Digital Expands Its Line

By N. R. Kleinfield
The New York Times

April 10, 1984

The Digital Equipment Company yesterday introduced a more powerful version of its Rainbow 100 personal computer, as well as several new products that allow Rainbow machines to be integrated with other computer systems.

The new machine, the Rainbow 100B, uses floppy disks with 128,000 characters of internal memory, twice the capacity of the previous Rainbow 100. The memory can be expanded to 768,000 characters, four times the original Rainbow.

The new model can also be upgraded with a memory device with greater capability. The computer, without a keyboard and monitor, sells for $2,750.

Links to Other Computers

Digital introduced several enhancements that enable Rainbow computers to be linked to Digital's VAX minicomputer and the International Business Machines' office systems.

Throughout the industry, the trend has been to enable personal computers to ''talk'' to whatever other products might be present in the office. I.B.M. introduced equipment and software last week to link its personal computer to its Displaywriter word processors and other office equipment.

Digital is the world's second-biggest computer maker. However, it has experienced a slow start in the personal computer marketplace, as a result of a late entry, problems with late delivery of products and the absence of some software offerings.

In another development bearing on the Rainbow's future prospects, Digital said yesterday that it had agreed with the Polaroid Corporation to jointly market and distribute a system that allows graphics on the Rainbow screen to be turned into 35-millimeter color slides and prints.

Known as the Personal Presentation System, it combines Palette, Polaroid's computer image recording system, and Digital's Rainbow computer and graphics software. Digital said the total system would sell for a suggested price of $7,200 and should be able to produce slides at a cost of less than a dollar apiece. Digital said that conventional computer-generated slides could cost as much as $32 each to produce.

Digital also announced some enhancements that increase the power and capabilities of its Professional 300 series of personal minicomputers.

Digital's stock dropped 1 1/8, to 89 7/8 yesterday, in a generally weak market.

Copyright 1984 The New York Times Company