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April 21, 1988

TANDY’s ERASABLE COMPACT DISK OVERSHADOWS ITS PS/2 CLONE

By CBR Staff Writer

Tandy Corp yesterday duly announced its high-speed clone of the IBM PS/2 Model 80 80386 box, but that machine was completely overshadowed by another announcement – that of its own new erasable optical disk technology that uses disks that can be used with existing Compact Disk music players and data storage drives, but can be erased and rerecorded, whether it be audio, data or video. The random access nature of optical disk technology makes it much more attractive than tape for recording music, and Tandy’s announcement of an erasable optical Compact Disk poses a big threat to Digital Audio Tape – especially as Tandy reckons the medium will be cheaper than tape. For data it will store hundreds of megabytes on a 5 disk. Tandy calls the thing Thor CD and is interested in licensing the technology to others. No ship dates were given. The 80386 box is called the 5000MC and features 32Kb high-speed cache memory controller. The desk-top machine will be offered with Santa Cruz Xenix V.386, MS-DOS 3.3 and OS/2, is $5,000 with 2Mb 20MHz CPU, 1.44Mb 3.5 floppy and five Micro Channel, two 32-bit memory slots. It costs $6,500 with 40Mb, $7,000 with 84Mb Winchester. Adaptec rushed out an announcement that the machine uses three products from its Micro Chan nel family of controller boards and host adaptors to boost input-output performance of the machine. The three are the ACB-2610, a Micro Channel-to-ST412/506 MFM control ler, claimed to be 50% faster than the Micro Channel; ESDI; and SCSI.

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