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Frequently Asked Questions

What size computer is needed?
A 32 user system would typically run on a single server at 2.4ghz/1GB CPU. Storage is directly related to the users data. THEOS and a typical business application will take less than 500MB, with the remaining hard disk storage allocated to user data. DSI recommends a 64bit PC with VMWare installed. Client access to the applications can be made from almost any device, including cellphones.
What file access methods are employed?
Applications may use Sequential files, Btrieve ISAM, Libraries, Random access, or Keyed access. Programs and objects are stored as binary files. THEOS also has drive letters and Directory structures similar to Windows and UNIX. There is a full-fledged database system that can be adapted to very sophisticated applications.
What kind of performance can I expect?
On a 200mhz/32MB system with 32 users, there should be no perceptible delays attributed to system operations. Typically, all immediate operations would take place in main memory. Peripheral delays may be experienced depending on the speed of transmission to a terminal device. Dumb terminals take 1 second or less to fill the screen. Networked clients run at networked speeds and are almost instantaneous. Due to the development tools, applications result in tight compiled code that might be considered almost tiny when compared to typical PC applications created on Windows or Linux systems. Typically, applications execute in main memory since they can be shared by client users.
What about printers?
Up to 16 spooled printers can be simultaneously made available to each application. Spooled reports are managed by a central Spool Queue which assigns priorities and forms available to each printer. Individual remote terminals can feature slaved printers. In addition printer output can also be directed to printers on Windows Client machines. Many applications make use of the flexible output which may be routed to consoles, remote devices and to disk storage. Output can be displayed as PDF documents.
How about security?
Three levels of security are immediately available. (1) Each user must Logon to identify themselves. Passwords may be assigned. (2) Each user may be assigned to a Private Account - files and resources are only available to those that share an Account. (3) Files may be designated with Read, Write, Erase, Execute, Hidden and Modifiable protection.
In addition, if the system is networked, The network server has a dual layer of that protects the LAN from external access except when specifically authorized. This will only allow Network users to Logon (with optional Password) if they have been named specifically. Unlimited access can also be programmed for completely public machines. Selective access to programs is also a rudimentary security feature, since users may be assigned privilege levels and have access to only those programs at that privilege level and below. Remote network users can be blocked or allowed entry by Logon and password. The security system can be configured at a far greater depth than most UNIX based systems, making THEOS an ideal system for military or defence applications.
Security and anti-corruption are two primary strengths of these networked business systems. The software is entirely proprietary and there is very limited distribution of the source code.
Known viruses cannot execute in this environment. So hacking and corruption are securely defended against.
Can I connect to the Internet?
Design Systems uses the internet very effectively. TCP/IP is the primary network protocol employed. THEOS provides a variety of servers and clients e.g. HTTP, FTP, Telnet, SMTP, etc. that provide both local and remote connection for networking. THEOS servers can be accessed easily from LAN clients or from remote clients (such as Windows and Linux) that utilize any of the standard Internet protocols. Communications is easily and simply setup with complete administrative control. THEOS applications can be accessed from any location in the world.
How much does it cost?
The cost for a system varies with the size of the business. DSI's business software starts at $2000 and depends on the functionality desired. The Operating system software typically runs around $170/user. A server PC is normally less than $1000. Network components are widely available and inexpensive. Terminals can be dumb serial terminals ($250) or Windows PC's ($500). Add it up. You won't find a less expensive or more reliable system anywhere. These are all capital costs, initial investment lasts for many, many years. On-going support costs will depend on the enterprise growth and innovation.
What about the future?
The future is not entirely predictable, but some of DSI's clients are using the MICS system (now at vers. 9.0) since 1980. As computer speeds and feeds increase, so does the performance of the software which is written to take advantage of new technology. As technology increases, these systems are enhanced to take advantage of the new technology making this solution better and better. Many of the applications began as floppy disk based applications and were extremely optimized for performance. Extensions and improvements have increased the performance and the current applications are highly optimized for speed and reliability. Running on the latest hardware provides un-paralleled performance.
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Last update 07/12/.16