Talk:NCR Corporation

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Service and Inventory Issues[edit]

NCR is not my area, but they do have a very large service business. There was also a major issue with the NCR inventory system that caused major havoc some years ago. --Gadget850 13:53, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

Question about MP-RAS[edit]

Rama, Does anyone have any info about NCR Unix (AKA MP-RAS)? I didn't see any mention of it on this page? MikeDawg 16:56, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

Untitled[edit]

There is nothing here about NCR's manufacture of carbonless carbon paper which, until 1970, contained PCB's and resulted in widespread environmental contamination. Sanjour 20:07, 21 June 2007 (UTC) William Sanjour

Missing a LOT of important product information[edit]

I worked for NCR Corporation as a Field Engineer in what might be consider its heyday, the 1970s, prior to its being acquired by AT&T, when the entire Point Of Sale field devolved into cheap PC-based systems. [[ I was glad to see this write-up, it mirrors my own timeframe and experiences with some of the leading edge NCR technologies of the early 70s. Nice work! I've added a few comments here and there for clarification, hope you don't mind DrZeuss qlxpnzy (talk) 01:27, 30 August 2009 (UTC) ]]

My main area of expertise was their mechanical and electronic cash registers, and I worked on just about everything that was in use at the time. None of the products I worked on, or the products my peers worked on, are even mentioned in the above article.

Here are some worthy of note, in roughly chonological order.

The work "class" is used because the various models could be configured in various ways depending on the intendede use. For example, a department store model was very different from a restaurant model.

Mechanical cash registers:

100 Class -- probably the last of the manual, uncranked cash registers, powered by the keys themselves. Sometimes seen in movies. Direct descendent of the fancy antiques.

Class 21,22 and 24 -- electric, very popular, usually seen in restaurants, commonly seen in movies.

Class 51, 52, 53 -- popular in department stores and businesses needing more functionality than the 21/22/24 series. The 53 had a credit card reader and produced a computer-read printed journal paper tape.

Class 5 -- probably the most sophisticated and complex mechanical cash register ever made. Programmed with sliding metal plates. The design could easily have been modified to make it a general-purpose, if limited, mechanical computer in the vein of Babbage's Difference Engine. I've alwasy felt they deserved more recognition in the history of computing.

The class 5 was apparently related to a Class 3, which I've never seen, and which was apparently used in Europe. I don't believe NCR produced any new mechanical cash registers after the Class 5.

Electronic Cash Registers:

Some of the early ones were very sensitive to electrical noise and static electricity. I never could figure out what they used as CPUs, but they preceeded personal computers and showed no similarity to them. [[ NCR designed and manufactured a variety of proprietary LSI chips and these CPUs were likely a MOS version of the new 4004 CPUs (4-bit nibble) Intel made popular. DrZeuss qlxpnzy (talk) 01:27, 30 August 2009 (UTC)]] Plugging a bar blender into the same outlet as the bar cash register cause very unreliable operation. In the early days, non-volatile RAM chips were not available, and expensive magnetic core memory or large internal batteries were used to retain data. In most cases they had 1KB to 4KB of RAM, all of it non-volatile.

Class 220 -- freestanding, common in small retail outlets, had big lead-acid Gell Cell batteries to hold data in case of power faillure.

Class 250 -- a powerful register that replaced the Class 5 in clothing stores, bars, etc.

Class 255 -- used similar components to the 250 and 280, but with little or no autonomy. It was completely dependent on a back-office 726 computer which used the 605 processor (see below). [[ There was a reduced functionality version of the 255/726 marriage for small stores with only one or two on-site POS 255s (think "drug store") that stored the day's transaction activity on a live cassette tape. One terminal was then set up in "host mode" and awaited a "call" to upload the cassette tape contents to the host each night. DrZeuss qlxpnzy (talk) 01:27, 30 August 2009 (UTC) ]]

Class 280 -- the most common department store computer. Worked semi-autonomously, communicating via 40kbps direct current terminal-demand connection to store level concentrators which linked to 725 controller and from there to a NCR Century mainframe.

Class 285 -- a variation on the 280 used in banks, credit unions, and the like.

Accounting Systems:

I did't work on these, so can't speak knowledgeably about them.

