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Apple Computer Inc is making another effort to sell its Macintosh personal computer into the corporate environment, this time by introducing products to tie its AppleTalk local area network to DECnet. The products are AlisaTalk from Alisa Systems Inc of Pasadena, California and Kinetics Fastpath from Kinetics Inc of Walnut Creek near Oakland, California. Both products will be available in March from JPY Associates of New Malden in Surrey and the Kinetics Fastpath is also available from Maxima in Exeter, Devon. The products follow on from the example set by Odessa Corp of Northbrook, Illinois which came out with a micro-to-mini link in October 1986 to provide a gateway between AppleTalk and DECnet, enabling the Mac to be used as a workstation to a VAX under VMS and store and access data on the minicomputer’s hard disk. Apple says it is working with third parties to produce more products of this kind, including a package that will enable users to configure their own icons and write a communications script behind then to use the Mac as a terminal for financial services. AlisaTalk comprises three components: file server, which enables Macs to access files on a VAX under the VMS operating system; print spooler, which VMS systems to transport information to an Apple LaserWriter; and an AppleTalk/VMS protocol support library. AlisaTalk costs UKP3,000 to UKP9,000 depending on the model of VAX used. The Kinetics hardware device provides physical connection between AppleTalk and Ethernet. It costs around UKP2,000. Odessa’s products cost $7,500 on a MicroVAX II, rising to $19,500 on a full VAX, plus $450 on each Macintosh. The company moved last year to get the Mac into the IBM Personal Computer market. One product in this area comes from Centram with its TOPS networking software, which enables the Mac and other systems such as IBM Personals to share files and data over an AppleTalk network.

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