Companies That Used Pick

Companies that used the Pick Operating System, but no longer do.


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Written 2010 by Will Johnson for Fast Forward Technologies
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I am a Pick / Universe contract programmer, and also a hardware and software dealer.  In addition I offer placement services both to job seekers and to employers.  If you need anything related to your Pick system, don't hesitate to contact me at or my office at 831 477 7125.
Hardware and Operating System Vendors
  • Ultimate Computer Corp - aka Ultimate Corp, once based in New Jersey, and originally run by Ted Sabarese.  Sold their own implementation of Pick as a native operating system from 1979 forward.  Also ported Pick on top of the MicroVax.  If you have an Ultimate computer system, please contact me for programming, sales and service at  If you ever worked on an Ultimate box, you can join the Ultimate Corp Alumni group on LinkedIn
  • Sequoia - If I recall they were based in New England, perhaps somewhere in Massachusetts.  They sold large boxes running Pick's Open Architecture, in the 1990s.  The most interesting thing about the Sequoias was that if a hardware component was failing, the computer would automatically call the vendor and report it.  A tech would show up, and you would have not even realize that there had been any problem.  Also the Sequoia had redundant components, you could pull a board and the system would keep running.  They had some kind of financial snafu at some point, but I'm not sure what that was about.  As I understand it, the Sequoia was renamed mvEnterprise and eventually folded into Pick Systems.  If you have an mvEnterprise computer system, please contact me for programming, sales and service at
  • IBM - Once the owner of Universe and Unidata, collectively called U2, IBM sold these products and a few others to Rocket Software in 2009 or 2010.


Software Vendors

  • Data Management Group based in Downer's Grove, Illinois was a software house that created and sold software primarily for fund raising for "associations and museums" as their entry in 1988's "Pick Hits" states.  One of the two founders had a background in sales, while the other had a background in programming.  The company existed from at least the mid 80s until perhaps the mid 90s.  They ran Microdata Reality and the ADDS Sequel.  The company was sold and eventually I believe disbanded.  Not sure what happened to all their old clients.  If you are one of them, shoot me an email at
  • ByTeq Computer Solutions - based in New York City.  Had a Fujitsu system running Pick R83 in 1988/89.  Had a dozen or so clients.  The owner eventually closed up shop and moved back to Alaska.
  • Brice Data Systems - based in Sacramento, their products, per the 1988 edition of "Pick Hits" were : "Datamax 2000, Datamax Accounting, Datamax Job Shop/Manufacturing, Datamax Marketing, Datamax - DMS"  The owner was Tom Eddinger, and the principal software engineer Robert Brice.  Some years ago, Brice Data Systems either merged or changed their name to Datamax, although they are recognized generally for their product name RFgen Software.  The company still exists, in Sacramento, but they spun off or sold off the sales and support of their Pick client base in 1995, to one of their resellers named Dorothy.  She handled the business end of things, while Synapse Computer Solutions (Bob Thomson and Dan Molochko) handled the hardware, upgrades and programming requests.  If you have the version of Datamax software which runs on Pick / Ultimate / Universe / D3 / MvBase, you may contact me for sales and support at
  • Wordmark - based in San Jose and later in Santa Clara, California.  They do not appear, at least not under this name, in the 1988 edition of "Pick Hits".  However the company existed in the late 1990s and early 2000s.  They are listed in 1995 as apparently the successor company for "Marc Software International" of Palo Alto which had a word processing program called WordMark.  The CEO in 1995 and later was Jeff Weidler.  Other people who worked there were Jeff Jakus and Jack Roth (now with OnGroup), among others.  The company went out of business sometime between 2002 and 2010.  They are listed in 2002 as having 60 employees.  It's unclear who got their client base.  They had been a major supporter of the now defunct Northern California Pick Users' Group.  In addition to being a reseller, they also had at least one product of their own, some kind of word processing application.
  • Brock and Associates - A programming and consulting company owned by Gary Brock, that used to be based somewhere in the Oakland, CA area.  Possibly the same one listed later in the San Diego area.
  • Technical Resource Group was a value-added reseller, based in Santa Ana, California in the early part of this decade, but numerous attempts to reach them, both by phone and email, have been met with silence, so I have to assume they are now defunct, even though their website is still functioning.
  • Dave Weaver Consulting - Active in the San Jose area around 1995-2002, then in the Sacramento area until perhaps 2006.  Current status uncertain.


