Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Dateline to Go Live in Chicago

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Dateline to Go Live in Chicago

Article excerpt

THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE and Ctext Inc. announced late last month that the Dateline editorial system reached its go-live milestone.

Begun more than six years ago to replace the paper's old Hendrix Edit 5 front end with a PC-based editorial system, the project suffered delays but survived where others (and their vendors) did not.

The delays were attributed to challenges in achieving levels of stability, performance and functionality associated with earlier mainframe-based systems. In the course of six years, however, processing power and database management improved and the client-server computing and networking model matured.

"The software is to the level that we can start training and get ready to go live," said Dean L. Gerdes, systems development director at the Tribune.

Final acceptance, he said, installation, training and successful production on the system.

Gerdes added that the paper is "looking forward to continued software development from Ctext."

From the first section going live to hook-up of the last remote workstations, Gerdes estimated a full changeover to Dateline will require three months, not including training.

When complete, Dateline in Chicago will comprise more than 450 OS/2-based client workstations, including almost 100 at remote locations, on an Ethernet network with 10 RISC-based Tandem CLX computers for database service.

Gerdes supplied the following physical description of the system. At the Tribune's Freedom Center, the Tandem processors connected to multiLAN adapters have 10-GB of mirrored disk storage with high-speed fiber-optic connection. Using Tandem's Remote Disk Facility, six CLX processors with 10-GB storage are located in the Tribune Tower. Automatically updated from the primary database in the Freedom Center, they serve as backup in the event of system failure and for testing new software releases.

The wide area network for data transmission between the Freedom Center and workstations in the Tribune Tower uses Cisco 7000 routers and T-3 fiber-optic links. WAN connection of 11 area bureaus relies on Cisco 4000 routers and T-1 and 56KB lines. Thirteen other locations around the country use IBM Lan Distance communications software to access Dateline, dialing into a U. …

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