Reviewing Classic DEC Hardware

Posted in Computer Stuff on October 30, 2015 – 11:57 am
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rcdhDigital Equipment Corp.’s upcoming desktop systems, based on its new Alpha processors, will be the dream machines of the Windows NT world, according to an examination of a preproduction unit by Geekstir.

Expected to be released when Microsoft Corp.’s Windows NT is announced in the second quarter, the Alpha AXP 21064-based system examined by the Labs uses a minitower case and standard PC components and will cost between $7,000 and $10,000, depending on configuration. DEC also has plans for both lower- and higher-end Alpha systems.

Side-by-side comparisons with a 25/50MHz 486DX2-based system running our test release of Windows NT were no contest. The Alpha system, still far from final optimal condition, was considerably faster than the 486 PC. We compared the Alpha and 486 systems by running simultaneous generations of fractal images on each, using the fractal demonstration program included with the Windows NT Software Development Kit (SDK).

The test was heavily floating-point-math intensive, stressing one of Alpha’s strong features.

Our test system ran at 125MHz, short of the 150MHz expected in release-level systems. The NT Alpha compiler — and therefore the applications we tested — …

IBM Shifts Its Sales Force Into High Gear

Posted in Uncategorized on October 20, 2015 – 7:45 pm
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ibmsWhile all eyes focused on the management shake-up at IBM last week, the struggling computer giant was zooming in on another target: the vaunted IBM sales force.

IBM is quietly working to further split its “Blue Suit” sales team along product, geographic or vertical-market lines, sources said last week. The moves continued amid a week of turmoil following John Akers’ announced plans to resign as the company’s CEO (see story, Page 14).

Much like the increased autonomy being given to IBM’s product units, dividing the sales force will give IBM’s developers more freedom to sell their own products instead of relying on one group to peddle everything from Token-Ring adapters to mainframes.

The single sales force — once a driving force behind IBM’s success — has become an albatross because it lacks the training and motivation to sell customers PC- and LAN-based products instead of higher-profit mainframes and minicomputers, observers said.

“The local IBM marketing guys … had to have a broad knowledge of everything and not a specific knowledge of anything,” said Steven Verne, a PC specialist at Tree Top Inc., a Selah, Wash., fruit-juice …

Jocks And Computers: The NFL Story

Posted in Computer Stuff on October 15, 2015 – 4:27 pm
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nflFootball is big business, and the Super Bowl is the biggest of the big. The National Football League, a PC Week Corporate Lab Partner, spent two weeks building a miniature village near the site of the Super Bowl, complete with stores, houses, offices, an amusement park and a satellite-dish forest. And this village is becoming increasingly computerized.

The day before the Super Bowl, NFL officials took us on a tour of the official statistics control center. During the game, this small room is a hotbed of activity as each play, participant and result is entered into a Xenix-based multiuser system. This system, written by a small consulting firm called Emphasys, runs on a network of Zenith MultisPort laptops. During the game, statistical summaries are selected by the NFL and synchronized with the in-house Read More »

Netware 4.0 Was A Powerful Beast

Posted in Computer Stuff on October 7, 2015 – 9:30 am
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ntwwapWhile most users will greet NetWare 4.0 with open arms when it is introduced next month, those desiring sophisticated, multiplatform storage management will be left wanting.

Although it was slated for release in NetWare 4.0, Novell Inc.’s Storage Management Services (SMS), a technology designed to ease backup by integrating much backup processing into NetWare itself, won’t be delivered entirely in 4.0, officials confirmed.

“We’re waiting for it, and our customers are clamoring for it,” said one tape-backup vendor who asked to remain anonymous. “It’s late and incomplete. Users need it, and [not delivering it] is hurting users.”

SMS is an integrated group of Read More »

IBM Still Powers The IT Industry

Posted in Computer Stuff on October 5, 2015 – 7:54 pm
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ibmspIBM is on a roll, at least as far as PCs are concerned. Granted, the company has just announced the Mother of all Corporate Losses, and John Akers has joined the ranks of presidents without portfolio. Nevertheless, there’s one part of the company that appears to have gotten its act together and is competing effectively — the Personal Computer Co.

The descent into the netherworld of non-competitiveness took a while: After all, IBM has always been a force, and what might have killed other companies just weakened Big Blue.

Yet from 1988 to the end of the third quarter of 1992, it was pretty darn hard to justify buying a Blue box, and fewer and fewer customers did. Prices ranged from merely exorbitant (50 percent more for the same configuration) to outrageous (250 percent more for similar systems). Read More »