The concept behind the IBM ’87 exhibition seemed sound enough. A 10 day event, with each day devoted to a different sort of customer. Retail bankers and Building Societies one day, Local Government and Health another and so on with different agents showing off their wares on appro-priate days. Something, however, seems to have gone amiss in the planning. Its difficult to say exactly what. The show is in an excellent venue – the London Business Design Centre, Islington Green – and apparently well laid out. Yet, nothing catches the eye. Except, perhaps, the Applecentre that is a permanent fixture at the former Islington Ag-ricultural Hall. According to IBM UK’s director of distribution marketing Tony Hill, IBM ’87 is for customers who want to look at solutions not hardware. Despite that assertion, there is an awful lot of hardware on display at the show: 250 Personal Computers and Personal System/2s, 50 printers, 15 System/36s, eight RT 6150s, five 9370s and four System/38s. There is also the little matter of five miles of cabling. The only official news released on day one of the show yesterday was that IBM UK is to distribute Tetra Business Systems Ltd’s accounting suites: Chameleon, under AIX on the RT 6150, and Tetraplan, under Xenix on the PC/AT and PS/2. Rather more exiting developments are expected next Tuesday when IBM holds a press conference relating to PS/2, covering hardware and software products. The latter announcements will in-clude release dates for OS/2, believed to be imminent, and OS/2 Extended Edition. The show is certainly worth a visit if there is a piece of hardware you want to see and have never seen before. If its the portable PC Convertible you’re after, Morse Computers nearby has it at UKP499 plus VAT, against an IBM list price of over three times that. Otherwise, get IBM or the agent whose package appeals to pay you a call. As one agent said, its IBM’s first show for 76 years – and it shows.
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