Historia de la Tecnología: Datapoint 2200

Gracias a la notoriedad de CTC, un par de recién graduados por la Case Western Reserve University de Ohio, Harry Pyle y Victor Poor que llevaban tiempo intentando vender un diseño de circuito integrado programable encontraron una empresa en la que poner en marcha su idea. Esta pareja de emprendedores de finales de los años 70, habían ofrecido su idea a varios fabricantes de circuitos integrados pero prácticamente todos rechazaron el proyecto porque no veían que la idea pudiese convertirse en un producto comercial al ser demasiado especializada. CTC fabricaba computadoras y terminales de bajo coste que eran perfectamente compatibles con los mainframes de los grandes fabricantes y la idea de circuitos integrados programables y multipropósito encajaba bien con la idea de la fabricación de dispositivos compatibles y versátiles.

CTC pensó que podrían programar, bajo un mismo computador, los protocolos de un amplio número de fabricantes así que firmó contratos para su producción con Intel y Texas Instruments pero ambas compañías apostaron por basarse en PMOS para fabricar el chip lo cual resultó un estrepitoso fracaso y no se cumplieron los plazos. CTC rescindió el contrato y decidió construir este “procesador” programable mediante circuitos integrados TTL, es decir, mediante lógica discreta (gracias a un diseño de Gary Asbell) y, sobre estos cimientos, se construyó el Datapoint 2200.

El Datapoint 2200 se presentó a comienzos de 1970 y se puso a la venta en el mes de mayo del mismo año con un gran éxito de ventas que prolongó su fabricación hasta el año 1979 y haciendo que CTC cambiase el nombre de la compañía a Datapoint Corporation. Si bien esta computadora estaba basada en circuitos TTL y carecía de un procesador, su versatilidad y las posibilidades de programación que ofrecían hacían que fuese equivalente a un computador con procesador y sentó las bases del desarrollo de éstos y fue el germen de la arquitectura x86.

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Datapoint 2200

En este repaso que hacemos cada semana a la historia de la tecnología hemos repasado la historia de grandes computadoras como el histórico ENIAC o el IBM 701, uno de los grandes éxitos comerciales de IBM en el campo de los mainframes, sin embargo, era habitual (y aún lo sigue siendo) utilizar terminales ligeros para permitir la conexión con estos grandes sistemas. Entre la amplia variedad de terminales que se han desplegado en las empresas, hoy vamos a dedicar unos minutos a recordar a un clásico de los años 70: el Datapoint 2200.

Computer Terminal Corporation (CTC), que posteriormente pasaría a llamarse Datapoint Corporation, era una empresa que desarrollaba computadoras en San Antonio (Texas) y fue fundada en 1967, en plena ebullición del desarrollo de computadoras. En 1969, la compañía desarrolló uno de los primeros terminales de la historia, el Datapoint 3300 que se tuvo una gran acogida en el mercado y se vendieron bastantes unidades en el mercado, alcanzando la compañía una gran notoriedad.

Gracias a la notoriedad de CTC, un par de recién graduados por la Case Western Reserve University de Ohio, Harry Pyle y Victor Poor que llevaban tiempo intentando vender un diseño de circuito integrado programable encontraron una empresa en la que poner en marcha su idea. Esta pareja de emprendedores de finales de los años 70, habían ofrecido su idea a varios fabricantes de circuitos integrados pero prácticamente todos rechazaron el proyecto porque no veían que la idea pudiese convertirse en un producto comercial al ser demasiado especializada. CTC fabricaba computadoras y terminales de bajo coste que eran perfectamente compatibles con los mainframes de los grandes fabricantes y la idea de circuitos integrados programables y multipropósito encajaba bien con la idea de la fabricación de dispositivos compatibles y versátiles. Leer más “Historia de la Tecnología: Datapoint 2200”

A G.O.P. Leader Tightly Bound to Lobbyists

Representative John A. Boehner arriving for a fund-raiser for Ann Marie Buerkle, a House candidate from New York.

The bill’s passage in the House already seemed inevitable. But Mr. Boehner and his deputies told the Wall Street lobbyists and trade association leaders that by teaming up, they could still perhaps block its final passage or at least water it down.

“We need you to get out there and speak up against this,” Mr. Boehner said that December afternoon, according to three people familiar with his remarks, while also warning against cutting side deals with Democrats.

That sort of alliance — they won a few skirmishes, though they lost the war on the regulatory bill — is business as usual for Mr. Boehner, the House minority leader and would-be speaker if Republicans win the House in November. He maintains especially tight ties with a circle of lobbyists and former aides representing some of the nation’s biggest businesses, including Goldman Sachs, Google, Citigroup, R. J. Reynolds, MillerCoors and UPS.

They have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to his campaigns, provided him with rides on their corporate jets, socialized with him at luxury golf resorts and waterfront bashes and are now leading fund-raising efforts for his Boehner for Speaker campaign, which is soliciting checks of up to $37,800 each, the maximum allowed.

Some of the lobbyists readily acknowledge routinely seeking his office’s help — calling the congressman and his aides as often as several times a week — to advance their agenda in Washington. And in many cases, Mr. Boehner has helped them out.


David Lassman/ Post-Standard

Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, center, has used his business ties to become a leading fund-raiser for Republicans.

