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IBM rolls out NC software

IBM announces software that makes its Network Station network computers easier to set up and manage.

IBM (IBM) today announced software that makes its Network Station network computers easier to set up and manage.

IBM says the IBM Network Station Manager allows system administrators to use the IBM Network Station Browser to define differing levels of system access for individual users. With this feature, users can access information from the Internet, a corporate network, or Java and Windows applications from any connected Network Station, not just from the system they normally use.

For example, some users may only need to access and enter data--such as a travel agent booking airline reservations--while others may need to use Lotus Notes to collaborate with colleagues, IBM says.

The software is currently available for Network Stations used with IBM AS/400 computers.

IBM's Network Station is a diskless "thin client" that relies on a server computer for application distribution, management, and processing. The premise of network computers (NCs) is that they are inherently easier to manage because most of the information resides on a central server rather than separately on the hard drives of individual desktop PCs.

The software allows administrators to deploy applications, change available printers, or change system settings from a remote location.

Information systems personnel use the Network Station Manager through the majority of browsers running on most clients on their network, such as Microsoft's Internet Explorer or Netscape Communications' Navigator.

The Network Station Manager software controls all the Network Station's applications, including access to multiple servers on the network for transaction-based applications, access to Windows applications, and cross-platform connections to the Internet and corporate intranets by means of the IBM Network Station Browser.

Both the Network Station Manager and the Network Station Browser can be downloaded from IBM's IBM NC site. They will be available in CD-ROM versions next month.

A version of the software for S/390, RS/6000, OS/2 and Windows NT operating systems will be available starting in the second quarter.