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April 4, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

The one feature of the IBM RT Personal Computer that makes the machine interesting and a potentially powerful kind of chameleon computer is the Virtual Resource Manager operating system kernel – yet that aspect of the machine appears to have been ignored and neglected by IBM and systems houses alike. The point about the Virtual Resource Manager is that it is designed to isolate whatever operating system you choose to run on the machine from the hardware, intercepting the system calls and executing them in its own way. That means that the RT is not intrinsically a Unix machine at all – that is simply its first incarnation. Any other operating system can be written to the VRM interface and run on the RT – and at last someone has accepted the challenge. A tiny French firm, AST SA – named for the initials of its founders has been formed in Boulogne specifically to implement and offer Pick Systems’ Open Architecture Pick on the RT concurrently with Unix. Two-year-old AST also offers versions of Pick for the IBM Personal Computer and for the 9370.

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