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Around 1994 I was surprised to learn that Caelus, makers of CMS, a closed-loop, just-in-time MRP (Materials and Resources Planning) package, held international annual conferences with a user base of only 140 customers. When Wang held the last Wang conference in Boston, InterACTION 97, they had 10,000 VS systems under maintenance. ISWU, the International Society of Wang Users, had already closed its doors by that time.

Caelus proved that it doesn't take a whole lot of customers to have a viable annual conference. Today we can use Internet tools and perhaps have a user society and periodic events without even traveling at all.

I'm considering starting a non-profit corporation to be the new Wang user society.

What do you think?

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I attended two of the Caelus meetings in Nashville,TN and San Antonio, TX and they were very informative.
ISW®U, the International Society of Wang®Users

Using the Registered Symbol – calling/meaning ISW®U, the International Society of Wang®(Re-) Users

Who are the former WLI & Subsidiary ISWU presidents, committees, etc? Where are they now and would they be really interested ( non-technical types ) today?

Should we be Mall/Plaza builders? Build d'it and they will Come! - Arny The Californator!

I often meet with former WANG VS colleagues both former WLI employees and end-users and they yearn for the days of their WANG VS applications.

Why, are they just sentimental old fools? The answer is NO! Some have not used the WANG VS in 20 years, many are now 50-60 year old MBA's, CIO's and public company directors. However, they do remember, the computer limitations of the 1970's and the relatively problematical and centralised use of computers.

This all changed when the time-shared, demand-paged, interactive mini/mid-computers such as the DEC VAX 32-bit ( released 1977 ), the Hewlett-Packard 3000 ( a hybrid 16/32 bit architecture 1976/78 ) and the WANG VS 24-bit CISC 360/370 machine ( released 1978 ) emerged These machines offered the SME's, ( Small-Medium Enterprises eg up to 250 FTE's/ revenues up to $25 Million pa ), a cost effective IT environment. Despite what the Dow Jones & NASDAQ Fortune 500's say, SME's are in the tens of millions and drive most western economies.

AND by 1980 It had the ‘Killer App’ Word Processing WP as well as, if you are going to pay $3K for CRT it may as well be Dual-Functional!

The redevelopment or reinvention of the WANG User Interface requires a sophisticated ‘Electronic Village’ maybe simply called “Lowell Towers”, not a prosaic Facebook, Twitter get lost in the crowd, Website. I have been in initial ( non-Financial Software Applications ) green fields start-ups and the traditional marketing strategies do not work, until you can overcome the acceptance objection. For every one objector they will drag ten other objectors with them. However no greater advocate is the converted and slowly ever so slowly the advocates become the majority, turning those less daring to their will!

The sceptical convert is often the best path to travel overall as they will take up the cudgels of advocacy, take a leadership role and be unremitting in praise of the newborn/reborn.

Finding that element, those pioneers who are early adopters and risk takers. Using the Rotary International approach, that each of your potential Re®-users introduce at least ten (10) others in a year. That we have an ‘Electronic Round-table” one per month and they introduce that “Electronic Guest” at the agreed time. Preferably they will have already been WANG staff or technology suppliers and have “pipes” or business ideas or opportunities.

The world can be divided into the continents and then in to regions if there is any interest. Start at the top and work you way down.

Regards
A minor technical point: the VS is a 32-bit machine with a 24-bit virtual address architecture and an upper limit of 2 GB of physical memory. Without Extended Virtual Address Space (EVAS) the standard User Virtual Address Space (UVAS) is 8 MB, in which the majority of applications function quite nicely. The virtual VS handles up to the full 2 GB of VS memory although no legacy VS in the field has ever had more than 1.5 GB and the largest we know of that upgraded to the New VS had 768 MB.

I am considering starting a replacement for ISWU rather than trying to dig out the ownership roots of the now-defunct ISWU to use the same name. It will be easier to form a new user society. I think that virtual meetings, web meetings and the like, will be more practical than trying to hold annual physical conferences, although I'll be happy to hear opinion on this.

Tom Junker
Tom

I was referring to the original VS 80/100 era, but I do take your point. Does this 2GBytes of Memory increase the Discrete User 8Mbytes of UAS to the full 24Bit up to 16MB UAS or does it use eXtended Address Architecture to create a mapped full 32 bit = 24Bit + 8bit User Address Space ( SSL Libraries + I/O Transfer Buffers ) as in MVS/XA extended address instruction group.


