Window to the Sky: the Incoterm A103-06

November 25th, 2005 by Benj Edwards

A Proprietary Mystery

All I knew about this box before I bought it was that it was an airline reservation terminal at some point, and that it cost $2. So I went for it, not only because it looks cool, but also hoping that it might be a standard RS-232 serial terminal. Well, so far, no such luck. This thing is pretty weird. I'm not sure what system it was designed to hook up to, but it appears non-standard. It has four connectors in the back: a DB-9, a DB-25, a DB-15, and a female BNC jack (see picture below), labeled J1 through J4 on the chassis. The DB-25 is used for the keyboard. When I initially power it on, all the red LEDs on the keyboard light up and the main unit emits a steady beep that never stops. I guess it's not happy that it's lost its master — whatever mainframe that drove it back in the day (the other very obvious possibility is that it's broken in some way). I can't get anything on the built-in green CRT, not even a cursor of some type. I hooked the DB-9 port up to a modem to see if it might come alive with a serial input, but no luck. Same behavior.

Upon cracking it open, I found some curious stuff. The thing that surprised me most at first glace was that there is no logic on the main board inside the base unit at all– only power supply stuff. And of course, all the video circuitry is in the top "monitor" portion of the box. Also, the the DB-9 and the DB-15 connectors are both wire-wrapped (Exactly how old is this thing?!) to the DB-25 connector, and the DB-25 connector has a few pins connected to wires going to both the monitor section and the power supply. Much to my surprise, the DB-9 doesn't have the usual pins for RS-232 connected to anything (2, 3, and 5, if I recall correctly). In fact, only pins 1 and 6 are wrapped. All the posts on the back of the DB-15 are wrapped and connected to the DB-25. As a result, I would have to guess that this is the main data connector. I also noticed that the BNC jack goes directly to the monitor section; I suspect it's a direct composite video input, which is not too uncommon on terminals at the time. Maybe I can use it as a green screen monitor, if nothing else…not that I need one.

Then I opened the keyboard. That's where things get even more interesting. All the logic is in the keyboard unit itself. That explains the wiring on the DB-25 keyboard connector and everything else I saw in the main unit. Looking for an MPU of some kind, the only chip I recognized in there is an Intel 8048, which is apparently a common (and now very cheap) microcontroller used in some IBM PC-compatible keyboards. According to a few sites I found, the 8048 was first produced in 1977, dating this unit to that year or later. Cosmetically, I initially dated this unit to 1978-79 in my head, so that matches up pretty well. At about this point in messing with the Incoterm, I had to give up and put it back together. Why? First of all, it was cluttering up my dining room floor, making it hard to walk around. Second, I didn't want to forget how to put it back together, and third, I have other things to take apart. :)

Digging A Little Deeper

Right after writing most of this entry, I remembered that there is a sticker on the base unit that has a United Airlines logo and the word "Apollo" on it. I decided to search Google for "United Airlines" and "Apollo" and I found some neat info — not about the hardware, but the Apollo reservation system itself. There's some computer airline reservation history over at Wikipedia, a United Airlines history page, and airline fan site that says that the Apollo system was set up some time in 1970-71 for UA internal use and made public (to travel agents) around 1976. Then I ran across a cool article from 1996 talking about how the entrenched airline reservation systems like Apollo were on the verge of becoming obsolete thanks to consumers being able to look up flights by themselves on the Internet. Somebody should write a book about how the Internet completely shook up established institutions like that. Well, they probably already have. But as more and more time passes, such books will become less speculative (Wired: "eCrisp: The way you toast bread is about to change forever.") and more historical ("Through blogs, the Internet put editorial power back into the hands of the average man."). I like my toast just how it is.

If anyone can contribute any knowledge as to how this terminal works or anything else about this it, please let me know. Until then, it will remain a nice conversation piece.

The keyboard unit without the case. Notice the ICs on the top of the board. There are also two unused key switches that are normally covered up by the chassis.

A label on the bottom of the unit that lists info on the terminal.


122 Responses to “Window to the Sky: the Incoterm A103-06”

  1. Suzanne Says:

    My grandfather was one of the original owners of Incoterm, and after hearing more about it from him I was searchng around to see what was online about his company when i stumbled upon this on the internet. I am not an engineer, nor do I know much about computers, so my knowledge is pretty limited, in fact, most of this was too complicated for me, so i'm having my boyfriend, who is an electrical and computer engineer, fill in most of the detail that we know in a few days, so that it is accurate.

  2. RedWolf Says:

    Suzanne,

    Thanks for writing — that sounds really cool. I look forward to whatever info you can share with us!

  3. Chris Says:

    I had a Incoterm computer back in the early 80′s. The computer was machine code with a seperate external dual 8″ drive. I got it from an old room mate with no other information. There were 4 or 5 large boards in the computer. One of them was a memory board with hundreds of criss crossing wires. It stopped working and I picked up a Apple. Tossed the whole thing a long time ago.

  4. wes Says:

    I worked for incoterm in the 70s incoterm was later part of honeyewll information systems
    this terminal hooked up to a contriller that generated the video and sent it via the bnc connector. key strokes went back to the controller via one of the other jacks the other jacks are for attaching a printer to the terminal.
    this terminal was used for the reservation system for united airlines.

  5. RedWolf Says:

    Hey Wes, thanks for the info. It's always cool to hear from the original guys who worked for these companies back in the day.

  6. Tim Bramhall Says:

    For what it's worth, I worked on the Apollo system in the eighties - your unit is one of the last versions of the "dumb" terminals that attached to the Apollo network - after these came the Focalpoint terminals which were originally IBM PS/2′s with windows 2.1 and the Focal point software.
    Your unit usually attached to an Incoterm controller called a 1525, or a Megadata unit, which I forget the model number. The Megadata was the newer unit. I remember the keyboards on your unit were easy to clean the contacts - you just pulled off the key from the top and the contacts were right there. The main problem we had with them, was a cold soldier joint on one of the power supply connectors - they almost always would let go and burn before dying. You would just resoldier the connector and it would be as good as new. I bet if you look at your power supply board, you will see a burn spot by the one large connector…this happened on most of them.

    Tim

  7. Benj Edwards Says:

    Tim,

    Thanks a ton for the info on the Incoterm. It's fascinating stuff.

  8. Alex Says:

    Wow its amazing to see one of these again! My grandmothers travel agency was one of the first agency's in the L.A County area to get this type of Apollo terminal. I remember there were about 5 of them networked in the office.(Which was a big deal back then) In the middle of the office, was a room with a sliding glass door which housed the main box (I guess now we would call it a router/network interface)it was kinda small. The ARC ticketing machine for printing real airline tickets, and one huge ancient Texas Instruments dot matrix printer for receipts. That room was always quite warm and buzzing with the noise of fans and things printing. Using the terminal was like a game for me! It was just a green blinking box that would show up on the screen, you would enter the login command, and then pound whatever long nasty code in Apollo to check the fares, flight info or fun things like what the weather was in Honolulu (that was my thing to do when I was bored lol). I still have the "code reference guide" somewhere. She used those computers until about 1997 when she closed the agency. I remember seeing a lot of these terminals at the airports.

  9. Benj Edwards Says:

    Alex,

    Thanks a ton for your comment. Through stories like yours, this terminal has gained a lot more meaning than just a mystery box sitting in my garage.

    And to everyone else: feel free to share your story too.

  10. Alex Says:

    After speaking to my mother (who used to work in the agency) she gave me a sample of a basic fare inquiry. Which really I guess isnt too bad: You would punch in:

    a23junontsfo7aua/r

    Translation:
    availability june 23 ontario to san francisco 7am united airlines

    You could check the different airlines by changing the UA part to TWA, AA, CO, ect..

    Im glad I could shed some light on that box in your garage lol. Awesome website btw!

  11. Larry Says:

    Incoterm was founded by two Raytheon engineers, Maurice Upton and Jean Tariot around '68 and was based on the first programmable terminal on the market. The main product line was the SPD 10/20 and the SPD 20/20. The 10/20 was a stand alone terminal that had a whopping 2K of magnetic core memory. Thats right, I said 2K. I was a field service rep/District Manager for Incoterm from '73-'81. The device you have is a "dumb" terminal that was connected to a central controller and cannot be used without the controller. The model of the controller was a SPD (stored program display)20/20 and was typically used in airline res applications operating on an IBM 3270 emulation, although the systems were also widely used in any application where there were numerous operators. Insurance, law enforcement, shipping companies, banks, etc. Their strength was the fact that you could program the contoller to emulate any of the larger systems terminals. IBM, Honeywell, CDC, DEC and others with just a programming effort and were considerably cheaper than the "big boys". Most of the airlines (United, Braniff, American, Delta, Western and others) were major customers of Incoterm. It was a great little company that was bought by Honeywell Info Systems in '80 and effectively wiped out in the massive organization that was HIS. What a ride those 8 years were. Hired in Tampa, moved to Houston, promoted to L.A., promoted to Dallas in six years. Those were the days.

  12. Larry Says:

    Just for clarification, the name Incoterm was derived from International Computer Terminals. Since there already was a company with that name, Tariot and Upton decided on Incoterm. Additionally the initial systems software was typically loaded with 8 channel paper tape, later with magnetic cassette readers, and when the 8′' floppies came out they were used.

  13. Benj Edwards Says:

    Thanks for all the info, Larry. I really appreciate you sharing it with us. It really helps to shed light on the whole thing.

  14. Larry Says:

    Not a problem, and I love to talk about those days in the industry. A link to your monitors older brother the SPD 10/20:
    http://www.dvq.com/ads/acm/incoterm_acm_72.pdf

  15. john B Says:

    hi larry, do you mind if i quote your brief incoterm history, jean tariot went on to help fund the montage editing system which i am writing about, john cmx300 at gmail dot com

  16. Larry Says:

    John B.

    Not at all. In trying to remember more, I have admit I may have confused Maurice Upton with another former IT colleague, but I am positive about Jean Tariot. When I went to work for them in '72 they were located in Natick, Ma. and as the company grew re-located to Northboro, Ma. where their mfg. plant, was established.
    I believe Mr. Tariot is still in the Massachusetts area. He is, I believe, a MIT grad, and a prominent business man. Retired by now, I'm sure.

  17. Suzanne Says:

    larry, you are indeed correct- jean is my grandfather and just celebrated his 80th birthday just outside of boston with out entire family. he and his partner ( (whose name i never learned) sold incoterm in the 70′s to honeywell and retired.

    i will work on getting my boyfriend to contribute, although what larry said summarizes most of what he knows. the gist is that incoterm was a pretty cool idea by two guys who quit their jobs and went out on a limb.

