Skip to main content

UNITE, Inc. records

1955-1997
 Collection
Identifier: 1881

Abstract

UNITE, Inc. stands for Unisys Information Technology Exchange, a not-for-profit corporation, where members share information about Unisys and the use and development of information technology. The predescessor, UNIVAC Scientific Exchange (USE) was formed in 1955, consisting of UNIVAC 1103A computer users (Boeing Airplane Company, Holloman Air Force Base, Lockheed Missile Systems Division and Ramo-Woolridge Corporation) and Sperry-UNIVAC representatives. Their records document the evolving relationship between USE, Inc. and Sperry-UNIVAC including the history of software development through problem issues reported and improvements, response to user demands, and customer expectations.

Dates

  • 1955-1997

Creator

Extent

30 Linear Feet

Historical Note

UNITE, Inc. stands for Unisys Information Technology Exchange, a not-for-profit corporation, where members share information about Unisys and the use and development of information technology. Based in Illinois, UNITE Inc. was formed in December 1993, when members of two computer user groups decided to merge: CUBE and USE, Inc.

UNIVAC Scientific Exchange (USE) was formed in 1955, consisting of UNIVAC 1103A computer users (Boeing Airplane Company, Holloman Air Force Base, Lockheed Missile Systems Division and Ramo-Woolridge Corporation) and Sperry-UNIVAC representatives.

As commercial installations of the UNIVAC computers increased in the mid-1950s the need for a user's support group, where problems about performance and programming could be discussed, became clear. One of the reasons IBM was so successful was that it pioneered in providing customer support for technically unsophisticated users. By the mid-1950s, Remington Rand had decided to follow IBM's lead and establish a users group, a policy that was carried out by its successor, Sperry Rand Corporation. Initially, membership was restricted to users of the UNIVAC 1103A Scientific computer. The group established standards, programming and publications committees to deal with issues of common concern. Among the accomplishments of these committees were: the establishment of a USE language for communications, the development of standard formats for the coding of routines and subroutines, and the creation of a common compiler. This information was disseminated in an informal publication which became known as Useful Notes. The organization was expanded to include users of the Univac 1105 in 1958, the 1107 in 1961, and the 1108 in 1965.

By 1960 the USE group, which had begun with four members, had grown to seventeen. Semi-annual conferences usually attracted between sixty and eighty attendees. These meetings focused on software issues. In 1959, the new COBOL language was the major agenda item. By 1962, FORTRAN was the prime programming language of interest. During the mid-1960s USE was represented on Sperry Univac's standards committee which was responsible for the development of programming languages. In 1964 the USE group was expanded to include the users of all large scale computers manufactured by Sperry Rand. The name was formally shortened to "USE" in 1969. Until 1974, Sperry Univac provided full administrative management support for USE. This was partially withdrawn in the 1974, and USE was incorporated as an independent non-profit corporation, USE, Inc., on June 2, 1975. It continued, however, to be primarily concerned with the technical development of large Sperry Univac computers.

Arrangement

Series I. Chronological file;

Series II. Reference manuals;

Series III. Conferences;

Series IV. Newsletters and magazines.

Scope and Content

Series I. Chronological contains minutes of membership meetings, committee meetings and conferences, membership lists, newsletters, technical papers and annual reports, including correspondence, programs and other papers relating to the logistics of arranging the conferences themselves. Also includes are several itineraries for spouses of the conference participants. This series documents software development by detailing problems associated with various software programs and the company's efforts to make its software more powerful, intelligible, and responsive to user demands.

Conference recommendations record customer expectations and provide suggestions for software modifications. Also included is documentation on UNIVAC software, the USE reference manual, conference notes, and contracts tracing the evolving relationship between USE and Sperry Univac.

Access Restrictions

Records less than 25 years old are closed to researchers.

Use Restrictions

Literary rights retained by depositor.

Records are in remote storage. Please allow 48 hours for delivery.

Related Materials

Sperry Corporation Univac Division Records (Accession 1825), Manuscripts and Archives Department, Hagley Museum and Library

Charles Babbage Institute, 103 Walter Library, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minn. 55455,

Language of Materials

English


Additional Information

Related Names

Creator

Finding Aid & Administrative Information

Title:
UNITE, Inc. records
Status:
Description rules:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description:
English
Script of description:
Latin

Repository Details

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

Contact:
PO Box 3630
Wilmington Delaware 19807 USA
302-658-2400