Communications are clearly destined to play a major part in IBM’s sales strategy for the Personal System/2. The still highly vaporous Extended version of Operating System/2 – for which a delivery date will only be announced in the fourth quarter of this year – is planned offer IBM 3270, 3278/9, 3287 and 5250 emulation, asynchronous and Advanced Program-to-Program Communications – LU6.2 – support; network and system management facilities with alerts, suspend and resume, error-logging and statistics; fast host-file transfer; and Local Area Network support. More immediately – this month – IBM will be adding a low-cost baseband local area network to its already confusingly numerous local net offerings. The PC Network-Baseband Adaptor and Adaptor/A, both UKP316, respectively allow up to eight old Personal Computers and new PS/2s to be connected via 2Mbit-per-second twin twisted pair cable, at UKP17 to UKP24 per station, to a daisy chain baseband network up to 200 feet in length. A 19 rack-mounted Network-Baseband Extender allows up to 10 such networks, 80 stations in all, to be tied together in a 400 foot chain with automatic disconnection for failing networks. Other new hardware includes a 4Mbit-per-second UKP601 Token-Ring Adaptor for the PS/2 machines; new Broadband Adaptors for networks up to two miles in length that can support up to 1,000 stations – the adaptors are delivered configured for 256 nodes with kits available for additional blocks of 72 nodes; and an expanded version of the old 3270 Personal Computer Control Program called the 3270 Workstation Program which provides up to four host sessions, six PC-DOS applications, and two notepad functions on existing Personal Computers, Personal System/2s or 3270 Personal Computers. On the software side, the PC LAN Program Version 1.2 offers up to five times the performance of V1.1 for random input and output to and from disk. It supports 64 stations per server. The LAN Support Program provides IEEE 802.2 and NetBIOS interfaces to users running PC-DOS 3.3 on all IBM’s local area networks. The LAN Manager, which replaces the Token-Ring Manager, supports up to 33 Token-Rings, and the PC Network-Broadband. It offers remote console facilities and runs as an application of Netwiew/PC. Small remote local networks can use the 3270 Emulation LAN Management Program to send alerts to the Netview host instead. Other programs include the Asynchronous Communications Server, which supports switched lines up to 2,400 bits per second without a dedicated server, and the Asynchronous Connection Server, which supports switched, direct and leased lines up to 19.2Kbps with a dedicated server and offers automatic dial-in/dial-out at up to 2,400 bps. No UK prices were given for any of the new products except as specified.
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