Chronology - 1980s: A Decade of Expansion


The Graphics Division was officially recognized as a part of the CSD.

UW was rated number one in Honeywell's Survey of the top high-tech. school's in North America. (MIT placed seventh). Faculty at the University of Toronto and Dalhousie, however, criticized UW for ignoring academic computer science and for compromising their integrity by doing too much to court industry (Ponzo 60).

Northern Digital Incorporated, (founded by Jerry Krist, a former staff member in the Computer Systems Group) becomes another spin off company of the University of Waterloo.

IBM PCs replaced the SuperPETs built in collaboration with Commodore and UW.

By 1981 UW was producing roughly one third of Canada's computer science graduates At this stage, there were not enough computer science graduates to meet the requirements of industry. (Ponzo 60).

The Honeywell 6050 was given increased capacity.

In 1981 Wes Graham was made Dean of Computing at UW.

The CSG equipped the MicroWAT system with interpreters for APL, Basic, COBOL, FORTRAN, and Pascal (Cowan, Graham, Mackie et al. 30).

HOSTCOM was developed, as a simple remote file system, to support communications with DEC PDP-11, VAX, and IBM 370 and Series/1 computers (Cowan, Graham, Mackie et al. 30). WATSYS appeared in 1981. It was a message-based, portable operating system. It contained a distributed file system that allowed multiple file systems to appear to the user as a single image. It was one component of the Waterloo PC Network (Cowan, Graham, Mackie et al. 30).

Waterloo Basic Enterprises Ltd. was acquired by Structured Computing Systems Ltd. on March 23, 1981 and was renamed WATCOM, Waterloo Computing Systems Inc.

The company initially focused on software licensing. Later, in the early 1980s, it made inroads in the scientific and engineering markets establishing itself as a supplier of programming and information tools worldwide. The company eventually served customers in over sixty countries with highly regarded products like the WATFOR-77 compiler.

UW Special Collections. GA 133-1741. Wes Graham Fonds. Series 4.2: UW Files Post-1973. Memorandum: August 5, 1983.

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