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All CCI configurations include a server--the FrontPower server, as it is called in a standard commercial system. The FrontPower server was launched initially on the NCR Tower range of Unix computers, which is still supported, but the majority of CCI's systems today are based on a Sun Micro-systems Sparcstation or Sparcserver, or an IBM RS/6000.
For text entry, CCI generally uses Sun IPC workstations, PCs and Macintoshes. In addition, it still can supply dumb terminals from Tandberg.
Most Champion workstations today are based on Sun Sparcstations--IPC, 1 + or 2 models. However, CCI also delivers workstations based on the IBM RS/6000 product line.
On the software side, CCI uses the Unix operating system, Token Ring or Ethernet TCP/IP and NFS networks, the C programming language and other standard components.
All of the composition products are based on the CCI Standard Composition software. Today's version of this system has evolved from developments of the now-defunct American CCI company in the 1970s. Since then, it has been changed significantly by CCI Europe, such as in porting it to Unix early in the '80s. Still, a user of the former American system can recognize the roots from the old Data General line in today's basic CCI composition products.
Small system configurations. The smallest CCI system can consist of a single Sun Sparcstation 2 with 16 MB of internal memory and up to four 669-MB hard disks. This configuration (see diagram of system 1, right) can run the PageChamp, AdChamp, black-and-white ImageChamp and standard CCI Editor applications.
For additional workstations, up to four Sun IPCs can be connected to the same server. In this case, the server would be equipped with 16 MB of internal memory and four 669-MB disks. Each IPC has 12 MB of internal memory and one 240-MB disk (see system 2).
Multiple servers. For a larger system, up to three servers can be connected in one network, i.e., a system with up to 12 workstations (see system 3 diagram on next page).
For an even larger configuration, CCI uses a Sparcserver 470/490 or an IBM RS/6000 930 as server, equipped with 32 MB of internal memory and up to 32 GB of disk (see system 4, next page).
In all configurations, the servers and the workstations are connected over a standard Ethernet or Token Ring cabling, running TCP/IP and NFS protocols.
Pricing. When we asked CCI Europe how much these typical configurations and modules would cost, we were told that it is difficult to quote prices because CCI systems usually include customizing of hardware and application software.
In a typical installation, CCI says, the cost for hardware and system software normally represents 45%-50% of the total system cost. The remaining 50%-55% is the application software, integration and installation.
To illustrate its pricing, CCI described one example of a Cosmos system, which we referred to earlier as a preconfigured standard system based on CCI software modules. The Cosmos system is available in a number of models and sizes and is built for the small and large type/repro trade houses focusing on high-performance page production, integrating text, line art and color and black-and-white images. Finished pages from Cosmos are output on quality PostScript image-setters.
The example that we went through with CCI was a midsize Cosmos package with five terminals: one Champion workstation, three PCs and one Macintosh. For the Champion workstation, we used a Sun color IPC. Besides that and the PCs and Mac, the hardware includes a Sun Sparcserver 2 with disks and Video 8 tape station, a Xerox 7650 monochrome scanner, an Apple LaserWriter and a Kinetics internet router, all connected via Ethernet.
The software in this package includes the full CCI Standard Composition program, multilanguage hyphenation, LaserProof, PC-Link, QuarkLink, DeskTopLink, both black-and-white and color ImageHandlers, Ba high-resolution color images, and PostScript drivers for text and black-and-white images. The IPC workstation software includes under MAWS control a CCI editor, PageChamp, AdChamp and ImageChamp.
The price for this package is $200,000-$240,000 (U.S.), depending upon the exact configuration and capacity. Obviously, this is a production-oriented system that provides considerable cost savings, which would be a key factor in a decision to make an investment of this size.
In addition to sales of standardized packages such as the Cosmos one, CCI Europe is, as we have seen, heavily involved in sizable customized systems involving multiple large file servers, a large number of specialized Champion workstations, integration (such as with an editorial system), and output to PostScript and non-PostScript typesetters.
These solutions typically aim at a high degree of automation and a design that allows both for continued use of existing systems and implementation of new work flows. They also involve transfer of knowhow between CCI and its partners.
As noted above, CCI wasn't able to quote specific prices on these types of projects. But CCI said that system prices are always based on a standard price list, the same in all countries. Hardware normally is supplied by CCI, but occasionally is sold directly by the hardware vendor (Sun or IBM) on the local market (e.g., Belgium for Le Soir).
If a customer has other special needs, CCI approaches the development with a view toward making it a full-function, standard product available to other customers later, at a price lower than it would cost to obtain a fully customized product.
The CCI system can drive up to nine different RIPs or recorders at the same time, handling the necessary drivers, width and kerning tables, utilities, etc. It supports all Adobe-compatible PostScript devices, but, in addition, there is an impressive list of other typesetters that it can drive:
* Linotype--Linotron 202, Linotronic 100/300/500 and PostScript (RIP30/RIP4 via LocalTalk, EtherTalk and TCP/IPTFTP Ethernet). It will test the RIP 40/Linotron 630 soon.
* Hell--Digiset 40T20, 40T30, LS210 and UX 70/90.
* Autologic--APS-5, APS-Micro 5, APS-55 and PostScript (PS PIP 2 via LocalTalk and TCP/IP Ethernet).
* Monotype--Lasercomp, Pioneer, Express, Blaser, Series 3 RIP and PostScript (PS4000 via LocalTalk).
* Agfa Compugraphic--8300, 8400, 8600, 9600, 9800 and PostScript (Star Emerald RIP via LocalTalk and TCP/IP Ethernet).
* Information International--VideoComp 500.
* Scangraphic--PostScript (LocalTalk)
* Scitex--Dolev PS (PostScript via LocalTalk and TCP/IP Ethernet).
Output recorders can be connected either to the server or directly to the network, depending on the RIP/recorder.
To offer a proofing capability on output devices that don't support PostScript, CCI …