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Re: Pre-relational, post-relational, 1968 CODASYL "Survey of Data Base Systems"

From: Dawn M. Wolthuis <dwolt_at_tincat-group.com>
Date: Sun, 25 Apr 2004 21:57:19 -0500
Message-ID: <c6htqr$mcr$1@news.netins.net>


"Ken North" <knorth2_at_deletethis.yahoo.com> wrote in message news:c6ht9e$ent$1_at_ngspool-d02.news.aol.com...
> Additional comments about GIM/Pick database history that you posted in
another
> newsgroup:
>
> << It was written at TRW in order to make it so that the military in Viet
Nam
> could query their data without technical folks in the field.
>
> GIRLS (1961) and GIM (1965) were developed before minicomputers and
> microcomputers were available. GIM-I ran on IBM mainframes. The IBM
mainframes
> in use in Vietnam and Thailand were not running GIM during the Vietnam
War.

I know that they missed their dates -- my understanding was the the Cheyenne helicopter project was the reason that Nelson, Pick and others worked on the project for TRW in the early 60's. The implementation of GIM was not until '69 as I understand it. The purpose for writing what I understood was initially called GIRLS at TRW was the parts project according to several sources, but all of my sources got their info from Dick Pick and/or Don Nelson.

> The original funding to develop the software was the US government's
Cheyenne
> helicopter program. Keeping track of a bill-of-materials (parts database)
for a
> major aircraft was understood not to be a problem for paper and filing
cabinets,
> even in 1965. Ironically, the Cheyenne never went into production.

Yes, that was my understanding too.

> << Prior to the end of the cold war, it was used by the CIA

Yes, for tracking Soviet spies in the US is the story I heard.

> Some of the original GIM team worked on porting from the 32-bit IBM 360
(GIM-I)
> to the 16-bit PDP-11 (GIM-II). The GIM-II port was done in the 1972-73
timeframe
> at TRW's Washington Operation. Dick Pick had left TRW before that time.
While
> TRW was developing GIM-II for the PDP-11, Pick was doing a port for
Microdata
> minicomputers. That became Microdata Reality.
>
> By 1974:
>
> 1. GIM-I was running at TRW Systems Group in Redondo Beach, California
> 2. Microdata Reality was just down the road in Irvine, California
> 3. GIM-II was running at the CIA (Virginia)
> 4. TRW had GIM licensees around the world, including CADAFE in Venezuela
and
> Matra in France.
>
> The next port was taking GIM-I from 32-bit IBM mainframes to 36-bit Univac
> mainframes. That was done in Houston, Texas for NASA's Manned Space Flight
> Center. The Univac version of GIM was eventually licensed to a commercial
> timesharing network (Infonet) as I-GIM.

Ah, that is where I-GIM comes in -- I wasn't interested in tracking down those threads at the time, but did see I-GIM mentioned in a few places.

> In the mid-70s, TRW took delivery of an IBM 370/158 at TRW Systems Group
in
> Space Park (Redondo Beach). That was a virtual memory computer that
supported
> demand paging and provided hardware for direct address translation.
> http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/mainframe/mainframe_PP3158.html
>
> Before IBM offerred virtual memory on the 370, the GIM system had done its
own
> paging on IBM 360s. The DBMS code and data structures were too large to
reside
> in memory. It was necessary to analyze data structures and execution paths
to
> determine what modules belonged in what pages. The purpose was to swap
pages
> efficiently to/from disk and avoid thrashing.
>
> Later in the '70s, the GIM system at Space Park was used for other
important
> activities, such as development of NASA's Space Transportation System (the
Space
> Shuttle).

Was COBOL still part of that?

I found this link too that might help track down the GIRLS origins. http://www.softwarehistory.org/history/informatics.html

Maybe there is a connection between Postley and Nelson? Any more clues you might have are most welcome. Thanks a bunch! --dawn Received on Sun Apr 25 2004 - 21:57:19 CDT

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