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Technology / AI and automation


If the number of companies pinning at least part of their future on it is any measure of the likely success of a new product, Apple Computer Inc should have a pair of runaway winners with its 16MHz 68020-based Macintosh II and upscale Macintosh SE version of the Mac Plus, announced at AppleWorld in Los Angeles yesterday. Some 50 companies, including AST Research, Irvine with an XT-alike board for the SE and an AT-alike board for the II, Lotus Development Corp with a radically rescored version of Jazz and renamed Galaxy, Radius Inc, Sunnyvale and Supermac Technology – just acquired for $3m by Scientific Micro Systems, Mountain View – with graphics accelerators and larger screens, were on hand to wet the babies’ heads. Details of the new machines will come as little surprise to people who saw our preview at the beginning of December (CI No 579), and modifier a month later: the II has 16MHz 68020 with 1Mb to a theoretical 1.5Gb of main memory, is built around the NuBus developed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 12 black-on-white or 13 colour 640 by 480 monitor, 800Kb floppy and 80Mb hard disk option, six slots and costs $4,800 with the floppy, $10,000 with colour, Winchester, forthcoming A/UX implementation of Unix System V and Ethernet interface and IBM AT co-processor. Base UK prices are UKP4,500 with floppy, UKP5,500 with 40Mb SCSI Winchester, deliveries starting here in July. The Macintosh SE, with two 800Kb floppies, the same 68000 CPU as the Plus but a new VLSI chip claimed to improve performance 15% to 20%, takes 1Mb to 4Mb memory, has 9 black-on-white screen and will be available this month at $2,898 with floppies, $4,500 with 20Mb Winchester from Rodime Plc and IBM XT board. UK price is UKP2,495, UKP3,195 with 20Mb disk but no IBM board. The Lotus Galaxy program, promised for the summer, will include six applications and a powerful macro command language conferring a degree of multitasking on the II.

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CBR Staff Writer

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