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The Ferret Document Browser

Howard P. Katseff and Thomas B. London
AT&T Bell Laboratories
Holmdel, NJ 07733


The Ferret Document Browser is a vehicle for exploring the design and use of document storage and retrieval systems. Its distributed, modular structure allows independent information providers to control their data, yet make use of a common access and billing control facility. Document images are distributed via a nationwide AT&T corporate internet which consists mainly of Ethernet networks interconnected by leased data circuits. The relatively low bandwidth of this networks is dealt with by compressing the documents for transmission, and by decompressing pages as requested on the workstation. A page image can be decompressed and displayed in less that a half second. A broadband version of the system makes use of the BBFS broadband file server, the HPC interconnect, the LuckyNet broadband network and the Liaison network multimedia workstation. This system allows document browsing at rates up to 15 page images per second.

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