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February 24, 1987

UNISYS CANADA HOPES TO EAT DEC’s LUNCH WITH DATAVISION’s BASIC+-TO-C

By CBR Staff Writer

Unisys Canada will be going after the DEC market with a product from a Blackpool, Lancashire-based software house, Datavision. Unisys Canada became aware of the Datavision product, Universe Basic, when trying to sell its Arete-based machine to a traditional DEC user that wished to retain its Basic+ applications. Universe Basic will convert DEC PDP-11 based Basic+ applications into native code, produced by translating the Basic+ source code into C which is then compiled by the system’s C compiler. The problem was further complicated for Unisys Canada as some of the applications were developed using Basic+2, an enhanced version of Basic+ for VAXen. Unisys struggled with the problem for around six months before calling in Datavision, which then took five weeks to extend Universe Basic to cope with the Basic+2 extensions. Unisys is now spending an undisclosed sum to fund Datavision’s development of Universe Basic to make it fully compatible with Basic+2. Datavision is understandably very excited by the deal, to date worth around $Can150,000, and hopes that the product will be taken on by other Unisys bases around the world; Unisys Canada say that it has had extensive talks with Unisys in the US. Unisys Canada hopes to win a large proportion of the 6,000 Canadian DEC PDP-11 users, software houses writing for that market, as well as PDP-11 resellers, with Datavision’s product.

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