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March 19, 1996


By CBR Staff Writer

Sun Microsystems Inc yesterday promised the world’s first prototype of a network computer, but the network it was referring to was the Intranet, and the machine is not the cheap Internet access device that had been expected. Priced at anything from $750 but more like $1,500, the JavaStation 1, as it is known at the moment will be out in around eight months with a microSparc II processor at its heart, until the UltraJava processors are available next year. It will have between 8Mb and 64Mb of RAM, 1Mb of Video RAM, a 15 or 17 color monitor and a keyboard and mouse as standard. The Java Virtual Machine operating system – code-named Kona, and written from scratch in Java – is on the client in ROM, as is the browser. Sun predictably enough included its HotJava offering. The follow-up JavaStation 1+ will probably have a new box design, possibly including a disk drive. Sun UK Network Business Division director Martyn Lambert said a floppy drive was the main security risk inherent in a personal computer, but added that JavaStation customers could have a floppy drive if they wanted one. The next version will also have built-in loudspeakers and the operating system and browser in Flash ROM, as well as the higher-performance Java processor. The Java server will likely be a Netra variant.

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