UniForum '94 Roundup: What Else to See

UniForum Research Awards Program

A presentation by Hsien-Kuang Chiou, the winner of UniForum's two-year scholarship for graduate students is scheduled for 4:15 p.m. Thursday in Room 309 of Moscone Center.

Chiou, a graduate student at Polytechnic University, of Brooklyn, NY., will discuss his research and findings in the development of sophisticated monitoring tools that will make it easier to study distributed systems. Chiou's report defines a general event predicate and its semantic notion of time. He will introduce a distributed matching algorithm to detect the global event predicate.

The idea of distributed matching is to decompose a global event predicate to some local predicates that can be detected by local processes in parallel. These local processes communicate with other processes by passing messages to achieve the overall detecting goals.

New Panel for Windows NT Session

The UniForum '94 Conference session "Where Will Windows NT Fit in the Enterprise Computing Environment," Track 3 Session 2, to be held Wednesday from 10:30 to 11:45 a.m., will have a panel of experts presenting their perspectives instead of the single speaker listed in the program.

Chairing the session will be Jim Daniell, vice president of Bridge Builder Technologies. The panelists will be Roel Pieper, president and CEO of Ungermann-Bass and former president and CEO of UNIX System Laboratories; Judith Hurwitz, president of Hurwitz Consulting Group; and Marc Schulman, president of Technology Strategies.

Windows NT, Microsoft's 32-bit operating system for distributed computing, was first known as OS/2 3.0. Microsoft hired David Cutler, formerly of Digital Equipment Corp., to manage development of the system and he suggested the name WNT, taking the next letters in the alphabet after VMS, DEC's 32-bit operating system for minicomputers. By 1992, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates had christened the new OS Windows NT and a marketing effort was underway that had all eyes on what some considered a potentially world-changing product.

Pieper, Hurwitz and Schulman have been among those who have correctly assessed NT's much more tentative entry into the marketplace. In fact, a year ago at UniForum '93, Pieper predicted that Microsoft would have a sizable hurdle to overcome in the tying together the various elements of a distributed system with NT. "Microsoft doesn't know what it means to deal with that heterogeneous an environment from a connectivity point of view," he told a UniForum audience.

While NT is neither the massive success that Microsoft had predicted nor the failure that some had hoped, today it is quietly gathering momentum and causing the UNIX market to redefine itself. The Common Open Software Environment (COSE) was seen by many as an attempt by UNIX system vendors to unify their market against the common threat of Windows NT. The Microsoft product, which had not yet been released, then became known by some as "threatware."

The panel will tackle the image and the reality of Windows NT in today's market as they predict where NT will fit into tomorrow's enterprise computing environment.

Beach Boys Tickets

The Beach Boys will be performing Wednesday at 8 p.m. at San Francisco Civic Auditorium, Grove and Larkin streets. Tickets are available according to the following schedule:

Before 4 p.m. Wednesday:

  • Paid attendees for any of the UniForum conferences may pick up their tickets Monday and Tuesday in the registration area on the mezzanine level of Moscone Center, or Wednesday in the general registration area on the street level of the North Hall.

  • Exhibitors may pick up their tickets from the UniForum '94 show management office.

  • Gold Card holders may get their tickets at the Gold Card Lounge.

  • UniForum members may get tickets at the UniForum booth, No. 4421 in the North Hall.

    After 4 p.m. Wednesday all available tickets will be at the Beach Boys Hut in the registration area and will be available to all show attendees on a first-come/first-served basis.

    Open Systems Salary Survey

    UniForum '94 attendees who have not had a chance to participate in the Open Systems Industry Salary Survey sponsored by UniForum and Pencom Systems are urged to do so at the Open Systems Staffing Expo booth near the entrance to the North Hall of Moscone Center. A 30-page preliminary report on the survey is also available there.

    The results of survey forms completed at the show are to be consolidated with the preliminary results and a final report issued following the show.

    This survey is the first of its kind covering open systems professionals. The survey form was mailed to UniForum members and to those on Pencom's database and posted on more than 10 Internet bulletin boards with about two million subscribers.

    All participants will have a chance to win a Sharp Wizard 512K personal digital assistant.

    The May issue of UniForum Monthly will present an in-depth feature article on the salary survey.