Pyramid Technology Corp, Mountain View, California, looks set to launch optimised versions of its reduced instruction set minicomputer hardware range for running Pick software, using the Pick under Unix emulation product UniVerse, developed by VMark Software Inc of Natick, Massachusetts. Having developed UniVerse on a Pyramid machine, VMark signed its first OEM agreement with the supermini maker back in 1986, and extended the agreement in August 1987 to cover worldwide distribution. Now Pyramid’s UK operation in Camberley, Surrey, is gearing up to offer packaged systems running UniVerse to its European customers, initially on standard hardware. Support will be provided by VMark’s exclusive UK supplier Logical Choice Ltd from its Oxfordshire base. Pyramid launched its R*TP specially configured version of the Series 9000 minimainframe back in October in a joint development project with database specialists Sybase Inc. Although Pyramid spokesman Chris Matthews would not reveal details, he did confirm that announcements were due over the next month, and revealed that Pyramid had already sold 11 systems running UniVerse to the Australian market, where Dick Pick’s operating system is so popular that they are in danger of having to form a Pickpoppers Anonymous organisation Down Under. UniVerse takes a different approach from dual operating system implementations such as Sequoia’s Topix: it implements the Pick shell and processes directly onto the Unix file structure where they are executed as standard Unix processes. According to Logical Choice this means that there is no performance overhead at all, and standard Pick software runs on the Unix machine as fast as it would on a native Pick machine of comparable power. Four Pick implementations – the Microdata one from McDonnell Douglas Information Systems, the Prime Information variant, pure Pick, or Ideal, which is VMark Software’s own variant, are supported. Separately Pyramid Technology will be licensing Unisoft Corp’s UniTecs software package and as part of the same agreement, which was announced late last month, Unisoft has bought a Pyramid Series 9000 model 9820. UniTecs emulates IBM’s CICS Customer Information Control System teleprocessing monitor on Unix systems and Pyramid is hoping to make waves in the commercial transaction processing market with UniTecs.