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July 4, 1990

IBM RS/6000 ANNOUNCEMENTS

By CBR Staff Writer

The RS/6000 and claimed-to-be-solid AIX 3 just squeeze in to meet June 30 deadline

IBM says that, as promised on February 15, volume customer shipments have begun for RS/6000 hardware, AIX 3 for the RS/6000 and some related licensed programs – but the company has had to put back the availability dates for some RS/6000 and Xstation 120 features and support. The company also announced functional enhancements, clarifications and specified operating environment updates for AIX 3 for RS/6000 and related licensed programs. Only the baby RS/6000s – the Powerstation and Powerserver 320, 520 and 530 are currently shipping, but the good news on the AIX 3 front is that it has received X/Open XPG3 Base brand and that XPG3 conformance is now available rather than offered in a future release as IBM had said. AIX 3 for the RS/6000 has met the specifications of the X/Open Portability Guide Issue 3, passing the VSX3 Verification Suite, covering system calls and libraries, commands and utilities and the C language elements. Programs meeting X/Open guidelines are Ada/6000 1.1; XL Fortran Compiler/6000 1.1; XL Pascal Compiler/6000 1.1; VS Cobol Compiler/6000 1.1. Ethernet IEEE 802.3 compatibility on the Xstation 120 has been put back to September 28, as has full support by AIX 3 for the Four-Port Multiprotocol Communications Controller. All other Ethernet Version 2 and all Token-Ring functions are fully operational, IBM says, noting that a non-mandatory engineering change is planned for systems built before September 28 to provide support for IEEE 802.3. A maintenance release for the AIX Xstation Manager program will also be required for compatibility with IEEE 802.3. The company is offering enhanced mouse support by AIX Personal Computer Simulator/6000 and has added of COM1 and COM2 serial port support; RS/6000 Micro Channel and adaptor parity information; and there are Specified Operating Environment updates for AIX 3 for RS/6000 and related licensed programs. As well as the RS/6000 320, 520 and 530, available now are the Grayscale Graphics Display Adaptor, Colour Graphics Display Adaptor; Graphics Input Device Adaptor; Graphics Input Device Adaptor Cable; and Eight-Port and 16-Port Async Adaptors.

Enhancements to the AIX Personal Computer Simulator/6000

The AIX Personal Computer Simulator/6000 has been enhanced to provide emulation for the COM1 and COM2 serial ports through the standard RS/6000 serial ports but because of the buffering of data, applications sensitive to timing may be affected. The AIX Simulator/6000 also provides enhanced serial interface mouse support beyond that previously announced. By providing emulation of the original Microsoft Serial Mouse hardware, applications that require access at this level are supported. The responsiveness of the mouse on the Simulator differs from the responsiveness of the mouse on the AT especially when running on a remote server – slower, presumably. Applications highly dependent on the mouse may be affected, IBM warns. Most personal computer applications require a mouse driver to use the mouse and the mouse driver is not supplied by the Simulator program and because of the enhanced support, IBM does not intend to provide mouse support via the Microsoft Mouse Application Programming Interface through the AIX Simulator/6000 program. The Simulator is designed to support applications written for the AT and a IBM has a list of MS-DOS programs that have been tested and proved to run.

IBM highlights conformance to Posix 1003.1, US FIPS 151-1

As announced, AIX 3 for the RS/6000 conforms to the IEEE Standard Portable Operating System Interface for Computer Environments universally known as Posix Standard 1003.1 1988, C Language Binding, as measured by the X/Open VSX Release 3.203 test suite. It is also designed to meet the US Federal Information Processing Standard 151-1. Initial testing by IBM shows a high degree of conformance as shipped and full conformance is planned to be made available on September 28, after FIPS 151-1 becomes effective, via a Program Temporary Fix.

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nfigurations will have trouble using graphics processors

IBM has updated the requirements for some of the add-ons for the thing, and now says that to use the High-Performance 8-Bit or 24-Bit 3D Color Graphics Processors, the Powerstation 320 or 520 models must have at least 16Mb of memory available for software support. In order to use the InfoExplorer Graphics Interface of AIX Version 3, the AIXwindows Environment/6000 licensed program must be installed. The AIX InfoExplorer ASCII Interface has no programming co-requisites. On Powerstations configured with 8Mb memory in a stand-alone or networked environment where it is necessary to have the InfoExplorer hypertext information base locally resident, InfoExplorer Graphics Interface performance will be degraded because of limited memory, IBM warns, and recommends that the soft copy database reside on disk and not CD-ROM and be accessed only via the InfoExplorer ASCII Interface for improved performance.

Those still wanting obsoleted RT can now get trade-in terms up to June 1991

IBM is modifying the RT Migration Assistance Programme from the terms announced on October 3 last year. The last date on which an RT System can be bought to qualify for the RT Migration Assistance Programme has been extended to December 31 from June 29, and the company can now reveal that the designated IBM second generation RISC system, the replacement machine under the offer, is the RS/6000! The company has also added several items that can be included with the RT for trading in for an RS/6000 the 5151-001 Personal Computer Display; 5154 Computer Enhanced Colour Display; the Quietwriter printer; the 6153, 6154 and 6155 displays; the 6156 Portable Disk Drive; 6157 Streaming Tape; 6192 Expansion Unit; 9309 Rack Enclosure and 9332-240, 250, 440 and 450 disk drives. To receive the trade-in credit, the customer must order the replacement machine on or before December 31, 1990 and install it on or before June 28, 1991 and be using it on the day the ordered.

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