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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The University of Tennessee and Sun Microsystems Computer Co. have announced a partnership with the launch of a new computer site on UT’s Knoxville campus.

The SunSITE (Software, Information and Technology Exchange) is being developed with $85,000 in equipment donated by Sun. UT-Knoxville is one of only four such sites in the United States, said Tom Rittenberry, Sun representative in Knoxville.

“Business-industry partner relationships are the way of the future for education. We view this as a strong relationship with UT where, through joint objective-setting and research, we can develop new ideas and technology,” he said.

The partnership will make UT-Knoxville a center for the development of the Java computer language.

“Java brings a powerful new round of innovation and development to the already explosive realm of the World Wide Web,” said Dr. Terry Moore, UT-Knoxville network services coordinator.

“People are excited about Java because it allows software developers and web publishers to make web pages that permit far more interaction with users.”

Internet browsers, such as Netscape Navigator and America Online, created using the Java language will be able to retrieve pages that contain running animations, 3-D models that can be manipulated, active spreadsheets and much more, he said. Also, Java programs will deliver software across the Internet, irrespective of computer platform or operating system.

“We’re looking for UT to build a repository and facilitate the development of small programs called Java Applets that will become a mainstay in the software industry,” said Rittenberry.

Like other SunSITEs, UT’s will be a collection of information and technology with broad appeal to both the academic community and the general public.

“In the first two weeks, we expect this SunSITE to be accessed 300,000 times a day from around the world. Six months later, we figure that number will be in the 1.7 million to 3.3 million range,” Rittenberry said.

There are more than 20 SunSITEs at universities around the world. These include the University of California at Berkeley, Syracuse University in New York, the University of Milan in Italy, Science University in Tokyo, Moscow State University in Russia and the South African University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.

UT-Knoxville was chosen from 27 other U.S. universities as the site for the project.

Sun Microsystems Computer Co., based in California, is a world leader in the design, manufacture and sale of networking computing systems and is a division of Sun Microsystems Inc.

Contact: Dr. Terry Moore (423-974-6616)