IBM UK’s mid-range announcements last week were rather more limited in scope than those made simultaneously in the US. For stateside users of the new System/36 5363 and the existing 5364 System/36, there were new versions of three of the most popular licensed programs – for manufacturing, construction and distribution industries – all coming in 40% cheaper than before. There was also a new release of the System/36 SolutionPac which supports the Personal System/2 models 50, 60 and 80. Version 2.0 of VM SolutionPac extends version 1.0’s text editing and document distribution facilities and allows PC-DOS boxes and PS/2s to connect via a Token Ring network to a 370 host system. Other 370-based announcements included an expert systems development package, KnowledgeTool, designed for commercial programmers with no specialised equipment and little specialised training, and new versions of VSE/SP for the 4381 models 21 to 23 and the 9370. For potential System/38 buyers, the good news was a series of price cuts from four to 20% on the models 200 to 700 and by 30% on memory which is now $3,500 per megabyte. Existing customers upgrading their machines to models 600 and 700 can expect further discounts. The US announcements also included more NetView products. The 5822 Data Service Unit/Channel Service Unit allows NetView operators the ability to monitor and manage digital, as well as analogue communications lines. It includes internal diagnostics. IBM says the 5822 is designed to operate at speeds from 2.4K- to 56K-bits-per-second over the digital data services offered by telephone companies in the US. The 5822 may also be used as a limited-distance modem within a building or in a campus environment. For non-US customers there is the 3737 high-speed Channel-to-Channel Unit. It enables customers with distributed data networks to transport large amounts of information between processors across high-speed T-1 dedicated digital lines. NetView operators will be able to monitor conditions on the device.
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