INDUSTRY WATCH

Lucent sells switching gear on HITS L ucent Technologies Inc. said it sold $16 million worth of digital network switching gear for the Defense Information Systems Agency's Hawaii Information Transfer System (HITS) through an agreement with Wheat International hardware supplier to AT&T Government Markets the HITS prime contractor.

A Lucent spokeswoman said the company will provide 12 of its 5ESS-2000 switches for the HITS job. She added that these have a smaller capacity than Lucent "mega-switches" used in commercial telephone company central offices. Each 5ESS-2000 switch can handle up to 15 000 local-access lines. Lucent also will supply 38 000 telephone sets to HITS users.

AT&T won the HITS contract last month with a low bid of $291 million for the 10-year contract. The company will use high-speed fiber-optic circuits installed by Oceanic Communications Inc. a unit of the Oahu local cable TV company owned by Time Warner Cable Co. GTE Hawaiian Telephone Co. also bid on the contract and has until March 18 to file a protest.

A GTE Hawaiian Telephone spokes-man said the company was "still studying its options" when asked last week if it intended to protest. Dick Lombardi president of AT&T Government Markets said he "would not be surprised" if GTE did protest the award.

Digital to debut new notebooks

Digital Equipment Corp. tomorrow is expected to announce three new models in its HiNote notebook line including a high-end machine running a 166 MHz Pentium chip with MMX technology.

Digital's HiNote VP 575 will include a 166 MHz processor 16M of RAM and 2.16G removable hard drives. The models VP 560 and 565 will have 133 MHz chips 16M of RAM and 1.44G removable hard drives. All three of the HiNote models are expected to ship with 12.1-inch displays and a combination CD-ROM/diskette drive. In addition Digital is expected to offer Microsoft Corp. NT Workstation 4.0 configurations across its line.

The VP 575 will be priced at $4 329 on the General Services Administration schedule. The VP 565 is priced at $3 270 and the VP 560 at $2 406 on the GSA schedule. The GSA prices are proposed and have yet to be approved.

Sun pushes into supercomputing

Sun Microsystems Inc. made its first foray into the high-performance computing market with its announcement last week of a new line of supercomputer-class servers.

The company introduced its new Sun and Ultra HPC servers which will target customers running compute-intensive applications in production environments. The new servers come bundled with software to allow users to easily develop and deploy supercomputers according to company officials.

The new servers will be available via NASA's Scientific and Engineering Workstation Procurement II and from the GSA schedule. Sun officials also are considering making the new line available via AFCAC 305 and the Navy's Tactical Advanced Computer program (TAC-JW). TAC-JW provides workstations and servers for command and control.

NCSA Microsoft in anti-virus effort

The National Computer Security Association and Microsoft Corp. have launched a Macro Virus Prevention Initiative to ensure that anti-virus software vendors have the information and support they need to build effective tools for detecting and eliminating macro viruses in Microsoft applications.

Components of the initiative include an anti-virus newsgroup managed by NCSA to ensure rapid accurate exchange between Microsoft and the anti-virus industry and early release of beta versions of Microsoft applications to anti-virus vendors.

A Web site supported by Microsoft and NCSA located at www.microsoft.com/office/antivirus will provide PC users with information about the prevention of macro viruses.

- Compiled by Bob Brewin John Moore and Heather Harreld.

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