Senator J. Robert Kerrey of Nebraska, Al
Gore, Vice President of the United States, and Lloyd Morrisett of the
Markle Foundation Comment
CUPERTINO, Calif. -- February 15, 1994 -- Tandem Computers Incorporated
(NYSE:TDM) and Infonautics Corporation, Wayne, PA, today announced that
they are working together to build the world's most extensive electronic
library for children. This unique online information service, called
the Homework Helper, will be one of the pioneering resources of the
This multi-million dollar agreement is the beginning of a relationship
aimed at creating a revolutionary distributed computing environment
connecting students to information available from multiple publisher
Tandem will be the exclusive computer systems provider for the service,
drawing on over 20 years of experience in delivering solutions for
online transaction processing. This service will run on the Tandem
Integrity Network Resource (NR) servers. These cost-effective UNIX
servers offer leading performance and scalability.
Senator J. Robert Kerrey of Nebraska, a leading advocate of educational
technology, said, "I have always thought that education should be the
primary driver on the information superhighway. The Tandem and
Infonautics partnership illustrates the kind of private-sector
initiative that will be required to lead the way. The Homework Helper
will help children reap the benefits of the information age."
Homework Helper, a breakthrough reference service, lets students with
home computers search tens of millions of pages of reference material.
It is perfect for students, because it responds in plain English. For
example, the query "Who said, 'Et tu, Brute?" will yield the full text
of Julius Caesar, the complete Monarch Notes; an encyclopedia article on
Caesar; and references from newspapers, magazines and other sources.
Senator Kerrey added, "The development of an extensive, easy to use
electronic research resource for the nation's elementary and secondary
school students is the type of cutting edge application which is
essential if the information superhighway is to work. I am encouraged
and excited by projects such as the Homework Helper which collect and
organize large amounts of materials, which make them available through
open systems, and which allow access by simple English language queries.
I commend Infonautics, Tandem and Prodigy and the many publishers
involved in this effort for the contribution which they are making to
advancing the new telecommunications technologies."
Al Gore, Vice President of the United States stated, "Efficient access
to information is becoming critical for all parts of the American
economy. Banks, insurance companies, manufacturing concerns, and many
other business operations now depend on high-speed communication links.
Many more businesses can take advantage of such systems if they are
reliable, easy to use, and inexpensive. Such systems would be of
enormous value to schools, hospitals, and other public organizations.
Even the most remote school could be connected too state-of-the-art
Gore added, "When it comes to telecommunication services, schools are
the most impoverished institutions in society. I've spoken often about
a vision of a schoolchild in my hometown of Carthage, Tennessee being
able to come home after school, turn on her computer and plug into the
Library of Congress. I believe that his can only happen when you have
the private and public sectors working together."
Lloyd Morrisett, president of the Markle Foundation and co-founder of
the Children's Television Workshop said, "The Homework Helper is of
great potential value to students of all ages, and of wide and varied
Participating Homework Helper publishers will be encouraged to license a
turnkey hosting system, to be known as the Electronic Printing Press
(tm). This fully scalable technology will enable both small and large
publishers alike to connect to the information superhighway, and claim
control over their electronic publishing destiny.
Homework Helper carries the works of over 35 publishers, including USA
Today, The Los Angeles Times, Forbes, Simon and Schuster, Reuters,
journal Graphics, and Time magazine. Additionally, the system houses
over 700 major literary works; thousands of digitized photographs,
graphic images and maps; CNN Television Transcripts; Compton's
Multimedia Encyclopedia; and the World Almanac and Book of Facts.
The Homework Helper will be offered through major networks, including
the Internet. The initial launch, currently scheduled for this fall,
will be on the PRODIGY service. It is targeted at the 47 million
children in primary and secondary schools in the U.S. It will be
offered on a subscription price per month basis. Prices may vary
depending on the network, but will be lower than a basic cable TV
Jim Treybig, president and CEO of Tandem said, "The infrastructure
needed for the information superhighway exists today in the combination
of large networks and computer systems that meet its requirements. By
teaming with Infonautics, we set a new standard for information
delivery, providing systems that are highly cost-effective, and grow as
the demand for service increases, making services like Homework Helper
affordable to the public."
Marvin Weinberger, president of Infonautics said, "Our strategic
alliance with Tandem will help American children become 'infonauts' --
to launch out into information space and go anywhere their dreams can
take them. If children have the desire, there will be no limits on what
they can learn."
Concurrently, Infonautics and MRJ, Inc., headquarters outside of
Washington, D.C., a leading strategic information resources company,
announced another relationship in which MRJ will assist Infonautics in
the development and launch of the Homework Helper service.
Infonautics Corporation, based in Wayne, PA. was formed to create a new
class of information products that will revolutionize the accessibility
and affordability of electronic information. Infonautics is funded, in
part, by a program-related investment by the New York based Markle
Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to communications
technology for the public good, and the Ben Franklin Partnership for the
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Infonautics has also received venture
capital investments from Zero Stage Capital of Pennsylvania and Keystone
Tandem Computers Incorporated (NYSE:TDM), founded in 1974, is the leader
is continuously available parallel processing, reliable client/server
solutions and enterprise networks. The company manufactures, markets,
and provides services and systems ranging from the desktop to the data
center, as well as software to deliver complete customer solutions.
Tandem, headquarters in Cupertino, California, is a Fortune 500 company
with offices worldwide.