Altergo Software (1976-1982)

Company Overview:

Altergo Software was a systems software company founded on the Shadow II TP Monitor (a CICS alternative), originally written by Simon Wheaton Smith at Cook's Travel Agents if I remember correctly.

Along the way, they acquired distribution rights to a query system, CPG.

In 1977 or so, they established a marketing arm in the US based in Boston, with offices in Faneuil Hall. In 1980 or so, the US operation changed name to Insac Software and later moved to Atlanta, GA, before foundering around 1982.

My Involvement:

I joined Altergo in 1976 and most of my time was spent troubleshooting problems with: In 1979 I moved to the US for a 12 month stint to provide technical support, performing both Pre-Sales and Customer Support functions out of the Boston headquarters (but as you've probably noticed, I'm still here). In 1981, I followed headquarters down to Atlanta where we had offices in Dunwoody.

Shining Moments:

I became quite proficient at diagnosing local and remote (bisync) 3270 protocols under DOS/VS. Debugging local terminal support required understanding operating system internals, particularly in the handling of error conditions. One of the big challenges was when we encountered a 3270 compatible terminal that wasn't as compatible as the manufacturer claimed. Usually they would claim that their terminals worked under CICS, but that didn't help us move forward. My job in those situations was to prove the incompatibility to both the customer and the manufacturers engineers, plus analyze what it would take to support them.