Computers:

605 -- a 16-bit processor used in the Class 399 accounting system, the 721 and 723 communication controllers, the 725 department store level controller, the 726 retail controller, and others, including several of NCR's general-purpose minicomputers. The CPU alone comprised of four TTL circuit boards, each about 10 inches by 14 inches (as I recall), plus separate circuit boards for memory, communnications, etc. The clock cycle was 400 nanoseconds, and most instructions executed in one or two clock cycles. The instruction set was optimized for communication, and was somewhat comparable to Motorola's 68000 series chips. I'm biased, but I always thought it was well-designed and deserved more recognition. [[ Strongly agree with your opinion. You might want to add, for clarification, that the four boards that composed the 605's CPU were discreet TTL component versions of what's found in today's single-chip CPU. Nothing in the MOS LSI arena during that timeframe would execute as fast as its TTL brethren. The 605s were speedy! DrZeuss qlxpnzy (talk) 01:27, 30 August 2009 (UTC) ]]

The 605-based minis stick in my mind as being the first time I ever played a computerized version of Star Trek, a game played using "ASCII graphics" on 24x80 text terminals. Not sure where it originated. It eventually showed up on DOS-based PCs. Also, NCR's IMOS Cobol manual was the best I ever encountered.

Century series -- I know little about these, but I believe they competed with some of IBM's smaller systems.


Some general comments:

The previous reference to NCR paper (marketed as No Carbon Required) needs detail. NCR paper was developed by NCR based on their development of micro-encapsulation technology. This technology was a key to a number of other uses, including timed-release medication, etc. At the time it was developed, I don't believe the risks of PCBs were known.

NCR played a part in the Wright Brothers' success, helping with their construction of wind tunnels and so on. The naming of the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base backs this up, and there are examples to be seen in the Dayton air museum.


See also:

http://www.thecorememory.com


68.147.128.184 18:37, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Why AT&T bought NCR[edit]

I'm not sure how to incorporate this into the article, but one of the main reasons that AT&T bought NCR was that AT&T desperately needed a sales force.

Before AT&T was split up in 1984, it had a captive market for its products, the local telephone companies, which were all wholly-owned subsidiaries. Thus, its marketing strategy was what has sometimes been described as the Field of Dreams scheme: "If you build it, they will come". After the divestiture, the telcos could buy from anyone and did. Northern Telecom, for example, had a telephone operator console that was almost as good as AT&T's OSPS at about half the price, so the telcos bought from Northern Telcom.

The leadership at AT&T realized that they needed to get a sales force really quickly, so they snapped up NCR in a hostile takeover. They figured that NCR's product line was not that dissimilar to their own (especially since both companies made minicomputers). What they didn't realize was that the NCR company culture was so different from AT&Ts that integrating the two was extremely difficult, and many of the NCR people resented AT&T. It was not a marriage made in heaven. Jhobson1 13:26, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

First mass storage[edit]

The article currently says, "In 1962, NCR introduced the NCR-315 Electronic Data Processing System which included the CRAM storage device, the first mass storage alternative to magnetic tape." I've figured out what you mean - automated storage for non-volatile data not used in any current job; comparable devices were automated mag tape reel or mag tape cartridge libraries, e.g. IBM 3850. The problems with the current phrasing are: mass storage takes a different view, including disks as well as tapes and thus giving the impression of referring to something smaller whose contents would all be online at the same time; "... alternative to magnetic tape ..." in the current article gives the same impression. I'm changing the phrasing to "the first automated mass storage alternative to magnetic tape libraries accesed manually by computer operators." Philcha (talk) 12:27, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

Link Quality[edit]

The links about cuts in 2007 are broken.

There are many dead links here, so here comes some more general perspectives on how Wikipedia can use references.

I cannot but wonder what will happen when, after some time and lots of added knowledge, most of the references at the bottom of wikipedia pages become obsolete.

Should there be a way to copy link+reference content into some kind of article-database, provided that e.g. Daily News accepts this usage of their site? Could we arrange with the "wayback-machine" some agreement that when one of the better wikipedia pages points to an article be it in a newspaper or a university site, then this link-target can be sent to the "wayback-machine" which then copies the text (mostly text references are needed.)

donald_j_axel (donald_j_axel) —Preceding undated comment was added at 17:53, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

NCR's logo has just changed[edit]

I'm not real proficient in doing edits but for the record the logo and associated branding have now changed (to solid green). Someone more proficient than me may want ot change it.RedRiverGorge (talk) 22:02, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

