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January 31, 1989


By CBR Staff Writer

Under the slogan more users, less fuss, Bromley, Kent-based Bromcom Computers Ltd has added three machines to its QC range, headed by the new Bromcom QC-386/HP which offers a local network compatible multi-screen system. The basic QC-386/HP comes in an eight-user configuration featuring an 80386 processor running at 20MHz standard, with the option of 25MHz. Other features include 4Mb of random access memory, a 1.2Mb MS-DOS-compatible floppy drive and 80Mb hard disk, plus a 60Mb back-up system. The system’s high performance is derived from the proprietary front end Intelligent Disk Controller and Intelligent Serial Controller. These subsystems are each built arond 80186 chips, which run at 10MHz, with 512Kb of local memory, and respectively enable disk processing and user input and output to be offloaded from the main 80386 processor. As a result, the QC-386/HP can run multiple copies of MS-DOS programs, such as Lotus 1-2-3, dBase III Plus, and SuperCalc 4, as well as running MS-DOS compatible network applications. Memory permitting, two tasks can be run at once on a terminal, and up to 16 users can share the same hardware and peripherals, with an expansion route for up to 32 users available. Aimed at the business sector for office automation, data processing, accounting and such, the system is priced at UKP9,915. Bromcom has also announced the 20Mb QC-386/SX, using a 16MHz 80386SX, and the 40Mb QC-386/AT, using a 20MHz 80386, which respectively retail at UKP1,915, and UKP2,915. Both machines have 1Mb of main memory, take 3.5 or 5.25 disks, have two serial ports and one parallel port, and run MS-DOS. The AT supports up to three users, while the SX is a single-user stand alone system. The QC-386/AT has Digital Research Inc’s CDOS 386 – Concurrent DOS – installed, and its ports can be configured as terminals, both being features the SX lacks. In the light of these announcements, Bromcom’s QC-386, which was launched last March (CI No 900) will now be known as the QC-386/ST. Current customers for Bromcom’s multi-screen systems include British Telecom, Rolls Royce, and the British Library. The company expects to further expand its customer base when it releases Unix and Xenix for the QC-386/HP in the early summer of this year.

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