The annual Pick-poppers party held in Las Vegas last week saw the usual string of hot launches, with emphasis on number of users supported on one box. McDonnell-Douglas Computer Systems Co in Irvine, California has applied all its microcoding skills to the company’s new top-end Reality Series 18 machine, so that it offers at least twice the power of the previous line-topper and takes the number of simultaneous local and remote users supported up to 300 on the 18/955, 400 on the 18/965. The performance is achieved in part by putting all the performance-sensitive parts of the system into firmware. The 955 is from $395,000 with 4Mb – expandable to 12Mb; the 965 from $575,000 with 8Mb, expandable to 16. Ships start May, volume shipments in September.