  18. Larry Says:

    Suzanne What a pleasure to hear from you. If you have any way of conveying a message to Mr. Tariot, please pass on my best wishes and thanks for starting the company. It was pretty well known within the company that the founders had indeed "gone out on a limb" and took a chance with their ideas. Later on, most people agreed that the introduction of the first programmable terminal was the precursor to what we now consider the personal computer. What a legacy! The limitations that came with the technology at that time required the developers (hardware and software) to be extremely talented. A gig of memory now is considered to be a small amount. In those days, I don't think even the largest systems had a gig. The Incoterm SPD 10/20 initially had 2K of core memory (I believe). Do you have any idea of the programming effort it would take to make any device operate on 2000 bytes?
    Although it has been almost thirty years since the company was sold to Honeywell, there are a number of former field service reps that stay in contact with each other because of the closeness felt within the company. I was fortunate enough to have been a part of Mr. Tariots team. I often wish that we could have a reunion to sit and tell war stories of those days. Tell Mr. Tariot happy birthday from the Incoterm Field Service team and that when he gets ready to start another company that there are a number of old retirees out here just waiting for the word.

    Larry Ragan
    Retired in the Ozark Mtns.
    lragan@hotmail.com

  19. Larry Says:

    Sorry to dominate this thread, but Mr. Tariot's co-founder was James F. Upton. There may have been others, but Tariot and Upton's names are the ones I remember.

  20. Benj Edwards Says:

    It's ok, Larry. I love reading this information. Feel free to post any more information or stories that you remember.

  21. Branden Says:

    I remember seeing these back when I was little at the airport when I was with my family to pick up/drop off my grandma when she did lots of traveling. Then United went to Focalpoint. Then I ended up going to an airline/travel school, learned focalpoint and then worked for an airline and my friend worked at another station and she said that her station has the old system that looked exactly like this one shown on here, even though united now uses FastAir/FastRes a GUI based system thats on top of apollo. I still remember the commands like above availbility A23JUNDFWLAS5A and to put in the names N:LASTNAME/FIRST etc. The airline that I worked for still used native commands kinda similar to apollo even tho there was a GUI system aka Point n click or F9 etc =)

  22. Larry Says:

    United's Apollo system was the largest user of the Incoterm terminals and sold their services to travel agencies and other smaller airlines. American's Sabre system was similiar along with Delta and Braniff had a system called Cowboy that was used in the same manner. Airline customers that I worked with included United, Delta, American, Continental, Western, Texas International, Eastern, TWA, Braniff, Alaskan, Flying Tiger Air Lines, Frontier, WTC Air Freight and others. We also maintained the Amtrak res centers but I wouldn't brag about it.

    P.S. Suzanne, Please e-mail me at my listed address. Thanks, Larry

  23. Ed Kearn Says:

    Hey, I just got a paper tape item on eBay which appears to be (from the box it is in) an Incoterm IBM 3275 Emulation Pgm (SPD-325). Way cool. See here (while it lasts):

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=310016910630&ssPageName=ADME:B:EOIBSA:US:1123

  24. Benj Edwards Says:

    Awesome find, Ed. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  25. Chris Yungeberg Says:

    Hi everyone,
    I am currently working for United, and we still use Apollo for alot of stuff. There are even some of my co-workers who use only Apollo. What the company wants us to use now is called FastAir. Its a GUI that sits on top of Apollo and does the same thing only easier. Very similar to the way Windows 98 is based on DOS. We also use a program called Unimatic. And, to tell you all the truth, without Unimatic or Apollo, at this point anyway, United would not be able to operate. One day Apollo went down (FastAir was still running), and every single flight was delayed and we had to write down everyone's info and check them into the flight after Apollo went back online. It still amazes me that with all the new technology out, (I.e. Windows XP and Vista) United still uses a program as archaic as FastAir. Even though FastAir is relatively new, it was introduced in 2005 or 2006 I believe, it runs natively in Windows 3.1. Amazing huh?

  26. Benj Edwards Says:

    Windows 3.1, eh Chris? That's pretty sad. As much as I loved Win 3.1 back in the day, it seems laughably bare-bones now.

    As for Apollo, I'm guessing some people know the old system so well from years of use that they don't want to switch to a GUI, am I right? I don't blame them. Sometimes in trying to make something more "easy to use," engineers just make the thing more complicated. :)

  27. Branden Says:

    I will admit like Chris said about his other co-workers, using Apollo if I ever had to use Apollo again and there was FastAir/FastRes etc, i would still use Apollo cause I know what im doing in that system =). Also like Benj said, sometimes the easy to use system do make things more complicated, my current employer uses Sabre & Deltamatic. Deltamatic's gui is known as Cornerstone. I still choose to use native sabre and native deltaterm (aka deltamatic) cause i've already been trained in both of the native systems and im comfortable in both and dont wanna switch really =)

  28. Rick Dawson Says:

    I see that Larry Ragan has senterened some information concerning the founding of Incoterm. I started working for Incoterm in February 1969 and there were only 7 employees at that time. The day I came to work, the employee count rose to 14. Jean Tariot and Jim Upton founded the company after they left Raytheon in late 1968. The began raiding Raytheon for the top people. Doug Kendrick and Neil Frieband were the two lead engineers. Doug was hardware and Neil was software. I began working as a junior engineer and was responsible for the memory system (2k of core) and then later the communication controller. (9.6 on a D1 conditioned phone line.) We emulated primarily IBM 3270′s but like Larry said, with options and software we could look like any one.
    I left the engineering group in 1971 and moved into the newly established Customer Service department. I relocated from the Boston area to Seattle in support of out first major customer, United Airlines. I set up the organization on the West coast and later moved back to corporated in 1974 where I led the international quality and maintenance group. In 1976 Keith Law was vice president of the Customer Sevice department and he asked me to move back to Seattle to begin setting up for Seattle First National Bank. I took over the entire west coast and moved Larry Ragan to LA where he worked for me.
    Over the years I have kept in touch with many of the old troops. Some of the managers that I still hear from are Sal Pultro, Carl Riddle, Don Barnes just to name a few.
    Working for Incoterm was perhaps the greatest job I have ever had and I feel sorry for people that never had the chance to have an impact on the computing and communications world that we at INCOTERM had.

  29. ralph Says:

    Following this thread brings back a lot of memories. I was the Application Programming Manager when we cut over Apollo in 1971 at the Denver computer center. That in itself is a long story but on to the Incoterms. They were introduced at UA in Apollo I believe around 1973 or 74 to replace the original IBM CRT's (2915′s ?) and gave us much more control and flexibility. It really did folks, considering the state of the art at the time. The Incoterm sales person was Rick (can't remember his last name now) but he and the Incoterm staff were great, of course we were to be their largest customer at the time. Apollo was built on an IBM product called ACP (Airline Control Program) which is today known as IBM TPF (Transaction Processing Facility) and the applications were based on a initial build by IBM called PARS (Programmed Airline Reservation Systems) which was first implemented at Continental Airlines in May of 1968. The cryptic codes for accessing and doing things are still faster then any GUI model, the problem is really financial. It takes much longer to train someone to use the cryptic codes then a GUI so it is more cost effective to use the GUI although I know agents who have worked on the old method and they will go back to cryptic codes given the chance simply for speed.

    I've gone on long enough but I thought this is really cool to see and hear so many comments about this little bit of history. Today I still work in the industry but for a computer company, not IBM. The PARS system is 40 years old this May and a lot of the code is still running at most of the major travel companies.

    ralph

  30. Tim Bramhall Says:

    Responding to Chris - it is cool they are still using Unimatic at United. I used that back in the 80′s when I was there - didn't know if it was still around.
    I can see why it is still useful to United (Apollo too) - it was very fast - despite the old older equipment and low speed data comm equipment (1200 or 9600 baud modems while I was there) - you would get response times back from the central computer in Denver in a second or two. I realize that Unimatic/Apollo was just text - with no pretty pics and stuff, but the modern internet seems slow compared to it. Plus, the private network definitely adds security.
    Does United still have it's own network? Or are they sending Apollo traffic over the internet these days? Anyone know?

  31. Duncan Says:

    I came across this page looking for airline CRS links. I worked for British Airways in the UK in the late 70s on their system BABS, yet another derivative of ACS. Identical codes to the ones mentioned above - and I still recognise them. I also remember those turquoise Apollo terminals from visits to the US around that time. Happy memories.

    Like many, I ended up working in IT having discovered I enjoyed computing more than travel work - and it paid more !

    There's an interesting IBM article on the development of ACP and PARS here: http://www.research.ibm.com/journal/sj/162/ibmsj1602H.pdf. Fascinating stuff for the geeks among us.

  32. Chris Bailey Says:

    This is so cool reading about folks who worked at Incoterm. I worked at Mellon Bank in Pittsburgh from 1976-1979. In addition to Mellon Bank's main office and branches in the Pittsburgh area, they also contracted with small banks to provide banking services and communications. I don't have the memory for model numbers but the original computer I worked on had one processor 32K of memory and was programmed in 8 bit assembly code - I think there were about 8 instructions to work with. Then they added a second processor (dual processing!) and a second 32 K of memory. (Then we literally had to turn on or off the 8th bit to get to the first or second bank of memory - my hexidecimal calculator was my best friend). I remember coding acks and nacks and all that cool stuff to communicate in 3270 protocol back to the Mellon Bank IBM 360s. I went to Natick for training back in 1976 but then they must have been bought by Honeywell during that period because Honeywell field engineers started supporting us. I also programmed an Incoterm passbook printer (remember saving passbooks?) that we installed at banks in Pennsylvania (I recall field trips to Scranton!) and then they came out with (what I think was) the first ATM machine and I got to program that too. I have some of the printouts in a box in my attic!

    Thanks for the memories guys. And by the way - I am a female - I never had any problem doing what all the guys did!

  33. Larry Says:

    Although Incoterm made its mark in the airline industry, they made tremendous inroads in the branch banking industry. Mellon Bank, Seattle First Nat'l, Security Pacific Nat'l Bank were just a couple of massive branch bank applications. I was the initial Service Project Manager for the SPNB account and had approximately 480 branches throughout California. Again taking on IBM and other large systems and beating them at their own game. As C. Bailey mentions, Incoterm was also one of the first ATM machine companies although I believe they had purchased the rights to the equipment from a European manufacturer. Prior to the install of the SPNB equipment I was able to spend some time at Mellon Bank in Pittsburgh trying to learn as much as I could about the banking applications.

  34. John Says:

    I also worked on the Incoterm product line back in the late 70′s early 80′s. It was part of Honeywell Information Systems at the time.

    Paper tape readers. Mechanical. Optical. Core memory. Huge floppy drives where we used a scope to align the heads. I used to keep a case (yes, a case) of CRTs in my garage to replace burned in displays.

