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i1••• 11 •.,••

■., ®

An Update for Eighth District Federal Reserve Bank Electronic Customers

July 1997

Should You Buy a New PC for Fedline? If So, When?
If you are interested in purchasing a new computer for Fedline, the first step in identifying your
need is to review your current Fedline workstation. Many Fedline users have 286 or 386
processors, which at one time was sufficient to run Fedline. But as technology advances, so does
software and hardware requirements. The Federal Reserve has identified that most customers with
286 or 386 processors are having memory and disk space problems associated with the Fedline
software. With those problems, Fedline customers cannot receive and/or implement Fedline
FastPatch updates successfully or utilize sorting features in certain Fedline applications. In
addition, they cannot utilize the PC for other software packages such as WordPerfect, ACH
origination software, in-house mainframe software, etc.
To let you know the direction the Federal Reserve is headed, the System has identified the need for
more functionality with personal computers. Therefore, a new Fedline system for Windows 95 or
Windows NT is currently in development. The new Fedline for Windows software is expected to
be available to Fedline customers around the third quarter of 1998. If you have a PC that is in
your institution with the minimum requirements for Fedline, you will not have to purchase new
equipment. A PC with the minimum requirements will give you much more flexibility with your
computer. You will be able to receive Fedline FastPatches successfully and utilize other software
packages. Keeping this in mind, most of the older models (286 and 386 PCs) will not be
functional with the new Fedline software. Therefore, if you are budgeting for next year, it would
be in your best interest to allocate funds for a new computer.

Equipment Specifications
Attached are the "Minimum Required" and "Minimum Recommended" Fedline System requirements for both the current Fedline software and Fedline for Windows. If you would like to
procure a PC that is faster than the "Minimum Recommendedt you can do so. The new JonesFuturex 347 Encryption Board is certified to work on Pentium PCs up to 200 megahertz.

I Bought a PC for Fedline Processing; How Can I Make It Operationally Ready?

There are two scenarios to this question. First, if you have a PC with DOS only,
you should complete following tasks prior to your live date:

You should contact the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Fedline helpdesk at
1-800-333-0861 and ensure you have the necessary software and instructions.


You should have a Jones Futurex 336 or 347 encryption board.*


You should have a Federal Reserve Bank certified modem; e.g., AT&T Paradyne 3820
with a RS-232 cable.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


You should have a REKAP diskette (Version 3.0 for the 336 board or Version 3.2 for the
347 board) for the encryption key download.


You should have a printer and printer cable.


You should ensure each Fedline user has a HOST USER CODE.


Test connectivity of your Fedline workstation prior to your live date.

Second, if your computer _has Windows 95 .as the .. operating _.system, then you
should have the following:

Fedline software and instructions (contact the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis helpdesk
at 1-800-333-0861).


Windows 95 Setup Diskette along with instructions


Jones Futurex 347 Encryption Board*


Device Driver for 347 board


AT&T Paradyne model 3820 along with an RS-232 cable


A printer and printer cable


In addition, ensure that each of your Fedline users has a HOST USER CODE, and test
the connectivity of your Fedline workstation prior to your live date.

If any of the prerequisites are not completed, this will delay your start-up date for Fedline. If you

have any questions, please contact the Fedline helpdesk at (314) 444-8711 or 1-800-333-0861,
and press 1 to speak with a Customer Accounts and Access Support representative.

*Note: The Federal Reserve System is currently evaluating an advanced application of the Data
Encryption Standard (DES), known as Triple DES, to protect data transmitted electronically
between the Federal Reserve and financial institutions. If the new standard proves effective, you
can expect an announcement in early 1998 about the actual implementation and how it will impact
your current encryption hardware.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



Fedline for Windows System Specifications
July 1, 1997
Minimum Recommended

Minimum Required

. .

