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February 3, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

IBM has finally launched the fruits of its Scholar’s Workstation development effort with Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh the 3-M 1 MIPS, 1Mb, 1m pixels machine (CI No 49) – as the 6152 Academic System. The move upstages Steve Jobs, whose Next Inc has not yet launched its planned college workstation, and lays down the gauntlet to Apple’s Mac. The Academic System comes out as a combination of a RISC Unix processor similar to the one used in the RT Personal, backed by a Motorola 68881 maths co processor, tacked onto the side of an 80286-based Personal System/2 Model 60. Designed to communicate via TCP/IP over either Ethernet or Token Ring networks, the 6152 runs under the IBM Academic Operating System 4.3, which is based on Berkeley Unix 4.3, which integrates X Window 11 as standard. The 80286 is used to run MS-DOS 3.3 or OS/2 1.0, but these do not make any use of the RISC processor. And the Academic System will not be generally available: it is limited to schools and colleges that are eligible for IBM’s academic discount – and still doesn’t come cheap. With 20Mb disk and 2Mb on the RISC, it costs $6,395; configurations are available with 44Mb and 70Mb disk and 4Mb and 8Mb RISC memory, the top model costing $10,140. Running the Drystone 1.1 benchmark, the thing is rated at 3,394 Dhrys per second, running Whetstones single precision it does 538 KWPS, and double precision, 625 KWPS. The 8604 1,024 by 768 15 analogue mono display is $555, and there is an NICps/2 adaptor from Ungermann Bass Inc for linking to Ethernet using the TCP/IP protocol: it has 32Kb of buffer memory and costs $550. The 6152 Academic System will be available in limited quantities in March, volume in July. Separately, IBM announced a radiationshielded Tempest version of the 6150 RT: it uses the 6155 TO1 Tempest extended mono graphics display, is $29,500 and will be available in September. Other RT announcements: page three. IBM yesterday also announced the IBM Wheelwriter 10 Series II office typewriter, available now in the US at $895. A sound hood adds $30 to the price, a printerface is $150 and a pinwheel form feeder is $175. The typewriter has a 4Kb correction memory and a reprint function for multiple copies of single-page documents. With the parallel printer interface, the Wheelwriter becomes a 20chps bidirectional daisywheel unit accepting 55 print commands.

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