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January 6, 1988

POLAND NEGOTIATES TO ASSEMBLE ICL ME29s UNDER LICENCE…

By CBR Staff Writer

The Polish government is negotiating to assemble low-end ICL computers under licence for use within Poland and sale to other Comecon countries. Details of the plan are still sketchy, but the signs are that it is a done deal, since ICL indicates that an announcement will be made in a week or two. It is believed that the machine under discussion is the ME29: in the 1970s, Poland built early models of ICL’s 1900 24-bit mainframe line as the Odra 1304 and 1305, but it is not likely that the talks include the current Series 39 mainframe line since this uses Fujitsu technology that is not ICL’s to pass on to third parties. The ME29 operates as a 24-bit machine and has some compatibility with the aged Odras, which are no doubt still in use in Poland. The Poles may also be interested in the System 25 small business and control computer, which is still very much ICL’s own product. System 25 is the direct descendent of the Singer System Ten, all rights to which were acquired by ICL in 1976; prior to that, Singer Business Machines had sold Poland System Tens to be used as node processors in a national packet network.

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