The activity said to occur when yet another big iron
merger or buy-out occurs; reflects a perception by hackers that these signal another stage in the long, slow dying of the mainframe
industry. Also described as "elephants mating": lots of noise and action at a high level, with an eventual outcome in the somewhat distant future.
In its glory days of the 1960s, it was "IBM
and the Seven Dwarves": Burroughs
, Control Data, General Electric
, NCR, RCA
, and Univac
. Early on, RCA sold out to Univac and GE also sold out, and it was "IBM and the BUNCH" (an acronym for Burroughs, Univac, NCR, Control Data, and Honeywell) for a while. Honeywell was bought out by Bull.
Univac in turn merged with Sperry
to form Sperry/Univac, which was later merged (although the employees of Sperry called it a hostile takeover) with Burroughs to form Unisys in 1986 (this was when the phrase "dinosaurs mating" was coined). In 1991 AT&T
absorbed NCR, only to spit it out again in 1996. Unisys bought Convergent Technologies
in 1988 and later others.
More such earth-shaking unions of doomed giants seem inevitable.