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There was always a strong interest in single-user workstations from the MMI, Software Engineering and IKBS communities.
The major initiative was the introduction of the SUN single user workstation in large numbers in the community, together with arrangements for central support etc. This involved Peter Kent and A B Smith. Activities included:
- defining a standard configuration SUN for users, based on the benchmarks that had been run on the SUN and other machines and information from the users;
- helping users to sort out their specific requirements and then progressing their orders;
- negotiating discounts on SUN hardware and maintenance charges;
- looking after the SUN and Whitechapel computers at RAL and arranging for dispatch and loan of equipment to grant holders in Universities;
- advising potential grant holders of the latest SUN equipment and the SERC policy on central purchase and maintenance of SUN equipment;
- benchmarking SUN equipment in order to update the standard configuration SUN as new SUN products were announced;
- trying to get the SUN's at RAL working satisfactorily on the ethernet;
- organising the first SERC SUN user group meeting at RAL.
The group also supported Whitechapel workstations to some degree - 22 were purchased for assessment by the IKBS Director and Tony Lucas managed the allocation and distribution of these. It also handled central purchase of Orion workstations (P Kent) and ICL Series 39 for large IKBS architecture projects (Cliff Pavelin).