By ERIC LIPTON

WASHINGTON — House Democrats were preparing late last year for the first floor vote on the financial regulatory overhaul when Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio and other Republican leaders summoned more than 100 industry lobbyists and conservative political activists to Capitol Hill for a private strategy session.

Representative John A. Boehner arriving for a fund-raiser for Ann Marie Buerkle, a House candidate from New York.

The bill’s passage in the House already seemed inevitable. But Mr. Boehner and his deputies told the Wall Street lobbyists and trade association leaders that by teaming up, they could still perhaps block its final passage or at least water it down.

“We need you to get out there and speak up against this,” Mr. Boehner said that December afternoon, according to three people familiar with his remarks, while also warning against cutting side deals with Democrats.

That sort of alliance — they won a few skirmishes, though they lost the war on the regulatory bill — is business as usual for Mr. Boehner, the House minority leader and would-be speaker if Republicans win the House in November. He maintains especially tight ties with a circle of lobbyists and former aides representing some of the nation’s biggest businesses, including Goldman Sachs, Google, Citigroup, R. J. Reynolds, MillerCoors and UPS.

They have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to his campaigns, provided him with rides on their corporate jets, socialized with him at luxury golf resorts and waterfront bashes and are now leading fund-raising efforts for his Boehner for Speaker campaign, which is soliciting checks of up to $37,800 each, the maximum allowed. Leer más “A G.O.P. Leader Tightly Bound to Lobbyists”

Taking On A Business Partner? Avoid These 4 Common Mistakes

Anne Field

He points to a five-employee web-design company as a case in point. About five years ago, the founder decided to bring on a partner with more sales savvy. But, when business didn’t roll in as quickly as he’d hoped, the founder stepped in and started calling on his own prospects—without telling anyone else. Soon, he was arranging for deals on the sly, often agreeing to lower-than-normal terms the partner learned about only later. Eventually, trust between the two eroded and the partnership dissolved.


He points to a five-employee web-design company as a case in point. About five years ago, the founder decided to bring on a partner with more sales savvy. But, when business didn’t roll in as quickly as he’d hoped, the founder stepped in and started calling on his own prospects—without telling anyone else. Soon, he was arranging for deals on the sly, often agreeing to lower-than-normal terms the partner learned about only later. Eventually, trust between the two eroded and the partnership dissolved. Leer más “Taking On A Business Partner? Avoid These 4 Common Mistakes”

P&G Plots Growth Path Through Services


The Procter & Gamble Company
Image via Wikipedia

In Brand-Saturation Age, Major Marketers Turn to Franchising and Other Models

By Jack Neff

BATAVIA, Ohio (AdAge.com) — Procter & Gamble Co. got to be an $80 billion company and the world’s-largest marketer almost entirely by selling goods, but it’s increasingly looking to services ranging from concierge physicians to car washes and dry cleaners to fuel its thirst for growth.

MR. CLEAN: P&G now has 15 car washes in Cincinnati and Atlanta  and plans to expand.
MR. CLEAN: P&G now has 15 car washes in Cincinnati and Atlanta and plans to expand.

It’s a big thirst. When every percentage point of growth now requires around $800 million in new sales, P&G can’t afford to leave many stones unturned, including service and franchising models. At the same time, the challenge in this age of brand saturation — to create growth beyond simply selling more stuff — is a problem other marketers will increasingly face if the economic recession indeed moves people away from the conspicuous consumption that marked better times.

Chairman-CEO Bob McDonald sees the service mentality increasingly infusing what his conventional package-goods brands do.

“I think service is yet an untapped area for us,” Mr. McDonald said in a January interview. “We’re active in franchising now with Mr. Clean car washes and Tide Dry Cleaners. MDVIP [concierge physician service] is a service operation. But we’re also working on services on our existing brands, for example, where you walk up to the shelf, take a picture of the UPC code on your phone, and you can download information about the ingredients in that product, which you as an environmentalist may care about.”

P&G is far from the only mega-marketer increasingly expanding its business model in a search for growth. P&G’s biggest customer, retail behemoth Walmart, last month bought video streaming startup Vudu and last week announced it opened its 1000th MoneyCenter check-cashing and bill-payment outlet and plans to open another 500. Google, when it’s not organizing all the world’s information, is entering all the world’s digital and media categories. And Apple, having become the world’s-largest music retailer, looks to become a dominant presence in book and magazine publishing as well via the iPad.

Curious bets
Mr. McDonald said service is “part of our broader purpose,” noting, “It’s fair game for us, and we need to learn more about it. We’ve got to grow; that’s the main thing.”

While being big has the drawback of requiring big numbers to generate growth, he said, it also means P&G can afford to “place some bets that might not be so obvious from the outside.”

One of those is MDVIP, a concierge-physician service in which participating primary-care doctors cut their patient loads roughly 75% to 600 patients or fewer. They provide premium service that includes annual hourlong physicals, electronic medical records on a CD, personal websites and preventive-care plans and the promise of on-time appointments for a $1,500 to $1,800 annual fee.

P&G bought 49% of MDVIP in 2007 as it looked to explore new avenues in health care as its own and other prescription-drug businesses slowed. Late last year it bought the other 51%, so far making a profit on the investment, Mr. McDonald said, though P&G is not really interested in the short-term trade. Leer más “P&G Plots Growth Path Through Services”

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