Personal Computer
Intel 80486DX2 66MHz or same class

Intel Pentium MMX 166 MHZ or same

Memory (Cache)



Memory (RAM)


32 MB for Windows 95 or
64 MB for Windows NT Workstation



3½" 1.44 MB

3½" 1.44 MB

3 full-size ISA slots

3 full-size ISA slots

Super VGA (1024 x 768) with 1 MB

Super VGA (1024 x 768) with 2 MB

14" SVGA

17" SVGA


2X CD-ROM drive
8-bit sound card
Speakers or headphones

8X CD-ROM drive
16-bit sound card
Speakers or headphones

Operating System

Microsoft Windows 95

Microsoft Windows 95 1 or NT


Hard Drive
Floppy Drive
Expansion Slots


Currently supported modem


AT&T Paradyne Model 3820

Dot-matrix with tractor feed

Printer Type

Laser3, or dot-matrix with tractor feed

Encryption/Communications Cards4

ISA Cards


Other Hardware

Electrical surge protector including
AC power and modem line protection

Electrical surge protector including
AC power and modem line protection


You must have versions 4.00.950 or 4.00.950a to execute the current Fedline DOS based software


The current DOS based Fedline software will not work on Windows NT.


The current DOS based Fedline software does not work well with a laser printer.

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

See note on Page 2 concerning Triple DES encryption.

Focus: Encryption Boards
Have you ever wondered why an encryption board is needed? Is it really necessary?
Every institution that communicates with the Federal Reserve Bank must use an approved encryption board. The
major function of this board is to encrypt messages coming out of the PC before they reach the modem. Also, it
decrypts data that the Federal Reserve Bank HOST system is delivering. Think of the encryption board as a
communication security officer. It scrambles data being sent out, which, if ever intercepted by anyone, could not
be interpreted. An algorithm, which is unique for each encryption board, is used to scramble the data.

The Jones Futurex 336 encryption board was especially designed for personal computers with a CPU
processing speed from 8 MHZ to 120 MHZ. This board no longer is available for purchase from Jones Futurex.
However, if your current Fedline PC is operating with this board, it can be used to upgrade to a system which
runs at the processing speeds mentioned above.

Jones Futurex has certified the new 347 encryption board, and it is currently available for purchase.
This board will allow you to operate Fedline on PCs with a processing speed up to 200 MHZ. It also fixes many
problems associated with loading Fedline on these faster PCs; however, we still are experiencing communication
problems on a few multimedia-equipped PCs.
This new encryption board offers several advantages over the existing 336 board. The Jones model 347 board
provides both cryptographic processing and SDLC communication support, which support multiple base
addresses and four possible interrupt settings. The cryptographic portion of this board uses a block of eight
movable addresses. The SDLC section of this board also uses a block of eight movable addresses. All of these
improvements allow it to be more compatible with the internal structures of various personal computers.

Orders for the new 347 encryption boards should be directed to Jones Futurex at (916) 632-3456, ext. 331.
Delivery time of the new board is approximately two weeks. The cost is $960 (new connection) and $643.20 (for
upgrade). This board requires a new device driver and an updated copy of the ReKap software. So, once you
have placed your order with Jones Futurex, please contact us at (314) 444-8711 or 1-800-333-0861, and press 1
for a Customer Accounts and Access Support representative. Just let us know you ordered the new board. We
will ask about the new system before beginning the process of getting you the new device driver and ReKap

Questions and Answers

Upper management at my bank wants to wait to upgrade my Fedline terminal. I am currently working on
a 286 IBM micro channel PC. Should I try to encourage them to upgrade before you implement Fedline
for Windows?


Yes, if you are a customer who uses most of the functions on your Fedline terminal. We have many
enhancements to the Fedline software that will require a substantial amount of memory. Loading the
patches on this type of PC could cause the machine to crash, resulting in down-time for your institution.
To avoid this potential problem, encourage your management to upgrade the PC sooner.


I have been hearing that Fedline will operate on a Windows 9~ operating system. Is this true?


