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The Microcomputer in the Acquisition Environment,
SPACE DIV LOS ANGELES AFS CA
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Headquarters Space Division in Los Angeles took the initiative in adopting the microcomputer as a viable tool to improve overall operations. After a little better than 18 months there are over 200 terminals on station. Most are split between 4 and 8 user multiprocessor systems. Our primary goal in both microcomputer hardware and software acquisition is to stay away from proprietary products that can lock the user into a particular vendor for systems support and modification. The result of our November 1981 design decision was hardware configured around the Z80 microprocessor using the S-100 IEEE-696 Bus. Standardized user interface was included by specifying a keyboard configuration of NASAS Jet propulsion Laboratory design with 40 programmable function keys. Eight inch single side, single density floppy disk drives IBM format 3740 were chosen because they represent the one industry wide standard in disk formating. Though most of this work was done in a Contracting office the conclusions are relevant to all. We feel the experience of our period of experimentation with Office Automation can aid other offices considering taking this course of action. We have had both positive and negative result with our effort, but the overall conclusion is that 1 micro-computer office automation can not be avoided and 2 we have only scratched the surface of its applications in the acquisition environment. Author
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE