Exhibit 2 compares and contrasts the mainframe and minicomputer
approaches to networking and data communications.
What happened in the case of the minicomputers
is that those secondary offerings quickly became the primary offerings," he said, "and I think it's very likely to happen the same way with Internet.
If the majority of the minicomputer
programs had been well structured with real databases, we would have seen much less erosion of their installed base over the past few years.
Large associations with extensive membership data and services can overcome these drawbacks by connecting a LAN that performs word processing, some accounting, and even conference planning functions to a minicomputer
that handles membership.
It would be nice to have an encryption box at the PC that would encrypt from the PC to the mainframe and work across the line regardless of whether it was a LAN, a minicomputer
, or dial-up line.
The population for this study is all firms that were founded in the United States to produce a minicomputer
between 1957 and 1981.
The company can generate one copy of a new or altered program and, using the minicomputer
at corporate headquarters, download it to the computers in the stores.
When we are ready to transmit CBC data to the minicomputer
, using either of the video display terminals, we call up the results entry program.
As personal computers take over bigger chunks of the minicomputer
and workstation marketplace, we expect that other developers will begin to look at similar migration opportunities.
The following real-life case illustrates an example of how one firm moved from a single user microcomputer to a multi-user minicomputer
and avoided both reprogramming and performing parallel testing for a lengthy period.
Today, the plant tracks all materials with an effective inventory management team--bar codes, combination hand-held personal computers/solid-state laser scanners, and a minicomputer
The technique's greatest drawback is that it takes about two days on a VAX minicomputer
to generate an image like the one shown.