dinosaurs mating: n.

Said to occur when yet another big iron merger or buyout occurs; originally reflected a perception by hackers that these signal another stage in the long, slow dying of the mainframe industry. In the mainframe industry's glory days of the 1960s, it was ‘IBM and the Seven Dwarfs’: Burroughs, Control Data, General Electric, Honeywell, NCR, RCA, and Univac. RCA and GE sold out early, and it was ‘IBM and the Bunch’ (Burroughs, Univac, NCR, Control Data, and Honeywell) for a while. Honeywell was bought out by Bull; Burroughs merged with Univac to form Unisys (in 1984 — this was when the phrase dinosaurs mating was coined); and in 1991 AT&T absorbed NCR (but spat it back out a few years later). Control Data still exists but is no longer in the mainframe business. In similar wave of dinosaur-matings as the PC business began to consolidate after 1995, Digital Equipment was bought by Compaq which was bought by Hewlett-Packard. More such earth-shaking unions of doomed giants seem inevitable.