Ordinary computers are “out”, integrated workstations are “in”, though mostly they are merely computers with a large hard disk, full range of software, a modem, and a menu front‐end for easy access to all this. Dawson Technology Ltd, who launched a new Integrated Workstation (IWS) at their London offices on 19 April, have added a compact disc reader to it and this makes good sense in a library environment. The software included is a menu generator and DOS interface, the Open Access2 integrated package (wordprocessor, spreadsheet, graphics and database) and communications. There is also “ATE” which is an automatic text editor developed by a research team at Leicester Polytechnic especially with library and office tasks in mind. Thus one can sit at the keyboard and use LA NET or other E‐Mail services, external databases, CD‐ROM disk or use full business‐style word and data handling. Subscribers to Dawson's inter‐library lending product AIM or SMS, their serial‐handling package can readily access them from the same terminal. Any data or text generated in or downloaded by these facilities can be automatically edited into any predetermined different format for input to any of the others. If such easy access to all the data of many systems is thought inadvisable nine levels of password protection can be provided. The price is a very modest £3,950 for an IBM AT‐compatible 12MHz machine with 40Mb hard disk, 640K RAM, CD‐ROM reader and all that software, some of it exclusive to the workstation. Should a library have existing equipment of similar capacity the Automatic Text Editor alone is available at £475. The workstation behaved perfectly at the Press demonstration — the only serious misgiving expressed was that if a library were to use AIM, SMS, carry out substantial report‐writing, and be heavily tempted to download into a local database from external databases or CD‐ROM, then 40Mb would fill up quite quickly. Librarians would do well to consider whether 80Mb and extra memory could be afforded from the start. The low price implies that purchasers of the workstation would not need, nor expect to receive, more than token support although training can be provided initially. Details of the workstation or Dawson's systems can be obtained from Dawson Technology Ltd, Cannon House, Folkestone, Kent CT19 5EE (0303–850537).
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