SuperSet Software

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"SuperSet" redirects here. For other uses, see Superset (disambiguation).

SuperSet Software was a group founded by friends and former Eyring Research Institute (ERI) co-workers Drew Major, Dale Neibaur, Kyle Powell and later joined by Mark Hurst. Their work was based on classwork that they started in October 1981 at Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, USA, and upon previous work experiences at Eyring Research Institute.

In 1983, Raymond Noorda took over leadership of Novell and engaged the work by the SuperSet crew. The team was originally assigned to create a CP/M disk sharing system to help network the CP/M hardware that Novell was selling at the time. The team was privately convinced that CP/M was a doomed platform and instead came up with a successful file sharing system for the newly introduced IBM-compatible PC.[citation needed]

The group also wrote an application called Snipes, a text-mode game and used it to test the new network and demonstrate its capabilities. Along with Spasim and Maze War, Snipes was the precursor of many popular multiplayer games such as Doom and Quake.[1]

This network operating system was later called Novell NetWare. It has made a significant contribution to the success of Novell.[2]

ERI to SuperSet and Novell[edit]

Dennis Fairclough, Drew Major, Dale Neibaur and Kyle Powell were hired by Eyring Research Institute to work on government contracts from Hill Air Force Base. Their experience and exposure to the technology being programmed for the Software and Intelligent Systems Technology Office (SISTO) and the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPANET) provided opportunities for their ambitions. At Eyring Research Institute these men began developing their ideas for using inexpensive mini-computers networked together to perform big computing tasks.

These four men left their employment with ERI and took with them the experience and technology necessary to start and support the development of Novell. Dennis Fairclough was the member of that original team that started what would become Novell. Drew Major, Dale Neibaur and Kyle Powell went on to form SuperSet. Dennis Fairclough was the original founder of Novell. When Ray Noorda came to Novell, Dennis was dismissed in a route to build upon a new future for Novell. Drew Major, Dale Neibaur and Kyle Powell continued to supply support for Novell through their SuperSet Software Group.

Dennis Fairclough, Drew Major, Dale Neibaur and Kyle Powell's work on the Intelligent Systems Technology Project at ERI transferred to Novell important insights from the ARPANET and related developing technologies, insights that would become the foundations of Novell.

"ERI spawned many high-tech spin-offs, including WordPerfect, Novell, and Dynix in computers and some in the military and communication areas."[3]


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  3. ^ The Life of Frank Carlyle Harmon, written by Cleo Harmon, wife of the Director and Administrative Secretary at Eyring Research Institute, published 1999.