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  1. Technology
May 3, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

The Convergent Technologies Inc subsidiary of Convergent Inc yesterday made a series of hardware, software and business announcements intended to transform the market’s perception of the erstwhile highflyer which has been struggling to regain momentum after a severe setback three years ago. On the products front, the company announced for its CTOS users the Series 386i workstation, which uses a 20MHz 80386 and features advanced cache memory design. With it, the company announced the Solution Designer 1 – 2 – 3 – keystroke – compatible spreadsheet; Image Designer, which supports the input and integration of scanned images; and new communications packages and enhancements; and new versions of Convergent software packages. The Series 386i is designed as an upgrade for current N-Gen users and support for large clusters of networked workstations. It supports up to 24Mb memory and over 2Gb disk. The company also added an enhanced version of the 8MHz 80286 and 16MHz 80386 N-Gens. All the new CTOS products will be available within 90 days. Software companies supporting the new CTOS machines include Oracle Corp, Informix Software Inc and Micro Focus Plc.

80386-based Server PC The new Server PC Model 100 is an entry-level extension of the Convergent Server PC product family based on the Intel 80386 processor, and is designed for first-time network installations. The Model 100 is designed to support workgroups of from four to 16 MS-DOS or terminal users within a Unix multiuser environment while also running MS-DOS applications. The Server PC family uses SCSI-interfaced storage devices, and runs either the CTIX/386 version of Unix System V or native MS-DOS. Merge 386, which integrates MS-DOS with Unix, is also supported for character-based applications. The Model 100 comes with 2Mb to 12Mb memory, four to 28 ports, and from 40Mb to 400Mb of disk. A new release of the Server PC operating system, CTIX/386 Version 2.0, extends communications to TCP/IP, IBM SNA and BiSync, and Convergent’s PC Exchange. It is being supported by Unify Corp and Data Access. Model 100 shipments begin in the third quarter and the CTIX/386 Version 2.0 release is available now.

Entry-level Unix S/Series model On the straight Unix systems front, Convergent announced the a new entry-level model for its S/Series family of Unix workgroup servers and two enhancements to the line. The new S/80 is aimed at installations with up to 16 users and joins a family that extends to support up to 128 users. The two S/Series enhancements are a new memory board storing 8Mb and 16Mb, and the previously released Remote I/O Processor, already reported. The latter increases the number of RS-232 ports to 256 from 12 on the S/120 and to 512 from 22 on the S/221 and S/222 using twisted pair wiring. The S/80 is built around a 16.7MHz 68020 with the company’s proprietary paged memory management unit, and in base configuration includes eight RS-232 ports, cartridge tape drive, 2Mb of memory and 40Mb to 320Mb of disk and the machine runs under CTIX. The new machine brings the entry price for an S/Series CTIX machine down to that of 80386-based micros running with Xenix. Volume shipments are due to begin in July – with the new memory boards, while the input-output processor is already out. High C, Professional Pascal Convergent has gone to MetaWare Inc, Santa Cruz for High C and Professional Pascal compilers for its CTOS-based systems, enabling applicatiosn written in C or Pascal on MS-DOS and Unix machines to be transferred to the CTOSes. The compilers use specific features of the Intel 80186, 80286, and 80386 chips, and will enable Ansa’s Paradox (386), Autodesk’s AutoCAD, Ashton Tate’s dBase line, and Symantec’s Q&A (386) to be supported under CTOS.

Formation of Convergent Supplies Convergent Inc has created another new business, Convergent Supplies Co as an operation within its Convergent Business Systems Inc unit. Headquartered in San Jose with a forms design centre in Hunt Valley, Maryland, Convergent Supplies began operations on March 1 by mailing 12,000 marketplace-customised

supplies and forms catalogues to users of the companies within the Business Systems camp. The new company was profitable in its first month, said general manager Ken Frost. More supplies products will be offered as our operation expands. We also are developing reseller programmes for Convergent Technologies Inc distributors, resellers and buying groups. The new unit joins Convergent Service Co, offering round-the-clock customer service and Convergent Leasing Co.

General Electric Credit leasing deal Looking to offer more comprehensive lease finance services to its customers, Convergent has gone to General Electric Credit Corp, Stamford, Connecticut for a full-featured leasing programme tailored for Convergent Business Systems companies. Although the programme will initially be confined to the in-house companies, it is expected to evolve, over time, into a service for all Convergent value-added-resellers. This is the first of a series of financial service programmes to be offered by Convergent, the company said. When the series is complete, we will provide all of our resellers the opportunity to offer specialised financing at competitive prices.

Electronique Marcel Dassault signs up And Convergent Technologies Inc has found another blue chip OEM customer in France in the shape of Electronique Serge Dassault SA of Saint-Cloud Cedex, which has signed for the Server-PC Intel based Unix product line. Dassault, which reckons that Unix is now a strong factor in the French market, looks to the relationship to take it into the Unix market, and plans to add value to the PC Server with communications software and specialised applications development. Electronique Serge Dassault is a $900m company founded by Marcel Dassault, the French aircraft manufacturer, and is itself best known as a manufacturer of automatic banking terminal and cash-handling equipment, but also makes products for the postal services, telecommunications, trade, government administration and transport sectors. The companies did not reveal the dollar amount nor the length of the new agreement, and Convergent Technologies did not put prices on any of the new products it announced yesterday.

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