Mobil's Drilling Data Center system in Dallas gathers real-time data and manually entered reports for high cost drilling operations. The information is made available throughout the Drilling organization by means of a communications network which comprises a satellite earth station and high speed data links between major network nodes in Dallas, Houston, New Orleans and Denver. Some 200 users in these locations are directly connected to the network. Access via high speed modems is available to users not directly connected.

As personal computers have replaced terminals as the primary end-user device, the role of the Data Center and the communications network has changed. Recent upgrades to the network permit high speed data transfer from the minicomputers at the Data Center, to personal computers. Text, numeric, and graphic data (including real-time MWD information) can be transferred to the personal computer, then edited or manipulated using standard software packages. This provides the user with much greater flexibility than was possible when using terminals and host computer software. The Apple Macintosh is the standard computer used within Mobil Drilling and the network has been configured to support Apple's Localtalk/Appletalk protocol. This provides users with Wide Area Network connectivity between Local Area Networks in division offices, while maintaining the graphical user interface with which they are familiar.

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