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On Splitting Tymshare and Tymnet into separate articles[edit]

Created Tymshare page (removing redirect "#REDIRECT Tymnet") with a copy of my revised History section from Tymnet so that Tymshare history and achievements can be recorded in its own article separate from that of Tymnet.

All discussion on the Tymnet page has been copied here to to retain as much as possible of the discussion history. For information prior to this split, please see the editing history of the Tymnet article pages. Please feel free to delete any of this duplicate information if you believe deletion rather than duplication is preferred. Some cleanup is needed now that they have been split, and I will work on it in the next few months as time allows. -Carl

-Carl Baltrunas Reststop (talk) 11:19, 13 November 2008 (UTC)Reststop

Tymshare/Data Networks Division was the only group allowed to write code for tymnet engines. Tymnet was only allowed to develop code on hosts connected to the network. Thus Tymnet became the primary customer for the Tymcom-X/XX Operating Systems department in Systems Technology Division when the timesharing model collapsed.

Reststop 09:02, 4 November 2008 (UTC) -- Carl Baltrunas <>

I'm noting that I've rewritten the entire section on Tymnet after the Tymnet, Inc. split off. (late 1980 till 2004) I removed one of the references to Misha Koning and, in reference to revenue and/or the shutdown of Tymnet as I rewrote those portions completely, incorporating the information in other places where the Telematics ACP/PCP were brought into play, and where the impetus to move customers off Tymnet was the first consideration for maintaining this cash cow, before just killing it.

-Carl <>

On Advertising for Sun Microsystems[edit]

In discussing the history of Tymshare/Tymnet, it may be relevant to mention a migration away from DEC/PDP minicomputers to Sun microcomputers concurrent with the migration from X.25 to IP, but it is not necessary to promote Sun so heavily. The latter part of this article reads like an advertisement for Sun Microsystems.

- Brandon D. Valentine <>

I've re-rewritten much of the history after the section on the spinoff of Tymnet. Tymnet was already spun off when I joined the company in December 1980. Most of what I've written is from memory, and I have a bot more on Tymshare, but until that is separated out from Tymnet, I will hold off.

In the rewrite I used Sun Microsystems where it was accurate, and left it out where it was not necessarily Sun, such as when the migration was to UNIX™ instead of SunOS or Solaris. was not a Sun computer, and some early work on the porting to unix was most likely done on Tymix. I do not have any references from this, but could ask around and update it when I get the information. Bill Soley or Steve Feldman may have the accurate information on the dates and hardware associated here.

- Carl Baltrunas <> —Preceding unsigned comment added by Reststop (talkcontribs) 04:54, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

Paul Martijn[edit]

That is correct.

I (Paul Martijn) pasted the contents from my homepage (which is the same as,,, into wikipedia.

Rgds Paul Martijn (

The problem is that big chunks of your homepage and thus big chunks of the current article appear to be lifted from a 1998 Telephony article by Dan O' Shea: at . (a 2004 edit that adds the phrase "may be a quick, methodical solution for bringing networks into the '90s and beyond" is pretty big hint that it's not original prose.)
I'm not a big fan of killing entire pages for copyvio when not everything is plagiarized, but I also don't have the time/inclination/whatever to sort out which bits are from the article and which aren't. --NapoliRoma 21:41, 28 July 2007 (UTC)


(c) is not supposed to be seen around here.

what about deletion? --Abdull 00:02, 24 Jan 2005 (UTC)

  • I deleted the (C) tag, as what Paul says above seems to me to check out, thus if he wrote the material and added it to the article, it is assigned under the gdfl now. I also added wikify and cleanup tags; there is a lot of good info there, and this should make a good article. Sc147 00:07, 26 Jan 2005 (UTC)

NPOV problems[edit]


This article really needs to be cleaned up to conform to the NPOV standard. I recall from looking at the Tymshare annual reports on microfilm at Stanford that the company was badly weakened by the 1982 recession, which set it up for the takeover by McDonnell.

