From: billg999@cs.uofs.edu (Bill Gunshannon)

>I know it was a patent and not a copyright, but I think the courts
>would see them the same, do you remember LZWS and the great Unix
>"compress" debacle. After years of ignoring it the owner suddenly
>shows up and wants it enforced. the courst ruled in their favor.


GIFs too ... what was really rude about that was that one of the inventors
wrote an article documenting the algorithm that never mentioned its patent
status. Mostly when someone writes an article they're encouraging other
people to use the technique, so that really almost felt like entrapment
(of course the author may not have been involved in the decision to sue).

>I wasn't aware that MUMPS or IAS have been supported on the PDP-11
>since the time of Ultrix-11. Mentec got the others, but I always
>thought the rest just died. (Well, MUMPS didn't die, it morphed, but
>PDP-11 support for the product died.)


What DID happen to MUMPS? My understanding with IAS was that there was still
some lucrative defense-related customer, and the DoD gets itchy about foreign
ownership so DEC held on to it instead of giving it to Mentec. When I looked
into it (very approximately 10 years ago), DEC was technically still selling
IAS, Class L only, and it was something like $27K a copy (so I don't know
when was the last time anyone really bought it). That made me feel a lot
better about Mentec's pricing!

John Wilson
D Bit