    Those were the days…

  35. Rich C. Says:

    Seeing that clunker brought back some good and some frightening memories of Newark Airport in the early 80′s. I hired on with Honeywell in 1981 fresh out of the Air Force and was immediately thrown to the Incoterm wolves. I remember loading the terminal with 10 feet or so of dull gray paper tape. I also remember their newer product line but I forget the name. It was in a clam shell styled case about the size of a cartop carrier. Nah, it was about half that size. It was down at the Federal Express in Somerset where they took in pickup orders and such. I wouldn't change it if I could,

  36. Surjit Chana Says:

    Hey Guys I used to work for Honeywell Information Systems in the UK back in 1980s.
    I specialised in break-fixing (component level repair yes we did this stuff) these terminals. The models, as I still remember, were 10/20; 10/25; 20/20; 15/25. Apart from the latter the other three had Magnetic memory of 2KB to 64KB. The advantage of magnetic memory was and still is that it retained the last programme that was running when the power was switched off and when you switch it back on the programme will run automatically.
    The repair engineers were specialist in repair of part of these terminals. I used to fix all logic boards. also I learned the machine code to write my own programmes. for internal use I co-wrote a word processor and a look alike space invaders. These terminal had SPD (Stored Programme Display) as a prefix. One could connect 16 10/20 terminals and 16 current loop printers to one 20/20 chassis. And one could load programme from an external 8 inch floppy disk (160KB), from a Cassette loader or from a paper tape reader. The circuit boards were named (starting from rear) Stack (memory board) Data Flow, SMCTU (screen master and central timing unit), Refresh master and refresh slave (provided video signals to attached monitors) and to the very front a keyboard controller with integral keyboard type keys (not a kayboard as such but one could use the combination of keys to even input a programme in machine code if one had the patient. these keys lit up when pressed) Between the front board and the refresh master there were two optional slots for 16 ports printer controller (MPC: Multi Printer controller) and an external hard drive controller. The external hard drive was the size of a washing machine. There was a small little button at the back of the unit that if pressed put the machine into programme mode. and if one typed (on the keyboard) these letters (LIGG7 and enter key)) it rebooted it All the above boards were slotted into their fixed slots and were color coded by the tabs on the top left and right corners. that were also used to remove and insert them. I still have some dedicated tools. The SMCTU had 16 pins and dual 16 pins sockets for creating an option block called PARS (Programmed Airline Reservation System) option.
    I am very much indebted to lots of senior engineers who taught me the hardware and software. One of then was Mr Ahmet Hussain. He later became technical engineer of Zenith Data systems and moved to USA.
    Given the same repair facilitis I can still fix these terminals.
    I remember my TACKs (True acknowledgement) and NACKs (Negative Acknowledgement).
    OH my lovely days working on these. I was promoted from associate engineer to principle engineer from Sept 1980 till Aug 1987.I still have my old annual appraisals to confirm this.I can confidently say that working on the INCOTERM equipment was my greatest job satisfaction EVER. We were based in Hounslow in UK. But sadly with times the company got sold to Bull and the site was closed around 1993.I was made redundant in 1990. Long live INCOTERM.
    More later.
    Bye

  37. Benj Edwards Says:

    That's a great story, Surjit. Please feel free to share more stories when you have the time.

  38. Bill Scaglione Says:

    Can someone put me in touch with Suzanne? I may have something for her grandfather.

  39. Sal Pultro Says:

    Hello to the Incoterm cadre. Glad you are on the right side of the grass. Indeed, Incoterm was an awesome experience……..thanx to each of you. Unfortunately, the merger was a dehumanizing experience.

  40. Larry Says:

    Sal…good to see you still able to type on the kbd. Hope all is going well for you and your family.

    Bill Scaglione….email me at lragan@hotmail.com

  41. Dennis Says:

    Hi everyone, great reading here.
    I worked at the Incoterm assembly plant which was located in Northboro Mass. I worked there from 1977 thru the end of 1978 and was a Quality Control Inspector. I worked on / inspected some of all these products you guys talked about and many more. There were okidata printers, muxes, data terminals and then the ATM's We had stand alone model ATM's for inside the bank. And then we had the In wall models too. I remember evaluating the R&D models. It was a great time back then. :-)
    We had one glitch with an ATM at a bank in NYC (I think it was Chase Manhattan) that given a static charge from walking across the carpet would spit out a free bill. haha.. We had to fix that fast!

    -Dennis

  42. Joe Says:

    Wow,

    What a trip down memory lane. I was an electronics technician at the Northboro facility from 77 until they were acquired and moved us techs to Honeywell/Brighton Ma. facility. I left there in 84. I remember debugging many of the circuit boards that were parts of the 20/20′s and the 15/25 units as well as the old dual 8 inch floppy drive systems. I have fond memories of working at Incoterm.

    Joe N.

  43. Surjit Chana Says:

    Hi to all you EX INCOTERM techies there:
    I am back with more memories.
    any one remembers RJP (Receipt Journal Printer), TEU (Terminal Expansion Unit) and a software called RDE (Remote Data Entry). All of these were connected to 20/20. I learned RDR from Mr Alan Rymer in Uxbridge (UK) in 1983. I used it like an Excel spreadsheet to add the times of my engineers ( yes I was a team leader then) in terms of productive time,training time, holidays and sickness etc so as to present a report to my manger (Mr Mike Sells). Oh my lovely INCOTERM days, please come back!!!!. I also worte a programme (using RDE) to find a day of the week given a date. And my "screen saver" ,yes I mean it, was in form of a digital clock jumping around the screen again using RDE.
    When repairing 15.25 circuit boards we used processor emulator called "Millennium" It was a box of tricks that connected to the processor socket (the cpu had to be removed first) and from the control panel we used to test memory, the firmware, the interrupt chips etc. Once a fault was diagnosed the corresponding chip/s were replaced and most of the time the boards came alive. Wonderful days those were.
    PLEASE ANYONE:TURN THE CLOCK BACK PLEASE !!!!!!!!
    More later
    Bye
    Surjit

  44. SR Says:

    Wow! I was Googling for something about IBM tape blocking for z/TPF and found this remarkable thread instead.

    Great memories from everyone especially Benj of course and Surjit.

    I used to be an ACP/TPF programmer for British Airways, now at the former Swissair TPF shop which was bought by EDS, currently "an HP Company" but probably not for much longer.

    Re: "entrenched airline reservation systems like Apollo were on the verge of becoming obsolete thanks to consumers being able to look up flights by themselves on the Internet"

    Well, actually they're just as heavily used as before, in fact more so. Some TPF sites have tens of thousands of messages throughput with 100% availability. They have adapted to handle the vast volumes of internet generated queries.

    TPF lives on with z/TPF:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transaction_Processing_Facility

    Finally, can I quote an American TPF programmer I worked with on Avianca Airlines' ALCS (TPF under MVS) system in Bogota, Colombia:

    "If it doesn't have MF on the side for Mother F….g Mainframe then WE don't know how to program it!"

    Thanks Jerry W, this always made me smile!

  45. Dave Says:

    Hi,

    Wow! What a Great thread! I used to work as a programmer for Incoterm in London UK in the 70′s! Was a great time and I remember those great old machines! The latest of the old mini-computer type was called the SPD 20/40 or maybe 20/60? These has a whopping 64K of RAM, the later units used NMOS not core memory. These systems could drive up to 8 display/keyboards. We produced a system called RDES which stood for Remote Data Entry System. A system built on RDES was actually installed in a Branch of Midland Bank in the UK and was used as pilot system for the use of computers in the branch.

    It has been great reading this and I hope my entry keeps this thread going!

    All the Best
    Dave

  46. Bill Holden Says:

    I worked with Jim Upton and Jean Tariot '76 - '78 in the areas of investor relations and acquisitions. They confided that they wanted to sell Incoterm and hoped that my background and contacts might help position the company in the most favorable light vv the investment community and prospective purchasers. It was a joy working with them. Jean was very creative and had a great sense of humor. Jim was one of the finest individuals I have ever met …..smart, sincere, even-handed, no BS. Unfortunately, I read yeaterday that Jim just passed away. He was 74.

  47. David Upton Says:

    Hello all. I am the oldest son of Jim Upton and was just pointed to this blog earlier today. Bill, thank you for your kind words above about my dad. He did pass away Saturday morning 21-March at my folks home in Maine. Jim and Jean both greatly enjoyed starting and building Incoterm so many years ago. I have had the great pleasure to meet many Incotermers over the years and to listen to many good stories. It seems to have been a special place at an important time. Thank you all here too for the stories shared above. It is especially nice to read your thoughts with our memories of Jim so very fresh in our minds.

  48. Bill Holden Says:

    David,
    My condolences to you and your family. You all were fortunate to have Jim.
    We had a few things in common. We both had been sprinters (Jim at Bates and I at Tufts), loved sailing the Miane coast, and eventually settled in Maine for good!
    I remember when Jim bought his Porsche and the house in Maine after the Honeywell merger. He was happy as a clam!
    Unfortunately, our paths did not cross again after the merger. I eventually bought a farm in southern Maine, then an island offshore (ieyetouch.com).
    Hearing from you somehow reconnects me with your Dad.
    Thank you

  49. Mark O'Connor Says:

    Great thread. I was one of the last former Incoterm people to leave Honeywell in late 1991. But I worked there on two occasions with several years in-between. I first joined in 1978 as a summer job between my sophomore and junior years of college as a summer job in manufacturing QA (Northborough, Mass) for ATMs and banking equipment, and all the intelligent terminal gear (10/20s, 15/25s, 20/20s). It was so much fun I took a few years off before finishing college and moved out to California and became one of the top field engineering people on the west coast, based in San Francisco and occasionally working in LA, Alaska, Washington, Nevada and Oregon as needed. It was interesting work on equipment that really was ahead of its time. Even back then our ATMs delivered several denominations of "teller fit" bills, travelers checks, and even stamps. Someone had mentioned earlier that the ATM came from France. I believe only the cash dispensers came from France, and they were the top failure point on the machines. They held 30 grand and always failed. There's nothing like the pressure of having a guard behind you with a gun at midnight in San Francisco at a Wells Fargo branch and a customer screaming at you because the machine just ate their card! I worked mostly on airline gear at SFO and virtually every carrier had Incoterm equipment, from the CTOs to the res centers and counters at the airport, and the crew scheduling and maintenance hangers. I can't imagine what it would be like trying to get my tool kit through security these days. I'll never forget the time I got off an elevator at the Delta (I believe) reservations center in downtown San Francisco after an earthquake in 1979 or 1980. THe pictures on the wall were crooked and the plants hanging from the windows were still swinging. There were about 150 terrified women and a few men screaming from under their desks and about 50 10/20′s that needed their boards re-seated to start working again. Those were the days!

