Celestial Weasel (celestialweasel) wrote,
Celestial Weasel

Only connect

So, by way of searching for something about which very little exists on-line due to it having died in the early 90s, I looked at the PRIMOS Wikipedia entry http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PRIMOS
It seems fairly accurate - my first job was on Primes. The main difference I remember was that it used @ where DEC and everyone who was influenced by it (Unix and Digital Research and hence DOS / Windows) used * i.e. all versions of all files was @.@;@ not *.*;* (how we laughed). "The article says Late versions of PRIMOS included a scripting language, CPL (Command Processing Language) that ESRI used as a basis for its platform-independent scripting languages AML (for ArcInfo) and SML (PC-ARC/INFO)." Indeed, I spent a couple or so weeks writing things in CPL to control / list batch queues of time consuming image processing things. CPL was a proper block structured language, much more of a 'normal' language than DCL, the Unix shell scripts or DOS batch files from what I remember.
I had no idea about the ESRI connection, though - ESRI's fine GIS being one of the ones our software talks to, it being the market leader. Bizarre.

Even more bizarre, I then searched for Gems Of Cambridge and Gemstone, a long defunct piece of kit that we had connected to the Prime. The company went bust but I assume the kit was horrifically expensive back in the day, as it had powers I didn't see on normal computers in terms of speed of image display, switching between images, zooming, panning, animation etc. for probably a good 10 years afterwards (memory may be slightly wrong here) and found this http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10106048809354187 . This mentions a version that ran on a PC (which I didn't know about, may of course not have really existed) and mentions that it could be linked 'via the Cartographic Suite' to GIS including ARC/INFO (old ESRI product). I suppose I shouldn't be surprised but it seemed weird to me to come across these links I didn't know about.
  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.