thePipeline

New computers from the factory floor

Boxes, more boxes and then some other boxes. Computer makers are releasing new models just in time for the holidays.

Not that you're likely to be giving high-end blade servers to the kids for Christmas or Hanukkah, but it's the thought that counts.

MPC Computers LLC officials have released the Millennia 940i, a new desktop computer sporting the new 925X Express chipset from Intel Corp. The computer's chassis is a re-designed model intended to give more internal cooling, allowing for hotter — and more powerful — processors.

The system is a step up from the company's Millennia 920i model. Improvements include better graphics and an integrated Serial Advanced Technology

Attachment-150 Controller for managing storage systems.

"The Millennia 940i is a high-end system that was designed with the PC enthusiast in mind," said Paul Petersen, MPC's vice president of product development and marketing.

The system also includes integrated Gigabit Ethernet, eight high-speed USB ports, a full gigabyte of memory and a 3.4 GHz Pentium 4 processor.

Accessories are in good supply, too. Iogear Inc. officials have released a new wireless keyboard and mouse combination, allowing users to work up to 6 feet away from a receiver that can be connected to any PC or Apple Computer Inc. Macintosh computer.

Company officials say the mouse allows accurate work with minimal hand movement, and the keyboard is ultra-thin and lightweight. The keyboard also offers hot keys so that users can accomplish common tasks with a keystroke.

GFI Software Ltd. officials have released LANguard Portable Storage Control, a security product that blocks unauthorized users from transferring information stored on a network to a USB stick, one of those key-size memory devices that are useful for carrying files around.

The product also blocks unauthorized data transfers to floppy disks, CDs or other removable memory devices, and allows a network manager to control users' access to bipods, digital cameras, handheld computers and other devices that could be used to offload unauthorized files.

That is so 1980

One overriding theme of technology innovation lately is the movement of existing systems to a more contemporary setting. Neon Systems Inc. officials have released Shadow z/Services, a Simple Object Access Protocol-based mainframe integration solution that allows officials to rapidly turn mainframe applications into Web services.

Officials, including those at government agencies, are increasingly turning to service-oriented architectures as a way to transform mainframe implementations so that they continue to be useful as technologies advance. Shadow z/Services eliminate the programming needed to develop mainframe Web services, thereby speeding and simplifying the process.

The market for products such as Shadow z/Services is partly a matter of economics, a force likely to be even more acutely felt in agencies straining for funding.

"The realities of today's economic conditions and the failures of massive migrations to new platforms are causing companies to leverage their existing install base," said Dale Vecchio, research director at Gartner Research. Service-oriented architectures are "seen as a great way to do it."

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