Boise Cascade Computing
Idaho Statesman May 23, 1969

Development and successful marketing of computer services with broad applications in business and industry have led to the formation of Boise Cascade Computing Incorporated, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Boise Cascade Corporation. Ralph Hull, who heads up Boise Cascade Computing, said his firm was created with the advantages of 130 highly trained, experienced people and a data processing center containing one of the finest hardware capabilities I've seen in such an operation.

BCCI evolved from Boise Cascade's former Central Computing Department as a result of innovation on the part of two individuals who tackled what experts in the field had described as impossible. The two-Ron Hoppins, who was 26 at the time and Noah Tadlock Jr, who was 23-developed a successful system for converting existing computer programs to fit newer, faster computers.

This first system. Exodus I was developed in 1967. It converts IBM Model 1410 computer programs to fit third generation IBM S/360 computers and was marketed under a royalty agreement by Computer Sciences Corporation, putting Boise Cascade in the computer software business for the first time.

The two young programmers then took on the assignment of developing a conversion system for Model 1401 computer. There were about 10 times as many 1401 computers around the country as there were 1410's. Again they were successful, and Boise Cascade introduced another revolutionary system. Exodus II, also marketed by Computer Sciences Corporation.

Our first conversion program put us in a third generation computer operating environment years ahead of other third-generation users, Hull stated. "We have been in this advanced multiprogramming environment for a full three years"

Hull said the new company has another unusual capability "We have married the traditional data processing function with the communication function, both voice and teleprocessing. This has allowed us to develop such programs as communication cost analysis, which can be used to advantage by any corporation which has scattered locations."

He added that he believes teleprocessing will replace VOICE communication as the major factor in transmittal of business information within the next Few years". In anticipation of this, BCCI operates teleprocessing terminals in five West Coast cities and Chicago.

New applications of traditional computer functions are continually being developed, according to Hull. He listed as an example an on-line order entry system which eliminates numeric coding and makes information accessible in language a reader can understand without special training. Other systems under development will allow customers to interact or "Converse" with computers to arrive at quick solutions to complex problems. He said BCCI is developing an on-line capability second to none.

Recently, a new service was put on the market. It is called COMIT - Computer Operations Management. Information and Training - and it is already successfully operating in several data processing installations. COMIT is designed to aid EDP centers with personnel development, input and output controls, operating controls, documentation and scheduling of computer operations.

Hull said the average personnel turnover in the computing services business is close to 100 per cent every 18 months. "We've experienced practically no turnover in past years, and this gives us a continuity which few other companies in the business are able to match," he stated. "Our goal is to be the best in the business, and we're not going to compromise," he concluded "We will not accept a job unless we know we can show results"