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Technology / AI and automation


Microcomputers have reached puberty, said managing director of Ferrari Software Bob Denton at the Which Computer? show. With the gradual reduction in the price of communications boards and the availability of networked software such as Software Products International’s Open Access II-Net, microcomputers can start to be used in networked situations. I believe that the price of communications boards could eventually come down by around 70% from the UKP900 mark to as low as UKP150 to UKP200. The other limiting factor has been the lack of suitable software to exploit networking potential fully. In the US, there are many more small networks with few nodes than big networks with large numbers of nodes. The situation is the reverse in the UK, but that will start to change now that the lack of suitable software to exploit networking potential is being rectified. Ferrari and ADT Ltd are both agents for Novell’s Netware local area networking software and both are using SPI’s Open Access software as primary application software for distribution to authorised Novell dealers. Software Products International was showing its newly-announced Open Access II-Net business software at Which Computer? running over Novell’s Netware on a Token Ring network. Open Access II-Net, made up of spreadsheet with graphics, database with programming language, word processing, and communications, has been priced at UKP400 per station or UKP595 for a single-user system. Software Products also showed Open Access Entry, a package tailored to run on the Amstrad 1512 at UKP150, compared with the UKP550 the original product sold for 18 months ago.

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