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Revision Date Username Comment
1519 Dec 2014 - 16:51ThomasMisa 
1419 Dec 2014 - 16:45ThomasMisa 
1319 Dec 2014 - 16:43ThomasMisa 
1219 Dec 2014 - 16:42ThomasMisa 
1119 Dec 2014 - 16:30ThomasMisaAttached file SHARE-security-compliance-logo.jpg 
1022 Jul 2014 - 16:14ThomasMisa 
922 Jul 2014 - 16:12ThomasMisa 
803 Oct 2013 - 15:21norqu036? 
718 Jun 2013 - 13:32NicLewis 
618 Jun 2013 - 10:13NicLewis 
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In August 1955, the RAND Corporation sponsored a meeting of seventeen organizations, all of whom had ordered the IBM 704 scientific and engineering-oriented mainframe computer. The purpose of the meeting was to provide a forum for the sharing of information and programs among users of the 704. "SHARE," as it was named, became the first computer user group, and grew to a membership of forty-seven installations within the first nine months. Membership in SHARE offered access to an IBM-maintained library of 300 computer programs, among other benefits. In order to facilitate this exchange of software, SHARE members agreed to a standardization of their system hardware. Previous attempts to share routines among users of the IBM 701 computer were hampered due to site-specific customizations that often made programs incompatible between what were technically identical machines. Part of SHARE's member statement included the obligation of members to exercise a cooperative spirit, to help foster a minimal level of standardization and cooperation among members. While members were not bound to follow the group's recommendations, the cooperative atmosphere was largely successful in developing a largely-standardized array of computer installations for the purpose of software and support exchange. SHARE was not focused solely on directing user activity, as the group also sought to influence IBM's hardware and software development and support. The goal was to SHARE members themselves conducted pioneering development of numerous projects, including applications and operating systems, such as the SHARE Operating System (SOS) for the IBM 709 computer in 1959.(1)(2)

Founded in 1955, the SHARE volunteer user group for IBM mainframe computers provided a forum for the exchange of technical information about programming languages, operating systems, database systems, and other elements of small, medium, and large-scale IBM computers. SHARE provides resources to enterprise users, which, historically, included the SHARE library, which provided a collection and exchange system for additions and modifications for IBM mainframe operating systems. This library, and the process of distributed development it fostered, was one of the major origins of open source software. SHARE was later incorporated as a non-profit corporation, and today has a membership of 20,000.(3)



1 : Emerson W. Pugh, Building IBM: Shaping an Industry and Its Technology, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1995, 187-188.

2 , 4 : Paul Armer, "SHARE--A Eulogy to Cooperative Effort," 123-126, in Annals of the History of Computing 2, no. 2 (April 1980), 122-129.

3 : http://www.share.org/p/cm/ld/fid=4

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Topic revision: r6 - 18 Jun 2013 - 10:13:41 - NicLewis
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