From the IXI, SCO and Tarantella archives

The Tarantella Cambridge office finally closed its doors in summer 2003. I’d worked there for ten years: from its IXI days soon after a buyout by SCO, through the merger with Leeds company Visionware to become IXI Visionware, through the slow strangulation by corporate SCO overlords that was our time as the virtually anonymous Client Integration Division of SCO, through the gradual rise of the Tarantella Division, to a bittersweet couple of years at Tarantella, Inc. (It lived on after the final Cambridge folk left, and now toils under the yoke of another behemoth. I wonder how much of the IXI DNA still exists?)

That August we dismantled the tiny rump of an office that we’d become after several wearying rounds of layoffs. Our Leeds colleagues – their office still open then and now – took whatever kit they wanted from our server corner, and the rest was either skipped or accompanied the newly liberated into our exciting, redundancy-fuelled futures.

I took with me a 19-inch iiyama CRT monitor the weight of a neutron star belching in a Christmas afternoon armchair, and there, finally, went my back. But this post isn’t about that old story. I also became the Keeper of the Archives.

Hidden amongst the detritus of Marketing was a collection of ancient relics: a shoebox or two of photos from the Olden Days of IXI, and numerous 3.5-inch disks with enticing labels. Too interesting to throw away. At various times in the subsequent couple of years I spent some hours sorting through these – scanning prints and slides, and copying files from the disks before the hardware fell to bits – and performing holy rites of tagging. I combined them with images I’d kept from my time with the company – sometimes I’d created graphics at home, and hadn’t deleted them.

And now, finally, I’ve uploaded the entire archive to Flickr – all dated and captioned to the best of my ability. There are certainly one or two screenshots of historical interest, such as IXI Mosaic showing the very first IXI home page. I also tell a few stories in the descriptions.

There might be more to come. But this lot will do for starters.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “From the IXI, SCO and Tarantella archives

  1. Roger

    That was a wonderful trip down memory lane. Some observations:

    It is a pity we don’t have Brooksy’s “hello mum I love you” screenshot.

    No mention of the trials and tribulations over the IXI Mosaic animated road icon. Very reminiscent of a single carriageway now!

    Mr Christop had an unhealthy fascination with Mrs Robinson.

    Somehow our naming convention for operating systems never took off.

    How quaint that a web browser would need a user guide.

    Other than Ibis and you lot with Framemaker, did we ever actually have any Unix apps? I mean IXI and Tarantella were all about the apps but I don’t recall us every actually having any “business critical” ones.

    • I don’t remember Brooksy’s screenshot. What was that?

      Tell the story of the animated road icon!

      I don’t remember having any “business critical” UNIX apps.

  2. thank u love… it really is all just dots xxx

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