After a nasty accident in 1984, Apollo Computer Inc is back on its feet and smokin’ again, and a two-year programme unearthed by Computer Systems News to overlay its proprietary Domain local area networking environment with support for industry standards promises to do its future performance no harm at all. And to get the new concept off to a glowing start, it has lighted on a gift of a name for it – Public Domain. The US trade weekly says that the Chelmsford, Massachusetts company plans Domain support for industry-standard file systems, and a version of Domain to run over Ethernetworks; the proprietary Domain network is a token-passing ring. Apollo’s ambitious plan is to embrace within Domain alien and specialised computer architectures for use as servers for parallel or vector processing; Domain already supports specialised machines from Alliant Computer Systems, Britton-Lee and Texas Instruments, and similar agreements with other manufacturers are planned. The idea is to create an environment that would enable users to mix and match computers from various sources so that they could assign tasks or parts of a large application to the machine best suited to executing each one. The first step will be to provide support for Sun Microsystems’ Network File System and AT&T’s Remote File Sharing within Domain this year, with the FTAM File Transfer Access Method added by 1988. The ultimate aim is to come up with a network computing kernel that is host-independent, and, with a number of servers, creating a complete networked run-time environment.
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