    I recently started an Incoterm group on LinkedIn if anyone cares to join. The link is here: http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=1947392

    -Mark

  50. Octavious Says:

    Hi everyone, I'm an active flight attendant for United and found this site while trying to determine the current system we use for our scheduling - Unimatic/Apollo. On my spare time, I develop database applications and setup network servers and ever since I started 14 years ago with United, most of us were unable to retrieve or view our schedules on mobile devices due to a java app required for viewing, which emulates a terminal server connection. However, I was able to discover a way to access our schedules on web-enabled mobile devices (ie: iphone, blackberry) by using Windows Remote Desktop.

    What Im interested in is trying to figure out how to create a Java GUI that can communicate with our Unimatic system to retrieve and view our schedules and display them in html. There are at least two third-party vendors that have figured this out, but obviously they would be my competition. From what I can determine, they are accessing Unimatic via a customized Java Virtual Machine (JVM) with preconfigured macros, "scraping" the results in text format and using a converter to upload the output into a database. I found the text converter but just need to figure out how to build the customized JVM. My ultimate goal is to develop this into an iPhone application to display information in real time as well as info stored in the database.

    If anyone can direct or assist me in this search, it would be greatly appreciated. I know this post seems offbeat from the original topic, but believe me when I say that this was the most informative site/post I've discovered so far from googling unimatic apollo system on United.

    Thanks,
    Octavious

  51. Larry Ragan Says:

    Great idea Mark. I'll contact some of my old Incoterm Field Service cohorts and spread the word.

  52. Ken Krawchuk Says:

    Hey, I personally OWN maybe a dozen Incoterm SPD 10-20′s, and some of them still work (last time I tried). I have some of both models: integrated monitor/keyboard and external monitor/keyboard, plus an external dual floppy disk drive (eight inch floppies!).

    I got them from the Philadelphia Stock Exchange when they upgraded their floor trading system in 1981. (I was the systems programmer for the Centramart II development team.) They were giving the old Incoterms away to whoever wanted them, and I filled up the station wagon with them, the idea being I'd have enough spare parts to keep them running forever.

    When I got them home, I wrote a basic debugger that used the keyboard lights as output and the keyboard for hex input. With that as a stepping stone, I wrote a more-sophisticated debugger that used the screen rather than the lights. With that, I wrote some games for my kids to play with, most notably a basic Pac-Man.

    In addition to a skid-load of units, I also still have lots of documentation, and listings of all the programs I wrote. Looks like a museum could appreciate this stuff. If anyone wants to get in touch with me about them, just google the name — you'll find me!

  53. Dave Says:

    Hi,

    Message for Ken Krawchuk, you may be able to get the SPD/DOS diskette for this system, if so be able to do some amazing things with it. There was a fully functioning operating system for these machines which turn it into more of a PC than a terminal. This was developed by Robert Dewar and was just amazing for its time and the lack of RAM etc. on these machines.

    Take Care
    Dave

  54. Alan Says:

    Hi

    I worked as a programmer at Incoterm in the UK from 1974 to 1980. Initially we used the SPD10/20 which had, I think, 4k of core memory, half of which was used by the screen. To maximise use of this memory we would blank out the end of lines on the screen and use them for code. Slimming down sub-routines by a couple of bytes was an art soon acquired. There was a feeling of creativity amongst the coders that was akin to what craftsmen of old must have felt.

    Our customers were airlines (British Caledonian), banks and a variety of manufacturing companies. A Danish shipping outfit (Maersk) was a client and I spent many happy weeks in Copenhagen coding there.

    Later the SPD10/25 and SPD20/20 were introduced and the latter afforded us the luxury of 64k of memory space. Many staff – unfortunately not I - went on visits to the US (Wellesley I think) and we had some technical guys and managers from over there. I remember a few - there was an ex-marine who was in charge when I started called Pat Kielty and another manager called Rich Heiman came over later – I can honestly say he was the best leader I have ever worked for. On the technical side we were visited by Robert Dewar. I don’t think he actually worked for Incoterm but he wrote the operating system and the utilities. A name that does stick in my mind, though I never met him, was Nate Melhorn, he was renowned as a programmer’s programmer – utterly dedicated and quite oblivious to the world around. Happy days that slowly disappeared after Honeywell took over and big organisation mentality became the norm.

    Best Wishes to all

  55. Allen Says:

    We also used Incoterm terminals at North Central Airlines in conjunction with the ESCORT reservation system. It was nice that those Incoterms could be programmed, even in split screen mode.

    I remember seeing these Incoterms at UA ticket counters, later they went to these squat looking terminals (I think Univac?) that had a "¬" for a cursor.
    What was the story with those? They seemed to be around a long time.

  56. Larry Ragan Says:

    Boy, this thread seems to keep going and going and…….. Alan, I had the pleasure to meet Nate Melhorn several times on my visits to the home office. You are right in describing him as a programmers programmer. Although I was in Field Service and he was a top programmer you could tell just by talking to him that he was a focused, brilliant person although a little eccentric. Hopefully someone can verify this but I believe he played the cello and I saw him driving a VW bug with the cello sticking out of the sunroof.
    Second quick story about Incoterm..They were awarded the contract to automate Security Pacific National Bank's 480 branches in '76 and at that time it was the largest single contract ever won by Incoterm. You can imagine the effort that was started on the west coast to support this endeavor. We hired several contract programmers to work in the SPNB location to develop the applications and they were located in the banks software group. One of the more industrious programmers managed to transfer 10 million dollars to a bank in NY and then on to Switzerland. He promptly took the afternoon off (plus several hundred more) and disappeared. He was arrested several years later in San Diego and sent to prison for his crimes. He should have gotten a couple extra years for being dumb enough to come back to California. True story.

  57. Larry Ragan Says:

    My story about Nate Melhorn may be true. I knew he was a MIT grad and I just googled his name and saw a reference to him playing the cello in the MIT symphony. Not fair for someone to have that much intelligence.

  58. Jeffrey Mc Says:

    Former airline veteran?! 1976-98
    does anyone know of anyone writing a emulation of the old Airline Reservations System interface. Using the old entrys, etc. to create PNR, pull availability, etc?

  59. Steve M. Says:

    Well, I'll throw in my 2 cents worth. I worked in the Northboro plant (but I would have sworn it was in Hopkinton, maybe even Westboro .. it's been a long time) in 1970-71 as 'the' (as in, there was only one of me) QC test technician. I was a 1970 grad of Valley Tech, and worked for Spiras Systems, who I believe also had an airline reservation terminal product, until they closed the facility in Whitinsville. The electronics job market was so strong, that a grunt with 4 years of tech high school electronics was literally unemployed for about 4 hours. I was handed completed units in a cage with racks of shelves, where I loaded the test apps from a paper tape reader (although before I was done they had given me one of the new fangled mag tapes), and 'burned in' the terminals. I remember having some limited ability to analyze failures, but mostly when they failed they went back to the engineers. I remember a squad of gals that assembled the circuit boards by hand, one component at a time, then they would run them through the wave solder machine (when it worked). When it didn't, which was often, they soldered each lead by hand … and they were good too! Where's the fun in automation anyway?

  60. jamie kripke Says:

    Hi — I am working on a photo shoot for Fast Company magazine, and need to locate a vintage computer terminal (used for airline ticketing) to photograph.

    If anyone is interested in providing one, I can pay shipping to/from my studio along with a rental fee. If interested, please email me: jkripke(at)gmail.com. Thanks! Jamie

  61. Alan Rymer Says:

    I Joined Incoterm UK on 8th May 1972 as a Junior engineer. Our Director was John Sedgewick and the Customer Engineering manager was Brendan Hallahan. I joined a week after Peter Sopp after doing the same training course at Control Data, with the two of us joining, that made a total of four field engineers. Our main customer at that time was British Caledonian Airways based at Gatwick Airport connected to the PARS system by two satelite and two cable links.
    My time at Incoterm was the happiest time of my working life.
    Our systems used SPD 10/20′s set up as a master, with a slave terminal similar to the one in your initial photo. Each screen shared the master 10/20 controller with a 15 line display.
    Memories of changing keyboard bulbs ( not LEDs ) and reed switches in the keyboards. Repairing PSU's on site ( we always carried a selection of spare components to attempt a repair after using up what spare cards we carried. Whilst based a Gatwick I regularley made as many as five return flights to outsites such as Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Belfast ( regularly heard the IRA bombs going off ), Glasgow, Paris ( France, Le Bourget. CDG not yet built ), Brussels, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Genoa airports plus the city offices. Memories of being held by customs for attempting to smuggle in spares without a carnet ( takes too long to raise the paperwork ) and the plane might have left. Using core memory was great. You could test out a full set of spares at gatwick, and load the program from paper tape, put them in a case and carry on to the aircraft. Off at the other end, a quick hello to the duty manager, swap out the whole set of cards, switch on. Everything usually worked, then back on the same aircraft to Gatwick. My first week of work I was sent to Paris with one of the senior engineers, we were upgraded to First. There were trainee aircrew on and we were used as guinea pigs for the drinks service all the way there. Not really fit for work when we arrived!.

  62. Surjit Chana Says:

    Hi I am back. Its nice to hear from Alan Rymer after a very long time. Alan please see my entry on Feb 11th 2009. I remember you training me on RDE in Uxbridge in 1983. It was a very good programe. I used it with 20/20. We were based in Hounslow then. I recently visited the site but its completely changed. There is no sign of the OLD times but the whole estate is new now. I just sat in my car remembering the GOOD TIMES. I must admit I shed few tears. Yes it was an AWESOME experience working on INCOTERM products. I still have the INCOTERM lable stuck to my dressing mirror. As mentioned above I still have those special tools. I hope you still remeber Ahmet Hussain. Pax Syrimus, Roland Pasop and Mike Sells. Those were the GOOD DAYS and a feeling of a family. Bye for now. PS yes I used to fix those core mem boards.

  63. Dave Says:

    Hi All,

    Does anyone have any of the old Incoterm software in Machine Readable format? I'd love to write an emulator for the CPU and run the old software in a window on Mac/Windows!

    All the Best
    Dave

  64. Chris Says:

    I had an incoterm in college. A room mate gave it to me when he left. A large monitor / cpu combo. The keyboard plugged in and there was a separate dual large floppy drive. A wide format printer rounded out the system. Spent some time with it over a few years getting to know how it worked. It is long gone now. I can remember a star trek game that I played on it.

  65. Surjit Chana Says:

    Nice memories Chris, I used to play Space Invaders on 20/20. I was told it was the BEST program to test memory board/s (20/20 took two 64KB boards) with parity switch set to enable. Better than the Incoterm test. O what memories. I know we all had GOOD times. Bye for now and I'll be back

  66. irv Says:

    Should you ever decide to part with the old United Apollo Incoterm, please consider selling it to our museum (or even lending it to us). We are in the midst of building a sizeable display on United Airlines. We would be thrilled to have or display this terminal.