Also, Tymshare's treatment of Douglas Engelbart and its embarrassing failure to complete its office automation initiative needs to be mentioned. Tymshare's shabby treatment of Engelbart is mentioned, I think, in the 1985/1986 Engelbart interview transcripts which Stanford posted online a few years ago, but I forgot where I saw the office automation stuff.

--Coolcaesar 22:55, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Damn, if only as many people were willing to fix the article as were willing to complain about it and post historical information on this Talk page, then we could get rid of that ugly {NPOV} tag. - Eric 02:22, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
Okay, I'm removing the {NPOV} tag. It's an exaggeration to call this article biased because it fails to mention a period of Tymshare financial weakness or the dissatisfaction of one brilliant researcher. Such historical details would be desirable to have, but their absence hardly qualifies as a NPOV dispute. - Eric 21:46, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

Some history elements in global international and technology comparison[edit]

This is not for direct entry I suppose, but a way to understand the central role Tymnet and Tymnet International played and some of their concepts and experience will probably play in the years to come.

The Tymnet network started in late 60s. Tymnet was first a human user access network (if you do not consider the inter-Tymshare computer connections [Tymcom's]) and the Internet was a computer user access network (this certainly roots the “network centric”/”user centric” network debate - but there are more "internuts" than "oldtymers" left). So it is difficult to say which was the “first”. Tymnet as a system is older, but ARPANET as an intercomputer network is probably older. Internet is datagram based and Tymnet was virtual circuit-switch based upon an extremely reactive and reliable byte oriented approach. OSI attempted a compromise; it is likely that the future will be a hybrid. The first data communications (we would say “ISP” today) bill was on Feb. 28 th, 1972, by Tymnet to NLM in Bethesda at 10 to 30 c/s. Tymnet further on proceeded by the partition of its global system into “externets” (name picked later on from Jon Postel “external networks” since several were using the Tymnet technology) to respect national sovereignties. Internet proceeded from Louis Pouzin’s catenet concept of concatenating networks in single system which both based the OSI and the Internet: it was the DoD doctrine Vint Cerf built on (IEN 48) the Internet architecture (RFC 1958 by Brian Carpenter, current IETF Chair). I met Louis in 1978 when joining Tymnet. We created together Eurolinc for European multilingualism on Internet a few years ago which is active at the WSIS. Just to show the interrelations of the global system sources and their long term continuity and consistence.

The creation of Tymnet Inc. predates end of 1977. The President was Bill Combs. Tymshare Inc.’s Chair and founder was Tom O'Rourke. The international agreements were worked out by Robert Tréhin (Tymnet European Operations) located in Saint-Cloud Office (Paris). CEGI-Tymshare was directed by Jacques Blouet. Bernard Maniglier (further President of Compaq France) was a Sales Director. It was a leading French time sharing service, as a partnership with SLIGOS, which used a Tymnet Network (further used to support Smart Card development). There were Tymshare affiliates in UK (a joint venture with Unilever, directed by Peter Jones), in Belgium, Germany, and Japan. Bob Tréhin lead the development of the International Public Packet Switch networks as a "de-privatisation " of the Tymnet Network after FCC granted Tymnet and Telenet (created by Larry Roberts [ARPANET creator] and BBN [where Bob Khan developed the systems]). This move was supported by a small unit we created in 1978, renamed "INTLNET" in 1982 from the network nickname coming from the "INTL" mailboxes offered to all the public operators. It connected the Tymnet systems by the public monopolies under an ITU framework and some large private systems: French PTT DTRE, BPO IPSS, RTT (Belgium), Bundespost (Germany), Telephonica (Spain), Radio Marconi (Portugal), Radio Swiss (Switzerland), Radio Austria, Televerket (Swedish PTT), Dutch PTT, Irish PTT, Italcable (Italy), etc. A link was provided to BULL for the development of ADA on a Minneapolis Multics, ESA (European Agency was very active). Philips was later on (1980) the first international private system and Data Management in Beirut (1983) the first externet (multiorganization concept passed in the Internet through RFC 920).

