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[non]Status of TI

    Date: Tue, 14 Aug 90 08:23 CDT
    From: dmitchell@BACKUS.trc.amoco.com (Donald H. Mitchell)

    TI didn't show up at AAAI.  Of course, you all know that TI withdrew its
    knowledge based system shells (PC Easy, PC Plus, etc) around a year ago.
    My personal opinion is that TI didn't help anyone but did hurt several good

Aside from their destruction of LMI, TI's advertising hype damaged the
entire market by fueling the industry's overoptimism and subsequent
backlash against AI technology.  Of course, the underpricing you are
referring to may also have created some problems, but I don't think they
were all that serious in the long run, except for TI's effort itself.
The creation of a monster PR problem by overselling and by killing an
important player in the market were the worst of it.

  However, I wonder if Symbolics would have come out with the Ivory
    without TI's competition?

Are you kidding?  Most likely, they'd have come out with it sooner,
rather than being caught up fighting paper tigers.  The entire G-machine
effort might have been considered superfluous, preserving a lot of those
resources for Ivory development, had TI not produced their gate-array
implementation when they did.

The I machine (Ivory) was a planned part of the Symbolics product line
long before TI got into the game.  The G-machine family was not, and was
inserted into the midst of the evolution after TI leapfrogged past the
36xx machines on the performance curve with their gate-array Exploders.
Of course, the G-machines (3650, 3630, 3620, 3610) didn't do much to
combat TI on performance grounds, and didn't sell as well as expected
for delivery platforms.  In hindsight, Symbolics probably would have
been much better off to accelerate the Ivory effort rather than divert
resources into designing and producing G-machines, at the same time
undercutting sales of the existing 36xx models.

Nonetheless, I should also mention that the G-machine design and
production effort is a pretty amazing success story in terms of the
speed and quality with which it was accomplished.