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January 8, 1987

IBM’s INFOWINDOW ENABLES PERSONAL TO CONTROL VIDEODISK PLAYER

By CBR Staff Writer

IBM, as reported briefly, has a pair of Personal Computer programs in the US, collectively called the InfoWindow Presentation System, for its Personal Computer line. When combined with the IBM Touchscreen 4055 touch-senstive screen and with Pioneer videodisk players, the new system will allow users to prepare multimedia presentations. The InfoWindow Presentation Editor enables programmers to develop and test their presentations, while the InfoWindow Presentation Interpreter provides a real-time environment for the programs, and provides interactive capabilities for the displays. The company looks for the new system to find applications in education and retailing. The Editor, when combined with IBM’s InfoWindow Display, enables a user to define and plan a presentation. The programmer can combine text, graphic, audio, synthetic speech and video displays, and program for a variety of input methods. The system includes a time-related element that enables the programmer to synchronise the various elements. The Interpreter runs the program written on the Editor, and displays it in real time, allowing for user interaction. The InfoWindow Presentation System runs on anything from a Personal to an AT, but the system requires a minimum of 10Mb hard disk storage; 640Kb of main memory; the IBM General Purpose Interface Bus Card and cable; the IBM Enhanced Graphics Adaptor Card and Graphic Memory Expansion Card (with a total of 128Kb of graphic storage); the IBM Enhanced Graphics Adaptor Jumper Card; IBM Serial/Parallel Adaptor with printer; and (if you’re writing on an AT for presentations with an XT or a plain vanilla Pesonal) an extra 360Kb diskette drive. The system requires the videodisk player as well. So far only the Pioneer LD-V6000 and V6200 are supported on the system, and IBM doesn’t sell them, or the cable to connect the players to the computer. IBM envisions a learning centre where a student takes an interactive course, or a sales station where a consumer can select a specific product from a database. The InfoWindow Presentation Editor carries a one-time licence charge of $4,975; the InfoWindow Presentation Interpreter carries a one-time licence fee of $135. Both programs will be available this quarter.

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