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Java computer aimed at retail

Fujitsu's network computer integrates the keyboard and display.

Fujitsu announced a Java-based Network Computer (NC) that integrates the keyboard and display and is targeted at retail stores.

The Netcanvas J100 can connect to a server using the PPP (point-to-point) protocol via an integrated modem. The display is a touch-panel that responds to contact, according to the online edition of Nikkei Business Publications reported today.

The machines will be sold in Japan.

NCs take computing functions off the desktop and put them on servers, limiting the NC mostly to simple data input. This reduces the cost of maintenance.

Franchise operations are a target audience because the outposts sharing the network are typically in different locations. Without some sort of central management, an IT manager would have to visit each location to upgrade applications.

Netcanvas J100 NCs will run on the Java operating system and be capable of Java applets and Java-based software, Nikkei reported. The display will be a 7.2-inch, 640-by-480-pixel resolution color monitor, and come with a serial port, a parallel port, and a PC card slot for peripheral devices, such as printers.

The NetCanvas J100 will be available beginning in February 1998, for an estimated 148,000 yen (about $1,190).