Re: Raising the Titanic would probably be easier.
Was this the Bloomsbury Computing Consortium serving various London colleges, by any chance?
I was the IBM Support Advocate in the IBM AIX Systems Support Centre for that customer for a few years in the early '90s, and they had many problems with IBM integration, because there just wasn't really any between the different platforms, even those running AIX.
They had AIX/370 on a mainframe, AIX 3 on RS/6000 and AIX 1.2 on PS/2s. And the teaching problems they had were many.
AIX/370 and AIX/PS2 had a clever feature called Distributed Computing (AIX/RT on the 6150 also had it), which allowed you to have shared network filesystems (not NFS or RFS) and use the same PATH for the different architectures, and the exec system call would pick the correct binary for the architecture running (AFS had a similar feature). But AIX on the RS/6000 didn't, which rather sabotaged that clever integration.
In addition, BCC wanted to use both RS/6000 and PS/2 for language teaching, but IBM being IBM had two different strands for compilers, XL and VS. So, the RS/6000 had XL Pascal, and the PS/2s had VS Pascal. XL Pascal complied with the ISO Standard, and VS to the ANSI standard.
There were a couple of important differences in the standards, although memory fades a bit, I believe one of them was around variant records.
I had problem records for both compilers sitting on my queue, essentially saying that Bloomsbury wanted the same behavior on both compilers. Quite reasonable, really. They didn't care which behavior (although they would have preferred the ISO one), they just wanted them to be consistent.
I battled for many months with the L2 team for AIX/PS2 and the L3 team for AIX/6000 (we provided Level 1 support for AIX/PS2 and Level 2 support for the RS/6000). Both teams said that their implementation was 'working to the standard', which they were. But it didn't help the customer.
I moved off the customer support queues, and dropped the advocacy role before this was resolved. I think the person who picked them up just told the customer that there was no solution and closed the calls. Great customer service!
But I can't have had too bad a reputation with BCC. A number of years later, I was offered a job by one of the people who used to work there and had moved on, just on reputation and without an interview. They just wanted to confirm I was the person they had dealt with, and asked (within reason) what package I wanted. The recruitment agent was gobsmacked! And I did not take the offer, because I did not want to work in central London.