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Technology / AI and automation


Xtra Business Systems, the US IBM Personalike arm of Alcatel NV in San Jose, California, yesterday duly announced its next generation of Personalikes as the Xtra/Professional Series. The new models use 3.5 floppies as standard, a new fast Xtra/PowerPath bus and standard and Enhanced Variable Graphics Interface. A new Xtra/CachePAC suite consisting of Xtra/CacheAccess for fast hard disk access; Xtra/CacheFile to improve hard disk directory access; Xtra/CachePrint, to initiate background printing transparently; and Xtra/Power Asycom asynchronous terminal emulation utility, is said to be worth $200, but is bundled with MS-DOS for the Professional Series. Xtra/DOSinfo, an interactive help facility, and Xtra/DOSLearn tutorial, each said to be worth $200, are also included. Microsoft’s MS-OS/2 will also be supported on 80286- and 80386-based models when Microsoft is ready with the thing. The new machines apply very large-scale integration of system logic, and surface-mount manufacturing. The new line consists of three systems: the Series 300 uses a 10MHz 8088 with 640Kb standard, plus 128Kb of fast CacheRAM for rapid access to files and programs, and MDA, CGA, Colorplus and Hercules display standards, starts at $1,300 with one 720Kb floppy; the Series 400 uses a 10MHz 80286 with 1Mb memory – growing to 16Mb, Enhanced VGI for EGA, CGA, MDA and Hercules display, and 20Mb, 40Mb and 72Mb hard disks, plus a 1.44Mb floppy; it starts at $3,200; and the Series 700 uses a 16MHz 80386 and starts at $6,500 with 40Mb disk and 1Mb memory. The versions with 72Mb or 160Mb disk include 2Mb main memory. The new machines will eventually be launched here by Alcatel Business Systems.

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