http://www.ncr.com/images/site/affiliate/ncrLogo.gif (i don't know where to find a good quality one, but if anyone could help on this)— Preceding unsigned comment added by 41.214.112.216 (talkcontribs) 17:34, 21 January 2009
  • I just uploaded the logo I found on the New York Stock Exchange's website (see File:NCR Corporation logo.gif, which is green and blue).
  • Then I found this page. It seems that since 09 October 2013, they have made it "NCR Green".
  • But it seems that it is still the same 1996 Saul Bass design, just with a new green background. If someone wants to replace the logo I just updated with the green logo, that's fine with me. Wbm1058 (talk) 15:51, 8 March 2014 (UTC)
Oh, I see. The previous logo was File:NCR Corporation logo.svg (solid green), which will be deleted after Friday, 14 March 2014 if it is not restored. That file was uploaded 31 July 2010‎ by user:Beao. See user talk:Beao#Orphaned non-free image File:NCR Corporation logo.svg.
The solid green logo was replaced by this edit by User:SHuntsinger (contributions). Wbm1058 (talk) 17:29, 8 March 2014 (UTC)
OK, I've put some time into researching this. We have a basic black logo of the Saul Bass design on commons, and nobody there has deleted it, so I think it's good with respect to any licensing issues. Over the years since Bass designed it, the logo colors have been tweaked. We have green and blue, then solid green, and now white on a green "brand block" (did they lift that one from H&R Block?), and who knows what other colors they have used. I don't know what color Bass made it, but we can avoid that issue by just using the black logo on commons. I think that the best logo caption is the interesting and informative note attributing it to Saul Bass. I know it is tempting for editors who are probably paid more than I am to put the slogan du jour in the caption parameter, by in my opinion that is not in the spirit of what the caption is for. See Template talk:Infobox company/Slogans for discussions about the deprecated company slogan parameter. Slogans like Experience a new world of interaction and Everyday Made Easier come and go, and don't really say anything; this is just advertising branding, and that's not what this encyclopedia is for. Wbm1058 (talk) 21:24, 10 March 2014 (UTC)

I am a current employee for NCR and have responsibility for our Wikipedia page and correcting any inaccuracies. The Saul Bass logo is not our current logo...in fact we no longer have a "black" version. Rather only the icon within the design has been maintained. However the icon alone is not the official NCR logo. The text NCR, the icon and the green box is all part of the official NCR logo. We are requesting that the correct version be used as many folks come to this page to find our logo to use for their online purposes. ShuntsingerNCR (talk) 20:43, 31 July 2014 (UTC)ShuntsingerNCR

@ShuntsingerNCR: So the logo is only ever used in reverse coloration? I do see the logo in white-on-green at http://www.ncr.com/ but also in white-on-grey in the annual reports.
Should we just change the color scheme of the current file and create a new version, white-on-green? —C.Fred (talk) 20:54, 31 July 2014 (UTC)

We ask that you use our preferred logo: the NCR Brand Block. Here is what our brand guidelines say:

This is the default version of the NCR Brand Block. The relationship between the logo (side-by-side lock-up) and the green square is fixed so the size and position cannot be changed. The Logo can only appear white out and the Brand Block itself cannot be recreated or contain any other element other than the logo. Brand Block Flat/Mono – Where halftones cannot be reproduced, variants of the Brand Block in PMS 361 flat green and Mono (black and white) are available. These versions are suitable for some specialist reproduction methods, screen printing for example, which may require solid or color-separated artwork. The NCR Brand Block is The Preferred logo and should be used on any web or online application.

With regard to exceptions, those are approved by our brand team. How can I make the jpg available to you to post? Thanks. ShuntsingerNCR (talk) 21:09, 31 July 2014 (UTC)ShuntsingerNCR

The logos that I've uploaded have come from the company's official website. It's not easy for me to find the pure logo. Most pages have the logo not in a block, but embedded in a green bar that runs the width of the page. Can you provide a link to the logo you want us to use that is on your website? Wbm1058 (talk) 21:53, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
Found it in the press release here. Would you like to use that in Wikipedia? Wbm1058 (talk) 22:03, 31 July 2014 (UTC)

Template[edit]

I created Template:NCR Corp to improve navigation between articles. Suggestions/improvements are always welcome. RevelationDirect (talk) 01:21, 16 August 2010 (UTC)

Location of headquarters[edit]

The census map linked as a reference to support that the HQ is located in an unincorporated area has been redirected, so quick confirmation cannot be made from this link. I don't know whether this constitutes original research, but, using Google as my source I was able to confirm. Check these links.

I find it interesting that the corporate HQ for this (one-time) major corporation is apparently just a suite number in a building shared by other companies. Wbm1058 (talk) 18:36, 9 February 2014 (UTC)

Original Microsoft 8-bit FAT file system implementation on 8-inch floppies of NCR 7200/7500 in 1977/1978?[edit]

For the File Allocation Table article I am researching the early history of the FAT file system (before the introduction of FAT12 in 86-DOS in 1980, and in MS-DOS and PC DOS in 1981). It happens that Microsoft's Marc McDonald invented it in 1977 (some unreliable und unverified sources also claim 1976) as a file system for 8-inch floppy disks with 8-bit cluster entries. It was implemented in Microsoft's Standalone Disk BASIC-80 (for the Intel 8080 processor) for a number of computing platforms in ca. 1977/1978 (The 1977 year still needs verification from reliable sources), and ported to Standalone Disk BASIC-86 (for the Intel 8086) in 1978/1979. There also was an 8-bit implementation for Microsoft's MIDAS in 1979, but possibly with an on-disk format differing from that in Standalone Disk BASIC.

