IBM’s Rolm Corp had an item or two to contribute to last week’s communications blitz – but its entries had to take a back seat because they are presently offered only in the US. Rolmbridge 5250 Personal Computer Communications Feature is a program that is designed to provide enhanced asynchronous communication for IBM Personal Computers and Personal System/2s in System/36 or System/38 environments. Rolm also announced a local print feature for the Rolmbridge 5250 Link Protocol Converter that enables terminals and Personals to print System/36 or System/38 files to their directly attached printers. Printing and data sessions are performed simultaneously over the same single twisted pair of telephone lines. The software, which runs on the micro, works with the Rolmbridge 5250 protocol coverter inside the Rolm CBX private exchange. Together, they form an integrated, low-cost connection from desktop to host. The Rolmbridge 5250 protocol converter was developed by Rolm and IBM and announced in June 1986 last year. Through each Rolmbridge 5250 converter, up to 14 CBX-connected asynchronous devices can be attached simultaneously to the System/36 or System/38 via Rolmlink. The Rolmbridge 5250 Personal Computer Communications Feature provides a number of data communications functions, including terminal emulations for the 5291 terminal and keyboard mapping for the IBM Personal and Personal System/2; and terminal profiles, with each profile containing parameters such as data transmission rate, data phone numbers and log-on sequences. It also provides file transfer support, allowing users to send files back and forth from Personal to host. File transfer is done via an interface to IBM’s PC Support/36, PC Support/38 and File Support Utility programs.
Additional data functions include keyboard mapping, the ability to customise the keyboard for greater control and flexibility for individual applications; autolog and autodial, one-touch log-on facility allowing for automatical connection to the Rolmbridge 5250 protocol converter, System/36 or System/38 and into the application of choice; and hot key, which enables users to toggle between a host session and a PC-DOS session without disrupting either application. Rolmbridge 5250 Personal Computer Communications Feature, available September 1987, can be purchased in quantities of one for $225, seven for $150 each or 14 for $135 each. An upgrade, which includes the local print feature, is required at no charge for existing Rolmbridge 5250 Link Protocol Converter systems to access the new Personal Communications Feature. Rolmbridge 5250 Feature will be marketed and serviced by IBM’s Telecommunications Marketing and Service Organisation and by Rolm’s independent distributors.