CLSI unveiled its microcomputer-based library system at the American Library Association in Denver on January 24, 1982. The new system uses the same basic software packages as its minicomputer-based systems to facilitate upgrading to a larger system when a library grows beyond the capacity of the micro. The machine selected is the Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) LSI 11/23, an excellent choice because the basic system has 256KB (256,000 characters) of primary memory that can be expanded up to 1MB (1 million characters) of primary memory, as compared with 64 to 256KB for most other micros.
Up to 16 terminals can be supported for circulation, acquisitions, patron access catalog and materials booking.
A 96MB cartridge model disk drive is used as secondary storage. A library can load up to 80,000 brief bibliographic records (averaging 350 characters each).
A basic central site costs $40,000 and the cost of software packages start at $7,500 per function. Circulation software, for example, is priced at $10,000. A circulation system might, therefore, cost a minimum of $60,000-75,000.
A library can choose to add a tape transport for loading files and back-up and larger disk drives, up to 300MB, are available. A fully configured system with all software packages could cost $125,000 or more, almost as much as some mini-based systems.
CLSI is the fourth turnkey vendor to introduce a micro-based system that has the same software as the vendors larger mini systems and from which a library can migrate to a mini-based system. The others are Avatar, Computer Translations Inc. and DataPhase Systems Inc. [Contact: CL Systems Inc., 83. Norwood Ave., Newtonville, MA 02160. 617-965- 6310].