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SUN’s TOPS ENHANCES ITS MACINTOSH, IBM PERSONAL NETWORKING SOFTWARE

Centram Systems West, now masquerading as TOPS, a Sun Microsystems Company, has released new versions of its NetPrint, which enables IBM Personals to print directly to Apple LaserWriters or other PostScript-compatible printers on an AppleTalk network, and of its TOPS local area network software packages for Personals and Macintoshes. The new features in NetPrint include a dynamic menu listing that enables users to choose from available networked printers; a new PostScript translator that supports all LaserWriter Plus fonts; a downloadable IBM style character set that includes block graphics; and shorthand configuration commands. The memory resident program enables PostScript-compatible MS-DOS applications such as MS-Word, WordPerfect, PageMaker and Ventura Publisher to print dir-ectly to an Apple LaserWriter or other networked printer. For older MS-DOS applications that do not support PostScript, TOPS Net-Print provides transparent translation from dot matrix to PostScript, claims TOPS. As well as a printer, AppleTalk cabling, users need a Personal equipped with TOPS NetPrint and a TOPS FlashCard to use the system. TOPS FlashCard is a half-length networking card that fits into an expansion slot on a Personal, providing a connection to AppleTalk over compatible twisted pair cabling. The new version of TOPS NetPrint will begin shipping at the beginning of November at $189. TOPS FlashCard is $239. Also scheduled for delivery at the beginning of November the new ver-sion of TOPS’ local net software, TOPS/DOS version 2.0, which enables micros on the TOPS Network to access dedicated printers formerly available to only one user. TOPS/DOS also includes FlashTalk, the recently announced Personal-to-Personal communications architecture that operates on TOPS at three times its former AppleTalk speed. TOPS/Macintosh version 2.0 introduces a remember function that enables users to make files available to the network automatically, and automatically access remote files. In addition, TOPS/Macintosh is now fully compatible with all Apple File Protocol applications. Both TOPS/DOS and TOPS/Macintosh now support AppleTalk zones and offer improved password protection, claims TOPS. The new version of TOPS will recognise version 2.0 only and computers running the earlier versions of TOPS will not appear on version 2.0’s menu. In order to network all TOPS units, the new version must be installed on all networked machines. Current users can upgrade their systems for $29 per node until March 15, 1988. Upgrades are free to MS- DOS users who bought TOPS after October 1, and to Macintosh users who have already bought the recent update with TOPS Spool and TOPS Translators. The suggested retail price for TOPS/DOS and TOPS/Macintosh is $189.

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