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IBM has also been quick to respond to NCR Corp’s sexy new point-of-sale systems (CI No 594) by announcing extensions to the System Support Program operating system for System/36 that enables all models to communicate with the IBM 4680 Store System. The move adds another layer of murk to IBM’s mid-range strategy since the low-end 9370s would seem more appropriate to the task. IBM’s idea is that medium-sized retailers should use a 36 as a host connected, through the IBM 5170 Personal AT Store System controller, to 4680 retail terminals, while larger ones use it as an in-store processor connected to a central 370 host. A store loop capability in the AT enables it to support up to 128 point-of-sale terminals. Release 5 Mod Level 1 of SSP is enhanced for SNA/SDLC primary communications support of the 5170 AT. Out in the US in June, it is a one-time $1,600 for the 5360 and the 5362 CPUs, $1,500 on the 5364.

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