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The HP-UX operating system for HP's Integral Personal Computer provides a number of very significant challenges by eliminating the need for a hard disk and allowing the installed flexible disk to be removed whenever a disk access is not occurring; by eliminating the need for complex system configuration and user administration of the operating system; by simplifying the human interface with the aid of a windowed environment to make the system easier to use; and providing a measure of real-time capability for instrumentation control.

The design of the user interface for HP's Integral Personal Computer was driven by the need to make the power of its HP-UX operating system (HP's version of the UNIX operating system) available to the novice. Some important constraints were to avoid alienating sophisticated UNIX users or previous HP personal computer users, to allow porting of standard UNIX software, and to allow a novice user to become more sophisticated in using the computer as the user's familiarity with the system grows. The user interface for the Integral PC consists of three parts: HP Windows (window manager), PAM (Personal Applications Manager), and the inherent user interface of each application. The result is a visually oriented multitasking system that allows each program to run as if it were the only program running.

By also creating a version of BASIC that runs in this UNIX environment on the Integral PC, HP provides a growth path for HP Series 80 Computer owners wanting more capability and performance without having to sacrifice their existing software routines and data files. The PC provides highperformance multitasking operation, mass storage, graphics and text output, and instrument I/O in a compact, transportable package.

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Peter Johnson

Last updated: $Date: 2000/10/25 16:26:13 $