No formal function marked the switching off of the last machine running the mainframe Linc development environment attached to Aoraki Systems in Christchurch, at midnight on July 31.
Staff were all too busy ensuring users had migrated safely to its successor environment, Jade, and applications based on it, says Aoraki spokesman Greg Williamson.
Aoraki chief Sir Gil Simpson originally developed Linc, in 1978, with colleague Peter Hoskins, now understood to have moved out of the IT industry. “It’s fair to say Gil invented Linc,” says Williamson. “We don’t mean to minimise Peter’s contribution, but Gil set up the business structure to market, sell and manage it,” he says.
The last Aoraki-linked Linc machine belonged to Phoenix, Arizona service provider the Partners Group, which had run Linc for a number of New Zealand and Australian customers since Aoraki had ceased to run its own remote Linc service in 1999.
The ex-Linc users now return to Christchurch for their Jade processing power, running on Aroaki's own ASP, JadeDirect.
Unisys, which bought Linc from the inventors in 1980, still supports about 3500 Linc systems worldwide, and has 25 customers in New Zealand. "Linc may be dead for Aoraki, but it is very much alive and kicking for us," says Unisys spokeswoman Paula McArthur. "We still regard it as a strategic product."
Williamson says Aoraki could celebrate the switch-off at another time. “We may have a function to mark the occasion soon.”