am curious about your history with Point 4.

You might be Tim Carlson maybe???
I see your posts on LinkedIn quite often...
(Point 4 is a small world...)

I started with CCA Medical using IRIS 7 on the Mark V and Mark IX systems (around 1984).
(Even had a few DG RDOS systems to support at that time...)
Worked a lot with Dennis Peattie on tape/disk maneuvers to pack/unpack the LU's so they could be dropped onto new media at restore time (used removable disk-packs, then reel-to-reel tapes, then some of those weird trapezoidal shaped tapes, then 1/4 in tapes..).
Convinced CCA to switch from MiniCom to DTR, since we'd made many trips to install systems only to find that pieces (like cables for the disks) weren't shipped... DTR would also ship partially assembled and the parts were always there... Saved a lot.
Learned how to use DSP (mainly to fix timestamps on polyfiles), learned how to fix the "Office" product indices and learned how to greatly improve IRIS Basic code by forcing OOPS concepts into the design.
Worked for many years with Randall Wallace (Delta Data Systems). Still keep in touch with his son, Randy, in the DAKCS world.
When Xenix came out on the 286, we opted to use IMS Basic... But, after we saw the path they were taking, we converted to UniBasic/dL4.
And now we are completely on Linux, Apache, MySQL, dL4/dXport. (LAMd ???)
Parts of things have been migrated to php5 and we've written a bunch of web services that produce or consume xml/json content.
Eventually, we will probably move heavily into javascript/html5/php.
(depends on dollars as always... price gets too high, it justifies coding the switch...)
It's been averaging about 1 new language/process every year or 2 -- really keeps one on their toes!

The craziest Point 4 installation I ever did was at a site in Memphis... 1986, I think. The building wasn't completed... No A/C, no furniture, nothing but electricity and partitions - and we got a Mark V from Bob Runge (and it wasn't "new" like it was supposed to be...). - So, I had to work sitting on a 5 gallon bucket in 90 degree heat with the (overly heat sensitive) Mark V open on both ends and window fans blowing through to keep the boards cooled. Serial cables hanging all over the place... about 12 Wyse 60's and 4 or 5 Okidata printers... But they were in trouble. Their old system's data had been mangled and it took the vendor too long to figure it out before the problem had been migrated to all their backup tapes... So - we stepped in, got what data we could with a tri-tail switch (remember those? I still have one...) in place of a serial printer and converted it. They're still with us - one of our best clients!

Hope all is well with you,
Larry Irwin

Unix/Linux OS

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Expert: Creating and managing *nix database/application servers for use with dl4/unibasic/mysql/apache/thoroughbred applications, especially in medical environments. Strengths: scripting, backup and disaster recovery, mysql, apache2, routing, samba/smbfs/cifs, LPRng, CUPS, telnet/ssh/sftp, vsftp, rsync, new system preparation, system duplication, database design, system conversions (AIX/SCO-OS5/Linux) Currently working on scripted setup of LAMP servers using PDO for MySQL and Oracle. Compiling Apache2, openssl, php and libxml2 from source and linking to libraries for MySQL and Oracle InstantClient. Works great so far! Familiar With: php, c, awk, sed, gnome, nfs and lots of other *nix tools


I've been head of development at our company since 1984. Our OS's at that time were Point 4's IRIS and Altos' Xenix. Then: SCO Xenix, SCO Unix, AIX, SCO-OS5, Caldera, RedHat 7, Debian Sarge, RedHat ES4, Debian Etch, Redhat ES5, Debian Lenny, RedHat ES6, Debian Squeeze. I've migrated our clients through those various versions with minimal interruption while preserving their investments in hardware and staff knowledge over time.

1980 BSBA Washington University, Saint Louis, Missouri

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