TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Bell Divestiture

Re: Bell Divestiture

Robert Bonomi (
Wed, 22 Jun 2005 06:44:17 -0000

In article <>,
<> wrote:

> Robert Bonomi wrote:

>> You apparently know more about DTSS than _Dartmouth_ does. I checked
>> the Dartmouth history before posting that. Yes, Dartmouth invented
>> time-sharing, I acknowledged that. Development _started_ in 1963, but
>> it wasn't operational until May of 1964. (It supported an entire *TWO*
>> terminals in its original form.)

> Thank you for being ever so precise. We'll come back to this later.

You "corrected" me, remember?

>> Putting a bigger engine in a Corvette will let it "go faster"; it is
>> utterly irrelevant, however, to increasing the number of passengers
>> that that car can carry.

> Yes, it does. For one, the car could make multiple trips. The
> passengers might spend the same amount of time doing their shopping or
> whatever, but a faster car will cut down the travel down.

How many more people can you fit into the Corvette at one time as a
result of that?

The bigger engine _may_ allow the car to travel faster, and thus make
more trips. This is, however, totally unrelated to how many
passengers it can carry per trip.

AND, if the travel speed is limited by things other than engine
capacity -- e.g. speed limits, out-of-sync traffic lights, congestion,
etc. then the car is _unable_ to make use of the larger engine, and
there is no increase in speed possible.

> Further, if roads are blocked, a fast car can make more choices to get
> around the blockade, perhaps go way out of its way to get through.

Again, how many more people fit into it at one time as a result of

I've seen *one* occasion when the capabilities of a car gave extra
choices for getting around a blockade. Northbound traffic is backed
up -- nearly stationary -- for a couple of miles on a road with
essentially *no* alternatives. there was a place a ways back, where
you could turn left, and go six miles before you found another road
going North. Or you could go back another half-mile, turn right, and
go only 4 miles to find a chance to go North.

The perpetrator of this ducked over on the shoulder, went up a few
hundred feed, and turned in at the _dead_end_ city park entrance.
Somebody decided he 'knew something", and followed. And somebody
else, And somebody else. A solid stream of cars following him down
the _one_lane_ road.

It got really funny, when the 'leader of the pack' got to lake -- to
the boat ramp, and ... see
<> (Same type of
vehicle, *not* the instance I'm relating.)

There had to have been at least 75 cars following him, up to that
point. Now, with *nowhere* to go, no place for them all to turn
around, and the road in is totally blocked with the 'me too!' crowd.

I was out in the main traffic jam, laughing my head (or other portions
of the anatomy) off. I don't know _how_ they ever got that mess
straightened out.

>> You've never seen tracks for two competing railroads running
>> side-by-side? Tell me, in 1950, say, who had the 'monopoly' for
>> passenger service between New York City, and Chicago? Or for freight
>> between those locations, for that matter?

> There are certainly tracks running side by side, but NOT for the
> entire distance from origin and destination points or the route via
> intermediate points. For your example, there were multiple railroads
> between NYC and Chicago, but all took their own routing and began and
> ended in different places. (Some railroads used tracks or terminals
> of another).

So much for the claim that they were monopolies, then.

>> This was a "short-term" expenditure of money now, to maximize
>> "long-term" benefits.

> That's very. But earlier you made it sound as if that practice was
> somehow 'bad' i.e., "the Bell System never did anything unless it was
> forced to". Well, I don't see anyone forcing Bell to go Touch Tone,
> but I see a business becoming more efficient. What's wrong with that?
> How is that different from any other business?

I merely claimed that Bell/AT&T/WEco had their own self-interest as
their primary, foremost, and over-riding consideration in running
their business, and that any 'benefit' to the consumer came about
because either it was 'incidental' to that self-interest, or because
it was mandated by governmental authorities.

It is trivial to point to things that Bell/WEco/AT&T did that were
_not_ in the best interest of the customers, but operated to Bell's
advantage. See the 'Hushphone' lawsuit, for one of the more egregious

>>> In 1970 I guess, I do not remember for sure, they brought around
>>> terminals, sat them on the desks and told people 'Do not Touch These'
>>> until we explain what to do, which was about a month later. We were
>>> told these would be replacing some of the job functions that had been
>>> done manually before. PAT]

>> Probably '71 or '72. After upgrade to a S/370 gave them the
>> horsepower to run 'online' CICS. The 360 didn't have the speed/power
>> to do all the records work that SO threw at it, _and_ handle the
>> overhead of on-line processing.

> Some corrections: Do you know _exactly_ when Standard Oil upgraded
> their mainframe and operations units? Otherwise you are making some
> incorrect assumptions:

I don't have to know when the upgrade was. I do know that the 'idle'
CPU cycles were *not* there on the old machines to support on-line

BTW, if you're going to claim a "correction", you are required to
supply the 'correct' data to replace that which is, according to you,
"in error".