I agree with foregoing the "Good Will Hunting" campaign, however there are former users out there who may still have "Warm & Fuzzies" about WLI; and think, if they took the chance once before, they may chance it again.

Regards
I think if an online user group could be set up it would be a great idea.
John
As I understand it, the 2 GB physical memory capacity (31 bits of memory address) has no effect on User Virtual Address Space (UVAS). Extended Virtual Address Space (EVAS), a formerly for-pay option that was bundled into OS 7.53, extends UVAS beyond the standard 8 MB, but it is confusing just how much of that becomes available to the user and how much becomes available to the system. I have not seen a clear definition. I am pretty sure that available UVAS can be pushed to 12 MB.

The only two types of VS system I have seen that have had trouble with memory have been 1) very large (700+ users) RSF clusters, where GETMEM has been a problem, and 2) applications that extensively run nested modules, using more and more of the UVAS.

I understand that some of the 2 GB physical memory is used by the VS OS for extended GETMEM of one or another type, and it can also be used by OVERDRIVE, the VS disk caching software product. It is unclear whether OVERDRIVE yields any real benefit in a New VS, where disk I/O is already heavily cached and buffered in Linux, in the RAID, and in the drives themselves.

Of course a major difference between the VS and Unix/Linux is that the VS extensively uses arguments by reference (by memory address pointer), which requires that caller and callee share an address space but is extremely efficient and allows passing any arguments back to the caller. Unix/Linux run child processes in their own address spaces and make it very difficult to share address spaces, meaning that they are limited mostly to passing arguments by value, which is less efficient, and being unable to have called programs pass argument values back to callers.

Further, the VS MSMAP SVC allows sharing portions of memory between disjoint tasks trivially, with no impact on or interaction with the rest of the system. MSMAP sets up a provided data file as a paging file for the shared memory, using underlying mechanisms in the VS OS to map the specified memory into each task that calls for it. Quite differently, Unix/Linux requires that an entire application set of programs agree on a global identifier for shared memory and avoid conflicting with any other applications on the system, something that has global system implications.
max UVAS in EVAS seem to be 16 MB minus XDMS shared area(normaly largest), Sharer control blocks and some other unidentified parameters.
We run at 12032 K with 3584 XDMS shared area on the development system.

Overdrive still yields in the New VS provided enough CPU capacity is left, both in the Write Thru and Copy Back action. In Copy Back I attribute it to the fire and forget (no interrupt handling), in Write Tru the whole access to the file system is (potentially) avoided on a random read driven system.
Warwick Halcrow on June 7, 2009 at 11:09pm:

> I was referring to the original VS 80/100 era, but I do take your
> point. Does this 2GBytes of Memory increase the Discrete User
> 8Mbytes of UAS to the full 24Bit up to 16MB UAS or does it use
> eXtended Address Architecture to create a mapped full 32 bit =
> 24Bit + 8bit User Address Space ( SSL Libraries + I/O Transfer
> Buffers ) as in MVS/XA extended address instruction group.

No, the relatively recent upper limit of 2GB of physical VS memory has no effect on User Virtual Address Space (UVAS). With the now-free Extended Virtual Address Space (EVAS) option it seems that total virtual address space can be 16 MB, with the qualifications detailed elsewhere here by Klaus Bernhardt.

We have an item on our TVS/Compucom technical issues list to examine what would be involved in expanding virtual address space beyond 16 MB, but I suspect that the work involved will turn out to be more than can be justified anytime soon.

With some very few exceptions the present virtual address space model seems to be adequate. Our largest customer has issues with the model but their issues are aggravated by extensive use of nested programs, which eats up virtual address space. In general it is better in the VS world to use additional windows and general menu facilities to expand user access to programs than to nest programs extensively. In the very old days, before Lightspeed and other PC-based workstation emulators, we were limited to four windows in an MWS workstation. Now, though, there is effectively no practical limit to the number of VS windows on a PC desktop. Some might even argue that using additional windows is a better solution than allowing programs in a smaller number of windows to call each other and return, which uses precious virtual address space. The best solution is probably a judicious use of both techniques -- allowing certain nesting where the user convenience warrants it but generally relying on additional windows to permit the user access to multiple programs.
> That we have an "Electronic Round-table” one per month...

OK, I agree. Some kind of structure for periodically meeting has to be put in place or nothing will happen. A policy of encouraging members to bring new people into introductory meetings will be a good thing.