Yes, our current DOS based Fedline software will load and run on a Windows 95 PC in the DOS mode.
Our future Fedline product, "Fedline for Windows," will run on a Windows 95 or Windows NT operating
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


I have a copy of the Fedline for Windows system specifications. Should I follow the minimum required
or the minimum recommended given in this document when purchasing a new computer?
If you are purchasing a new PC, keep in mind that PC technology is changing rapidly. Following the
minimum recommended will mean investing in a more powerful computer. This will give you the
flexibility to support evolving technologies. You may want to wait until the Fedline migration approaches
to take advantage of evolving technologies.


I am purchasing a new computer system. Should I consider upgrading my peripheral components, such
as a faster modem and a laser printer?


Your new Fedline will continue to support most of the peripheral components of your current Fedline
configuration, such as modems, dot matrix printers, encryption and communication cards. However, you
may wish to upgrade these items to enhance the performance of your new system. Upgrades may
include a faster modem (such as the AT&T Paradyne Model 3820) and the new Jones Futurex encryption


My institution is looking forward to upgrading our Fedline terminal. We are currently operating with a
386 processor, and we have the 336 encryption board loaded. We want to keep this PC as a contingency
PC. However, we do not want to pay the full price for the new encryption board without a trade in. What
should we do?


Contact Jones Futurex directly to receive more information on what the trade in policy is. You can contact
Jones Futurex at (916) 632-3456, ext. 331, and ask for Troy Nimmo.


I have just purchased a new printer to use with my Fedline system. Do I need to adjust my Fedline PC?


Based on the type of printer purchased, you may need some adjustments, to make it compatible with the
Fedline PC. If you are experiencing compatibility problems, please call Customer Access Support for


Can I use more than one printer with my Fedline PC?


The "Printer Configuration" function allows you to designate up to three printers for Fedline output. You
can separate message printing to each printer into three categories: incoming messages, outgoing messages
and supervisory information. If you have more than one ·printer, you can assign multiple message
categories to the same printer.


I would like to upgrade my modem, but I need to talk my management into it. What are the benefits of


If you have an older modem, most likely the transmission speed is 2400 bps. If you upgrade to a new
modem, you can transmit at a speed of 14.4 kbps. This transmission speed will enable your ACH and
MICR files to be received at an improved speed. In addition, your old modem can be used as a backup.


I need to purchase a new modem for my Fedline PC. I have shopped around and found a lower priced
AT&T Paradyne modem. Should I purchase this modem?


We recommend that you purchase the AT&T Paradyne modem from Lucent Technologies. Modems
purchased from outside vendors are not capable of communicating with the Fed's HOST system until they
are set up properly. To correct this problem, you will be referred to Lucent Technology for diagnostic
testing. If communication strapping is needed, they will charge for this service. In the end this will result
in more money being spent; thus, offsetting your initial savings. If you would like to place an order for a
new modem, please call Lucent Technologies at 1-800-708-0843, ext. 5015. Be sure to indicate that the
modem will be usedfor Fedline. This will insure that your modem has the correct strapping.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Choosing a Printer
When purchasing a printer, it is best to buy a dot-matrix rather than a laser printer. There are a few disadvantages
to buying a laser printer. First, you do not get a continuous feed audit trail of your transactions. Second, a
funds transfer message could print on two pages leading to the possibility of information being missing from the
report. Finally, there is a risk of pages getting out of order since there are no page numbers.
On the other hand, the dot-matrix printer with tractor feed provides a better audit trail of your transactions.
If you need to prove that a transaction was actually sent, we prefer an unbroken continuous feed printout of your
transactions for the entire ·day.
We cannot recommend specific brand names of printers to purchase; however, we can give you printer
specifications that are compatible with our system. Even though most printers are compatible, we recommend that
you purchase your printer from a vendor who will let you return it if it is not compatible with Fedline.
For more information, please call a Customer Accounts and Access Support representative.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis