Software Products and Packages

Early history

cropped-portrait-copy.jpgIn early computing, each company had its specialty areas. In general, the four major companies were:

  1. International Business Machines (IBM) – Data storage and retrieval, some of the earliest databases.
  2. Control Data Corporation (CDC) – Research and fast computing, thanks to the work of Seymour Cray.
  3. Burroughs – Banking.
  4. Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) – working with large organizations, like Bell Labs, to produce computers and software useful to large enterprises.
  5. Univac – Developer of some of the earliest hardware and software, eventually to merge with Burroughs to form UNISYS

All of these systems had their own operating system, except Bell Labs also starting using DEC hardware with their UNIX Operating System.


All early computers had their own games, some were quite wimple, while others evolved into more complicated creations. The first two I ever played were:

  1. A form of Dungeon on UNIX systems that was a command prompt game, where the computer would type out what is happening where you are located and you need to type in the exact command you wish to do to progress in the game.
  2. When the ARPA (Advanced Research Projects Agency) network was created by the Department of Defense for linking civilian computers, a group of Star Trek fans created a Star Trek game. When I went to Indiana University, there was one ARPA connected computer. There was one person camped at the computer most of the time playing this game. He did not want to leave because the game always started new players in the same exact location with their shields down. Those who knew this game would wait for a new ship to appear and destroy it before it had a chance to set up any defenses. The person would not want to take the chance of starting over. Talk about addiction.Pong460x276

Games have become a part of most people’s lives on computers. Atari started the more modern craze with Pong.


This section will be completed later.

Academic Applications

Academic applications have been around as long as there have been computers. These applications vary greatly from applications to help administer schools through applications to help students and faculty with difficult problems. Some of these problem-solving applications are set up to run until a solution to a specific problem is found. Others have developed into a platform that users can utilize to solve problems they have or to solve problems showing students how the solutions are created.

An example of the administrator program is a high school registration system I wrote while teaching school at George Washington High School in Guam. An example of a program that gathers and analyses data is the search for extra-terrestrial signs of life. A good example of a platform to help users solve general problems is Wolfram Alpha.