  67. Ken Gardner Says:

    I love reading everyone's experiences while working at Incotem. The years I worked there were among the best in my career. I worked for Lew Bergins and Doug Kendrick and ended up designing the Anchor Passbook Printer controller for the 10/20, the Decision Data card reader controller, the MPC for the 20/20, the MLB for the 15/25 and the Teller display controller for the 20/20 banking system. Many long days and nights!

  68. Alan Rymer Says:

    Hi serjit, I remember you, and I assume "Dave" the programmer is Dave Bergun?.

    Anyway. A Tall tale?.

    I heard of an Incoterm service engineer in the USA who had his car stolen with a boot full of 10/20 spares. The local law flipped when they learned the value was over $100,000. Much more than the average bank robbery.

  69. Russ H (Barabbas) Says:

    Wow! Now there's a name I never thought I'd see again! Incoterm, I worked as a test tech at the Northborough plant from '77 until the lights were turned off in '82/83 I can remember playing "Star Trek" on a 10/20 Terminal at lunch time almost every day except payday. I'll bet most of you Northborough techs remember the lunch breaks over at Risi's Package Store or the Northborough Rod and Gun Club. For those of you that were wondering; yes Celeste M and I did get married and 26 years later we're still together. Incoterm was one of the best things that ever happened to us! Many fond memories.

  70. Mrs. Frank (Carol) Londres Says:

    Wow! What a trip down memory lane. It's still July 4th as I begin this & I'm back in Canada now, but in doing a search for Incoterm while reminiscing about my late husband who passed away 4 years ago April 29th, 2006, on a Saturday morning in South Grafton, Mass. I could not believe what I found here. My husband Frank Londres [an American] worked for Incoterm and used to tell me many stories as he loved that company. So often when approaching a ticket desk in the airport he would excitedly tell me, "Carol - that's our terminal!" [Incoterm]…and he'd say "I can't believe they still use them." So from him, I heard a lot of positive remarks, such as how it was 'the best' company he worked for and many remarks I read again here tonight were just as he told me and some names that seem familiar. Frank had a 17 year battle with prostate cancer and was treated in Houston's MD Anderson Institute and Dana Farber Cancer Inst. in Boston. He was an engineer & I don't know at this time what position he held but my first introduction to a former Incoterm employee was his best friend in London, England, Maurice Shanahan. I still have my husband's green tie with a little yellow imprinted '69 on the bottom and this was something the guys were presented with in that year by the Founders or principles of the company. He and Maurice spoke in that first meeting about their Incoterm tie; they were very proud of it. It seemed like there were not many employees at the company when Frank worked there. Sadly, Maurice died in January 1993 of a sudden heart attack. Frank had just visited Maurice and his wife in November [Devon, England] and he went with Maurice to the local Pharmacy as he thought he had 'indigestion'. As we came to discover it was his heart and at 63, he died unnecessarily and much too young. I explain this as I am sure some of the people here knew Maurice. Frank lived in Hopkinton, so when Steve M. mentioned that, I had a start…but maybe Northborough was the office location. I don't know. One of Frank's stories was how the guys (he later was with Honeywell) would so often go for lunch to an Italian restaurant near their office for Pizza and Sausage sandwiches and so he introduced me and my family to this restaurant & the incredible Sausage sandwich, many times enjoyed over 13 of our 23 years. It was not hard to understand why it was so popular. Sadly, when we returned from McKinney, Texas in 2004 - the restaurant had been changed to a Chinese restaurant. I know the gist of this site is mostly technical, but my blurb is the personal story…or some of it of someone who also was very much a part of Incoterm. I remember him speaking of Jim Upton. I do hope I will hear from someone that remembers Frank. He formed his own Export Trading company in the late 70′s, American World Trade (AWT). My career in 90′s was being EA to the Founder of Wellfleet (later Bay Networks) and prior computer companies so computer lingo was quite a part of my life & I wish so much Frank had found this site. He would have enjoyed it immensely and had answers for some of you, although I was relieved to read some later entries from some that really did have some answers. I am amazed at Ken Krawchuk owning a dozen; something else Frank would have loved. I plan to keep this site handy as it is so valuable to me, and I look forward to seeing it keep on, keeping on. I also hope to follow the plans for the United Airlines memorabilia effort. Thanks for allowing me to share a different memory. carol_londres@rogers.com

  71. Chuck U. Says:

    I too worked for Incoterm but for a very short time. While I was several weeks into the 9 week training at Northboro Honeywell took over. I worked in the field in the Pittsburgh, PA area primarily supporting Mellon Bank. It took a while before Honeywell made any changes so I think I got a taste of what it was like to work for Incoterm. I really enjoyed it for the first few years. Honeywell seemed to loose interest in Incoterm products. I never really understood why they let the ATM products die. I recently found an SPD 20 Family Series 20, 30 and 40 Programmer's Reference Card. It is in pretty good shape. Please let me know if anyone would like to have it. I really enjoyed reading about other peoples experiences. They were good times! cwusherjr@comcast.net

  72. Dave Says:

    Hi Alan! Yes, it is indeed me!

    Hope all is well for you!

  73. Chris Mills Says:

    Hi All, I am so glad I found this thread! - I joined Honeywell Information Systems at their Stamford Street, Blackfriars branch in London UK in March 1981, and was immediately assigned to the Incoterm division. I worked on the 10/20, 10/25, 20/20 & 15/25′s, together with all the associated peripherals like the Memorex & Shugart 8″ floppy drives, the Terminet 340 printers, Pertec disk drives & tapedrives. I have many memories of frantically trying to get a 20/20 reprogrammed with those infernal paper tape loaders - they always seemed to give up when 95% of the tape was read, which meant you had to reel in the miles of paper tape and start over! Like a lot of the other people on the thread, I loved working with Incoterm equipment, and have very good memories of working with my colleagues & mentors Mike Stylianou, Adam Christoforou & Pax Syrimis. My main customers were Bank of England Bullion vault (so tempting, working on a 20/20 within arms length of millions of dollars worth of gold ingots!!!); Airlines like Air France, Braniff, Japan Airlines, Delta & BCal. One funny situation I recall at Quatar National Bank was on a Terminet 240 printer. These printers used a belt full of print fingers for each character, repeated in 3 sets around the belt. If a finger broke, the printer would stop and the customer's had their own kits of fingers & could replace them. On this occasion I noticed that the bank staff had replaced the broken "0″ finger with a "1″ finger because they did not have a spare "0″- and had printed hundreds of statements since then!!! I had to explain that a lot of customers were going to get nasty shocks when they received their statements! I also worked with the great Maurice & Angie in Dispatch at Hounslow, and attended several training courses with the very knowledgable Incoterm guru, Roelof Pasop (I think he wrote the programming for the Bank Of England weighing machine interface). I can still remember having to park what seemed like miles from the customers in the West End & City of London, walking up Regent Street for instance with an oscilloscope, a spare Memorex FDD, a 20/20 board kit and my heavy toolkit - stopping every 2 minutes to get may breath back and getting funny looks from the tourists. Once the trunk of my company car was broken into while I was on site at London Borough of Southwark, and I opened the trunk to find everything in place but strangely sunken down. It turned out some thieves had removed my brand new oscilloscope, thousands of dollars worth of boards & equipment, my tool kit, just to get to and remove the spare wheel! Then they put everything back neatly as it was…if they had stolen the 'scope alone they could have sold it and bought ten spare wheels!. Anyway will stop waffling for now. All the best to all my fellow ex-Incoterm buddies - I will share more memories soon.

  74. Curtis Says:

    Thank you for this thread. I was trying to explain Incoterm to a “young” techie who had never heard of the company. I have directed him to this page to read about it.
    I was an Incoterm technician. I worked for Seattle First National Bank in the mid 1980’s and for United Airlines in the late 1980’s into the 1990’s. My favorite ‘fix’ for the clamshell computers, as some called them, was to take out my rubber mallet and reseat the memory board with it. Those old machines…

  75. Pax Syrimis Says:

    Entering the Thread - Alias: Mike Roman (microman) from 128 Megabyte Drive, Winchester. (Dave B you created this alias remember)  What a great time spent reading all this nostalgic stuff. I started with Incoterm on the 9th February 1976 just a few months after college qualified as an electronics techie. The Incoterm UK repair facility had just been set up in Hayes, West London and I was the first bench engineer assigned to repair the duff circuit boards from the field. After 3 years I then became a field services customer engineer, I got so good at knowing all the common faults while working in the repair facility I rapidly succeeded in repairing on site. I must say that during this period were my happiest times at Incoterm, I was based in Central London and worked on all ranges of Incoterm kit mentioned above including the third party peripherals that were attached to them; namely the Pertec Hard Disk Drive (15” platter), Pertec Tape Drive (½” spool), Memorex / Schugart Floppy Drive (8”) Centronics Printer (dot matrix), Odec Printer (belt ribbon), Diablo Printer (daisy wheel) etc. It was fantastic to work on this range of products at a time in London that was possible to achieve within the expected response times, I still live just 7 miles from London Town and it takes a good hour to get there nowadays. I’ll never forget the odd “picnic trip” though; when I would set off from Hayes, London to go to Redruth in Cornwall a 580 mile round trip to replace the head pad on a Memorex Floppy Disk Drive, this was a very common fault and the head pad was made from genuine self adhesive Beaver skin cut in a ¼” circle that functioned as a cushion to the read/write head of the device. Every time I replaced one of these I would always visualise some poor poker dotted beaver! It all changed in 1980 when Honeywell took over and so to keep the faith we all became Inco Boys and there is only two left in the company that now is Steria.
    Another highlight of my career was to cross train all the Honeywell customer services engineers to repair the Incoterm range of products and during part of that period I had the good fortune to visit our Mecca in Framingham, Boston, Mass. I was the only Brit there amongst many other Inco Boys mainly from the States. Following on from my training stint within HIS I got deeply involved with the Live Televised Cricket Events and we were amongst the first innovators to bring computerised graphics and statistics to the sport. Well we are still here Mukesh Patel included (also started in 1976 and I knew from the same College) amongst some of the names mentioned above we have been friends and colleagues for all these years and will never forget the spirit of Incoterm.
    Many thanks Surjit for introducing me to this thread and reviving those unforgettable times. Peace & Joy Pax.

  76. Surjit Chana Says:

    Thanks Pax. It was very nice to hear you voice again after so many years and all the great time we had together at Hounslow. Yes indeed those were the UNFORGETTABLE times. I am still trying to understand why Honeywell treated INCOTERM like they did. I will forever be looking back to those wonderful days fixing the circuit boards and writing programs. To any newcomer it is just not possible to explain how good were the INCO days. To me Incoterm was like a family and it is showing true here. I am, at this moment, on a night shift at Morgan Stanley Data Centre as a Senior Cross Trained Server Engineer, Hounslow. Peace to ALL………Surjit

  77. Kevin Nee Says:

    Hi All
    Small world
    I was a field service engineer based in Uxbridge/Hayes/London along with Pax, Chris Mills and "the lesser spotted Rymer Bird" and the other notorious Inco boys (who could forget Maurice McQuilliam) and yes, they were great times……. Inventing how to fix things on the spot (anyone remember the 11 pence mod?- 2x 5p and a 1p sellotaped to a Centronics? ribbon to stop it jumping out of its runners).
    Happy Days…………..Kev
    ps Dave Burgun……………are you still nuts?

