x'12' (18). SYSCOR, ST Systems, and McGill University

posted Nov 28, 2012, 1:10 PM by Jeff Ogden   [ updated Jun 7, 2014, 8:13 AM ]
From: Jeff Ogden
Subject: SYSCOR, the 12th MTS site?
Date: November 27, 2012 3:59:16 PM EST
To: mts-comments@umich.edu, Suzan Alexander, DLBodwin, Jim Bodwin

While looking for something else, I came across this item on page 13 of the June 1, 1987 issue of U-M Computing News (vol 2, No. 11):

Montreal Firm Is Twelfth MTS Site

SYSCOR, which provides computing services to two hos-
pitals in the Montreal area, has become the twelfth site to
run the Michigan Terminal System (MTS). The hospital
put MTS into production on an IBM 4381 central comput-
ing system. The other MTS sites are Durham University
and the University of Newcastle upon Tyne (Great Britain),
Wayne State University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute,
Laboratorio de Computacao Cientifica (Brazil), Simon
Fraser University, the University of British Columbia, the
University of Alberta, the Hewlett-Packard Company, and
two sites at The University of Michigan: the Computing
Center and the Department of Human Genetics.

Is this likely the same as the following site that received D6.0 in 1988?

    McGill University Hospitals  D6.0 (1988)
              ATTN: Clifford Kuhl
              C/O ST Systems
              Southfield, MI

If they are the same, I sort of knew about them, but didn't really know if they ran MTS on a production basis. This makes it sort of sound like they did.

Anyone remember why they were running MTS?


And here is what the Michigan Terminal System article on Wikipedia says as of 27 November 2021:

INRIA, the French national institute for research in computer science and control in Grenoble, France ran MTS on a trial basis, as did the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, Southern Illinois University, the Naval Postgraduate School, Amdahl Corporation, ST Systems for McGill University Hospitals, Stanford University, and University of Illinois in the United States, and a few other sites.

Given the announcement from the U-M CC News from back in June 1987, it seems that ST Systems may have run MTS on more than a trial basis. And it seems likely that the name SYSCOR might be a better one to use.

On Nov 27, 2012, at 5:07 PM, Thomas Valerio wrote:

  This popped up in a google search:

General description

Created in 1982, Syscor is a non-profit corporation with more than 200
experts in ICTs. The company is the property of the McGill University
Health Centre (MUHC), and its mission is to manage IT operations at the
MUHC by supporting clinical activities, research and administration. In
addition, Syscor is responsible for the acquisition, integration and
operation of information systems, including materials, software and
infrastructure elements. The MUHC is among the leading Canadian medical
centres, recognized worldwide for its excellence in the areas of patient
care, research and teaching. It includes six teaching hospitals affiliated
with the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University. Syscor offers a dynamic
and rewarding work environment and shares the same important goal as the
MUHC team: providing the best possible care to patients and their
families. Help us make a difference by joining our team.

   -- Tom/

On Nov 27, 2012, at 10:59 PM, Mike Alexander wrote:

Interesting.  I knew McGill looked at MTS, but I didn't know, or had forgotten, that they ran it in production.  I wonder if this article is a little exaggerated?


On Nov 28, 2012, at 3:42 AM, Jeff Ogden wrote:

I found this in an archive from the *Forum MTS-Forum conference (not that it helps much):

4808/14. Steve Burling        17:12 Wed Oct  7/87      3 lines

   As an additional note:  The ST Systems folks (who run MTS at
   McGill in Montreal) are eager to have these changes, and are
   willing to be guinea pigs.

On 11/28/12 1:02 AM, Jeff Ogden wrote to Greg Marks

So, what were you  doing in 1987?  Do you remember anything about this?


On Nov 28, 2012, at 9:45 AM, Gregory Marks wrote back:


That does not ring a bell at all.  But then I have no memory of the Human Genetics at UM operation either.

I do recall a trainload of Macintosh computers and something about an NSF network, but not SYSCOR.

 . . .


On Nov 28, 2012, at 10:03 AM, Suzan Alexander wrote:

I seem to remember doing a distribution for McGill in '88, just before we left for England. Maybe Diane will remember more clearly than me; her brain is younger!


On Dec 2, 2012, at 12:47 PM, DLBodwin wrote:

We had McGill reps to some MTS Workshop, as I recall.   And I'm pretty sure we sent at least one distribution to them.