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English Knol Project
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The Pick operating system is named for it's co-creator Richard A "Dick" Pick (d. 19 Oct 1994), who created it in 1965-67 along with Don Nelson. The Pick operating system was originally specialized for generalized storage of elements in a database. They called it a generalized information system. (Source: Donald B. Nelson, Richard A. Pick, Kenton B. Andrews, "GIM-I, a Generalized Information Management Language and Computer System," afips, pp.169, 1967 Proceedings of the Spring Joint Computer Conference, 1967)
In the Pick Operating System, all the data fields are variable length, this in the world of the 60s and 70s when the competitors were all still using fixed-length fields. Each data file can have an associated dictionary, which defines but does not restrict the data fields. The dictionary does restrict report output, but has no effect on BASIC programs access and update, which ignores the dictionary whether present or not. The data fields are all stored in ASCII format in the files. Typeless BASIC is the programming language, and there is an as-needed report generator, which has been given various names by the different Pick vendors over the years : English, Retrieve, UniQuery, etc. Programmers must transform field content in BASIC using conversions, but also the dictionaries can have embedded conversions for the use of the report generator. There is also a procedural language called PROC from which RPL was developed. Although PROC exists on almost all Pick implementations (not on Prime Information), RPL was only installed on a relatively small number of systems, usually just those sold by SMI of Chicago, who had either created or greatly expanded it.
The first Pick licensee was Microdata which began selling systems in 1974 under the Reality brand. The second was a New Jersey company called The Ultimate Corp which began selling Pick systems in 1979. Ultimate was started by Ted Sabarese who had been a Microdata dealer. Starting in 1981 a dozen vendors jumped on the bandwagon when the licensee price fell along with the price of microcomputers. This Pick implementation is referred to, in the industry, as R83. You can see a rough draft at the complete time line for Pick and Pick-like systems at my article Pick Operating System People There is a hyper-truncated "History of Pick" video made by Pick Systems in 1990 loaded at this link on YouTube.
Discussion Sites and Lists
- Newsgroup at comp.databases.pick which can be read through Google Groups.
- U2 User group for users of Universe and Unidata here, it is also an organization which annually elects a Board of Directors. The U2 group has two mailing lists, you can subscribe to one or both at this link. The list can be read as a newsgroup at this link at nabble. The archives for this list can natively be browsed from this link. The list also appears to be archived, in an easier format at Old Nabble, at least back to July 2010.
- Wiki devoted to Pick topics at Pickwiki.
- JBASE which is another Pick clone, has a discussion group at this link.
- Discussion site as part of LinkedIn at this link.
- OpenQM discussion group at this link
- TigerLogic has a discussion board here
- Revelation Software has two discussion forums on www.revelation.com. An open discussion forum where anyone can request a login and then post questions and answers for any Revg, ARev or OpenInsight related topic. Within a private WORKS area, there is a second forum where subscribers from around the world all join together to assist each other.
- SB+ discussion list hosted by the U2 group.
- AccuTerm has a discussion forum at http://www.asent.com/forum/default.asp
- Stackoverflow sometimes has questions and answers at the links for U2 for Pick for multivalue
- Martyn Phillips from RevSoft UK regularly maintains a personal blog for the Revelation Software community and he also maintains a YouTube channel for OpenInsight demos and tutorials.
- Submit your resume, for any open Pick job that I have by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org
- I maintain a list of open positions by combing all of the below sources and more. You can subscribe to my list for $10 per month, which is really very little considering what you can gain.
- Job listings and available workers can be found at pickjobs.net
- More job listings can be found at headhunter Chuck Okeson's site SoftwareSearch
- Some Pick jobs are also offered through Dice.
- Jobs are also posted on a Pick board on LinkedIn.
- One headhunter who has been involved in the Pick marketplace for over 20 years is Matt Hart at Execu-Sys in New York City. The company is on LinkedIn at this link -- they have a website at this link.
- Another headhunter is Joe Chelston of BSG Staffing, based in Sewell, New Jersey
- Elkie Holland with Prospectus is a Pick recruiter, mainly with jobs in England
- International Spectrum magazine also has job listings at this link , evidently scraped from elsewhere on the Internet
- An AOL Search for Pick Universe Jobs
- Juju Job Search for Pick Universe
- MSN has a site called CareerBuilder which has Pick Universe jobs as well
- Finally Google has a directory for Pick employment at this link
- Ladybridge has a version of the Pick Operating System, available for free trial of the commercial product, or free download of a personal version (which has limitations) available at this link. During the installation, when it asks you to enter a license number, you type in Personal at that point, and it will load a personal-use version. That link however I noticed, has some sort of session id attached to it, so I'll also give you instructions for how to navigate from the main page. Start here at openqm.com, in the left-hand panel click on Sales and Downloads, when the next page comes up, click on Sales and Downloads again. I know that makes no sense, but when you do it will open a sub-menu when you will see and click next on Current Downloads. You will then see a page of the versions for Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, Mac, etc. Click on one of those and the download will start.
