At the Japanese launch of Unix System V.4 – an event hosted by Unix International Inc at the New Otani Hotel in Tokyo earlier this month, Japanese members of the AT&T Unix fan club scrambled to endorse the new release and vied with each other to declare their long-standing Unix credentials, Anita Byrnes reports from […]
At the Japanese launch of Unix System V.4 – an event hosted by Unix International Inc at the New Otani Hotel in Tokyo earlier this month, Japanese members of the AT&T Unix fan club scrambled to endorse the new release and vied with each other to declare their long-standing Unix credentials, Anita Byrnes reports from Tokyo. Tadeo Higashaki, managing director of Oki Electric Industrial Co, welcomed the manner in which input was being invited, and said his Oki hoped to contribute real-time and transaction processing extensions to V.4. A senior vice-president from Toshiba Corp claimed that his firm was one of the first to ship Unix System III, back in 1982, and said the combination in V.4 was particularly gratifying because Toshiba supported both Berkeley and System V Unix. Similarly enthusiastic noises came from Fujitsu Ltd, Fuji Xerox Co and Sun Microsystems, and NEC Corp boasted that it was the only Japanese beta test site for V.4, and highlighted its loyal support, showing up at both Unix Expo in New York and the Tokyo Unix Fair this month. Larry Dooling, president of AT&T Unix Software Operation, acknowledged that the unit was considering broadening its ownership, stressing that Unix International members would have priority.
Week of Unix events
The Asia-Pacific Unix International organisation has 38 members, including four universities and majors such as Oki, Ascii, Astec, Toshiba, Prime Computer Japan, Nippon Steel, Omron Tateishi, Nippon NCR, Nippon Sun, NEC, Nippon Unisys, Fuji Xerox, Nippon Data General, Matsushita Electric, Yokogawa Hewlett-Packard – bit of a surprise, that, since Hewlett in the US was an Open Software Foundation founder – and Fujitsu. Yumio Imamura from Fujitsu is general manager of Unix International AsiaPacific Operation. The launch heralded the start of a week of Unix events – a seminar on Unix standardisation, attended by more than 1,000 participants from industry. The annual annual Unix Fair, sponsored by the Japan Unix Society, followed the System V.4 launch and was bigger and better this year, with a total of 63 exhibitors, including our cousin paper Nippon Unigram. Stands that attracted particular interest from visitors included Marubeni Electronics, exhibiting the Firex 9000 System, a networking optical file server; and the joint MIPS-Kubota Computer stand where the new ECL RISC machine was being displayed. MIPS Computer Systems Inc vice-president of systems technology John Mashey noted that MIPS saw itself as part systems vendor like Sun, part technology developer and licensor like Intel, and suggested the the way to work in Japan and elsewhere was through partnerships – such as its ones with Sony Corp and Kubota. Tomen Electronics showed IXI Ltd’s X.desktop running in Japanese, a source of some competitive advantage, since no other company was able to a comparable environment in Japanese. International Sekisui AI Corp, the distributor for the S language statistical analysis and graphics product, showed it running on Sony’s Newws workstation, and revealed that it is developing a News version of the Nexpert artificial intelligence tool. And Altos Computer Systems Inc was at the show, preparing to have a new crack at the Japanese market: its initial foray through a Kobelco Systems, a Kobe Steel subsidiary, was not a success and it has now signed trading company Shinsho Corp also a Kobe Steel affiliate – as a distributor: Shinsho is positioning the Altos boxes as an office servers and departmental systems designed to be connected to a mainframe through an SNA/Fujitsu Network Architecture gateway – but Altos confidesd at the show that in the long term, it wants a strategic partnership for the Japanese market.