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February 2, 1998


By CBR Staff Writer

Data General Corp has shown some hesitancy in getting its THiiN Line business unit up and running, partly because the market for thin clients, or Network Computers, hasn’t taken off as it expected. But yesterday the company was showing off the latest of its internet appliances, in the shape of a Nub or network utility box that can deliver wireless internet services and peer- to-peer connectivity to small and home office-based information appliances. According to Data General’s Craig Helm, product marketing director for THiiN Line at Data General, the Nub represents a new category of product, one that can make the internet as deliverable as a utility service such as gas or water. The Nub is about the size and shape of a doorbell, and can be attached to a wall or sit on a desktop. It will be capable of communicating with internet service providers via a single standard analog line, or via ISDN, xDSL or cable, and can connect to as many as eight PCs, laptops, network computers or thin clients via 2.4ghz spread spectrum wireless LAN communications. Helm says the device will be easy to operate, waking up, dialing out and accessing the internet within a few seconds of a client device being switched on. We believe the Nub could be instrumental in launching the SOHO and home consumer thin-client markets in the years ahead, he said at the DEMO 98 exhibition, held in Indian Wells, California. Each Nub includes a 1Mb/sec wireless LAN interface with a 150 foot range, an internet gateway, initially via V.34/56K modem, IP packet routing for up to eight clients, web browser management interface, HTTP proxy services, a basic firewall, email support, setup Wizard, a dial-on-demand, idle disconnect to save on toll charges, and support for TCP/IP, DHCP, HTTP, PPP, CHAP and PAP protocols. At the event, the Nub was shown serving as a wireless access router to multiple laptops running browsers. There’s no word as yet on price and availability. Data General’s ThiiN Line division launched its first two products, the SiteStack TW-150 and TW-500 web server appliances, last September.


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