I am now trying to determine the original implementation, which is said to have been for an NCR machine with 8-inch floppy disk drives. It is unclear if this initial effort to implement the file system was exclusively done for this NCR model or was just the first adaptation of the Standalone Disk BASIC product. In the latter case, the NCR machine had to have an Intel 8080, but this is not known for sure. Sources differ significantly in regard to the actual NCR model and dates.

According to Stephen Manes and Paul Andrews, the original 8-bit FAT development was for the NCR 8200 in late 1977, according to them a floppy-based upgrade to the NCR 7200, which was cassette-based, but confusingly is mentioned in other sources as the target of the original FAT implementation. Adding to the confusion, Marc McDonald himself remembered a machine named NCR 8500 when asked in 2012. Other possible candidates could be the NCR 7500 or NCR 8250 7500, I guess.

So, I would like to determine the exact NCR model, for which this was implemented, including the dates, and if the implementation was part of that machine's operating system or a stand-alone solution (with or without Microsoft's BASIC). I am therefore also interested in specifications (processors, RAM, drives) and release dates for the above mentioned NCR products. Ideally, I would even like to investigate the on-disk format used in order to find out if it was different in any way from that in Standalone Disk BASIC-80 (which I know) or not.

If someone can share anything in regard to this, please let me know via talk pages (or mail). Thanks. --Matthiaspaul (talk) 13:02, 27 May 2014 (UTC)

Meanwhile, some of the potential options can be ruled out: The NCR Century 8200 series were 16-bit minicomputers. Flexible disks and fixed disks were available. The NCR Criterion 8400 and 8500 series were mainframes with flexible and fixed disks. Among other languages, NCR BASIC was available for them. However, since none of them was 8080-based, we can rule them out.
So, what I am looking for must have been one of the models of the NCR 7200 or 7500 series of data entry terminals. Both series are known to be based on the Intel 8080 8-bit processor. The NCR 7200 model I was announced in 1975-10 with a delivery date starting in 1975-11. The model I was designed to be used also as a stand-alone "key-to-cassette" data entry terminal. The NCR 7200 model IV came without cassette drive as it was hooked up to another computer. The NCR 7500 series was announced in 1978-06 and released in 1978-10 as a NCR 7510 cassette-based terminal, a NCR 7520 diskette-based terminal, and a NCR 7530 media conversion system (disk- and cassette-based). In 1979-03 a modell NCR 7510 Basic +6 was announced as well, followed by "Basic +6" for the other models in 1979-10, named "second generation" (of what?). "Basic +6" is known to be a variation of Microsoft BASIC-80 (some sources claim, version 3, others version 5 - I could not find sources in regard to the exact variant so far: Standalone Disk, Extended Disk, Disk, Extended, 8K).
While I could not find official information indicating that BASIC was also available for the NCR 7200 series, several internet sources claim that there was something named "Basic 6" or "BasicPlus 6" for the NCR 7200 as well. However, if the NCR 7200 was cassette-based only, any BASIC variant for this machine certainly had no use for a FAT file system.
All official information I could find so far state that the NCR 7200 series was cassette-based only. Nevertheless, I found one Australian (unreliable) source stating that he owned a NCR 7200 equipped with two floppy disk drives and Microsoft BASIC, originally imported by NCR Sydney into Australia. ([1])
So, NCR Basic +6 with 8-bit FAT support was introduced either for a still to be identified rare model variant of the NCR 7200 (possibly in 1977 or theoretically even in 1976?), or for the NCR 7520 and NCR 7530 (1978). Anyone?
--Matthiaspaul (talk) 17:35, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
Yet another update: Computerworld 1977-01-17, "NCR Mini, Micro Among Debuts Made on NRMA Convention Floor" ([2]), talks about the introduction of a NCR 7200 model VI with NCR Basic Plus 6 (Extended BASIC) in Q1/1977. 24K memory (19K BASIC, 5K user), but still cassette-based. The report does not mention any floppy-drive option for this machine. But the date of this report indirectly supports that McDonald must have worked on adapting Microsoft's Extended BASIC-80 to the NCR 7200 in late 1976/early 1977. And since the NCR 7500 was introduced in 1978, it narrows down the development of Standalone Disk BASIC-80 with FAT support (for either the NCR 7500 series or another model variant of the NCR 7200 series) into the timeframe mid 1977 to late 1978. --Matthiaspaul (talk) 23:06, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
Somewhat larger, the NCR 8100 series (NCR I-8130, I-8150) were 8080- or 8086-based, supported 8-inch disks, and BASIC as well in 1978. Perhaps, Manes meant the 8100 rather than the 8200 series? However, a different class of machine than the 7200 and 7500 series, definitely not direct successors. --Matthiaspaul (talk) 19:56, 8 June 2014 (UTC)