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Bio/Description

Co-founder of Tymeshare, Inc. along with Dave Schmidt, they developed the company in 1964 to sell time-sharing services and software packages for users. It had two SDS/XDS 940 computers; access was via direct dial-up to the computers. In 1968, it purchased Dial Data, another time-sharing service bureau. The company created its own successful proprietary network, TYMNET, which was spun off into a subsidiary company. Ann and Norm Hardy, Bill Frantz, Joe Rinde, and LaRoy Tymes developed the idea of using remote sites with minicomputers to communicate with the mainframes. The minicomputers would serve as the network's nodes, running a program called a "Supervisor" to route data. In November 1971, the first Tymnet Supervisor program became operational. Written in assembly code by LaRoy Tymes for the SDS 940, with architectural design contributions from Norman Hardy, the "Supervisor" was the beginning of the Tymnet network. The Varian 620i was also used for the TYMNET nodes. During those first years, Tymshare and its direct customers were the network's only users. It soon became apparent that the SDS 940 could not keep up with the rapid growth of the network. In 1972, Joseph Rinde joined the Tymnet group and began porting the Supervisor code to the 32-bit Interdata 7/32, as the 8/32 was not yet ready. In 1973, the 8/32 became available, but the performance was disappointing and a crash-effort was made to develop a machine that could run Rinde's Supervisor. In 1974, a second, more efficient version of the Supervisor software became operational. The new Tymnet "Engine" software was used on both the Supervisor machines and on the nodes. After the migration to Interdata, they started developing Tymnet on the PDP-10. Tymshare sold a copy of the Tymnet network software to TRW, who created their own private network, TRWNET. Their first offices were on Distel Drive in Los Altos, California. The headquarters moved to Cupertino in the early 1970s and was there until 1984. Inevitably the building became another Apple facility and today is known simply as “Valley Green Six”. Tymshare, Inc. was a well-known timesharing service and third-party hardware maintenance company throughout its history and competed with companies such as Four Phase, Compuserve, and Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC, Digital). Tymshare developed or acquired innovative technologies, including data networking (Tymnet), electronic data interchange (EDI), credit card and payment processing (TTS, Western29), telecommunications provisioning (COEES), office automation (August, Augment) and database technology (Magnum). The computing platforms included the XDS 940 (Tymcom-IX), XDS Sigma 7, DEC PDP-10 models KA, KI, KL and KS (Tymcom-X/XX, Tenex, August, Tops-20), XKL Toad-1, IBM 360 & 370 (VM, MVS, GNOSIS) servers. In 1984 Tymshare was acquired by McDonnell Douglas, restructured, split up and portions were resold, spun off, and merged with other companies from 1984 through 2004 when most of its legacy network was finally shut down. Islands of its network technology continued as part of EDI, at least into 2008. Rights to use technology developed by Tymshare is currently held by Boeing, British Telecom (BT), Verizon, and AT&T Inc. due to the acquisitions and mergers from 1984 through 2005. (Note: McDonnell Douglas was acquired by Boeing).
  • Noted For:

    Co-founder of Tymeshare, developer and procurer of innovative technologies, including data networking (Tymnet), electronic data interchange (EDI), credit card and payment processing (TTS, Western29), telecommunications provisioning (COEES), office automation (August, Augment) and database technology (Magnum)
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