IBM pays US users to take OS/2 Standard, Extended away with rebates on memory, disk In the US, IBM accompanied the new PS/2 models – the luggable that seems so lacking in styling that it looks like a prototype, and the Model 55 that is intended to sound the death knell for 80286 machines in […]
IBM pays US users to take OS/2 Standard, Extended away with rebates on memory, disk In the US, IBM accompanied the new PS/2 models – the luggable that seems so lacking in styling that it looks like a prototype, and the Model 55 that is intended to sound the death knell for 80286 machines in the serious shops that are IBM’s most important market, with a fairly desperate measure to try to persuade people that if they’ll only try OS/2 they’ll really like it. The company is offering rebates on some memory expansion, fixed disk upgrade – yes, well you do need a much fatter machine to get anything much useful out of OS/2 communications options, and software applications to people who buy OS/2 Standard Edition 1.1 or Extended Edition 1.1 on or after last Tuesday, and on or before December 31, 1989. The rebates are available on memory for 80286 and 80386 PS/2s, the 60Mb fixed disk as an upgrade option (there’s something about that disk the biggest cut IBM made on PS/2 Model 50 was the one with the 60Mb (CI No 1,173), and a variety of Personal Productivity Applications. People buying Extended Edition 1.1 can also get rebates on OS/2 LAN Server 1.0. The cuts are $100 per megabyte of memory up to 4Mb; and $250 on the $60Mb disk upgrade; no indication of the rebate on the applications. People taking Extended Edition do even better, getting $200 per megabyte of memory up to 4Mb, or up to 8Mb if they buy LAN Server too; $50 per communication/modem adaptor; $250 off the hard disk; and the software. People who took all the rebates would effectively be being paid a fair bit by IBM to take OS/2 away. Internal Hayes-compatible modem IBM has got a new 300/1200/2400 Internal Modem/A for the PS/2s, which is Hayes-compatible, and provides standards compatibility via CCITT V.22 bis, Bell 212A, and Bell 103 full duplex operation – and most functions of the new modem are also compatible with the IBM 5853 External Modem. It has automatic dial, automatic answer and the ability to direct-connect into US public or private switched network telephone lines. It needs a half length, 16-bit PS/2 Micro Channel slot, and includes NS16550A FIFO asynchronous support, eight programmable port assignments, and system speaker for telephone line monitoring. Out now, the thing sells for $500 in the US. External, internal 5.25 floppy drives There are two 5.25 1.2Mb floppy drives, the 4869-002 external drive for all the older Micro Channel models, and the 6451-001 internal version for the Models 60 and 80 only. The 5.25 Diskette Adaptor/A is needed for either drive; the external one is $500; the internal one is $355 and the adaptor is $210. All three items are available now in the US. OS/2 Transcription Assistant for 370 users IBM Transcription Assistant is an OS/2 program to facilitate text entry, modification, and update functions associated with System/370 host applications. Transcriptionists and other System/370-based text entry users are offered a full function word processing system bridged to the System/370 host application on an OS/2 Extended Edition machine with 3270 Emulation and DisplayWrite 4/2 or DisplayWrite 5/2, IBM says. User-defined parameters are maintained in a screen customisation file that manages the correct transfer of text between the DisplayWrite session and the 3270 session. And for office functions, the Transcription Assistant can be used with the host office system using the appropriate DisplayWrite editor. It costs $400 and will be available in the US on June 9. Portable has two carrying cases Not too much more to say about the new Matsushita-built portable – officially the 8573-061 with 60Mb disk, 8573-121 with 120Mb. An External Storage Device Cable for attaching external backup devices and diskette drives sets you back another $100 – $100? For a cable? There are also two carrying cases for the thing the Industrial Belting Leather one costs $350 and the Nylon Fisherman’s Packcloth one is $180 – rather keep the thing in a Macy’s carrier than pay those prices. Although IBM talks of 16 grey scales on the plasma screen, grey is a mi
snomer – the 10 diagonal screen is actually the lurid orange colour that plasma screens usually are, although it may be toned down to look more like amber. Although the thing takes the full 16Mb – 4Mb of 85nS memory is standard – there’s only room for 8Mb on the motherboard, so if you want more, bang goes one of the one-and-a-half slots. There is a pointing device port, serial/asynchronous port, parallel port, VGA port and the External Storage Device port, equivalent of the B drive internal floppy port on the PS/2 Model 70. The VGA port supports all VGA graphics and text modes including 640 by 480 graphics, 320 by 200 graphics in 256 colors, and 720 by 400 text using any optional PS/2 VGA colour display, and maintains compatibility with Colour Graphics Adapter and Enhanced Graphics Adaptor modes. The system has two levels of BIOS that total 128Kb. The Compatibility BIOS with memory addressability of up to 1Mb supports current application programs. Advanced BIOS (ABIOS), provides support for multi-tasking operating systems and has extended memory addressability up to 16Mb. It can take an 80387 maths chip and has an 85W automatic voltage-sensing power supply, and an integrated version of the IBM Enhanced Personal Computer Keyboard. The $100 cable is 14 long, and the machine, folded up, measures 18.3 by 5 by 12 and weighs 21 lbs. Minimum maintenance charge is $385 a year. PS/2 55 comes with three 16-bit slots Even less to add on the 55 SX; the 80387SX option – which should be installed by a skilled person costs $800, the thing has three 16-bit Micro Channel slots. There are two memory connectors on the system board, populated with two 1Mb memory modules on the 8555-031; these can be replaced by 2Mb ones for 3Mb or 4Mb before you use a slot. There is already 2Mb in one and the other is vacant on the 8555-061.