Dublin, Ireland-based East Coast Software Ltd has come up with a unique way to connect portable computers to any topology of Novell Inc NetWare network – at what it reckons is half the price of other connectors. East Coast has developed software that works alongside the network card on a workstation, enabling a portable that […]
Dublin, Ireland-based East Coast Software Ltd has come up with a unique way to connect portable computers to any topology of Novell Inc NetWare network – at what it reckons is half the price of other connectors. East Coast has developed software that works alongside the network card on a workstation, enabling a portable that is linked to the computer to share the card, and access the network. The portable needs just a standard parallel port and cable to link it to the parallel port of the workstation. Unlike other external adaptors, no special hardware and no separte power supply is required. East Coast’s managing director Paddy Holahan says Lap2Lan will take on the Xircom pocket adaptors, our product is cheaper, doesn’t consume power, requires no special hardware, works with any Novell topology and is easier to set up. He also says the machine is a superior answer compared with docking stations, internal sockets and network cards, commenting that the first only allows access to one network, the second is too expensive and the third is not viable on a personal computer. As well as selling directly to portable computer users, East Coast is hoping to strike deals with manufacturers to bundle the device with machines, an option that Holahan says is not viable with other products, other solutions cost one third of the machine price again – ours is about one fiftieth of the price. Chris Key of notebook manufacturer Poquet Computer Corp says that for Poquet’s type of portable that does not have an internal local net board, the software is very interesting…it could have Xircom quite worried. Key says the price – less than half that of an equivalent Xircom product – plus the multi-topology aspect of the software should appeal to Poquet users. Lap2Lan only transfers data at 50Kbps – far slower than Xircom adaptors – but Key says that for Poquet users, the difference would probably not matter too much – in the end it’s a price-performance consideration. The application is a factor too. Lap2Lan uses 14Kb of memory on the notebook computer and 30Kb on the workstation. The software sells for GBP145 for both machines.