  78. Chris Mills Says:

    Hi All,
    It's me again - great to hear from Pax and Kevin…O.K. it's time to wheel out the story of the funniest thing that ever happened to me as an Incoterm field tech. It was around 1983 I think, the day before Good Friday, and I was sent out to a late afternoon call at Royal Air Maroc in Regent Street in the heart of the West End. It was a simple printer call and did not take long to fix. I was on the 3rd floor of this Victorian office building with a bored back-office worker who wanted to leave early to meet her boyfriend, and kept asking when I would be finished. I said I just had to call in to dispatch to close the call and I would be gone. O.k. says she, I will leave you to it - the people downstairs will let you out. I was 5 minutes on the phone, tried to go downstairs, but the staircase was in pitch darkness. having felt my way downstairs via Braille/radar, I emerged into the shop-front office to find that I was totally alone and locked in.

  79. Chris Mills Says:

    Ooopps - accidentally clicked on submit…anyway…….There I was, locked in, 5pm on the day before a national holiday, lots of tourists and shoppers walking past the glass doors, but no-one took any notice of me trying to attract their attention. All the phones had pulse-tone dials, and were all padlocked. I went back up to the 3rd floor, found a fire escape door that led out onto a rickety catwalk that led to another locked door. Great. I managed to open a front window, looked out and discovered I was only 2 buildings away from Hamleys, the famous toy store. In a fit of madness, I decided it would be perfectly sane to get out on the reasonably wide 2-3ft ledge and sidle along to the toy store. This I did, and found a lighted window with two shadows of figures behind the drawn curtains. I hammered on the window to no avail - I eventually realised they were just mannequins ..no sign of life in any other window……I sweated my way back along the ledge that seemed to have gotten much narrower since I walked the other way, and made it back to my prison. I went downstairs, and through my hard-learned skills as a British Telecom technician, managed to "dial" 999 on the cradle switches of a phone (9′s are VERY hard to dial this way - took several attempts)..Reached the police and fire departments who dispatched crews to help me. The firemen and the cop arrived at the same time, and the firemen was all for smashing the glass doors - the policeman said "no way! I'd be stuck here guarding the door until the glaziers got here. In the end they let me out through the heavy smoke-outlet cement slab (you know the ones on the sidewalk with thick glass squares), and I was free. A footnote to the story came a week later when Royal Air Maroc forwarded a bill to my manager from the fire department of 4.30 sterling for letting me out!. My manager (Bob Ponter) worded an excellent reply and offered to pay the bill only if Royal Air Maroc agreed to pay for the 3 hours overtime I had to claim when locked in by Royal Air Maroc's careless staff! They withdrew their request for the 4.30……..
    Long drawn out story, but I hope it gave you all a laugh! (Wasn't funny at the time - especially when I got it in the neck from my dear wife who was stranded for hours waiting for me at a Tube station…)
    All the best for now…

  80. John Burgoyne Says:

    HI Y'all,

    John Burgoyne here - I remember many of you guys on the thread

    Well I was also a programmer at Incoterm in the 1970s and have been a hoarder since those times - Is anyone interested in a few Incoterm Books, Manuals, Programming Ref Cards for posterity? I am de-cluttering and they have to go!
    Or just view them for Nostalgia's sake
    Including the INCOTERM BIBLE - DATA COMMUNICATIONS MANUAL
    Quick pic on the web at :-
    http://www.logixcomms.co.uk/reference/incoterm.jpg

  81. Wes Eagleburger Says:

    OK all you Incoterm old timers; there is a group on "Linked In" called "Incoterm Alumni"

    BTW I worked for Rick Dawson when he was in Seattle

  82. Becky Says:

    Like several of you, I was reminded of Incoterm recently and did a search.

    I worked for a few years (1977 - 1981?) on the ground floor of an Incoterm building in Wellesley Hills Mass. There was one other building nearby - the Mill. Half of our floor was engineers (wrenches) and half was programmers (pencils) and the sales, training and administrative areas were in the floors above. That's the way I remember it anyway. I was a programmer trainee but boy, did I learn a lot in a short time! Our lab was split between the banking group, the PARS group and the VIP emulator group. I worked for Al Dann in the VIP group. We reported to Peggy Kayser and John Campbell. Peter Morgan worked with us too. The PARS group included Joanne (forget the last name) Marshall Willensky, Tom Baker and Ann Weier. I wrote code for the SPD 20/20. I remember the paper tape, burning proms, the huge floppy disks and "platters." I loved the datascope. We made customizations for some of the customers - Colonial Penn, Blue Cross, the Memphis Prison System and others. Our smaller system was 32K and the deluxe version was 64K. I loved that lab, testing and puzzling out the code. The code had been modified so many times that it got pretty convoluted. Most of the comments were in French. But I got very familiar with all of it eventually. On lunch breaks some of us played the text adventure called "Adventure" and later "Zork" on the DEC computer.

    I remember some of the people mentioned here - Nate Melhorn and and Dr. Dewar who apparently used my desk when he came in to work on weekends and evenings because it was closest to the print room.

    The final merge with Honeywell and move to Billerica MA took place on my first child's due date. I took a leave that day, Soon after returning there was a big layoff of many of the Incoterm staff. I volunteerd for layoff.

  83. Clint Goss Says:

    Hi all -

    I just stumbled on this thread while putting together some lectures for the spring semester. Well, I worked on 10/20s at NYU in '75 and '76 and then got a job with Incoterm from '77-'79.

    So I'm the guy who wrote the Star Trek game that's mentioned in this thread. Took a massive number of all-nighters, but launched me as a programmer. I wound up teaching Systems Programming on a 10/20.

    I'm still in touch with Doug Doucette (now at NetApp) and Andy Valenti, both were programmers at the time.

    So Robert Dewar was my thesis advisor for a while, but I finished up my Ph. D. thesis with Ed Schonberg.

    Fond memories …

    Fond memories …

  84. George Says:

    Like others, I have many memories of Incoterm. in the 1970′s

    In 1975, I was part of the technical team at Security Pacific National Bank as an employee that created the Bank Terminal System which utilized an ITC (20/20) with admin (3270 as pictured) and smaller teller terminal with printers and bankcard readers. They had numeric keypads.
    Incoterm had sold product to multiple Saving and Loans, SPNB was the 10th largest Bank in the US with 600 branches and 4500 teller and manager stations needed.

    IBM responded to the RFP with a 20 Million dollar bid. Early one morning, the bid came in to the VP and I heard the first reaction to it !@&*^%%$, get "my managers name" on the phone. A few months later the contract was awarded to Incoterm for 6 million. Both the bank and Incoterm stock surged. ROI was 3 years. It was costing 200k a month in phone charges alone to call for customer balances.

    During the year, two teams worked on the project. On the west coast we built a a 10 machine no-stop system from the bottom up. The designed called for 50 messages a second and getting a customers balance with just two i/os: Indexed not Relational. The head of the SPNB team went on the be the father of Internet Banking and a pricipal at Cisco. Others CIO.

    We sent Nate a copy of the IBM system manual on SDLC and we started on the working the drivers on our end. It maybe hard to image this now, but when Nate showed up with the ITC and the IDLC controller and our drivers. It woked the very first day. I can't remember if we ever had updates.

    In 1976, I went to work in Wellesley office and Incoterm. I had grown up in Newton Lower Falls, walking distance to the office. I work two years till the Honeywell buyout.

    I could go on, but we need to placed into record Stan Riffcan's doing a wire transfer for 10 million at SPNB. Since he had access to the wire room he entered it and knew that one of the wire operators wrote the daily password on his terminal. Took it and went to a phone and called with the accounts. Social Eng. nothing more.

    I think it was the Blizzard of 1977 when all of Boston shutdown for a week. I was working on an automated testing system and was able to walk to the Office. The guard at the desk had everyone just sign in. Over the week only one other person came to work other than myself. Mr. Tariot was the other.

    One person is missing. Dick Gorgans(?). The Hardware creator of eveyrthing Incoterm. It was his shoulders we were standing on.

    =george

  85. Dick Gorgens Says:

    Dick Gorgens missing??? Never! I wish I could take credit for the "Hardware creator of everything", but as Director of Special Systems at Incoterm, I merely rode the pony that Doug Kendrick and Lew Bergins teams created. My group did design a line of Factory Data Collection and Banking Systems including one of the 1st generation ATM's.

    What a kick to see all the posts from so many contributors to the legend that Jean and Jim created. I have so many fond memories of working there. Stan Forman was nice enough to forward me this link.

    God Bless you all especially Jim who I'm sure has rigged up an Internet terminal in Heaven and reading your heartfelt memories.

    Dick - RGorgens@rcn.com

  86. Nigel Spicer Says:

    I am pleased to report that Dick Gorgens is alive and well, but let me introduce myself first,
    I joined Incoterm in Toronto, Canada in late 76 after leaving the UK - note to UK posters, I really didn't want to work for ICL who bought my former UK employer. I transferred to Wellesley in 1978 to work in Product Marketing for Al Mastendino supporting the data collection terminal line created by Dick G. Aslo in Al's group, Hank Manseau (Mr. Printer interface)
    Other names I recall, the UAL salesman out of Denver was Rick Blackmar, Sales VP was Sam Adams, Sam's PA was Rosemary Ruggeiro, later Rosemary Swift. The AA saleslady was Rosemary Ray, Tampa sls mgr was Dil Steen, Ohio sls was Ned Bauhof, Chicago Sales Mgr was Tom Elia, his Support Manager was Alan Cox. Lots of places, lots of faces.

    Now to Dick.
    After the Honeywell acquisition, Dick lasted only a few weeks being spiritually unsuited to adminstrative structures - who can forget his open letter to Orville Tariot and Wilbur Upton about restricting his flight time ?
    Dick started a new venture in 1979 building single board controllers for the then emerging hi density tape drives, 6400 bpi on a 300 ft tape cartridge.
    By 1980, Alloy Computer Products was established with products and I joined Dick, who already had Ron Richards, Dick Barry and Sonja Willett there as well as Peter Bergler. As disk drives became more pervasive in the emerging micro computer world, Ohio Scientific anyone ?, so the business grew as we covered more platforms including the PC. We moved a few times in Natick and Framingham and Alloy went public in June of 1986.
    Subsequently, Dick created CaLANdar, enterprise wide scheduling software, at Microsystems Software in Framingham and then Cyber Patrol, after Microsoft began to give away its scheduling software. Cyber Patrol became the leading Internet content filtering software and in 1998, Microsystems was sold to The Learning Company.
    Later, Dick founded 1stworks, initially building real time desktop collaboration systems for the Financial Futures community, named hotComm - think WebEx on steroids, and more recently iPhone software, named PC2Me, for remote desktop control from your phone.
    Just this week, Apple approved the latest product, PIPme, which is an innovative Chat client for direct peer to peer connectivity within any Wi-F- Hotspot - no network set up, just enter the Hotspot and you are connected, no Internet required.