In this process Robert Trhéin and Joe Rinde introduced the “root name” concept which is the basis of all the following international deployment (OSI, or Internet) under different flavours, even if the Internet reduces its use to the default (single “IN” class, if you forget the “CHAOS” class). Current thinking on Multilingual Internet and NGN could be based again on its full application again.

Bob Harcharick took over Tymnet in 1979(?). He left in 1982/3 (?) to create MCI Mail where he hired Vint Cerf and Dave Crocker. Don Heath was a Region Manager of Tymnet who followed Bob. (When Bob left, Warren Prince took over as a Tymnet Chair).

Then Jack McDonnell took over as Tymnet VP International and developed the relations all over the world (every international public service started through a Tymnet International liaison through the US IRCs (International records carriers: ITT, RCA, WUI, TRT and FTCC), all of them running their international service - first under Tymnet I and II protocols and/or X.25/75). Then Neil Sullivan took over after Jack McDonnell joined EIA as a VP, Telecommunications. (He further on created TNS Inc, the world leader in network transaction services with several former Tymnet people and a technology benefiting of Tymnet concepts).

I then created Tymnet Extended Services to work on the value we added over telecommunications services (the technical possibility is just now revived due to bandwidth/cup low costs, but the Internet architectures is not yet here [IETF WG-OPES is just a beginning]. The ISIS Club gathered the operators over the Tymnet technologies and propositions. One of the first meetings established the X.75 Vienna version parameters, which were the further reference for international European liaisons. My department ported X.121 in naming and we established the numbering plan of most of the countries (we connected more than 50 different countries on Jan 1st 83 when Internet was created). We linked the DoD in 1984 and the constraints we imposed on naming and development are reflected in RFC 920 of Jon Postel which establishes the DNS naming plan and has strictly been respected ever since, and ICANN claims as the source of its legitimacy (cf. ICP-3). We pasted the standard parameters and this way introduced com, net, ccTLDs (actually Telex codes we used for telex "refillers" [people refilling their traffic under the international packet switch virtual links). The person in charge of the relations with DoD was Jerry Eddgerton (now WorldCom VP). The mistake we made was not to impose X.121 to the private ARPANET Internet network (too bad as we discussed the IP addresses format conflict) we would probably not have the IPv6 introduction problem of today.

Doug Engelbart had joined Tymshare and created the "Augment" division. His propositions were highly appealing. They however (IMHO and long analysis) suffered from two difficulties. Word processing was not really a product for a time sharing company and the PC took over. The "augmentation" theories which still influence all the IETF thinking and the IANA concept (Dong created the NIC as a repository for all the APRANET parameters and documents) did not fit a decentralised and certainly not a distributed network. Tymnet's documentation/brochure was named "Passport to Information" and we (through the INTLNET entity) maintained a common information file (INTLFILE) on every public service their own information centres used (it is still operated and one can find its daily update on the DNS top zone on the site). The idea was appealing to propose International Operators a "Passport" on-line service on Tymnet machines (they all had or had an access to). We investigated the idea very carefully. But we found that the network does not augment the IQ of the user, but extend his/her reach to pertinence. This lead to a very deep study of a network model and architecture which might support a user-centric smart-NGN for the years to come (network hysteresys is very long - 10 years per technology if we consider Tymnet, OSI, Internet, and coming Multi-Internet). It was bad news for Doug's team, but may be the seed of future. Our studies have stunning similarities with what others did further-on ... or not have yet done. This is not because a proposition/effort does not work or payback immediately that it does not come to fruition. I certainly oppose Doug's basic ideas on augmentation, but from this opposition Tymnet Extended Services certainly benefited a lot, and further Research – even if IETF has not found it back yet in their own words and vision.

JFC Morfin (jefsey at

initial Supervisor development[edit]

To Whom It May Concern,

I noticed that your lead text line produced by a Google search for the name "LaRoy Tymes" includes the statement that the initial Tymnet Supervisor was developed by Joseph Rinde. This information is incorrect. The correct history is as follows:

The first TYMNET Supervisor was written by LaRoy Tymes in assembly code for the SDS 940 in 1971. Norman Hardy contributed to the architectural design. The Supervisor became operational in November of 1971. The Varian 620i was used for the TYMNET nodes and was also coded in assembly by Mr. Tymes. It soon became apparent that the 940 could not keep up with the rapid growth of the network so the decision was made to migrate the Supervisor to the Interdata 8/32.

