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Terminal Manager (TM)

Introduction

Terminal Manager (TM) is a software package designed to operate under the OS/2 Operating System allowing multiple users to be connected to a central OS/2 system through the use of low cost terminals. It permits the connection of up to 16 terminals, each terminal being able to run multiple sessions.

Conclusions

Not the sort of system for an end user to configure and set up but seems to provide an ideal low cost multi-user solution for the developer/VAR. Probably most at home with previous ALLOY Multiware users who wish to move into an OS/2 environment. Due to the screen refresh rates not ideal for applications with very "busy" screens.

Presentation

Qiiq have put together a competent manual package, showing what is possible with the newer versions of WordStar. Not up to the standard set by Icicle but few products are.

Documentation

Thorough and well written. As one would expect from a product of this kind, an understanding of OS/2 terminology is required.

Hardware Requirements

We tested Terminal Manager (TM) on an IBM PS/2 Model 50 with Wyse Terminals in PC mode. The manufacturers claim that the product will run on IBM PC/AT and compatibles or on IBM PS/2 MCA and compatibles. 4 MB of RAM is recommended. They further state that it works with any terminal supporting a PC Mode but specifically recommend the IBM 3151, WYSE 60 and WYSE 120.

Software Requirements

OS/2 version 1.1 or later.

Chief Benefits

AREV for OS/2 comes in a single user form that allows three AREV sessions to be active at any one time with full inter-session locking. Using Terminal Manager (TM) it is possible to take this standard single user version of AREV for OS/2 and run one central machine and two dumb terminals. Obviously bumping AREV increases this capacity.

It is possible to modify the user logon script for a specific terminal so that when they switch on, they are put straight into AREV without the intrusion of menu structures et al.

Testing of Terminal Manager (TM)

We configured the product as per the manufacturer's recommendations and then attached a Wyse terminal to the first com port. A session was started on this terminal and then AREV was invoked. Initially problems were encountered as the terminal was mono and the central box was colour, so AREV autosensed a colour monitor and logged in as COLOR.USER. We simply overrode this on login by logging in explicitly as USER.

At TCL we "Who'ed" and checked our station id. It was different to that of the AREV session running on the main box. Another session was then invoked on the terminal and AREV started again. From this AREV session we set a select followed by a save-list. We then returned to the main terminal session and set up a loop to check until the list existed on the lists file, get-listed it and used it for a report. No problems at all.

Locking logic was then thoroughly checked, again with no problems. All standard AREV commands were checked and found to work. During testing a few minor bugs were discovered and pointed out to the authors who incorporated these fixes immediately in the shipping version. (Nice to deal with a software manufacturer who releases needed patches so quickly).

Product Overview

The key features of Terminal Manager (TM) are

          allows connection of up to 16 terminals, locally or remotely
          supports standard COM1-COM8 and third party boards
          runs in a single OS/2 session
          each terminal can run multiple sessions
          most OS/2 text-based applications run

Seriously Technical Information (OS/2 users only) Terminal Manager (TM) uses two processes plus an additional process per terminal. It uses five threads plus an additional two threads per terminal. It uses two system semaphores plus an additional two system semaphores per terminal. For each terminal a DosMuxSemWait is performed on three sempahores. One pipe is used and Terminal Manager (TM) also uses RAM semaphores and fast safe RAM semaphores.

Pricing

1 user 125.00, 4 user 245, 8 user 395, 16 user 595. Note that these prices reflect Terminal Manager (TM) users, AREV bumps are required in the normal way. The pricing is based on the number of concurrent users not on the number of communication adapter ports configured.

Downside

A dongle (hardware protection device) is required. This is both a bad and a good point as whilst the device is initially intrusive it can be used via an Application Program Interface (API) to encrypt data or secure application software from unauthorized/unlicensed use.

As screen refresh on terminals is at line rates (usually 19.2K) it can be a little slow if there is a lot of screen activity.

Supplier Details

Qiiq Ltd 578 Kingston Road, LONDON SW20 8DR, England +44 81 540 7130 (Voice) +44 81 542 0318 (Fax)

(Volume 2, Issue 3, Pages 7,8)
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