Population Control Update
by Bruce Taylor

One year ago I wrote an article "Population Control", which appeared in the May 1991 edition and surveyed the total population of ACP/TPF type systems in the world and the numbers of software people working on them. This article produced some reactions; mainly queries, but others with additional information allowing me to correct my spreadsheets. The biggest single correction in the numbers involved the institution beloved to all U.S. citizens: the IRS; which I had counted as 1, but which I am reliably informed is actually 11 separate installations spread throughout the U.S.. Compensating this to some extent was confirmation of the demise of some systems I had still thought to be operational.

Also an eventful year has passed; a year in which the airline industry which still accounts for more than half of the system installations worldwide, suffered considerable traumas. Despite this, to my knowledge only two airline systems actually closed down; both ALCS users!

With all the above, the tally of ACP/TPF/ALCS/CPARS systems in the world is now:

  1. Total about 101, of which 68 are ACP/TPF, 26 are ALCS and 7 are CPARS.
  2. There are about 45 installations in the U.S. (in which I count Canada - sorry), 20 in Europe, 6 in the Middle East, 17 in the Far East, 4 in Africa, and 9 in Latin America.

The remaining figures are substantially unchanged.

Those of you in the airline industry will be aware that the only other force competing with TPF/ALCS in this marketplace is the UNISYS USAS offering. There are about 16 of these in the world: 1 in the U.S., 9 in Europe, 5 in the Far East, and 1 in Latin America.

The other thing I have tried to do in the past year was to assemble a spreadsheet which calculated maximum message rates on all the IBM CPU's from the 4300 generation onwards for all current versions of TPF, TPF/HPO, ALCS/VSE, and ALCS/MVS assuming some standard set of international reservations, ticketing and DCS type applications. Here I ran into the following problem:

They said it couldn't be done,
With a smile he went right to it.
He tackled the thing that couldn't be done,
And couldn't do it!

Bruce Taylor
General Manager