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Technology / AI and automation


Altos Computer Systems this week duly announced its promised 80386-based Xenix System V machine as the 386 Series 2000, offering it to support up to 64 users. The processor runs at 16MHz, but performance is enhanced with a 32Kb cache memory and 80387 floating point co-processor – when it is available. The machines come configured with an intelligent file processor subsystem, communications processor, 1.6Mb floppy, 60Mb streaming tape drive, one display and 65Mb or 142Mb ESD interface disk drive. Four models are offered, the 2408S serving 20 users with 4Mb memory, 65Mb disk, and the 2417S variant with 142Mb disk. The 64-user models are the 2417S with 4Mb CPU and 142Mb disk, with Multidrop cabling and transmission system; and the 2817M with 8Mb and 142Mb disk. A field-upgrade kit is also offered to enable any Altos floorstanding system to be upgraded with the new CPU. Fully upwards compatible with existing Xenix machines, the Series 2000 offers C, Cobol, RPG II, Basic, Fortran and Pascal. Communications include async, 3270 bisync and SNA, X25 and 3780, with Ethernet interface planned for the fourth quarter. An optional uninterruptible power supply is offered for graceful degradation in case there is a return to winters of discontent after the General Election. The machines are announced in the UK today: no firm US prices were given, but the firm says that systems will start at $25,000 to $30,000.

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