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Quotron II: An Early Multiprogrammed Multiprocessor for the Communication of Stock Market Data

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129593D
Original Publication Date: 1988-Mar-31
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-06

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

MONTGOMERY PHISTER, Jr.: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

The first stock market quotation systems were installed in brokers' offices in 1960 by Scantlin Electronics, Inc. (SEI). These primitive, magnetic tape based systems were enthusiastically received, and in the next two years some 800 were installed. However, SEI's success attracted competition which forced the company in late 1962 to inaugurate a new service based on a four-CPU Control Data 160A computer system located in New York City. This system processed and stored market data, meanwhile receiving requests and transmitting replies on eight 2000 bps Dataphone lines to SKI offices in some 20 cities. Low speed lines in those cities connected the offices to SKI keyboard-printers on the brokers' desks.

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

Copyright ©; 1989 by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. Used with permission.

Quotron II: An Early Multiprogrammed Multiprocessor for the Communication of Stock Market Data

MONTGOMERY PHISTER, Jr.

(Image Omitted: Author's Address: 414 Camino de las Animas, Santa Fe. NM 87501.)

The first stock market quotation systems were installed in brokers' offices in 1960 by Scantlin Electronics, Inc. (SEI). These primitive, magnetic tape based systems were enthusiastically received, and in the next two years some 800 were installed. However, SEI's success attracted competition which forced the company in late 1962 to inaugurate a new service based on a four- CPU Control Data 160A computer system located in New York City. This system processed and stored market data, meanwhile receiving requests and transmitting replies on eight 2000 bps Dataphone lines to SKI offices in some 20 cities. Low speed lines in those cities connected the offices to SKI keyboard-printers on the brokers' desks.

Categories and Subject Descriptors: K.2 [Computing Milieux]: History of Computing -- people, software, systems. D 4.1 [Software]: Operating Systems -- process. management; multiprocessor/multiprogramming. D 4. 7 -- Organization and design; real-time systems. J.1 [Computer Applications]: Administrative Data Processing -- business. General Terms: Design, Performance. Additional Terms: Stock Market, Quotron I, Quotron I 1.

Introduction

The history of the computing industry is filled with episodes in which the pioneer is left behind by later events. Engineering Research Associates and UNTVAC delivered the first commercial computers; IBM came later and became the leader. Bendix, with the G-15, and Librascope, with the LOP-30, pioneered the "minicomputer" business, and were overtaken first by CDC and then by DEC. The Laboratory for Electronics invented the floppy disk (they called it a "Bernoulli disk"), but IBM is now credited with the idea. MITS delivered the Altair personal computers in 1975, but Commodore, Apple, and IBM tower over the competition today.

Quotron ® is one of the exceptions. SKI invented the idea of the stock quotation system, delivered the first units, and then reacted quickly to competitive pressures and completed design of Quotron II in less than a year. Today Quotron Systems, Inc., (the company's name was changed in 1973) still dominates the market: at the end of 1984 there were over 72,000 Quotron terminals in 6400 subscriber locations. The early competitors are still in business, but Ultronics (later acquired by GTE and now a part of Automatic Data Processing, Inc.), and Teleregister (now part of Bunker-Ramo Corporation) share less than half the total market. Of course, Quotron's present success should be credited, not to those of us who invented Quotron I or installed Quotron II, but to the new management that took over in the early 1970s. They ha...