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Unisys cancels MCP Express

Requiring purchase of a supported version. The price is not exorbitant so possible I may revisit in the future but unlikely since there are also likely a lot of restrictions on use that were moot for the free product, so unless that changes Unisys MCP is dead as far as I'm concerned, Genera and MVS will fulfill this interest going forward, happy to have had the experience twice and my version is what's really exciting so can let Unisys MCP go. The Unisys free thing never really fit a FOSS culture the opposite of the situation with the Hercules derivatives and alpha emulation based lisp machine. Some kinda moral here. The Burroughs architecture was by far the most elegant architecture and it did confirm the value of that property in use, but in Capitalist society, which is production for exchange, the excellence of a product is never the final determinant of its fate. Root (talk) 04:27, 2 November 2021 (UTC)

Although the MCP personal edition is not unreasonably priced for its class, it is in the class of softwares that require continual payment of a license to operate. That pretty much kills it for me even for personal enjoyment. The practice is widespread, Intuit has a similar one now for the desktop version renewable yearly. Root (talk) 16:11, 6 November 2022 (UTC)
Above could be overly exclusive and ofc Unisys policy could change or there could be different ways of working out some cooperation so don't wanna incinerate a possible bridge here. Root (talk) 20:38, 12 January 2024 (UTC)

Elliott AI ™

c. 4717

After dropping their CMOS line and completing the transition to commodity Intel, Unisys made MCP available free for personal use to run from Windows 64 bit as "MCP Express". I don't recall learning of this before 2019Q3 and didn bring it up till end of Q1 '20 (version 5). It has to be replaced by a new download every July 31st.

Thus, after 35 years, I now have hands on a current MCP (18) system [1] and that opens a role for the Unisys MCP in the DCP, where "Unisys MCP" will be used wherever the distinction needs to be made clear. Usages like ODT, DMS II or MARC unambiguously refer to the Unisys product line as we never intended taking more than inspiration from it.[2]Much of the base mainframe stuff is available in the Windows based product and updated for the current epoch, though obviously it's a limited version of the actual priced product that runs on their hardware.

The most natural form of integration of Unisys MCP is to allow it as an alternate to linux node in a DCP. A design principle to inform and guide such an effort is that Unisys MCP shall only have integration with the DCP cognitive architecture and not the physical one, each Unisys MCP in a DCP will be an island (Unisys internetworking notwithstanding) unlike the linux nodes which form a single system image. Thus, the integration can be in software built with the standard Unisys dev kit targeting the DCP cognitive architecture.[3]

Thus, "Elliot AI", where Elliot suggests the Algol, Organick, or perhaps the ET display 🖖. Obviously, the proviso in the README for domain space about intentions versus production realizations applies to this a fortiori. However it is a serious intention and due to the small size of any possible market, I will make anything that does reach the stage of distribution available at no cost (other than standard first class capitation and the passed thru cost of any used hosting resources).[4]

IBM zCX. et. al.

Just learned of this today, it's integration of linux with zOS via docker. Obviously the market share considerations that would have forced the Unisys support to be free don't apply to zOS which is essentially MVS. Unclear about any details, what comparable ability it gives to run MVS components but should have them by the August MCP Express license turnover. Root (talk) 15:59, 16 May 2020 (UTC)

Recalled Hercules based emulation and now looking at which OS to run, VM or MVS. By the time of the next MCP XE release should have the larger legacy brand up and like very much that it can be run on linux instead of requiring dos64. It looks like IBM is also less aggressive about crippling things at least as far as the far downlevel things like MVS 3.8 are concerned. Root (talk) 19:32, 17 May 2020 (UTC)
Decided MVS first, then VM at the next cycle of local box replacement at which point the MVS stuff can be moved under VM. Root (talk) 19:56, 17 May 2020 (UTC)

Janus / TCP v3 SNAFU

As the comments here (2020-1-17) make clear there is a conflict between versions of Windows after build 1903 (2019) and the legacy drivers emebedded in MCP Express that break the Unisys product. Ran into this because Windows forces updates, before which the MCP installation was working fine. After the upgrade to 1903, MARC could only be run from the ODT and CANDE appears broken. Unclear what product that post is calling "Developer's Studio" but decided to just uninstall current MCP Express and see if as the author says, the next version will address the issue. Assume it's MCP developers studio which you can't even find a clear way to buy, I hate that kind of shit so I will likely drop Unisys entirely from my plans if the next release of Express doesn't resolve the problem. For that that reason moved the § below off the obverse and will indefinitely postpone its intent in all likelihood since the combination of questionable conception and obstruction/breakage are likely fatal to it. Root (talk) 18:54, 12 May 2020 (UTC)

As subsequent posts tell at the post above, Unisys didn address the issue in the next MCP Express release. I imagine they will eventually but the workaround suggested doesn't really do much, running the ancient drivers on a post 1903 DOS stack just creates a crash prone system and I don't imagine this will be addressed any time soon since it's only in the personal/free product and the commercial product has a durable fix with a modern TCP support, so shifting my interest to MVS/Hercules. Best guess would be that it will be a couple of years if ever before they fix the free product. Root (talk) 06:16, 27 July 2020 (UTC)
Just checked to see what current situation was and learned MCP 20 was released last month. Unisys apparently decided to force all web access to a clumsy front page with a crappy search interface instead of allowing search engine URLs to land on their references. At this point not going to waste anymore time to find out if there'll be a new MCP Express, maybe will check next year or just let Unisys MCP die as far as I'm concerned, finally, and be content with my version of MCP. Root (talk) 21:56, 25 July 2021 (UTC)

  1. At DBCC, the SPO for the 6700 was in my office, it and the production 6800 had between them less than 2 MWord of RAM and there was not much more than 1GB of disk, if that. The MCP XE I run has 2X the processors, 32X the RAM and about 20X the disk. Mill is harder to judge, but i5 3.3GHZ is about 50X times the 150ns B6800 clock, and it does about 83K MIPS vs presumed less than 10 MIPS for the B6xx. The i5 box was bought refurbished for about $100. The B6700 was gotten off a state of FL salvage depot but it probably used more than a $100 of electricity a month. The prod machine served 500 transaction types to several hundred terminals and the 6700 served a dev staff of about 10. During registration I sat at the production SPO tweaking system factors, before the dev machine came up I think.
  2. "CANDE", "WFL", and "MCP" are the actual overloads, "SPO" isn't really used in the modern Unisys culture, it's been lost from the mainframe days, so the smalltalk thing I'm doing doesn't map to anything specific, although functionally MARC and the ODT would be the analogs. The original SPO was just an ODT with supervisor permissions. Whose thing, mine or Unisys that is referred to by the overloaded terms will be clear in context (within Unisys MCP or not) and use the same "Unisys" modifier where needed.
  3. Seems like a good enough place to say I have no interest in the Unisys Univac stuff. There appear to be only a couple hundred MCP sites still running and a good number of them are software houses serving the remainder, a mix of banks, govt units, etc.
  4. When I first encountered MCP and its arch and product lines they were already decades old and I would remark that if Burroughs had followed the advancement of computer science over that time they would have various features they lacked as common business oriented systems, such as OO, AI, etc. Elliot AI is a possible realization of that, albeit now with 3X times the elapsed time since the inaugural MCP. Current MCP bears mark 59.* which I take it roughly marks years from the first mark release.