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Dear Steve,
In Reply To:
    Date:  2 Nov 1979 1125-PST
    From: Steve at SRI-KL (Steve Rosenberg)
      I am exploring ways to get MACLISP up on a VAX, under VMS. I wonder
    whether you have anything to tell me about this. I know NIL
    will eventually be up, and that FRANSLISP runs, under UNIX-7.
        Due to constraints of various kinds, i must use the VMS operating
    system, and I can't wait a year till NIL is up.
        So far, the best scheme seems to be to hire someone to bring
    up FRANSLISP under VMS, and iron out any differenences between it
    and MACLISP.
  Good luck!  The only current programming languages under VMS are
Fortran and Assembler; Pascal may appear thru DECUS soon.  It will take you
more than a year to do ANYTHING yourself -- and who can you POSSIBLY hire
that is any good?  (LISP implementors are a pretty scarce breed; I am happy
if I can find systems people who have HEARD of it!)
  We, too, are using VMS, as is MIT, even though the entire rest of the
world is going over to UNIX.  What I suggest is: (a) don't try to use a VAX
for at least another year (what EDITOR are you going to use?); (b) if you
have no choice, talk to Ken Keller and Bill Joy (UCB grad students) and get
the UNIX-UNDER-VMS emulator from a company in San Diego (we are probably
going to get this, it includes a UNIX license and is NOT CHEAP however, I
think probably >$50K) and then just LIVE WITH FRANZ until NIL is done.  Bob
Balzer is threatening to put INTERLISP on the Vax, but again, it will be
more than a year.  There are also various FORTRAN-4 LISPS (probably awful)
which MIGHT work.  If you can live with 16-bit addresses (i.e., 2**16 byte
or less programs, compared to 2**18 WORDS (x4.5 bytes/wd) on a PDP10), you
might get MARYLAND PDP-11 ULISP which should run in EMULATOR MODE.
  My advice is: if you can get on a PDP10 or DEC20, wait a year or two.
Hope the world is otherwise treating you ok!  Regards, Mark