  87. Nancy Says:

    It is great to hear these wonderful Incoterm stories. While I have been in touch with many of our former colleagues over the years, it is good to hear many names from the past.

    My maiden name was Nancy Stobbart and I joined Incoterm in about 1975. Early on I worked on airlines products and later moved into banking. I started at the main office in Natick before the company moved to Wellesley Hills.

    My most memorable project was the first ATM prototype for Wells Fargo Bank, which was filled with leading edge challenges. On the one hand we developed a complicated device that was targeted to exchange money with end users, many of whom had never interacted with a computer or electronic device. On top of that we built a complicated networking structure with redundant servers and controllers, all using the terminal controller product line. We had a wonderful team of exceptionally competent developers and had great fun working with Dick Gorgens and his team along with project management including Rick Hennessey and Stan Foreman. We became fast friends with our colleagues at Wells Fargo - who could forget Rangan, Beth, and our other colleagues there?

    After the Honeywell merger, I joined Honeywell corporate business planning and later went off to start my first company, Arcus. It always impressed me that so many of our colleagues left Incoterm and were challenged to recreate what we had by founding companies of their own. At one point, as technology grew around the 128 beltway, it seemed that someone from Incoterm was either at the head or at a senior position of almost every successful venture.

    This says a great deal about the company that Jim and Jean built. The word 'camaraderie' evokes thoughts of Incoterm. Of all the interesting jobs I have had, Incoterm remains my favorite. It was one of those opportunities that is difficult to replicate.

    Jean called the other day to tell me that he had heard of this site and pointed me to it. He and Mona were delighted to find it and have enjoyed hearing all of your comments.

  88. Dick Lyons Says:

    I did not work for Incoterm but was one of the Honeywell UK engineers based in the Hounslow office when we were joined by the Incoterm engineers.
    Fate took some strange paths to arrive here.
    Yesterday evening (down the pub, where else) I was talking to someone who had worked in banking computer systems and the conversation got around to the BoE. I recalled their weighing machine and the Incoterm system that was attached to it. Roelof Passop was the Incoterm engineer that looked after it and I believe that he was also a member of MENSA , as was the guy I was talking too. So today I tried to see if there was any trace of Roelof on the web and ended up on this thread.
    It is so good to see so many names that I recognise are still going strong.
    Is Jon Ellis still around?

    SYN SYN SYN SYN EOT

  89. Dave Says:

    Hi,

    Great to hear from you Pax, Kev and all the rest of the usual suspects!

    John, I'll give you a call about those manuals! Have you got a PD/FMS one?

    How about we try and sort out a London Reunion? Should be fun! I'm working in the City (on Mac/iPhone/iPad stuff) at the moment and live in West London, so could meet virtually anywhere!

    Bye for Now
    Dave

    P.S.

    Kev! Yeah as nutty as ever! Would be good to see you for a few pints and some story recounting! Do you remember the infamous "Clarky" and the nights of endless Carlsberg's and Pool in The Falcon????

  90. Dave Says:

    Hi Again,

    Hey Clint, wow! I Finally ran into the Father of SPD Star Trek! Just wanted to say thanks for *many* hours of fun! I disassembled the code and worked out a way to increase the number of Romulan and Kligon ships! All done in machine code, seems a million miles away from my Mac with 4 GB ram and 2 TB disk, but really, under all those layers of OS little really has changed!

    Did you work on the PD/FMS version of SPITBOL for Dewar?

    Bye for now and all the Best
    Dave

  91. Cheryl Lathrop Says:

    Hi all! Don't have any old SPD 10/20′s in my garage or basement. Did want to say hi though! Neil Frieband hired me in 1973 (my first job outta college). Then worked for Al Hillman, Jim Franklin, & Jon Addelston — software engineering. Left in 1978. Best job I ever had. Nothing since has compared to the fun and camaraderie (in Natick and Wellesley, MA).

    Cheryl (mysite.verizon.net/cheryl4698)

  92. miguel n Says:

    I work in what used to be an old bank, first Hibernia, then Security Pacific, then Bank of America. I was rummaging around the basement and ran into this vintage machine with the "hood" open, I closed the lid and to my surprise the thing started up with buttons flashing and fans blowing. The model number is D47-53, I uploaded some pics onto flickr under miguel.neira:

    www.flickr.com /photos/21746854@N07/galleries/ miguel.neira, flickr&cd=4&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&s

  93. miguel neira Says:

    here is the link to the pics

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/21746854@N07/

  94. Surjit Chana Says:

    Hi Miguel: O man O man O man. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I've just seen these absolutely soothing to eyes the sight to behold the INCOTERM 20/20 (as we called this product). O my, I just cannot describe in words how much JOY these have brought me. I feel like touching it one more time after nearly 23 years and counting. O how lucky you are to have seen it in 3D. This was my pride and joy and I am what I am now because of THIS GEM OF A PRODUCT. To all, please see my entey on Jan 2nd 2009. I listed the circuit board inside this chassis. The front is called the keyboard controller. Miguel: Please show us the photos of the inside of the chassis showing all the circuit boards. PLEASE PLEASE. Waiting in anticipation.

  95. miguel neira Says:

    Hi Surjit, I'll post some pics when I go back to work this week, glad it brought back some fond memories.

  96. Rich Agule Says:

    I started in 1979 as an RTM (remote terminal maintainer) with United Airlines doing travel agency and airport Apollo terminal equipment field service. I remember the 1020, 1025, 1525 and the Megadata. I'm doing some personal writing now and would be very grateful if I could get some pictures of the Incoterm equipment I worked on. My email address is thebrooklyndodgers@yahoo.com

  97. miguel neira Says:

    Surjit, I uploaded some new pics to my flickr account, took them with my iphone so they are not that clear.

  98. Surjit Chana Says:

    Hi Miguel: If I had enough money I'll come over the ocean and touch this GEM myself once more. O how much joy the new pictures have brought me. I feel young again (I am 25 again) and my hands are reaching out for the 'scope probe and check the components for a fault and rectify it. I can still fix these given the circuit diagrams.
    A BIG Thank you to you for reviving the unforgettable memories.

    God bless you

    Peace to ALL

  99. David Follett Says:

    My father Ron Follett was a director at Incoterm during the 1970s and through him I got a summer job in engineering from 1977-1979. In 1977 I was a teenager and not knowing what to do with me I was assigned to help the programmers by fetching printouts, etc. By day 3 I started making coding corrections to the printouts and by day 5 I was coding. The first systems I worked on predated the microprocessor, ie. it was Incoterm’s proprietary instruction set, coupled with 2K of core memory. Over the next three summers I was thrown at a dizzying array of tasks including adding small features to the OS, tracking down obscure bugs, testing emergency patches and adding oddball communications protocols. My greatest business contribution was tracking down an OS bug that was causing large numbers of deployed systems to display random bizarre behavior ultimately requiring resets.

    It’s hard to overestimate the impact Incoterm had on me and my career. Incoterm’s engineering department was pure adrenaline and full of very impressive people. The culture was great and there was an intense focus on the customers. The only thing that really mattered was what you contributed, heady stuff for a teenager. I learned a ton about computers and how healthy startups work. Later I learned how large acquirers, Honeywell, destroy their acquisitions through ignorance.

    After graduating from college I went to AT&T Bell Labs Murray Hill, NJ which at the time, pre-divestiture, was the largest corporation in the world. While I enjoyed my time and colleagues and was extremely successful I never adjusted to the lumbering speed and lack of direct customer focus. In 1993 I founded my own startup, GigaNet, where we successfully pioneered virtualized networks ultimately selling the company to Emulex in 2001. GigaNet allowed me to apply many of the lessons I’d learned about culture and focus from my time at Incoterm.

    I was extremely lucky to have worked at Incoterm. Fond memories.

  100. Surjit Chana Says:

    Hi
    Today was the day (on of the greatest days in my life) exactly 31 years ago I first started to repair INCOTERM. It was , as we called it, 10/20 terminal and the first EVER job was to repair the DATA FLOW board using a test rig with a lots of lights and switches. O my wonderful and golden days I will forever fondly cherish.

  101. Jonathan D. Addelston Says:

    It's great to read about the old days of Incoterm. And thanks to Cheryl for the compliment!

  102. Larry La Mont Says:

    Hi all,

    Incoterm Field Service was my first job out of the Air Force in 1973 in Atlanta. I was only with the company until 1976 when I went to work for United Airlines Computer Services division. I remember a lot of names in this thread….good reading. Those were some of the best days of my working life. Anybody remember those horrible old Printer, Reader Punches? Or the CDC printers that used to "dance" across the floor?

  103. Richard Says:

    We had Incoterm 20/20′s as front-end processors for our Honeywell mainframe. Started off with 8″ floppies running RDE forms to provide data validation. Eventually the systems were upgraded with Pertec drives and 128K memory (via bank switching). The new RDE language allowed for ISAM-like disk files. It really was a cleverly designed system although I suspect the majority of Incoterms were used for their terminal emulation capabilities rather than their programability. Lost count of the number of times we had to switch off the 20/20, open it's "coffin" lid and re-seat the boards. As a bonus though, they doubled-up as great space-heaters!

    When Honeywell announced they were scrapping Incoterm I set about writing an RDE emulator. It was developed on the Honeywell MSE microcomputer using Pascal and eventually moved to a multi-user Concurrent CP/M machine (Jarogate Sprite). My FDMS software behaved exactly like RDE and I could transfer RDE forms to the Sprite by connecting the Incoterm current-loop printer port to the aux port of a Tatung terminal the main RS232 port of which was then connected to an input port on the Sprite. Start the capture program on the Sprite, hit "print" on the Incoterm and the form's code would be transferred.

    We sold quite a few of these systems to UK companies that needed to replace their Incoterms - including one for the Bank of England's bullion vault, as mentioned by Chris Mills above (August 13th, 2010).

  104. Trevor Lambert Says:

    It is great to hear the memory of Incoterm is still around with names I can still remember. The other day I came accross Dick Gorgan's " Last will and testiment on leaving " it is a masterpiece! My time at Incoterm was a wonderful time with the design of computers systems changing so fast . So many great people pulling in the same direction it was an inspiring experience. Have since worked with Gil Moreira and Seth Stowell working on automated advertising systems on cable TV. I am now retired in Florida.

