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press releases -- comments
Thank you for your comments on the press announcement. As usual, they
are insightful, and helpful to us in determining policy. I feel
compelled to comment, however, since many of your comments are based on
misinformation which seems to have spread in the wake of this
Anyway, here are some facts which seem to have been muddled or misstated
in recent conversations:
(1) The "model 2" is not the first MacIvory to ship with the newer
"Rev2B" Ivory processor. Current MacIvory model 1 boards are shipped
with either Rev1 or Rev2B parts, depending on inventory and other
(2) The "model 2" includes a number of changes from existing "model 1"
machines, in addition to requiring Rev2B and requiring faster cache
(3) The $2,500 cost of the "model 2" upgrade does not cover our costs,
let alone margin, in upgrading the MacIvory board. It is deliberately
priced low because we wanted to stress our commitment to existing
customers. (Strategies such as this are the result of direct feedback
from SLUG, I might add.)
(4) XL400s already contain Rev2B Ivory processors. They clock slightly
slower but have a much more efficient memory and I/O system than
(5) Symbolics is considering upgrading all MacIvory "model 1" systems to
use "Rev2B" parts, and to include some other ECOs which currently make
life difficult for software development and customer support. If we do
this, it will be based primarily on cost trade-offs. The benefit to
customers will be primarily improved reliability.
(6) Since MacIvory model 1 is less expensive to build than model 2, and
since this market is particularly price sensitive, we elected to
continue offering the model 1.
(7) There is no "logic variable" problem which is fixed by Rev2B.
(8) On-board MacIvory cache memory is not the same as Macintosh SIMM
I believe that these answer most of your questions. I'll answer a
couple other questions explicitly:
What is the future of ECOs, future releases, support of older machines?
ECO#1 is now shipping for 7.4, and ECO#2 has just shipped for 7.2.
Another ECO release for 7.4 is planned within the next two months. The
exact release date is flexible depending on the severity and volume of
bugs fixed. Fully one-third of Software Development is currently
involved in supporting these efforts.
We are currently planning a software release across all current and
future Symbolics platforms (except the LM-2!) in January, and beta
tested in October. (This is subject to change and shouldn't be taken as
a commitment.) I'll be going over more details of this at SLUG, when
the details should be more firm.
In the new corporate culture of Symbolics, what is the future of older,
It is a top priority to support and continue supporting our current
customers. I don't know how to say it more succinctly than that. All
of our planning of software resources takes that priority into account,
and a number of my comments above should directly support that claim.
Anyway, thanks again for the comments that you and others have already
given. It's really important to us to have direct feedback on matters
like this, so we can do it even better next time. Feel free to respond
to me personally or publicly, as you wish.
Director, Software Development