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Sony NEWS workstation: 2x 68030 @ 25 MHz, 1280x1024 256-color display

The Sony NEWS (Network Engineering Workstation) was a series of BSD-based Unix workstations sold during the late 1980s and early 1990s. It originally came equipped with a dual 68030 processor configuration running at 25 MHz, later shifting to the MIPS R3000 and R4000 RISC microprocessors. The first NEWS machine was the NWS-800, which originally appeared in Japan in January 1987 and was conceived as a desktop replacement for the VAX series of minicomputers.

Sony NEWS workstation with front door open

Both 68030 and RISC models shared the same case, which had a large door covering a floppy drive and a 5.25-in expansion bay which could house a SCSI tape or CD-ROM drive. The details of the door were slightly different: two windows for the 68030 models while the RISC ones had a single large window. Also hidden by the cover were a reset button and a series of DIP switches used to configure some bootup parameters.

Rear view of a Sony NEWS workstation

On the back were 3 expansion slots, one of which normally housing a video card. Underneath those were the connectors for SCSI, network (an AUI connector), serial (CH0, normally used for console, and CH1), parallel, and a keyboard.

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