End Users

  • The Academy of General Dentistry - based in Chicago, Illinois.  Had a Microdata Reality system in 1983.  This was my own, very first Pick job.
  • Hanley Dawson Cadillac Company - based in Chicago, Illinois.  Had a ADDS Super Sequel installed (as a beta test site) in 1986.  They were running ADP's Dealer Services software package.
  • Elgin Diamond Company - based in Elgin, Illinois.  Had an Ultimate DPS 6 in 1986, running SMI's RPL language.
  • Borg-Warner Insurance Services - based in Schaumburg, Illinois.  Part of the conglomerate Borg-Warner, this was a reinsurance company, existing in the early to mid 1980s.  They were put into receivership by the state, and liquidated.  They ran a Pick system on the GA (General Automation) Zebra machine.
  • M.D. IPA Health Plan - based in Rockville, Maryland had a pick system in 1987 when they ran an ad for a Pick Systems Manager with three years experience.
  • The National Retail Merchants Association - based in New York City. Installed an ADDS Mentor in 1988.  They were running the software from DMG (see above under Software Vendors).
  • Life Extension Institute - based in Manhattan, New York City.  Had a Ultivax II (MicroVax II) in 1989.
  • Skyway Freight Systems, a shipping company, based in Watsonville, California.  They employed at least several dozen people.  They ran a Pick system, I think a Unidata.  They went out-of-business in 2000. (cf: "House of cards...")
  • K/P Corporation, Livermore, CA a mailing house, had a Pick system running around 2000-2002.  They were trying to migrate off it, I think they probably have by now.
  • Foster Farms - based in Livingston, California is a food processing company, and wholesaler.  Mostly known for chicken and some dairy.  They had been running a Pick system (Universe on Unix) until about 2002-2005 when they migrated to SAP.
  • Sierra West Electronics was a business-to-business electronics wholesaler and engineering firm, based in Milpitas, California.  They were running a Datamax system in MvBase on Windows until around 2002 or so, when the company was purchased.
  • The Santa Clara County Office of Education (California) is the county organization responsible for all teacher payrolls in Santa Clara.  After the free gift of similar software from the San Mateo County Office of Education, Santa Clara installed and ran a Pick system (Universe on Unix) for several years, but then replaced it with something else, sometime before 2008.  (See here where Dan Trade discusses his counties move to Pick in the May 1993 issue of "The Databus", page 8 PDF format)
  • Salant Corporation was a garment-manufacturer and distributor, based in New York City.  They employed two hundred or more people, at multiple sites. They owned Manhattan Industries the largest part of which was called Manhattan Shirt Company, they were also the licensee for the manufacturing of all Perry Ellis clothing, and Vera scarfs and luggage.  They used a Pick system (Advanced Pick on Sequoia).  Between 1998 and 2003 they dissolved or merged.
  • Masterchem, manufacturers of such products as Kilz primer, were using an MvBase system until in 2005 they merged with Behr (Paints) and moved to SAP and GIS.
  • Preferred Trade was a stock trading company, based in San Francisco.  They were using a Pick system around 1999-2003 time period, but I believe they have migrated off it now.
  • Sage was a stock trading company, based in San Francisco.  They used a Pick system from 2001 to 2003 when they were bought by the Dutch bank ABN Amro who continued the system until Merrill Lynch bought that division in 2005.
  • Cornerstone Propane Partners LP, once the largest distributor of propane in the country was using a Pick system with TPH (The Programmer's Helper) development toolkit.  They went bankrupt sometime between 2000 and 2005.
  • San Mateo County Office of Education, the central office for payroll for teachers and other school staff.  They had used a system custom-built by Dan Trade (see above under Santa Clara) who was also the supervisor I believe, or at least the head of I.T.  He retired back in say 2000ish, his wife became the head of I.T. at that point.  They were still using Pick around 2002-2004, but apparently, they have now gone off it, reportedly in 2005 when they converted to something else.
  • OutSourceIT, Hayward, CA was using a Universe system for their call center, mailing house, and fulfillment operations until about 2008.
  • Merrill Lynch, had a Pick system, acquired in their purchase of part of ABN Amro (see above) which they ran from 2005 to 2009.  They spent a large amount of money converting it to Java / Oracle, or trying to at any rate.  I'm sure you've all heard that story before.  Money, money, money... pile of crap.



  • Long Island Pick Users' Group was a Pick User Group which existed on Long Island (just East of New York City) in the 1990s.  It disbanded in the 1990s for lack of attendance.
  • Northern California Pick Users' Group was a Pick User Group which met near San Francisco until about 2001-2005 when it disbanded for lack of attendance.  The website, run by Herb Rubin of Pathfinders had been running at least until about 2008, but only historical details were there.  Today, that domain appears to have been taken by a Japanese outfit of some sort.


See Also