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February 1, 1987


By CBR Staff Writer

Systime Computers Ltd, now owned by Control Data Corp, is taking steps to ensure a long-awaited return to profitability with a string of software and hardware products to be released later this year. The one-time UKP60m-a-year company, now a mere shadow of its former self, will be adding an 80386-based version to its Xenix-based S-series within the next month and it is also negotiating with a foreign computer company for a top-end Unix-based machine to handle over 100 users. On the software side, the Leeds-based company will be launching an update of its Basic+ DEC RSTS-to-Unix conversion package, Basic+2, and a fourth generation environment package, which will incorporate an applications generator from an unnamed vendor and tools developed by Systime itself. Systime is also taking on board Austec’s AceCobol intending to do for Data General users what it currently does for DEC users with Trans-Basic. Systime also intends to port Unix System V.3 to its S-series over the next few months. During the its heyday, back in the 1970s, Systime claimed to be the second biggest UK computer manufacturer, building machines built around processor boards bought OEM from DEC, but it ran into a barrage of lawsuits from DEC and collapsed into the arms of CDC. It has since lost its lucrative VAX-based D-series customer service business to DEC in settlement of a UKP5m lawsuit for alleged illegal copying of DEC’s printed circuit boards (CI No 364). Since then the company has decided to major on Unix and signed an agreement with Parallel Computers to sell its fault-tolerant machines. This agreement is still in place, despite the proceeding acquisition of Parallel by General Automation, but Systime has sold few of the machines, saying that the market is too specialised; it intends to concentrate on Unix machines for general business.

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