  105. Cherie Harper Says:

    My name is Cheryl Finch (previously Cherie Harper). I worked at Incoterm UK in Uxbridge for a short while in the 70′s. My boss was Brendan Hallahan and I remember Alan Rymer and John Burgoyne. I was a Logistics Technical Clerk responsible for logging in units for repair and ordering spares such as resistors, diodes and capacitors etc. I worked with the engineers and remember them flying off to various airports to repair the terminals. I have many happy memories working at Incoterm.

  106. Erin Tariot Says:

    THE PASSING OF JEAN N. TARIOT

    Dear extended/virtual Incoterm Family:

    It is with great sadness that I must inform you that Jean Tariot passed away on April 17, 2012 following complications due to stroke. For those interested and able to attend services in Massachusetts on April 22nd and April 23rd, information can be found in his death announcement (Jean-Noel Tariot) at www.legacy.com

    He has fond memories of his time at Incoterm, and exceptionally proud of the accomplishments of the Incoterm Team. Family would welcome attendance during the visitation period or during the graveside service by any and all whom remember him.

    Warm regards, his granddaughter Erin

    TariotEY@yahoo.com

  107. Larry Ragan Says:

    RIP A true innovator. I don't think anyone realizes the impact the Incoterm product line had on our lives. Thanks Jean and Jim.

  108. Tony Monti Says:

    I was employed at Honeywell as a debug technician in Brighton MA, when I was asked to go to Incoterm in Northborough MA to learn how to debug their hardware. It was suppose to be a short term adventure. I was only 26 years young! I lived in Marlborough and I thought how great this would be for me. I think I was there maybe perhaps 6 months or so.

    Anyway when I got back from my Honeymoon from Bermuda Sept 1981, driving back from Logan, my father-in-law broke the news to me. He said "Honeywell bought out Incoterm and they are moving the product to Brighton". I was devastated! I just started to get use to the nice people there in Northborough.
    He showed my the big article in the Boston Globe.

    So, there I was. Caught in the middle of my first acquisition!! I did not know companies did this.
    People at Incoterm now looked at me as some type of spy! My test bed got sabotaged. One day I turn on my test bed and a senior tech stuck a short cigar in my cooling fan. Tobacco flew wverywhere. Then he wired a ground wire to my chassis. I still want to kick his butt for doing that.!

  109. gary ford Says:

    Iworked in field service in Chicago. 76 to 80. Fantastic experience. Honeywell destroyed it all. I took some super 8 movies at Northboro about 77. Unreal to look at now.

  110. Bob Beeecher Says:

    This brings back memories!

    I worked for Beverly Hills Travel (now, a part of Maritz Travel Co.) and we used to use PARS (the TWA reservation system) until we moved and adopted the Apollo system of United Airlines. I booked business travel for our corporate clients on this terminal for a few years before Apollo adopted the Focalpoint system, originally based on the new Windows platform. (Originally, the buttons, like "OK" and "Cancel" were flat, like the Mac!). Later, I became an expert on Focalpoint Scriptwriter and became an automation and training globetrotter for Carlson Wagonlit.

  111. John Burgoyne Says:

    Cherie,

    Hi, it's John Burgoyne, just read your post from 4th March 2012.
    I'm assuming you're the same Cherie I worked with at Uxbridge (above the Taxi offices) and you used to work Saturdays at Portobello Road?

    If so please get in touch to discuss those days,
    john@logixcomms.co.uk

    regards to everyone on the UK hall of fame.
    John

  112. Lane Says:

    I love reading war stories about the early days of modern computing. I was a little kid when that terminal was in it's heyday, but as a dyed-in-the-wool geek, I have fond memories of those terminals in our local airport.

  113. Cherie Says:

    Hi John Burgoyne

    Tried emailing you. Are you in touch with Alan Rymer?

    Cherie

  114. Ed Goldberg Says:

    I am a little late for this conversation about how wonderful it was to work at Incoterm, but I would like to add my experience. It is to bad that the two founders died. They were way ahead of many electronic companies. I joined Incoterm in 1976 as a design engineer working for Lew Bergins. It was my best experience as a design engineer. Unlike most companies, I spent 85% of my time designing; this does not happen at most companies.

    One of the big things missing from these conversations is that the 10/20 was a personal computer. We called it an intelligent terminal, but it was really a PC. It had a keyboard, a CRT and a CPU inside the display housing. It also had communications electronics inside so it could talk to a host computer. By 1972 we had a floppy disc drive. By 1976 we had a word processor that we used. This was well before Apple or IBM had anything like this. We were making computer history and it was a wonderful place to work until we were bought out and destroyed by Honeywell. I finally left in 1984 after the Honeywell acquisition.

  115. Ed Goldberg Says:

    I am a little late for this conversation about how wonderful it was to work at Incoterm, but I would like to add my experience. It is sad to hear that the two founders died. Their product way ahead of most electronic companies and they never received that recognition. I joined Incoterm in 1976 as a design engineer working for Lew Bergins. It was my best experience as a design engineer. Unlike most companies, I spent 85% of my time designing and doing real engineering work; this does not happen at most companies. At other companies you spend 15% of your doing real engineering work and 85% of your time doing other stuff. I loved working for Lew Bergins and Doug Kendrick

    One of the big things missing from these conversations is that the 10/20 was a personal computer. We called it an intelligent terminal, but it was really a PC. It had a keyboard, a CRT and a CPU inside the display housing. Also built into that same housing was communications electronics inside so it could talk to a host computer. By 1972 we had a floppy disc drive. By 1976 we had a word processor that we used. This was well before Apple or IBM had anything like this. We were making computer history and it was a wonderful place to work until we were bought out and destroyed by Honeywell. I finally left in 1984 after the Honeywell acquisition.

  116. Gary Thorburn Says:

    Just discovered this thread, its been great reading. I worked at the Wellesley Hills office as a technical instructor, and later a software engineer, shortly after Incoterm had been absorbed by Honeywell. I taught assembler and "exec" (RTOS) courses on the SPD 20/20, and later the 1525, which was Intel 8085 based. At that time, source code was made available to some customers, and they came to Wellesley to learn the proprietary assembly language that the 20/20 used, and the elegant and efficient RTOS written by Robert B.K. Dewar. I always hoped to meet him, but never had the opportunity.

    I especially enjoyed teaching the lab portions of these courses, where we would do bare-metal coding to flash the lights (incandescent, not LEDs) on the front of the 20/20, or write handlers for nested interrupts, setup tasks in the EXEC, and create code in one afternoon to run multiple printers. Careful design of interrupt and background processing helped wring surprisingly good performance from these devices.

    Video terminals were memory mapped, that is, each character location mapped to a consecutive byte in memory, where the ascii was stored. The video architecture of the system really came to life when we wrote code that would start in low memory, and copy itself upward thru memory, and jump to its new starting address. We could watch the garbage on the screen as the code would scribble itself thru video memory, across multiple CRTs.

    Assembly language on a proprietary processor without a stack was lots of fun! This experience, plus coding my HP-41, and then working for a company which provide Xerox XNS support long into the TCP/IP age, left me with a special fondness for technological cast-offs.

  117. Barbara Says:

    This takes me back to my days as a United reservations and rate desk agent in the late 80′s/early 90′s. Still employed by a GDS ( Amadeus ) and never having left the industry for any lengthy period of time, some of the current reservation system's architecture is still built upon much of the original mainframe technology of the 70′s/80′s. I had no idea these popped up for sale but I really need to find one.

  118. Ken Sunshine Says:

    Came across this long-running thread last year when I met up with John Burgoyne after a gap of 20 years or so. I took a copy which I have just found again and read right through.
    Amazing that the most recent entry was just last week.
    I was an Inco Boy in UK from 1978 to 1990. I would like to contribute my story hoping that it might put me in touch with some of the old names.
    I'll be back when I've got myself organised.

  119. Ken Sunshine Says:

    In 1978 I quit lecturing Computer Science at Portsmouth Polytechnic determined to get away from teaching and computing. Somehow or other I became Software Training Manager for some outfit called Incoterm.
    I was based in a converted warehouse in Hayes, Middlesex where I learnt RDE running on the "clam-shaped" 20/20.
    I reported to Dave Wilkinson and worked alongside Alan Rymer, Bill Gerrard, Dave Burgun. I also knew Pax Syrimis, Kevin Nee and other Hounslow CSD engineers, John Ellis who looked after Autobar, Ted Stewart in Stockport, Brian Brooks (B squared) based in Sheffield. Other names escape me.
    What is very striking throughout this thread is the constant occurrence of, "What great times", "Best years of my working life", "If only we could turn the clock back" and so on. And it's true, there was a great atmosphere, people working as a team. Soon after I started with Incoterm we heard rumours of Honeywell taking over. I always understood that it was Honeywell's way of fighting off the threat of Incoterm terminals replacing all their VIP terminals at big Honeywell customers like Anglian Water Authority.
    The takeover was presented as a "merger" accompanied with promises of maintaining and developing the Incoterm product line. We reacted by taking any opportunity to undermine the Honeywell system. The most blatant example was our response to Honeywell's strap line "We have the answers". Jim Sutherland had T-shirts and pens printed with the counter, "Sorry, what was the question?"
    Can I leave it there for the time being.

  120. Mattis Lind Says:

    Hello all ex Incoterm people and users of Incoterm SPD product line!

    We have one of these units and we are about to start to restore it to operating condition. I know it was running some 20 years ago when we got it, but since then it hasn't been started. I have some software on diskettes and some user manuals for it but no engineering documentation. It would be very useful to have when trying to restore it.

    http://www.datormuseum.se/peripherals/terminals/incoterm-spd-20-20

    All stories here are very interesting to read. Does anyone have more information or documentation on this machine. It is absolutely nothing to be found on bitsavers unforunately.

  121. Surjit Chana Says:

    Today was THE DAY when my LOVE AFFAIR with INCOTERM started exactly 34 years ago (22nd Sept 1980). This DATE will NEVER be forgotten. O my GOLDEN DAYS where have you all gone!!!! The next day I repaired DATAPATH (Dataflow as we called it). This board is shown in Mattis Lind's link. The display unit we called it 10/20. And then all the rest of them. Then I moved to 20/20 and 15/25. My Sincere Thanks to ALL who made my life (work) a real pleasure and I will forever cherish my TEN years. I was made redundant in 1990.But the INCOTERM flame will forever burn brightly.

  122. Mattis Lind Says:

    Hello Surjit!

    Can you please identify the other boards I have put on display on the link above? I call them RIGHTn and LEFTn because I have no idea what their purpose is. Maybe with the exception of RIGHT1 which I pretty sure is the display buffer and character generator.

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