Joseph Rinde joined the TYMNET group in 1972 and began porting the Supervisor to the Interdata 7/32, because the 8/32 was not yet ready. When the 8/32 became available in 1973, the performance was disappointing so a crash effort was made to develop a machine that could run Mr. Rinde's Supervisor. The resulting TYMNET Engine was used for both the Supervisor and the nodes. Mr. Tymes microcoded the compute intensive portions of the code for enhanced performance. The second version of the Supervisor became operational in 1974.

Mr. Tymes and Mr. Rinde then developed TYMNET II. TYMNET II ran together with the original network but used a different method of constructing virtual circuits, allowing much better scalability. The original network, which continued to run on the Varian machines, was phased out over a period of several years.

The TYMNET Engine was reincarnated several times as technology changed, but in 1994 Dennis Jonas led an effort to abandon the Engine in favor of the SPARC work station. Mr. Tymes developed a much more sophisticated routine algorithm than had been used before. Romolo Raffo recoded the rest of the Supervisor in C, also making enhancements in the process. This third version of the Supervisor became operational in 1996. William Soley produced a C version of the node code which ran on the SPARC and was compatible with the previous TYMNET II nodes.

If there are any questions about this history, or any other details, please feel free to contact me at or you may call 719 484 0988 in Monument Colorado.

Thank You 03:54, 6 January 2006 (UTC)LaRoy Tymes

Specific Applications[edit]

The historical and technical aspects are covered here, but the specific commercial applications are not. I hope someone who knows this stuff can add to it.Kitteneatkitten 00:05, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

Removed several copyvio paragraphs[edit]

Per my note in #Paul Martijn above, there were several paragraphs copied from his homepage that actually originated from a 1998 article in Telephony. I went ahead and removed those paragraphs after all.

It'd be up to someone else to decide if the info in the source material could/should be incorporated into the article in a non-plagiaristic way.--NapoliRoma 01:37, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

Image copyright problem with File:Tymnet FIRN.jpg[edit]

The image File:Tymnet FIRN.jpg is used in this article under a claim of fair use, but it does not have an adequate explanation for why it meets the requirements for such images when used here. In particular, for each page the image is used on, it must have an explanation linking to that page which explains why it needs to be used on that page. Please check

  • That there is a non-free use rationale on the image's description page for the use in this article.
  • That this article is linked to from the image description page.

This is an automated notice by FairuseBot. For assistance on the image use policy, see Wikipedia:Media copyright questions. --18:22, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

Four Phase Systems[edit]

Four-Phase Systems (see the Wikipedia article of that name) was a manufacturer of a series of multi-terminal minicomputers. They were in no way in competition with Tymshare. (talk) 20:08, 30 May 2011 (UTC)

Tymshare sold to McDonnell Douglas[edit]


   After five years, peace was breaking out in many places in the
   world and McDonnell Douglas sold off MDNSC and MDFSC at a profit
   for much needed cash.

Maybe I'm much slower than other readers, but it seems that some elaboration is in order on what peace has to do with anything here. Why was there a lack of peace previously, why did that (suddenly?) change, and how and why did that affect the company's business decisions? (Well, presumably because demand for civil aviation increases in times of peace. But it is less than completely clear that this was the intent here.) Toddcs (talk) 20:59, 18 March 2016 (UTC)

You may want to familiarise yourself on the history of the Cold War, especially if you were born after 1980, or thereabouts. — Quicksilver (Hydrargyrum)T @ 16:32, 28 March 2016 (UTC)
Mmmm... Well, thanks. Clearly there is no excuse for such ignorance on my part. But if I was confused by it, perhaps a few additional words (e.g, "due to the end of the Cold War") would help others who find themselves in the same predicament. Toddcs (talk) 16:08, 12 April 2016 (UTC)

Copyright problem removed[edit]

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