To successfully replace the alternator as the preferred diagnostic tool, the technology incorporated into a PACS diagnostic workstation must duplicate, if not surpass, the most important or fundamental features of the alternator. Alternatively, incorporating the alternator into a more global view of the operations of the radiology environment as a whole, the workstation may provide capabilities not available in a film-based system, such as sophisticated image processing techniques, communications capabilities, and data management services. This paper reports on systems analysis studies carried out to determine and characterize the fundamental alternator features. A model is discussed and quantized. In broad terms, features included in the model are the amount of information displayable at one time, the time to display another equal amount of information, and the ease in which the change between sets of information is made. An equivalent functional model of an electronic alternator is defined. Feature characteristics are mapped into available technology. This paper will also explore several examples of the additional functionality technically possible in PACS diagnostic workstations.