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  1. Technology
August 10, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

The latest entry in the competitive and overcrowded world of graphics workstations is small company Ocean Electronic Systems, Sunnyvale, California, which has at least worked harder than most to ensure its products have a distinct identity. The recently introduced Mach line of RISC-based workstations use the Fairchild Clipper processor running at 33MHz. Claimed to run AutoCAD Version 9 at a rate of 9 MIPS, the Mach Series offloads input output to an Intel 80286 or optionally an 80386 processor, which also gives it the ability to run Unix and MS-DOS concurrently. Both Unix System V.3 and MS-DOS 3.3 operating systems are included. The machine offers true virtual memory, limited only by the size of the disk, and also includes voice input as a standard feature via the Vox Pop package, developed by Circle Computer Consultants of Orinda, California. Using a headset or hand held microphone, hardware interface card and VoiceCAD software, users can speak up to 500 command words to control a package such as AutoCAD. After seven to 10 training cycles, speech recognition is said to be achieved with 98% accuracy. Ocean has also worked on the workstation housing, with an integral anti-static footrest, design workstation with built-in 12 by 12 digitiser, keyboard stand, uninterruptible power supply, and 20 monitor. Prices start from $24,950. Privately-funded Ocean, which also produces 80286- and 80386-based personal computers, says it has already had some success with major auto manufacturers, and that it is looking for European representatives aside from an existing agreement set up in Belgium. Its defence against workstation giants such as Sun Microsystems and Apollo Computer is simply to be faster and to offer more features.

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