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January 17, 1989


By CBR Staff Writer

An erasable optical storage system designed to support Sun Microsystems and DEC workstations as well as AT-alikes has been introduced by Alphatronix Inc, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. Offering up to 4.55Gb of storage in a seven-drive configuration of standard 5.25 Compact Disks, Inspire can accommodate up to 1m pages of ASCII text. According to Alphatronix president Robert Freese, Inspire provides transparent integration with host disk controllers and operating systems, with no new commands to learn, no software adaption and no databases to convert. Inspire for the MS-DOS is $15,000 for the dual-drive unit and $10,000 for the single-drive unit. Although this type of storage medium seems set to make traditional magnetic disks redundant in the future, this is still some way off. Erasable optical storage systems are slow in comparison with others – for example Steve Jobs’ NeXT system has an optical capability, but many of the early users have reportedly opted for the optional, but much faster, magnetic disk.

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