Tuesday, August 08, 2000

The End Of An Era

The End Of An Era

This picture represents the end of an era. I started this era back in the early 1980's when I went to work for a venture capital start up named CTi Data. We were among the companies that put together personal computers (along with Tandy, Apple and IBM) Our "Claim-To-Fame" was that we had a multi-user computer that also had a communications cluster controller function. A user could with the press of a keystroke (Alt-Esc) switch between a 3270 Main-Frame connection and a CPM computer session. (Actually it was called MPM). We even ported a version of the Microsoft DOS OS to this system after receiving assurances from Microsoft that they would soon come out with a Multi-User version of DOS (which they never did until the advent of Windows NT 2000 and the RDP protocol - which they purchased from Citrix).

As we were coming up with our solution IBM was coming out with their solution called the PC. Needless to say we did not survive. The venture capitalists sold Cti Data to Rabbit Software a company that sold IBM the communications stack SNA to run on their AIX operating system.

After a while Rabbit Software merged with Tangram Corp. and later Tangram was purchased by OPSWARE.

Finally OpsWare was purchased by Hewlett-Packard Co for $14.25 a share. When my shares with Cti Data vested I sold them all except for the remainder when divided by 1,000. My shares in Cti Data, then Rabbit, and then OpsWare were diluted by various reverse splits and I finally wound up with two shares of OpsWare.

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