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July 24, 1991

HYDRA BOARD FOR MS-DOS MICROS RUNS MAC SOFTWARE

By CBR Staff Writer

San Jose, California-based Hydra Systems Inc is hoping to capitalise on the IBM Corp-Apple Computer Inc alliance with its Andor One board and software combination that enables any MS-DOS machine to run Macintosh software as well as MS-DOS. The company sees the product as an alternative to Windows 3.0 for many users and works with anything from an XT to an 80486 box. Sounds wonderful, but the canny will already know that there is a snag: the Macintosh ROMs and the Macintosh System cannot legally be copied so what exactly is Hydra selling? The answer is everything needed to create a Macintosh except those two vital elements: as the company says airily at the end of its announcement, the board requires Mac Plus ROMs and Macintosh System and Finder software, both of which are readily available. Problem is that they are available mail order, and the ones you get have mainly been removed from dead Macintoshes: there can’t be too many large corporations that are going to be prepared to scour the small ads in the hobbyist computer magazines to find the ROMs and operating software they need to make each of 50 or 100 Andor One boards work. The company pitches the product as a smooth and conservative transition path for many corporations from their installed MS- DOS base towards the Macintosh. The comp any also says hopefully that since the Andor is compatible with many Apple periph erals such as laser printers, hard disks, and scanners, Apple will benefit from sell ing its peripherals into the MS-DOS mark et. The hardware consists of a full-length board that runs at twice the speed of a Macintosh Classic and uses the inexpensive MS-DOS peripherals such as mice, keyboards, hard disks, 3.5 floppies, monitors and such. The board also comes with an Apple Talk local net-compatible RS-422 connector.

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