Federal Bytes

The General Services Administration has been urging agencies that use FTS 2000 to take inventory of their telecom equipment to prepare for the Year 2000 and the transition to the forthcoming FTS 2001 long-distance network. GSA ought to do the same, starting with its voice-mail system. ~Last week an FCW reporter called GSA for comment on an article related to the agency's FTS 2000 network and reached a voice-mail greeting from John Okay, the former deputy commissioner of the Federal Technology Service who left the agency about four months ago. ~One hopes that other agencies are more on the ball and that voice-mail accounts no longer exist for Aldrich Ames or Monica Lewinsky. ~~Toye-ing with the committee~The Defense Department has become the center of attention following a federal audit that found many agencies' financial systems riddled with discrepancies, missing equipment records and overpayments. ~And Nelson Toye, the department's deputy chief financial officer, earlier this month had the unenviable task at a congressional hearing of defending his organization against charges of financial management weaknesses. ~Introducing his testimony, Toye told his congressional audience that it was "a pleasure" to testify. Perhaps detecting a note of insincerity, Rep. Steve Horn (R-Calif.) asked Toye, "Do you recall that you're under oath?" ~~The tough jobs~At the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee's confirmation hearing last week on the nomination of Edward DeSeve to become deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) noted that the deputy director position is one of the most challenging jobs in the federal government. ~However, he qualified the statement by noting to fellow committee member Sen. John Glenn (D-Ohio) that it certainly was not as difficult as being an astronaut. Nor, he said to committee chairman Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.), is it as difficult as chairing a Senate committee. ~Specter didn't mention if the job would prove to be more challenging than a Hollywood acting career, which was Thompson's previous mode of employment. ~But of course, DeSeve already serves as "acting" deputy director.Vividata products added to SEWP II

Vividata Inc.'s printing, scanning and faxing solutions for Unix platforms are now being offered by Baltimore-based reseller ECS Technologies Inc. on NASA's Scientific and Engineering Workstation Procurement II contract.

PostShop, which Vividata said is widely deployed within the Defense Department, allows users to print Adobe Systems Inc. PostScript, Portable Document Format and other image file formats to non-PostScript printers. ScanShop scans, prints, compresses, stores, retrieves and displays documents in full color, gray-scale and bi-level. It was developed according to specifications of DOD, which now has more than 100,000 licenses, according to Berkeley, Calif.-based Vividata.

New super to aid El Nino predictions

NASA plans to use a soon-to-be-completed supercomputer installation to improve weather models for predicting long-range climate patterns, including future appearances of El Nino.

An upgrade of a Cray Research T3E scalable parallel supercomputer at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, scheduled for completion next month, will enable the agency's Seasonal to Interannual Prediction Project to refine the resolution of its model. Scientists will be able to view details in the model down to a range of 30 miles.

The system from Silicon Graphics Inc./Cray Research will contain 1,024 processors and calculate 400 billion floating-point operations per second, making it one of the world's five fastest computers, according to NASA.

Gateway, Micron announce PCs with faster processors

Gateway 2000 Inc. and Micron Electronics Inc. joined several major computer manufacturers in announcing new products that include faster Pentium II chips from Intel Corp.

Gateway announced it is offering the Intel processor in its G-Series desktop PCs, equipped to handle demanding multimedia applications, and in its GP-Series PCs, designed to meet the needs of small- to medium-size businesses.

Prices for standard G-Series desktop PCs configurations will range from $2,499 to $3,799.

Prices for the GP-Series PCs range from $2,499 to $2,999.

Both lines also incorporate Intel's new 440BX AGPset, which boosts the speed of data transfer from memory to the processor by more than 50 percent.

Micron's new desktop PCs have been added to the company's high-end Millennia line, which caters to small offices, and to its ClientPro line of managed PCs, which serves customers in medium and large networked office environments.

The new Micron systems also incorporate Pentium II 350 MHz and 400 MHz processors and the new 440 BX AGPset. The Millennia 350 starts at $2,299, while the ClientPro 350 starts at $2,499.

New product, division for Vredenberg

Vredenberg, Reston, Va., has introduced a software package designed to automate the processing of Freedom of Information Act requests and the publishing of frequently requested documents to the World Wide Web.

V:EFOIA will be marketed by a newly created division of Vredenberg: Vredenberg Information Technology Group.

The package offers case management and redaction tools, a payment processing module and capability to share documents securely on the Internet during review. Larry Den, VITG's vice president, said the product supports the requirements of the Electronic Freedom of Information Act and a Clinton administration policy to declassify old government documents.

Cabletron launches new software

Cabletron Systems Inc. earlier this month announced Spectrum 5.0, which is a new version of its enterprise management software. Version 5.0 offers increased performance, Year 2000 compliance, better integration with Windows NT and enhancements to the user interface. Also, the Enterprise Configuration Manager in Spectrum 5.0 provides quick access to configurations, templates and devices on the network.

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