Skip to main content


Reuters technical development glossary

700 Terminals

IDR designed and manufactured Intel-based terminals originally designed for the Rowgrabber network and then adapted for IDN.



Australian Associated Press, a news agency (part owner of Reuters prior to 1984 flotation).



A software language, named after Ada Lovelace, developed under contract for the US Department of Defense to improve software development productivity and reliability. Lovelace was Lord Byron's estranged daughter. She worked with Charles Babbage and is thought of as the first computer programmer. ADA was used in the development of matching systems and some IDN components.



Australian Data Network designed by AAP for the Australian domestic market, comprising Reuters sourced components and AAP in-house developments.



Automated Data Processing, an information services company that took over GTEIS in 1983.



Automated Data Exchange, a message switching product based on DEC PDP/8s produced by STC.



A Programming Language, a software language developed originally by IBM for applied mathematical applications. Further extended by IPSharp and used on its systems. Occasionally used in early Reuters PC developments.



Advanced Reuter Terminal, a PC and Windows-based terminal. The first in the industry.



Backbone Concentrator. Took US and European feeds and provided a composite feed to SGS.



Chicago Board of Trade, US futures and options exchange.



Conférence Européenne des Administrations des Postes et des Télécommunications, coordinating body for European state telecommunications organisations.



Contributed Gateway Processor, a system to allow automatic contribution of client information to Monitor from the client’s own computers.



Chicago Mercantile Exchange, US financial and commodity derivatives exchange.



Combined Video Generator, an ambitious software project-based version of the Keyboard Display Driver which took feeds from terminal controllers and directed them to specific screen zones in the pre-Windows world. Overtaken by Windows.



Colour Video Switch, similar to VMS but in colour.



Distributed Array Processor, “massively parallel” computer where a collection of separate processors (computers) can perform a set of simultaneous coordinated actions. Based on an invention by ICL and supplied to Reuters by Cambridge Parallel Processors for news search applications.



Digital Equipment Corporation, a Massachusetts-based computer manufacturer. Arguably the most successful supplier of mini-computers from the 1970s to early 1990s. Underestimated the impact of personal computing and was defunct by 1992. Principal supplier of central systems to Reuters for more than 20 years.



Datafeed Transmitter, an IDN datafeed which provides all market data to anyone who can handle it.



European Communications Satellite.



Editorial Support Systems, an ambitious project to provide London editorial with state of the art video editing and to replace ADX. Two attempts were made and only the terminal survived to be used.


Ethernet - see LAN.



Frequency Division Multiplexer, a technique whereby the total bandwidth of a communications link is subdivided into a series of non-overlapping frequencies each carrying a separate signal.



General Post Office, the UK state-run telecommunications and postal service. Abolished in 1969 and replaced over time by separate postal and telecommunications entities. 



Great Sutton Street, London operations and development centre in Clerkenwell from 1979 to 1990 and later UK communications hub until closure in 2011.



General Telephone and Electronics Telnet Information Services.



Information, Dissemination and Retrieval. A specialised development and production subsidiary based on Long Island, New York.



Integrated Data Network, replacement system for Monitor and QRS based services. Uses the idea of logical data where the meaning of the data is carried alongside the data values.



International Telecommunications User Group.



Keyboard Display Driver, enables a keyboard and corresponding display to be directed to one of several terminal controllers.



Local Area Network, standard for using a shared co-axial cable to interconnect computers, initially at 10 million bits per second. Subsequent developments have greatly increased the speed.


Logical data

A standard for transmitting data as is and without conversion or reference to page position, etc.



Marché à Terme Internationale de France, a French exchange.



IDR-produced, Intel-based Monitor terminal controller. MES is European version, MAS American.


Message Switching

A system whereby text is input with (usually) three letter destination codes and a two letter priority code. The text is stored (for retransmission if necessary) and routed to the designated destinations at the designated priority typically using direct lines or via telex.



Monitor Manipulation Processor, a system to produce composite and added value page displays made up of information sourced from different pages.