Practical considerations:

Time zones. We have perhaps three clusters of New VS sites and wangvs.ning.com participants when viewed by time zone. One, of course, is the U.S., spanning four time zones for the most part. Another is Western Europe, spanning just one or two time zones. Another is Australia, with just a couple of time zones.

This distribution of potential participants in electronic meetings suggests three meetings, one for each of the time zone clusters.

Hours of convenience

From the subjective viewpoint of potential participants, there is the question of what hours of the day will be most convenient for them to participate in electronic meetings. Some, particularly active New VS site personnel, may prefer business hours. Others, perhaps most, may prefer their evening hours to avoid conflicting with their unrelated business obligations.

So.. please comment on the matter of the three potential time zone clusters, and please offer your opinion on what local hours of meeting operation will be most convenient for you. If we get any activity on this I will create a new forum or blog instead of this item buried deep inside the user society topic.
> ISW®U, the International Society of Wang®Users
>
> Using the Registered Symbol – calling/meaning ISW®U, the International
> Society of Wang®(Re-) Users

I'm abandoning the idea of a formal user society, whether a rejuvenation of ISWU or a new one. Instead, I think setting up meetings in the context of this community website is the way to go.

> Who are the former WLI & Subsidiary ISWU presidents, committees, etc?
> Where are they now and would they be really interested ( non-technical
> types ) today?

All former user groups, including local offshoots of the international society, are gone. For the most part, those involved in their founding and operation have moved on. Any new activity in the way of meetings and interaction will come from those of us participating in this community website and others we may be able to bring into membership here.

> Should we be Mall/Plaza builders? Build d'it and they will Come! -
> Arny The Californator!

Well, yes, and this community website is the most successful effort to bring VS people together since the demise of ISWU. We can easily start holding electronic meetings around the infrastructure provided here. I have access to an online meeting service that requires no expenditure whatsoever on the part of participants, and no installation of software. Until the costs on my side become clear, it will be a start.

> I often meet with former WANG VS colleagues both former WLI employees
> and end-users and they yearn for the days of their WANG VS applications.
>
> Why, are they just sentimental old fools? The answer is NO! Some have
> not used the WANG VS in 20 years, many are now 50-60 year old MBA's,
> CIO's and public company directors. However, they do remember, the
> computer limitations of the 1970's and the relatively problematical and
> centralised use of computers.

Whether or not such people have opportunities for the New VS in their present companies and situations, they can all participate in New VS "evangelism." The root of New VS evangelism is ordinary VS evanglism -- promoting the solid usability of the VS metaphor. The New VS is, after all, just the VS in new clothing, freed of the issues of proprietary Wang hardware and the difficulty of getting data into and out of the VS.

It is the VS OS and system software that make the New VS significant. Instead of requiring a 500-900 pound proprietary Wang system unit, the VS now only requires a Dell server occupying 2U or 4U of rack space. That server can support close to 1,000 users with non-Lightspeed workstation emulation or close to 500 users with Lightspeed workstations. It can contain up to several terabytes of internal RAID storage to support VS volumes. It integrates multiple virtual Lightspeed gateways with no external PC boxes. The server is a self-contained VS mainframe spanning all legacy performance levels and extending to almost three times the performance of the legacy high-end VS18950. If anyone challenges the capacity of the New VS we can now cluster up to 16 New VS systems using RSF-over-IP.

What the community lacks at the moment that is key to gaining new members from outside the legacy community is applications. The most fertile ground for finding applications is the mountain of third party applications that used to be available for the VS. We have to find one of those that still exists, or can be taken off the shelf and rejuvenated. Then we have to find another. And another. Only when there exist some off-the-shelf applications and the beginnings of signs of life as a viable platform will there be any possibility of new ports of applications or completely new applications.

A starting point in locating applications is probably the Wang third-party software catalog, last published in 1989. It ran to more than 900 pages. I cannot believe that all 900 pages of applications are gone forever, not a single one still in existence or stored on a shelf somewhere.
I was pretty excited about the prospect of founding a new user society for the VS community but my interest has waned due to the lack of responses here and generally the lack of participation in this site by members. I'm also unsure whether it is any longer practical to consider physical meetings or conferences such as the old annual Wang show that ISWU used to put on. If anyone wishes to encourage me to found a user society, this is the place to post your opinion and try to raise my interest level.
I'm now thinking in terms of expanding the activities here at this community website to include electronic meetings.

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