ACD Atlas Computing Division Prime Computer Systems

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Prime: the Company

Initial contacts with Prime were through their UK Bedford Office. However, to get to know the company itself and to understand future directions, it was necessary to make at least annual visits to Prime in the USA. Cliff Pavelin, Len Ford, Bob Hopgood, Geoff Manning and others made several visits to Prime in the USA.

Bill Poduska was at MIT in the late 1960s working on the MULTICS project, a modern operating system initially aimed at the GE 645. (Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie, who developed Unix also worked on MULTICS.) On 4 February 1972, Poduska and six others started the Prime Computer Corporation with its first machine, the Prime 200, very similar to the Honeywell DDP 516 but a 32-bit machine and running an operating system, PRIMOS, which was very similar to MULTICS but written in Fortran. The Company was one of the many companies located on Route 128 that runs around Boston. Prime was initially located at Natick (or moved there in 1980).

By 1977, the company management team was as indicated below.

Prime Management Team: August 1977 Ken Fisher (President) Berkovitz (Manufacturing) Production Manufacturing Quality Control Bill Poduska (R and D) Systems Integration Ian Edmonds Special Systems Charlie Smith Processors Byron Ganon Jim Shean Software Mike Greata Engineering Joe Casle Ben Reisler (Finance) Treasury Accounting Bob Morrill (Marketing) Domestic Bob Claussen (60% Sales) Admin Planning Joe D'Angelo Dave Johnson International Bob Volusnik (40% Sales) Documentation Gabe D'Annunzio

Prime Organogram

The Chief Architect was Bill Poduska. The main person involved with Primos development was Mike Greata and Ian Edmonds was the main person in the USA that SRC negotiated with on the marketing and sales side.

Prime were very successful in the interactive computing area until the late 1980s when the move to workstations made significant inroads into its sales.

Ken Fisher arrived at Prime in 1975 and was head of the company during the period until the mid 1980s when it had spectacular growth.

Mike Greata and Bill Poduska left Prime to start Apollo and later Stardent, where they were joined by Ian Edmonds. Ian was a graduate of Brunel University.