If you _don't_ know the data, *yourself*, it is arrogance, cum hubris,
to assert that someone else is 'incorrect'.

> 1) CICS was not IBM's only online terminal processing system. There
> were and remain others*, too. CICS evolved to be the most common.
> [*for extra large and extra small online processing.]

The CICS predecessor was IBM's first successful on-line system.
Originally developed for Virginia Electric Power, in 1968, and given
away to other users, until mid-1969, when IBM rolled it out as a 'pay
for' product, under the CICS name.

What 'others' there were, and/or are. is irrelevant, as PAT confirms
that S.O. was using CICS.

IBM's "official" in-house-developed terminal-processing system had a
"little" problem. It took more than 10 minutes to IPL, and almost
invariably crashed less than 10 minutes after that.

> 2) A System/360 could and did handle online transactions. It wasn't
> as fancy as the S/370 CICS 3270 system, but it did so. The high end
> S/360s units were quite powerful. We had a low-end S/360 that handled
> both online and batch processing. It's possible SO may have had
> multiple computers for different tasks.

At the time the 370 came out, it was five times the processing
power/speed if the high end of the 360 line, according to the IBM
announcement, that is, But, like with Dartmouth, you may have better

Yes, a S/360 could run CICS. but you lost a 'non-trivial' amount of
the CPU to the 'overhead' of doing so. If the machine did not have
the 'spare' capacity to absorb that overhead, you could not run CICS
and still get all the necessary work done. The machine was 'too
small', and/or 'too heavily loaded', depending on your viewpoint ...

S.O was running close enough to hardware capacity, with the batch only
operations, on the 360 that "available horsepower" to allow running CICS
just "wasn't there".

> 3) It would seem strange to post the credit card transaction clips
> Pat mentioned via CICS data entry when the slips were already
> machine readable.

"Strange" to you, maybe. In the real world, however, according to PAT....

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: They used CICS data entry because they
> did not have equipment to read them directly in the early years, and
> some of the cards were readable by a human eye (using some imagination
> and thought) but were not readable by a machine eye with any degree
> of accuracy. You know, like make your digit '2' just like so, and only
> in the little box allocated for it, and use a certain kind of pencil
> or marking pen. It was hard to train the dealers properly. PAT]

>> Is Judge Greene, or the FCC, enough of an authority?

> What exactly did he say? What exactly did the FCC say and when did
> they say it? Was this a long established intentionally established
> policy or did it sort of evolve?

You can find, and read Greene's decrees, for yourself.

The FCC rule-makings are a matter of public record, and available for
your perusal as well.

The initial fund flow back to the ILECs was part-and-parcel of the
divestiture, and the related equal access for competing IXCs.

> As to Judge Greene, not everbody agreed with him. The history of
> Mountain Bell clearly demonstrates the incredible waste of splitting
> up a tightly integrated infrastructure and I'm sure that went on in
> other Bell units as well. Oslin, the author of the Western Union
> history, noted many deficiencies of Greene's decisions from a
> telecommunications point of view.

Your point being? You asked for an "official" source. It's hard to
get more "official" than the Judge who issued the court orders.
(Note: I personally, would rather have seen IBM broken up, and the
Bell System left alone, but that is _entirely_ irrelevant).

> For us everyday consumers (who no one obviously cares about), we saw
> our short-distance toll charges GO UP. We found ourselves paying 25c
> a minute for a cross LATA phone call that AT&T previously charged us
> 5c a minute. We found ourselves paying $25 a minute unsuspectingly at
> pay phones. The few people who called cross country often came out
> ahead. Of course our local rates went up, too.

Yup. As another poster stated, the telephone charge structure was
"irrational" for a _long_ time. When the various components had to be
priced based on costs for _that_ components, there was a "rude
awakening". for a lot of people.

I, personally, _never_ understood those exorbitant 'in-state'
inter-LATA rates, either. It was incomprehensible to me, how a 2000
mile call to the west coast could be 1/4(!!) the cost of a 100-mile
in-state call. What I saw was that inter-state rates plummeted, while
inter-LATA intra-state rates declined "a bit", and intra-LATA calls
got a lot more expensive.

> Then there were the scams of cheap rates but under a $5 monthly "fee".
> Well, if you weren't even making $5 worth a toll calls, they the new
> plan would cost you MORE money.

Yup. complete agreement. Which is why I *don't* have any
long-distance carrier or 'plan' today. It's cheaper to pay the
'single call' rates, when I make maybe 2-3 L.D. calls, with a total of
under 5 minutes per month. The salescritters hawking those 'plans'
get really upset when I suggest that their rates work out to over
$1/minute, for my calling pattern.

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