- A popular 4GL associated with the Pick Operating System is System Builder, which was merged some time back with Unidata, then with U2 under IBM and now apparently is part of Rocket Software. There is a Wikipedia article about System Builder which provides a web link where you can download it as a trial/personal edition. At one time there were other 4GLs that did not gain the traction that System Builder did, these were BlackSmith, The Programmer's Helper, Forge (by Chandru Murthi) and Wizard (originally developed by Ken Simms). It seems like BlackSmith, The Programmer's Helper and Forge are now defunct, but Wizard can be purchased at this link.
- Revelation Software has a website at this link where you can download an evaluation copy of OpenInsight 9.2. This incorporates O4W which is a web authoring tool that can enable web sites to be created using OpenInsight's native data and also several flavours of Pick and SQL. The package also includes a number of data connectors that enable develoeprs to use the OpenInsight GUI design and reporting tools against Rocket Software's U2 (OpenInsight for U2), TigerLogic's D3 (OpenInsight for D3) and several flavours of SQL (The SQL connector). At the time of writing, other Pick connectors are in production.
- Rocket Software the new owners of the U2 products has (as of 27 Feb 2011), a free Personal Edition of Universe 10.3.10 for Windows for download at this link, and a free Personal Edition of Unidata 7.2.7 for Windows for download at this link.
- Accuterm, an intelligent terminal program with scripting abilities by Pete Schellenbach at Asent, has a free developer's version. It includes a smart program editor called WED. I've never used that, so someone else will have to review it for me. It also includes a way to present your Pick data on the web. I review that among other Pick-to-Web solutions in my article Getting Pick data onto the Web
- Does Visage have a free download of some kind?
- I've already mentioned above about the U2 Users Group (U2UG), for Universe and Unidata users.
- There are, spotted around the country, also Pick Users Groups, although some of these have disbanded, for example the San Francisco group aka Northern California Pick Users Group, no longer meets, however apparently the Seattle group is still active. I think Jonathan has a list of the still existing active groups. There is also a Pick group on LinkedIn. (I refuse to add Google Groups users groups or Plaxo groups. If they can't figure out how to have a website which is open and free, they don't deserve to be recognized.)
- I received an e-mail in Nov 2009 from Revelation Software inviting me to attend a meeting of the San Francisco area Revelation User Group, so I assume this is a real group that has regular meetings.
I know of the following mass-market books (as opposed to vendor manuals) which cover Pick, sorted below by publication date. There are even more books at my article Books on the Pick Operating System. Each of the below, is a link to where you can buy this book on Amazon
- Pick the Easy Way: Database and Word Processing for the New User, by Matthew H Stern and Betsy Pollock, Comprehensive Information Sciences (June 1986)
- The PICK Operating System, by Roger J. Bourdon, Comprehensive Information Sciences (June 1986)
- The Pick Perspective, by Ian Jeffrey Sandler, part of The Pick Library edited by Jonathan E Sisk, Tab Books, 1989
- Exploring the Pick Operating System, by Jonathan E Sisk, Steve Van Arsdale, Sams Publishing, 1989
- Pick for Professionals: Advanced Methods and Techniques, by Harvey E Rodstein, part of The Pick Library edited by Jonathan E Sisk, Tab Books 1990
- Access, the Pick Enquiry Language (Chapman and Hall Computing), by Malcolm Bull, Chapman & Hall (February 1991)
- The Pick Programming Language: Basic, by Malcolm Bull (Chapman and Hall Computing), 1994
- Advanced Pick: Open Database and Operating System, by Roger J Bourdon, Addison Wesley Longman; 2 Sub edition (June 1995)
Brian Leach has four privately printed books on Pick available for sale at
Rocket has all of their manuals online at:
"Unidata" at http://search.abc-directory.com/unidata
- MultiValue Community WebRing - Originally I believe started by Herb Rubin of Pathfinders. At one point the WebRing had perhaps 180 vendors in it. Then the underlying software was taken over by some idiots who perverted it. At any rate there are still several dozen vendors in the ring.
- Information flavor accounts for Pick flavor people
- Companies which use Pick
- Pick Hits
- Companies Which Used Pick
- Pick Dealers in California in 1988 and Today
- Richard A "Dick" Pick (d. 19 Oct 1994)
- The Ultimate Corp
- Books on the Pick Operating System
- Getting Pick data onto the Web