Accent Computers Ltd of Burgess Hill, Sussex has been appointed the sole UK distributor for Ontario, Canada based Waterloo Microsystem’s 18-month-old personal computer networked operating system. Called Waterloo Port, the program is designed to network MS-DOS micros on an ARCnet or Token Ring local area network. Communications are also provided to IBM mainframes and mid-range systems, remote micros and X25 servers. The core of the product was completed in 1984 and was intended as an operating system for minis, and the modified MS-DOS product was launched in the US in 1987. Waterloo claims that 50,000 customers are using the Port in the US where Reuters and the International Labour Organisation are key users, and expects the UK to head demand in the European market where several other distributor channels have already been set up. Accent Computers distributes and manufactures MS-DOS interconnection and communications products. Terry Harris, chairman of Accent, expects sales of the Waterloo product to hit UKP1m per annum mark by the end of two years. The Waterloo Port can connect local departmental networks with other local nets over a Token Ring or ARCnet backbone gateway which itself can connect up to 255 ports. Waterloo claims the product has an edge in security – a thorny issue in networking – and offers five levels, including a Gatekeeper module which controls gateway traffic. Users can opt for either an MS-DOS or icon-based interface which leads the user from the lobby, or the basic menu options, through to the higher level functions of the office and even the systems administrator’s office.
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