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February 10, 1988

TANDEM SURRENDERS TO MARKET DEMAND, MAKES WHOLE-HEARTED COMMITMENT TO UNIX PRODUCTS

By CBR Staff Writer

Tandem Computers Inc, Cupertino, took some of the early glitter at the Uniforum show when it announced that it planned a joint development effort with MIPS Computer – there are strong suspicions that this will lead to a fault-tolerant Unix family built around the MIPS RISC, and then followed up with a new top end model for its emerging Unix micro family, which Tandem buys OEM from Altos Computer. A couple of years ago, Tandem gave anyone who asked about Unix a very old-fashioned look indeed, but times change and converts can become Messianic. As reported briefly yesterday, Tandem strengthened its Unix line with a higher-performance LXN 402 system at the top of the line, addition of the Alis integrated office package, and the Informix Turbo, high performance database server that is claimed to doubles performance. The LXN 402, based on a 20MHz Motorola 68020, supports up to 32 users. It includes an 80Mb Winchester, a 10-port serial communication controller, 2Mb memory, 60Mb quarter inch cartridge tape, and 5.25 floppy drive. There are three slots for option boards, memory expands to 16Mb and disk storage expands up to 1Gb. Tandem has taken a licence to Alis, the office automation package from Applix Inc. Alis is designed to provide comprehensive office applications by combining the graphics capability of a Personal Computer workstation with powerful text-processing. Informix-Turbo is described as a high-performance highly reliable database server that offers transaction protection to ensure data integrity. In keeping with Tandem’s commitment to fault-tolerance, an LXN system, with power failure protection and mirrored disk support, can be configured so that no transactions are lost from any single point of failure. Informix-Turbo works with other Informix Corp products including the Informix-SQL relational database management system; Informix-4GL applications generator for creating database applications; and the ESQL/C and ESQL/Cobol development tools which allow SQL statements to be embedded in C and Cobol programs. Also available is the Tandem Menu Development System, which enables developers to create, maintain, and access customised menus for their local applications. Communicate with NonStop LXN systems can also communicate with Tandem NonStop systems via the company’s SNAX Systems Network Architecture software or via X25 and can also be used on Ethernet TCP/IP local area networks. An MS-DOS file and print server is available for the LXN that provides a NetBIOS-compatible file and print server capability for workstations connected to the LXN via the Ethernet local area network. The LXN 402 will be available in April and a network unit price for LXN systems is available for anyone buying 25 to 39 systems. The network unit price for the LXN 402 is $19,380, and the single quantity price is $25,500. Alis is available in four- and eight-user packages for workstations and terminals. The four-user workstation package is priced at $3,500 and the eight-user is $6,800. The four-user terminal package price is $2,560, and the eight-user is $5,120. Informix-Turbo is $1,650 per LXN system. The Tandem Menu Development System is $500 per LXN system.

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