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Quick! I need MacIvory information!
I've had a chance to work on a MacIvory and here are my experiences and opinions:
>- Overall performance (constrast to a 36xx if possible)
Somethings run faster some things run slower, but it is in the
ballpark. All the functionality of a 36xx is there, just slowed down
by going through the Mac.
>- Network performance, connectivity issues (speed, robustness of
> supplied network software/hardware (DNA especially)
I used Chaos and TCP-IP, which worked fine. Ethernet card access can
be traded back and forth between the Mac proper and the Ivory chip
using software. Sorry I don't have experience with the DNA, but I
can't think of anything that would present a problem there. I hope
someone else has actual experience to share on this.
>- Disk drive I/O rates
All the I/O (disk, mouse, screen) is limited by going through the Mac,
and is noticeably slower than on a plain LispM, but I was surprised to
find it quite adequate for my development. To have on my desk and use
everyday, I would choose a fully loaded MacIvory over a similar-priced
Sun any day, but then I am partial to LispMs. If I had some use for
the Mac itself, I would even choose the MacIvory over my 3650.
Give the MacIvory enough RAM (3-4 MW?) that your application doesn't
page significantly, and try to optimize file operations.
>- Any quirkiness, bugs, likes, dislikes, etc.
You might notice that Mac Toolbox routines use different drawing
algorithms than Lispms, but that shouldn't bother your end-users.
Make sure the graphics you want to use are fast enough for you.
Since Symbolics intends this to be a delivery machine, not a research
tool, I think you would be justified in pressuring them for advice on
performance hacks wherever your metering says you need them.
To conclude, I am satisfied that this machine is what was promised-- a
real LispM, with the *complete* LispM environment, well integrated
with the Mac. Note what I said above about having one on my desk.