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Used Symoblics hardware
Symbolics is trying to kill off the second-hand
market in used 36xx machines.
There are many used Symbolics machines on the
market right now at cheap prices. I was all set to
buy some. I called a Symbolics salesman inquiring about
upgrades and maintenance and he told me:
* There was a "strictly enforced" $10,000 "software license
transfer fee" between the old owner and the new.
* Maintenance on a 3640 is about $7,000/year [you could
think of this as one Mac II a year] versus $1,200 for
making the used machine deals not attractive anymore.
The charge seems like a gratuitous harassment device.
Obviously, they're trying to force you to buy MacIvory instead of
a used machine. But buying cheap used machines would give
us an opportunity to increase [or at least not further erode]
our Symbolics user base, since we have to compete against
price/speed arguments for Unix machines. Also, we have
to keep 36xx's as an option, since Symbolics does not yet
offer a color Ivory. Finally, and most discouragingly,
it raises the spectre that they would pull a similar trick
[prohibitive maintenance and inability to buy cheap used
machines as spares] with the current model of machine in
another two or three years.