[TUHS] Some AT&T Promotional Material/Pricing from Early 80s

segaloco via TUHS tuhs at tuhs.org
Tue Jun 6 13:04:53 AEST 2023

Hello, I've just today received another box from the person I got that set of UNIX manual binders from and hoo boy there's some cool stuff in here.  It'll probably be a bit before I scan it all, but among the many bits is a folder bearing "Software by the Bell System" on the front cover with a photo of some tape reels lying around.  The back is a simple black 70's Bell system logo.  Flipping to the interior, the left panel of the folder bears facsimile AT&T letterhead with a "letter" from Otis L. Wilson, Technology Licensing Manager, denoting what promotional materials are enclosed.  Among the various terms of the licenses mentioned is:

'all software comes "as is" -- with no maintenance agreements or technical support'

Between this and the Bell logos all over this stuff, I presume it is prior to 1982.

As for the contents themselves, there are pages for V6, V7, Mini-UNIX, PWB, 32V, and System III, the last of which is a photocopy whereas all the others are on some nice glossy cardstock, so I presume this was hot out the door on the heels of System III as a commercial release.  Aside from pages describing each of these UNIX versions, there is a separate page describing "The Phototypesetter Package", in other words, pre-DWB distribution of TROFF and friends.  Aside from the UNIX stuff, there are also various utilities amongst IBM 360/370 and Honeywell 600/6000 systems and some various scientific and mathematical systems.  Also included is "Summary of UNIX System III" which looks to be a bit of an amalgamation of info from some of the "Documents for UNIX 3.0" set distributed with System III.  Unfortunately, being for external release, the document is very of the mindset of "here's what changes from V7/32V to System III" rather than that sweet sweet "here's what changes from PWB 2.0 to 3.0" that I hope to find (or create) sometime.  Anywho, finally amongst the promo material was an (undated) letter from M.B. Wicker (Technology Licensing, AT&T) to an unlisted recipient, obviously just copy they sent to everyone, essentially communicating the terms of UNIX System III in more detail.  Between all of these materials, the following are UNIX-related prices I could find:

UNIX Sixth Edition
    - Initial CPU - $20,000
    - Additional CPUs - $6,700
    - UNIX Programmer's Manual - $30
    - Documents for Use with UNIX - $30
    - System III upgrade - $26,000
    - System III add CPU - $10,300

    - Initial CPU - $30,000
    - Additional CPUs - $10,000
    - PWB/UNIX User's Manual - $40
    - Documents for PWB/UNIX - $40
    - System III upgrade - $16,000
    - System III add CPU - $7,000

    - Initial CPU - $12,000
    - Additional CPUs - $4,000
    - UNIX Programmer's Manual - $30
    - Doucments for Use with Mini-UNIX - $30

    - Initial CPU - $28,000
    - Additional CPUs - $9,400
    - UNIX Programmer's Manual, Vol. 1 - $40
    - UNIX Programmer's Manual, Vols. 2A and 2B - $60
    - System III upgrade - $18,000
    - System III add CPU - $7,600

    - Initial CPU - $40,000
    - Additional CPUs - $15,000
    - UNIX/32V Programmer's Manual - $40
    - UNIX/32V Programmer's Manual, Vols. 2A and 2B - $60
    - System III upgrade - $6,000
    - System III add CPU - $2,000

    - Initial CPU - $43,000
    - Additional CPUs - $16,000
    - UNIX User's Manual - $40
    - Programmer's Manual for UNIX System III, Volume 2A and 2B - $40 each
    - The separate page detailing System III further goes on to break down that a non-refundable payment of $25,000 to sublicense object code

Phototypesetter (Version 7)
    - Initial CPU - $3,300
    - Additional CPUs - $1,100
    - Documents for Use with Phototypesetter - Version Seven - $20

Additionally there are options to upgrade a V6&V7 supporting license to System III for $14,000 and add additional CPUs to those terms for $6,300.  The same for a group of V7 and PWB for $4,000 and $3,000 for first CPU and addtional CPUs respectively.

Of note is that all documents listed above could be purchased from the Computing Information Service in Murray Hill *except* those issued for UNIX System III, which instead were to be ordered from the Western Electric Patent Licensing Organization.  This reflects the shift to WECo distribution from Bell Labs themselves, as would continue to be the case for 3B20S shipments of 4.1 and the eventual 5.0 and System V releases.  In addition to the promotional materials are also "Specimen Copy" blanks of the various licenses involved in at least System III, perhaps other versions (there are blanks where LICENSED SOFTWARE is supposed to be written/typed in).

Finally, in the same folder is also a nice stack of UNIX summary documents spanning different versions.  There are summaries for PWB, Mini-UNIX, V7, and 32V.  Additionally, there is a document "Proposal to Provide VAX UNIX system support at Berkeley" by Bob Fabry.  A quick internet search didn't turn up a PDF of this, so I have to wonder if it's preserved somewhere.  If not, it will be.  The other document here may prove even more interesting though: "The UNIX Time-Sharing System for UNIVAC 1100 Series Systems - 7th Edition Summary", dated October 19th, 1981.  Can't say I've seen this anywhere, just mention of the UNIVAC version in the BSTJ article on UNIX porting experiences.  A quick perusal yields a document very similar to the V7 and 32V summaries, but with UNIVAC-isms pointed out.

Anywho, there's more material in this box than just this stuff, but this floated to the top as particularly significant.  Among other contents are a "UNIX System and 'C' Language" "Training from the Source" foldout from WECo's Corporate Education group, listing 16 courses available at various training centers.  There is a copy (nicely produced) of the 1984 draft /usr/group standard along with a stapled, standard printer document titled "Reviewer's Guide to the PROPOSED /usr/group Standard" dated March 14, 1984.  I must say, the publication quality for this being a proposed standard is quite nice, I'd expect a draft to be lucky to have staples if not being just paper-clipped together, but it has a nice printed cover with a logo and all.  There is one other thing but I'm making a separate thread for that one, might warrant quite different feedback than this stuff.

- Matt G.

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