Multi-Port Access System, a German-developed datafeed for the German banking community.



Multi-purpose Terminal, a generic terminal designed to handle Monitor, QRS and client sourced services on one key station. Eventually only handled Monitor and QRS.



Monitor System Expansion, a concentrator layer added to Monitor hosts to increase capacity.



News Processing System, a system to deliver news over IDN.



New York Stock Exchange.


Packet Switching

A system whereby a message or data entity is split into small packets at the point of origin, transmitted securely and separately through a network, and reassembled in the correct order at the destination. The precise route taken by each packet is dynamic depending on loading and route availability.



A 12-bit minicomputer produced by DEC and used by STC in the ADX and Reuters in early Monitor and Dealing Terminal Controllers.



A 16-bit minicomputer produced by DEC and used by Reuters for most central systems until it was displaced by the VAX.



Programmable Integrated Switching Module, the final incarnation of the keyboard and video-switching technology.



Quote Front Ends converted stock exchange tickers to a form suitable for processing by Reuter Quotation systems.



Quote Monitor Interface, a system to inject SGS-sourced data onto defined Monitor pages.



Quotation Retrieval Services, a generic term for the many networks which delivered SGS- sourced services to clients directly or via Monitor pages.



Reuter Data Network, an unsuccessful attempt at the replacement of QRS and Monitor by Rowgrabber-based technology. Confusingly, it was then used for the first phase of the next attempt which was quickly renamed Integrated Data Network (IDN).



Reuter Dealing Trading System, a generic matching platform which splintered into D-2000/2 and GLOBEX.



Reuters Executive, Reuters addition to the standard PDP-11 operating system of the day (RSX-11).



Rowgrabber Multiplexer, an interface to the cable companies/satellite distribution equipment.



Reuters Identification Code, Reuters standard for the naming of traded instruments.



Reuter Monitor Dealing Service, also known as Dealing Conversations, allowed dealers to agree trades using structured text communication.



Reuters North America, the generic term for the managing entity for North America based in New York.



Retrieval System Replacement, an ambitious project to replace Monitor in 1979. It did not come to fruition.



Real Time Feed, a datafeed system which provided Monitor pages directly to client computers.



Standalone Cable Head, a data stream compiler for Rowgrabber.



Small Dish Service, services delivered direct to clients using very small aperture technology, i.e. a broadcast system received by clients using small satellite dishes.



(London) Stock Exchange Automated Quotations, the London Stock exchange system for the trading of stocks.



US Securities and Exchange Commission.



Second Generation Slave, an enhanced version of the first generation of Ultronic technology deployed to Europe.



Systems Integrators International, manufacturer of the System 55 video editing and message switching system.



Standard Telephones and Cables, a British telecommunications company and supplier of message switching systems to Reuters in the 1970s.



Software Multiplexing, a Reuters-developed packet switching network intended for generic use but only deployed for the RMDS dealing system.



Postale, Telegraph et Télécommunications, the generic name for European national telecommunications authorities.



Transatlantic and Pacific TDM-based communications system.



Terminal Controller, a mini-computer controlling a number of keyboard and screen positions with connection to a central computer. This allowed some extra intelligence to be incorporated locally rather than in a central system, e.g. flashing news alerts for a period of time. 



Time Division Multiplexer, a method of transmitting and receiving separate signals over a common path by means of synchronised switches at each end so that each signal appears on the line in an alternating pattern.



Trading Information Architecture, a range of products for clients’ trading rooms using digital rather than switching technology to connect keyboards and screens to information sources.



Virtual Address eXtension, a 32-bit computer developed by DEC as a successor to the PDP range. Widely used in Reuters systems from 1985 onwards.



Very Small Aperture Terminal, a two-foot diameter dish which allowed a client to receive broadcast data directly from a satellite.



Video Matrix Switch enabled a screen to receive a display from any one of several video sources. Also the acronym for DEC's VAX operating system. ■